There’s still so much more to share, so I wanted to recap a few points as well as answer some questions I received in my DMs after the panel!
Do people still read blogs?
My question to you would be, where do you get your information? You do a search in Google and go to a bunch of websites and look for the answer you need. Many of those websites you’re searching on are blogs! This is why it’s important to have a presence and voice on your own website. A blog is a guide for others to seek inspiration and motivation. Many of the other social media content platforms are not searchable and will be harder for new readers to find the answers they’re looking for.
All that being said, blogging as a business is competitive. You need search traffic so be consistent, be specific, and always always provide as much value as you can. Ask yourself if you would find your content useful. If you answer no, then it’s time to tweak your voice and content so that that answer is yes!
Can you use Instagram as your only blogging platform?
You can use Instagram as a way to create “mini” blog posts. My Instagram captions tend to be much longer but that doesn’t mean that’s where all of my content should go. What if Instagram were to go down? There were a few instances over the past year where Instagram was down and everybody was panicked. How would people find me if Instagram went away forever? Your blog is a safe space that you own so it is always best practice to have another outlet outside of social media where your community can find all of your valuable content.
Also as I noted above, Instagram isn’t searchable. What if someone wants to find content on your feed about how to go to sleep earlier? There is no way for people to be able to easily do that without having to scour your feed and no one has the time to do that.
Best investment made when blogging?
I would say the best investment is my time. That might not be the answer you want to hear but when it comes to blogging there isn’t a real get rich quick method. It takes a lot of time to identify what you want to write about, come up with a content calendar, and then execute on it. Be consistent with how often you post and the success you see in your Google Analytics with traffic increases will keep you motivated. If you create the content, your audience will come.
When it comes to tools and more tangible investments, I would also say investing in Tailwind is key. If you want to increase traffic you must get on Pinterest and Tailwind is a great way to automate your activity there.
How to charge for a sponsored blog post and how to monetize?
If you build enough traffic and have a community that reads your content, I would say the first thing to do is build a media kit. Your media kit should have your social statistics, your audience demographic as well as a bio on you. Now start pitching yourself!
When it comes to rates, that is all very dependent on what you feel most comfortable with. Think about your time as money. How long does it take to come up with the blog topic? Write the content, take photos for the post, edit, create a Pinterest graphic, etc. Total up the amount of hours it would take. Now think about what your hourly rate would be. Charge what you feel confident in taking. Now on the flip side, think about if you were an advertiser and you had a product that was in stores selling for a small dollar amount. If you have a small audience of 100 readers each month, it may not be worth it to that advertiser to want to purchase a high advertising rate from you. Always look at it from both sides – is it mutually beneficial?
That is for flat rate partnership rates, but you can also partner with an ad network and they will pay you off of a CPM (cost per thousand impressions). This means that there is a rate set by the ad network to pay you X rate per 1000 times their ad is shown on your blog. This rate is typically already set with the network but once you become more established you are able to negotiate these ad rates.
I have a blog post on all the ways that influencers can make money so that you can get your wheels turning in other ways as well.
How do you grow a quality follower base?
This is a complex yet simple answer. Create, collaborate, repeat. It’s definitely harder these days to grow on social media (Instagram specifically) but it is still possible. Any time I have seen a boost in any growth is from collaborations with others. Whether that is appearing on a panel (such as what I did for BlogHer) or going on a podcast, there’s always ways to get your voice out there so that others can find you. Most importantly though, when someone does find you – do they know what your blog or social account is all about? Is it crystal clear on why they need to follow you? Focus on providing value and content consistently (and sustainably) and you’ll slowly see the growth you need.
Another topic I spoke about on the panel is diversifying your audience. Many people are creating on YouTube, TikTok and other areas so that they can leverage the communities there and drive traffic over to their blog or Instagram.
I would also ask the question, what does “quality” mean to you? Does that mean people who regularly engage with you? Slide into your DMs, leave you comments, sign up for your newsletter? Make sure you ask your existing community questions in your content and serve them in the way they need. Before focusing on growth in number of follower account, ensure you have the right engagement with those that currently follow you.
I hope this helped you! If you have any further questions on blogging let me know. I love supporting others in their personal and professional growth.