I started Real College Student of Atlanta less than a year ago and I am amazed and extremely grateful for how great my blogging experience has been! My blog has received over 100,000 views and over 40 different advertisers/sponsors. It's become a business.
So, I just wanted to share some things I've learned during my first year of blogging. This will be a series of posts, and here's part 1!
1. Decide who your blog is for - Is your blog just for you, for you + your family/friends, or for you + the world/you'd like for it to become profitable?
If it's just for you, you can do what you want. Simple as that. Write when you want and write what you want. Blogging is a wonderful way to express thoughts and images online, and keep them on record!
If it's for you + family/friends, include aspects of your life you think they'd be interested in knowing. Make your blog personal and have it reflect your unique personality. There are tons of fun blog themes and designs that make viewing blogs better. Including photos and videos is also a great way to keep your family and friends interested and have them keep coming back for more.
If you are starting your blog for you + for the general public, understand that your blog should become a brand. Whether you use your name for the blog or come up with another name (like I did), make it something you're passionate about and won't mind showing up somewhere on the internet. Remember that anyone and everyone could see your blog (posts, images, comments, etc.) and understand that. Read on for more tips!
2. Research other blogs - Once you decide what audience you'll be targeting with your blog (for me it's high school students/college students/recent grads/people living in Atlanta), find blogs that target similar audiences. I looked at and read plenty of blogs for college students, but did not see any that were written by African Americans nor any written by college students living in Atlanta. I wanted to represent for this population and share my thoughts and experiences with others. However, I learned many of the things I know about blogging from more experienced bloggers. Remember that once you start blogging, make your blog and posts your own style so that people will get to know you through your blog and keep coming back for more!
3. Start writing and keep writing - Plenty of people start blogs. There are over 100 million blogs on the internet, but not everyone consistently blogs. I try to post every day or schedule future posts if I know I'll be too busy to write on a specific day. You should be passionate about your blog's topic or purpose and enjoy sitting down to blog. Let your writing reveal a little something about your personality so that your readers are getting to know you a little bit more through every post. I schedule about 30 minutes to an hour every day for blogging/promoting my blog. I usually make a list every week of possible blog topics and then start writing. You can blog about your life and relate it to your blog's topic or blog specifically about your topic of interest. Remember that photos and videos are always great when used appropriately!
4. Social Media for your blog is necessary - Just like major companies have social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) you should also have these for your blog. You'll have to decide if you want these to be one and the same with your personal social media.
*I personally plan to keep my personal life (social media) and professional/business/blog life (social media) as separate as possible. It's a personal choice that you'll have to make*
I have a RCSOATL Twitter and a personal Twitter, a Facebook page for RCSOATL, and several other social media sites for promoting my blog. My Instagram and Pinterest accounts are the only social media I currently have public for my personal friends + blog viewers.
Social media allows for promoting blog posts, sharing blog posts, and having others share your blog posts. You can share what topics you're discussing and gain new followers. It's also a great way to connect with readers and fellow bloggers. Also, once you start hosting giveaways, encouraging people to connect via social media is a great entry option.
Look out for more tips this entire summer! Happy blogging!