In more ways than I can count, I am proud of Miss Maxie McCoy. She is one of the most hardworking people I know and she’s about to launch something huge this week!!! And she’s been blogging for two years. Because blogging is something that has changed my life in such a big way, I always love to encourage and help others start their own blogging journey. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that while starting a blog is something a lot of people want to do, many don’t start or they do and then it fizzles out eventually. When Maxie started blogging I had a feeling she’d be sticking with it for the long haul and I’m excited to say, she’s about to take it to a whole new level.
Tips From a First Year Blogger (Part 2)
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
It’s insane how time flies. A school year is almost over. Summer is beginning. And as quickly as it goes, what’s even crazier is how much changes and develops in such a short amount of time. You’ve experienced and grown so much already and it’s only May!
I can’t believe it was this day last year, I shared with you the biggest lessons I had learned from my first year of blogging. It was all about useful tips to get you started and keeping the momentum once you did. Nobody likes to begin with a bang and then fizzle out (which we know so many bloggers do without the right plan in place).
Think of these tips as the second act. What to do when you’re in the swing of things. How to get better, keep going, and expand. Because you started something– something real, something valuable, something fun– and there’s no reason you can’t make it your side hustle or eventually your full time thing.
Believe me when I say, your dreams can start as a blog. And the beginning of your dreams can begin right now. Here’s how:
Capture your audience
I’ll never forget sitting with Carly one night in NYC and having her walk me through Google Analytics. She was the first person to explain and show me the importance of knowing what my traffic looks like and how to interpret it. And it was because of those conversations that I understood the importance of capturing your audience and being able to communicate with them – whether that’s in your social following or gathering their email lists from Feedburner or Mailchimp, being able to communicate with your audience when you want, instead of waiting for them to come to you, is huge.
Be Personal. But…
It doesn’t matter if you have a fashion blog, a career site, a foodie blog or a fitness following, readers want to know who’s behind it all. They want little windows into your life. And this is why it’s so fun and valuable to share personal stories, people learn from it. Because so much of what I write about is personal experiences and views on the world, I’ve had to learn when I can write about something and when I can’t. Obviously I’d never Twsift someone, but I also don’t want to cut myself short writing about something that is still so raw, which could potentially make it worse. So here’s my golden rule: only write about personal stories and lessons that you have complete closure on. That you’ve totally worked through. That’s when you can put it out to the world to learn from, because you’ve already realized the full lesson yourself.
Same voice. Different tone.
Do you tell a story about the person that broke your heart in the same tone that you talk about the hilarious scene you just saw go down outside the corner store? Do you talk to your parents about your school projects the same way you talk to your besties about summer plans? Negative. Your voice is the same. But the way you tell the story is different. The same is true when you blog. The more you write the more you’ll figure out how to communicate your voice differently based on what you’re talking about. If it’s the coolest fashion sale ever, you’re likely excited. If you’re sharing a personal piece of inspiration, it’s probably a bit more reflective. The way you can communicate tone and dimensions of your voice in your writing will add to the connection and authenticity with your followers.
Ask your audience (readers, followers)
It doesn’t matter if your following lives on your blog or your Instagram. And it doesn’t matter if you’re asking five thousand or only five. What is important is that you’re taking the time to ask. Why do people read what you’re blogging? What do they get out of it? Why? You’ll learn so much about the value you’re providing and you’ll get really good idea about where you might want to go next.
It doesn’t have to be “just a blog”
Two years ago, I thought I was starting “just a blog” so that I could have an outlet for my writing, which I’d always been passionate about. On May 6 (this Wednesday!), 24 months later to the exact day, my blog will be unveiled as a full. fledged. business. Thanks to the constant coaching of Carly and the support of so many of you on this blog, Maxie is about to be fully launched into the world! I never would have guessed this is where it would take me when I started writing. But it’s proof that you should let your blog lead you. Know that it can take you amazing places if you keep at it, keep creating, and believe in what you’re doing and what you love.