Remember when you started your blog? Remember all the dreams you had for growing your readership, making money in your sleep, and writing a best seller?
I know, right? What happened to those dreams? Now, your time is filled with making pins, sharing to Facebook, waiting for your email list to grow, and hoping for incremental increases in your bank account.
You want blog success. You are waiting for blog success. But what do you do in the meantime?
Regardless of how you define blog success there are some proven ways you can make the most of your time while waiting for your blog to take off.
First, make sure you have a clear picture of what success means to you. Is it pageviews? Email subscribers? Monthly income? Comments? Is it tangible or intangible? Only you can define it.
If you never define success for your blog you will wander around like an Israelite in the wilderness. From what I’ve read that included a lot of grumbling and complaining and it took a very long time. You don’t want to go there. Make sure you know exactly what you are aiming for.
If you are just starting out make some SMART goals for yourself. As you reach each goal, set another loftier goal and keep moving forward.
If you’ve been at this blogging thing for a while you should have a clear picture of where you are headed and how you plan to get there. Revisit your definition of success. Make sure you are on the right path to reach your destination. If not, make the necessary adjustments. If your definition of success has changed, which is possible, readjust your trajectory and keep moving forward.
Once you complete the task of knowing exactly where you are going you can begin to maximize your time while you are waiting. There are numerous things you can do to stay busy and keep your blog in tip-top shape while you await success. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it should help give you some ideas and some definitive tasks to complete.
1. Keep writing
For some reason whenever a blog starts to falter or is not making gains quickly enough it seems the author stops writing. While this is a normal reaction to a let down it is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing as a blogger. If you do nothing else on this list, do this one thing: Keep writing.
Blogs are made up of many parts but they all point to one thing, the writing. Blogs are designed to show off your thoughts and ideas. On a blog your knowledge is presented in the form of writing. Sure, there are photos and links and other gizmos and gadgets to serve readers but the main point is the writing.
Whether you’ve just started your site or you are a seasoned vet you have to keep at the writing part. In the lean times, write. In the bountiful times, write. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit, write. Write when it hurts. Write when it doesn’t feel like there’s anything to write about. Write when you’re sad, when your happy, and when you don’t know if you still want to be a blogger or not.
Whatever you do, keep writing. If you stop writing, in essence, you stop blogging. You will never find success if you stop. Your voice matters. There are people out there who could care less about your success or lack thereof. They just need to hear what you have to say whether it’s a recipe or an inspirational story, instructions or poetry. Don’t stop. Keep writing.
2. Hone your craft
If you’ve been at this blogging thing for more than five-minutes you know that blogging is more than just writing some words and hitting the publish button. There is an art to blogging well. Just as there is an art to good photography and beautiful music. It takes practice and while you are waiting for success, however you have defined it, you should be spending a lot of time honing your craft.
Study the elements of good design. Find out what social media platforms your audience uses most. Become a better photographer. Learn how to make and edit videos. Your journey to success will be uniquely yours. I don’t know what that journey will look like, but I do know it won’t be a straight line between point A and point B.
As you wander and circle around don’t be aimless. Be mindful, be purposeful and be teachable. There are so many facets to blogging you’ll never learn them all but you can sure have fun trying. Work on being really good at what you do. Your readers will notice and repay you with shares, likes, and purchases potentially speeding up your success adventure.
3. Aim really high
One of the key elements of success is quality. Whether you play the piano, sell cars, or bake you can do it half-heartedly or you can aim to do it with a everything you’ve got. When you try hard people notice. Even if you fail, they know you’ve tried your best.
If you play the piano you have to practice hours and hours to become accomplished. If you sell cars you have to study everything you can about different kinds of vehicles and know a lot about how they work for customers to feel confident buying from you. If you bake you have to try many recipes many times to get them just right.
Do you think it’s any different with blogging?
Maybe you don’t have a lot of resources to invest in your design. That doesn’t mean you just slap something together. Do you due diligence and make your site the best it can be with what you’ve got right now.
If you don’t understand social media very well do your homework. Learn how to use it well. Set high goals for yourself and do everything in your power to reach them.
You will get out of blogging what you put into it. It may take longer than you expected, but the rewards will far outweigh the effort. Aim for quality. Your readers will notice.
4. Network like crazy
Have you ever noticed how sometimes big bloggers name drop? They say, “Oh, I was talking to so-and-so the other day…” or you might see pictures of all your favorite bloggers together at some retreat or conference laughing and having fun.
Let’s get one thing straight – there is no secret club or magic word to get you into this group or that group. What you are seeing is networking. Bloggers who speak at conferences meet other bloggers who speak and they become friends and can relate to one another because of their experiences. Others know each other because they all started around the same time and were in a mastermind group together or they were the ones commenting on each other’s blogs when no one else was even reading their posts. They’ve built a bond. It’s called networking.
You can network too.
You should be doing it right now while you are waiting for your blog to get noticed and your post to go viral. Make friends, comment on other blogs, search out other bloggers in your niche to support and love on. Network like crazy right now while you have the time and energy. When you do you’ll get all kinds of support and props from people who are trying to make it, just like you.
Every so often there is a new batch of bloggers who pop out of obscurity and take the spotlight. You might be next. If you are building your support group now your success will be that much sweeter.
5. Try new things
This is the time to try new things. If it works, awesome! If it doesn’t, nobody cares. Big time bloggers don’t have that luxury. If they try something new and it flops they get thousands of comments and social shares about it. Not fun.
Now is the time to get crazy. While you are still small beans you can try and fail and try and succeed without worrying about who is going to have an opinion about your choices. It’s the perfect time to go wild and find your own groove.
Make your own success in a way that is unique to you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. This is the time to try new things.
It may feel like you’ve been at this blogging thing for a long, long time without much to show for your efforts. Don’t give up. Keep moving forward and use this time to prepare for your future success. Believe that it will happen and make the effort to be your very best when it does.
You don’t have to sit around pining for the high life. You can be spending this time improving yourself and your site so that when you have a post go viral you can cash in on the rewards it brings. Be prepared and whatever you do, keep writing.