About a month ago I published a Q&A post all about me personally. About a week later my e-mail inbox flooded with questions about all things that have to do with blogging. While I had never intended to do another Q&A post so soon nor do I consider myself a “blogging expert” a lot of you guys wanted to know what goals I have for my blog in the long run, how I’ve built an audience in a short period of time, and tips of what I’ve learned from the short time I’ve been blogging. I figured that even though I’m nowhere near expert level in the blogging world, I have made it through the beginning stages of blogging and like to think that I made it through the beginning stages of blogging pretty successfully. So, here are my answers to some of your questions. Hope you enjoy!
If your blog finds success, do you see yourself blogging full time?
Currently, I’m blogging as a 20 year old college student. I currently hold an awesome job in sales and definitely won’t be giving that up. Once I’ve graduated, if my blog is bringing in a full time income I don’t see myself giving up a full time job to blog full time. I am in no means trying to put down other bloggers that have done this because personally I think that’s awesome, but it’s just not for me. At the moment I am single and see myself staying that way until I graduate. As a single, recent college grad trying to make her way into the world, I’d like to be surrounded by people in a work environment. I’m super passionate about marketing and where I’d like to be in the work force, so I’d love to hold a job. Strange I know, but it’s the truth. I want to be in the work force come post graduate, especially since I’m considering moving to a new state and city.
Fast forward 10 years down the line when I’m married with children and I’d reconsider the whole blogging full time thing. But that will be decided further down the line and with said future husband.
What tips do you wish you had known when you first started blogging?
Make connections with other bloggers! When I first started blogging I feared that other bloggers with more experience would look down on me because I was so new. It definitely was not the case and I wish that I had taken more effect at that point to get to know more bloggers. I definitely have learned that the blogging community is super welcoming, whether you are a new or old blogger.
I also wish that prior to starting a blog I had focused on growing a stronger social media following. While a following does tend to come once you’ve started blogging, I wish that I had developed more of a base on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest before I started blogging so that I could send more traffic to my blog to begin with.
Another thing that I wish I had known is that it won’t be perfect from the beginning. I am a type-a perfectionist (great combo, I know) and I would always look at other girl’s blogs where they had a defined brand and the perfect pictures to use on their blogs. I couldn’t get over the fact that I didn’t and couldn’t find that for myself right off the bat. But that’s not how it works. It takes time to develop a brand and it definitely takes time to develop a strong one. You won’t have “perfection” right off the bat. In fact, it’s been fun to look back over the few months that I’ve been blogging and see how much my brand is growing. Did I have a written brand when I started? Yes. I’m a marketing student as well, so that’s to be expected from me. But since then that brand has grown and evolved, so I can’t wait to see where this takes me!
How did you build a following when you started blogging?
I mentioned in my last Q&A that I had previously had blogs, one which had picked up a small following. Many of those girls still followed me on Twitter, so they read this blog when I launched. I also shared my blog posts on my personal Facebook page and my friends and family I checked it out and even shared some of my posts. I also immediately started pinning my posts on Pinterest. It didn’t bring an immediate following, but it did slowly bring in more readers over a span of about a month. And slowly but surely, I’ve built up to where I am today. I can’t wait to see where I am in another 3 or even 6 months!
How do you balance school/work/blogging/organizations/social life?
I will be completely honest and say it’s hard. In high school I prided myself for how well I could balance my high school classes, several college courses, dance, cheerleading, and a job, but when I got to the college level finding balance was a slap in the face for me. In high school it was exactly that on Monday evenings I had dance and I worked Tuesday evenings, etc. But college is nothing like that. I had to learn that every day is different which means that every day has a different plan. Once I realized that and could plan accordingly and knew what times I worked best doing certain things, I had more of a routine set up. For instance, this semester my classes didn’t start until noon or later. So I’d wake up around 6:30am, do homework, go to class, head to the gym, finish up any more studying I needed to do, go to work, and then do blogging stuff after. And if I wasn’t working one evening, I was at meetings for my organizations. A post on balancing it all is on my calendar, promise!
What goals do you have for your blog?
At the moment, I run this blog as a hobby. My goals are to help other high school and college ages girls navigate their way through their high school and college years in the best, most successful way possible. I also love to take pictures and write, so it allows me to combine my loves and help others while I’m at it.
Another goal for my blog is for me to learn more about marketing. As a marketing student, I’m fascinated by what methods work and what methods don’t work when you are trying to market yourself. I love how as a blogger, particularly a college lifestyle blogger, it makes how I market myself even more particular. The hardest thing to brand is yourself and I’ve had a lot of fun doing so! Any marketing experience I can get is good, especially since I’m going into the work force in two and a half years.
If you are a blogging, what do you wish you had known when you started blogging? What goals do you have for your blog? If you don’t have a blog, what do you hope to focus on to start a successful blog? What are you hoping to accomplish through blogging? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.