These seven tips contain everything I wish I knew when I first started my “She Blossoms” blogs. I know how hard it is to find free blogging advice that is actually good. I’ve been writing online, going to blog mentoring workshops, and listening to SEO (search engine optimization) podcasts for 10 years.
I’ve learned a lot about blogging, which is why I’m teaching at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in a few months. My mentoring clinic is called “From Good to Great: Taking Your Blog to the Next Level” — and I can’t wait! You’ll find more information about mentoring at a writing conference at the end of this article.
You’re here because you need free blogging advice. I’m here because I want to share my secrets as a blog mentor, teacher, and coach. Do you have questions about your blog? Ask in the comments section below. I might be able to write an article for you, like I did for Darlene in How to Start and Sustain a Popular Christian Blog. But for now, let’s jump into my secrets and tips from the blog mentoring workshops I’ve attended and taught…
My “She Blossoms” blogs have been my full-time job for ten years, and I take my work very seriously. I may not have a boss and I don’t submit timesheets, but I write blog posts every day. I’m always looking for blogging ideas, and I could spend hours talking to professional bloggers.
However, I’ve never hired a blog mentor or coach…and that’s one of my biggest regrets.
7 Bits of Free Blogging Advice From My “She Blossoms” Blogs
Take your blog writing seriously. Whether you’re considering a blogging career, starting a writing blog, or even hoping to write and publish a book, you need to take yourself seriously. And here’s the secret I wish I knew when I first started blogging: if you want to be a successful blogger, you have to go beyond the free advice.
1. Get advice specific to your blog
Getting free advice from creative writing workshops, podcasts, and “how to blog” blogs is fine. However, the most successful, professional bloggers will go beyond the free advice. They’ll get advice that is specific to their blog, goals, and purpose. Why? Because getting bits of free blogging advice on the internet is too general and vague. It’s not applicable to specific blogs or bloggers — even if it’s from a teacher, blog mentoring workshop, or professional blogger like me.
2. Take risks and make mistakes
My first mistake was relying on free blogging advice from professional bloggers on the internet. I didn’t invest in myself as a blogger. I didn’t hire a blog coach or mentor, nor did I start attending online writing workshops and conferences until a couple years ago. I still made good money as a blogger, but I would’ve learned and earned so much more if I had a blog coach. Attending blogging and mentoring clinics would’ve been even better because of the group learning and feedback.
3. Write down everything you learn from your mistakes
This another secret I wish I would’ve known when I first started blogging! I have no record of anything that went wrong — or right — in ten years as a blogger. I often changed settings on my websites, used different types of affiliate programs, wrote hundreds of blog posts, offered tons of free blogging advice, struggled to learn coding and blog analytics…all of it lost in the past. I made dozens of mistakes, which makes me a great blog mentor and teacher. I have tons of experience! But if I’d written down everything I learned, I’d be the author of several popular blogging ebooks and a mentor to thousands of new bloggers.
4. Forgive yourself and keep blogging
In ten years of blogging, I’ve written dozens of articles that I’d never write now. I’ve grown so much — and not just as a blogger, freelance writer, and published author. I’ve grown spiritually and emotionally. My purpose for blogging has changed, and I have an entirely different focus. Are you scared to start blogging? Maybe you don’t know what to blog about or you’re worried about making mistakes. Push past the fear (or give them to Jesus, which is what I do), and blog anyway. This is why a blog mentor or mentoring workshop can be helpful: you’ll get the support and encouragement you need. This isn’t just a bit of free blogging advice, it’s the secret to a happy life: take risks, make mistakes, forgive yourself and keep moving forward.
5. Meet other bloggers in person
I love being alone. Being introverted is one of those personality traits bloggers need to succeed, but I’m definitely on the “just leave me alone in a cabin for a month!” end of the scale. I enjoy talking to bloggers and writers, but I’d prefer to be alone. I love giving and getting blogging advice (especially if it’s free), but I almost always wander off alone when I’m at blogging conferences, mentoring workshops, and even writing classes. I like to think, and I can’t think when I’m talking or listening. If you want to build a successful, popular blog then you need to connect with like-minded bloggers.
6. Test everything. Hold on to the good
Here’s the free blogging advice I heard over and over: you can’t make money as a full-time blogger. Blogging is a way to attract readers or internet traffic so you can sell your product or service. This is wrong! And I’m so glad I ignored that advice. The truth is that you CAN make money by writing blog posts — if you know search engine optimization (SEO) and if you treat blogging like a real job. I’ve earned over $100,000 a year on my She Blossoms blogs. If I hadn’t tested that free blogging advice (that you can’t make money from blogging alone), I wouldn’t have discovered the truth. The truth is that it’s hard work to make money from your blogs, but it’s possible. And it’s so much fun!
7. Define – and keep refining – your reason for blogging
What is the purpose or point of your blog? Why are you writing blog posts, who are you blogging for, and how will you sustain momentum a blogger? Get specific. Organize your blog into something more than a smattering of your thoughts, experiences, memories, Top Tens, goals, and best tips. It’s exhausting to keep trying to find things to blog about! That’s why so many bloggers quit. They’re tired because they made blogging difficult and time-consuming. Do you have a structure for your blog? An overall theme, perhaps, or a focus? If you can’t summarize the purpose of your blog in one sentence, then you don’t have a structure.
It’s not easy to define your identity as a blogger, which is why mentoring is important. A blog mentor doesn’t just give you free blogging advice. She walks you through your reasons for blogging, helps you overcome the obstacles to creating a successful blog, and encourages you through the inevitable blog crashes, negative comments, and discouragement.
I’m not asking you to hire me as a blog mentor, coach or teacher. I already have a full-time job! I’m just encouraging you to go beyond the free blogging advice you find all over the internet. If you want to build a successful blog, you need to go a step further. Find blog mentors, workshops, conferences and classes. Try to go in person, to meet real live bloggers.
Want to join me at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference? I’d love to meet you 🙂
Here’s my the description of my Blog Mentoring Clinic…
From Good to Great: Taking Your Blog to the Next Level
A good blog improves writing skills, sharpens creativity, and raises your platform. A great blog hooks readers, increases publication possibilities, and elevates your ministry. Laurie’s “She Blossoms” blogs have been her passion and her livelihood for ten years. Her instruction, activities, and strategies will benefit both fiction and nonfiction writers. We’ll use group collaboration and individual attention to cover content creation, online writing tips, community building, social media, and more—depending on attendees’ needs, level, and skills.
If you feel discouraged, read 7 Ways to Keep Blogging When You Want to Quit.
As always, fellow scribes, your thoughts are welcome below!