Blogging has been a struggle for me. I'm torn with impressing readers and being true to my intuition, that small inner voice. This past weekend is exactly what I needed to hear from bloggers who have been where I am.
The Michigan Blogger Mixer introduced and pushed me out of my comfort zone: the charming atmosphere, the uber skilled panelists, and an environment filled with motivated bloggers like myself. I couldn't get enough - honestly, ask my mom. :)
Introductions were given by each of the panelists: Andrea Kerbuski, Kristin Jones, Tyler James, and Sarah Schneider. I am truly grateful for their knowledge and encouragement; and with that, here are 11 helpful, motivating words from the panel:
- Remain Consistent. Whether its scheduling posts, pictures or sharing your story, consistency is essential to your audience.
- Find a Blogger Mentor. Majority of bloggers post their contact information on their website. Take advantage of those bloggers whom you admire and pick their brain with questions.
- Be Authentic. No story is the same. Some share struggles and others with victories, or both. Use your blog as a tool to express yourself; because someone, somewhere needs to hear it. One of the panelists mentioned she carries a voice recorder for blogging ideas. Keep a notebook nearby for thoughts that come and go.
- Look for Inspiration. Take a walk, go people watching, see a movie or listen to music. There are hundreds of ideas that can inspire your writing. Remember why you like what you saw or heard then make it your own - be different.
- Don't Buy Followers. Readers (businesses, companies and followers) see through this. It isn't about how many followers but rather the interaction you have with your audience. Quality over quantity.
- Let Your Words Flow. Don't try to impress or be someone you aren't. Post what inspires you and create a blog atmosphere that makes you thrive.
- Create a Persona. If you want to grow your audience, create a person that resembles your audience and use that persona as inspiration.
- Don't Share Personal Pictures. I'm talking pictures of the front of your house, pictures with your license plate or letting everyone know that you'll be out of town this week. Also, be careful with using hashtags ( e.g. babiesofinstagram ) Be smart about what you post. You are giving the public access to your photos. Let the genuine people find you.
- Get on Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram. If you're not yet. They are booming with business.
- Grab a Family Member or Friend for Pictures. Hiring a professional isn't always necessary. Ask someone you are comfortable with taking pictures ( the VSCO photo app was suggested). Also, be conscious of the picture composition and lighting.
- Bloom Where You Are Planted. Show the exciting, vibrant, and unique parts of your town. Consider yourself a tour guide for those who have never been.
What blogging comes down to is sharing your story because there is no one like you. Make yourself vulnerable and don't worry about impressing or fitting into the blogosphere. Start exploring from the inside, out!