Beyond blogging. What does that even mean?? So far we’ve discussed pretty much every aspect of why you need a blog, how to start one and what to do once you have one, but now – NOW – we’re looking toward the future and thinking beyond the basics of blogging – what to do moving forward.
It’s at this point that we have to ask ourselves what our goals are and where would we like to see our blogs go in an ideal world? Now, if you just want to blog for you and you don’t care where it ends up, there’s still good reason to keep reading. This is because blogging is ultimately a social experience and greatly enhanced by connections with others. That’s what this portion of my “Be A Blogger” series is all about – networking, making connections and taking your blog from personal journal to optimal end result, whatever that may look like for you.
Whether you want to make money blogging, sell your products, create new job opportunities, curate a portfolio, connect with other people or simply share your thoughts about the evolution of spider monkeys, you’re going to need to take some steps to reach further. You’re going to have to go beyond blogging and move forward. So how do you do that? I’m glad you asked!
Be friendly to other life forms.
If you take away only one thing from this entire series, let this be it. For reals. If you want your blog to grow and new doors to be opened for you, you have to nudge them a little. This means actually contacting other bloggers, industry professionals and publications, being receptive to them and ultimately, asking for what you want. Whether that be a simple acknowledgement, support, friendship or a possible guest post or income opportunity, you have to give them the opportunity to say yes.
This is how I’ve managed to go from part-time hobby blogger to professional food blogger, summit speaker and owner of my own social media and design company as well as a sought after culinary writer and presence in the city’s food scene. It’s all about being friendly. Be social!
Start small by sending them an email addressed to them by name and include a unique complement on a particular aspect of their work. From there, ask one or two simple, but intelligent questions to prompt a response – with any luck (and a little bit of strategy) you’ll hear back in a positive and timely manner. Foster that relationship and when you’re ready, elevate the relationship to the next level. The same is true if someone contacts you – be ready to say yes and encourage participation and collaboration; You never know who or what may lead you somewhere great.
Be a tool.
Or at least use them. As with any new venture, there will always a be a bit of a learning curve, but don’t let that scare you away from utilizing the many tools available to you. There are a ton of ways you can build your brand’s presence, some of which include social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn, newsletters, Vlogging, Google-Hangouts, podcasting, e-books, blogging summits, whitepapers, slideshows, webinars, etc… All of which can leverage your profile to the next level.
Again, start small; Pick one method, or even aspect of a method, master it and then add another. You’ll be a non-stop, brand building machine in no time!
Engage in risky behavior.
We’ve covered a ton of very relevant blogging “do’s” and “don’ts” in this series. Now let’s break all of them.
Do what you want.
Disregard the research, experiment, try new things and ultimately do what works best for you and your audience. Everyone is different and in that, there’s an audience for absolutely everything. Post, connect and market yourself in creative ways, watch your analytics and engagement levels, see what works and what doesn’t and then go with it. You are your own best resource so utilize yourself. You can do exactly what you want to do, you just have to figure out how to create the opportunities and then run with it – true in blogging, true in life.Always be open to taking risks, treading new ground and switching it up a bit – your blog, your audience and maybe even your niche will thank you.
As Seth Godin says:
“If your plan requires getting picked and you’re not getting picked, you need a new plan. I’m betting it will turn out far better in the end, but yes, indeed, I understand that it’s harder than being anointed. Your talent deserves the shift in strategy that will let you do your best work.
The problem isn’t that it’s impossible to pick yourself. The problem is that it’s frightening to pick yourself. It’s far easier to put your future into someone else’s hands than it is to slog your way forward, owning the results as you go.”
Word, Seth Godin. Word.
How do you go beyond blogging? What helps you move forward? What are your blogging goals? Life goals? In a perfect world, where would your blog take you?
Come back next week for the FINAL installation of my Be A Blogger series – Part 10! It’s a surprise so stay tuned… I think you’re gonna love it!
In the meantime, read:
- Part 1: 10 Reasons Why You Need A Blog
- Part 2: 7 Easy Steps to Start A Blog
- Part 3: How To Create A Blog Schedule (Free Printables!)
- Part 4: How to Write Great Shit (& Own It!)
- Part 5: How to Build Your Blog Audience
- Part 6: 10 Things your Blog Should Definitely Have (Free Infographic!)
- Part 7: Keep Your Blog Fresh!
- Part 8: What NOT To Do To Your Blog
- Part 9: Beyond Blogging: What To Do Moving Forward
- Part 10: How to Do It: Free Ebook for Entrepreneurs, Bloggers and Brands!