So you have a blog, or maybe you’ve been thinking about starting a blog for awhile now. But you want to know how bloggers REALLY stand out and you have questions…
“Is the industry saturated?”
“How do you get your content seen?”
“How can you best strategize?”
“When should you monetize your blog?”
Well yes, a lot more goes into blogging than just putting your content out on the Internet. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be an SEO wiz to have success with your blog. However, it is good to understand what makes a good blog great.
From years of putting on Bloguettes branding workshops and most recently The Workshop in 2018, I have learned quite a bit about the business of blogging and content creation. Whether you are the blogger or want to understand the industry better so your business can work with bloggers or in the digital media space there is a lot to learn. If you weren’t able to make it to The Workshop 2018 and want to learn more, here you can watch the entire conference digitally!
However, for this post I wanted to reach out to a good friend of mine, Digital Strategist and Chloédigital veteran, Christina Shutti. Christina has so much knowledge on how to help the Internet work to your advantage and what you should be doing to best optimize your blog for success. So, let’s get started with the questions, and if you have any more, her information is at the end of the page so you can reach out!
Blogging Tips From A Digital Strategist
Christina, how did you get started in this business?
“After I got my degree in Human Nutrition, I spent a few years working for food companies – healthy snacks, juice companies, and bespoke food delivery services. But in all of those jobs, I was never really working on the nutrition aspect – more the marketing, client services, learning about CRM, looking at data, product innovation, and social media which was still so new then. They were all small companies too, so I was learning and watching how they were growing and why, and I knew I wanted to work within strategy.”
What’s a common misconception about blogging?
“That it’s easy! You have to do a lot of roles to operate a blog, especially at the beginning when you’re just starting out on your own.”
What does blog strategy mean to you and why should all bloggers have one in place?
“Strategy is a plan of action that’s going to help you achieve your goals, that is specific to you and your business. Retail stores, makeup brands, airlines… they all have business plans and strategies. A blog is a business, so it should have one too.
It should cover every area that relates to your blog including email marketing, SEO, social media etc. If you don’t have a strategy then that means with every small change in the industry, you’ll be changing direction. It’s good to be flexible, but you want to lead the direction of the business and be a step ahead, not follow every trend.”
Is the blogging industry saturated?
“Yes and no.
Every blogger has their own point of view and interests so no two people are ever really the same. Even if someone has the same interest as you, you’ll have a different way of talking about it. It becomes saturated when everyone is doing the exact same thing in the hopes of staying afloat. Whether it’s beauty, fashion, travel, or interiors, you’ll have your own point of view on this compared to somewhere who is interested in the same thing.
You may be interested in luxury travel and someone else could be backpacking around the world and be giving affordable travel options – both travel, but two completely different viewpoints and audiences who would view that content. Tap into your own interests within any given topic.”
Is it more complicated than it was before to grow your blog and monetize your content?
“I wouldn’t say more it’s more complicated to monetize and grow, because there are more affiliate networks, platforms, and brands out there providing the opportunities to do so.
People blogging 10 years ago didn’t have access to a lot of this. I think it comes back down to knowing yourself and your audience. If your audience prefers affordable fashion, only showing high-end fashion that’s not in their budget means you could be missing out on converting. If you’re not sure, look at the data to see what’s working and what’s not, and also ask your audience what they like.”
What should a new blogger focus on in the first year?
“Spend time figuring out what the message/vision is for your site and why you’re blogging. It’s quite difficult to choose long-term goals if this isn’t in place. Readers should know at first glance who you are and what you’re about.
That comes from the way that you write, visuals, and branding. It’s absolutely fine to change this vision over time, we’re all constantly changing anyway, but if you’re not clear on what your content is about, readers won’t be clear on it either.”
Can you give us 3 tips that can help a blogger grow their audience.
1. “Be yourself!”
3. “Cultivate a community.”
What does quality content mean to you?
What are 3 most important things you need to do if you want to turn blogging into a full-time profession?
1. “Be reliable and consistent with posting content. If I find a site I love but they last posted 3 weeks ago, then two weeks before that, chances are I won’t go back because I’ll assume the site isn’t in use. The morning paper is consistent and available at the same time – the same should apply to your content.”
2. “Know how to pitch (or learn how to). Even if brands do approach you, maybe your dream brand hasn’t. It’s worth pitching ideas to them so you’re on their radar and could potentially start working with them.”
Where do you see the blogging industry going? What is the future of blogging?
“I think blogging will always be there but the way people use their platform will change. Some of the biggest bloggers now have their own products e.g. clothing, beauty etc. The goal should be to use the platform and community that you’ve built to create even bigger things.”
What is the best place to stay educated on all blogging related topics?
There are a lot of great places, Chloédigital has a good resource of blog-related content.
Where can people find you if they have any questions and what’s next for you in your career?
I’m working as a freelance digital strategist for brands and influencers so if you have any questions about creating goals and strategizing for your blog you can find me at christinashutti.com and @christinashutti on Instagram.
Special thanks to Christina for taking the time to answer my questions!
Which one of Christina’s blogging tips did you find most helpful? Let me know in the comments below!