I never thought that when I started my blog in 2013 that 4 years later it would be my main source of income. I started it as a fun project with Bianca, one of my best friends from college, as a way for us to keep connected and show what we thought was cool. However, we sat down one day and very seriously wrote out a plan, brainstormed ideas, and tried to come up with something that we thought was unique.
Thus Artisan & King was born.
It took a while to find the perfect name, but one day while getting lost in a blackhole of the internet, I found myself taking a personality test, which classifies you into one of seven Roles: Server, Artisan, Warrior, Scholar, Sage, Priest, and King. Can guess what I ended up being?
Yup, I was an Artisan and after making Bianca take the test and being proclaimed a King (or Queen), we knew we had found our name. This leads me to my first tip for better blogging.
1. HAVE A MEMORABLE NAME
There are thousands of blogs today, and if you want yours to be one that is remembered than you’re going to have to make yourself stand out in the sea of saturation. People often have no idea why my blog is called Artisan & King, and to be fair the mystery is part of the appeal for me. It’s a great conversation starter, and it reminds people that we all have an artisan (creative) and a king (leader) in all of us.
Personally, I also think it sounds slightly more professional from a business stand point to have a blog name that differs from your actual name. Yes, my social media accounts are all my name, but that is also where I feel slightly more personal. My blog on the other hand is my home base for everything I want to talk about, not just one quick image from one specific day. When I think about my fellow bloggers who have made a real career out of blogging, they too have their blog name and their actual name as something different.
2. COLLABORATE, COLLABORATE, COLLABORATE
This is something that so many people shy away from because they’re either too afraid to reach out to someone they admire, or they simply think it’s better to do everything on their own. As someone who grew rather quickly in the blogging sphere, I can promise you that reaching out to people I admired was not only beneficial for me, but for them as well. We were able to build relationships, share each other’s content, and when it comes time to recommend other bloggers for jobs, we don’t think twice about who to suggest.
The other thing that I think scares a lot of people away from collaborating is that there’s an idea that you’ll be handing over jobs, or giving your competition something that should have been yours. Here’s the thing, whether you do or don’t work with someone, they’ll still be out there in the blogging sphere, and I can promise you they’ve been seen by the same clients. It’s not a win/lose relationship when it comes to collaborating, it’s a win/win, and you’ll only benefit by teaming up with other bloggers.
Yes, not everyone will want to collaborate, but some will. Yes, following size will range between bloggers, but as long as the collaboration makes sense this shouldn’t matter too much. And yes, you should think strategically when it comes to your collaborations, after all this is a business, so get out there and collaborate with bloggers like you!
Plus it’s a great way to meet new people, and I’ve actually made quite a few friends by doing this.
3. BE AUTHENTIC
This is the most fundamental piece to blogging when looking to make a well rounded blog. I accredit my authenticity to what helped me grow quickly in the beginning, and what helped me find my voice.
When Artisan & King first launched it was meant to be a lifestyle blog with a guy/girl take on fashion; however, after going through my first real break up with my first real love, I couldn’t find any interest in fashion. I was writing, but about my feelings, and I just couldn’t force myself to write about something that didn’t feel relevant to me. Thus, the “Feelings” section in my blog was given life and I was able to post my first piece.
I would’ve never guessed that this section of my blog was where I’d originally find my audience from; what would be the tipping point for becoming a professional blogger; or what would give me the chance to be a contributor for The Huffington Post.
To this day the Feelings section in my blog is my personal favorite as it’s where I get to speak my truth, leave pieces of my heart, and write things that help others feel less alone. Ultimately this section is the voice for the blog as a whole.
I can’t stress it enough, but the more authentic you are, the more people will want to be a part of your journey because in so many ways it’s their journey too.
4. STAND FOR SOMETHING
So many social media accounts today are endless vanity projects that do nothing, but give their owners a false sense of validation. I know that when I first started my modeling career, what I was looking for beyond money was validation. It’s something that we all want, and it makes sense as we all deal with silly insecurities; however, if all your posting about is stuff and your gorgeous face than people will get bored.
I often joke that you should use your powers for good, not evil, so if you find that images of yourself do the best, as they almost always do, then incorporate important messaging.
This specific tip is one that I find myself frustrated with when looking through things like Instagram because so many people have giant accounts and don’t use them to promote important occurrences, news, organizations, differing cultures, or a plethora of socially conscious things. I respect that not everyone is interested in world events, or that they think their opinion is relevant, but when we watch people like Donald Trump get elected to office, it’s clear that we need more and more people speaking up. Especially those who have the power to influence thousands, if not, millions of people. These things most likely won’t pay you in monetary value, but they will pay you in so many other ways, and at the end of the day I can promise you that when I have spoken out on controversial topics I haven’t lost followers, likes, engagement, or branded contacts, so don’t let those things hold you back from doing what you know is right.
If you’re serious about making blogging a profession than you have to understand that at the end of the day, you’re agreeing to letting the public into your life. It may not seem that way in the beginning, but the more you start to share, the more you realize this is part of the job, and for better or worse, it’s not going to change.
5. BE USEFUL
Being useful perfectly puts the cherry on top of the sundae when it comes to sharing my top 5 tips for blogging.
By being useful you are giving a potential follower a reason to hit follow, not just like your pics and disappear. Whether it’s style tips, workout tricks, or inspiring others to pursue their dreams, you need to make sure that you serve a purpose. Too many people get caught up in just creating beautiful content, which I’m not including in this list because beautiful content is a must, not a tip. However if your blog, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever is just beautiful to look at, eventually people will get bored of it, so make sure that you have a target mission that sits at the heart of your blog.
Additionally, remember that you should try and find a focus that fits what you’re good at. If you can’t cook, don’t be a food blogger, but maybe be a “learning to cook” food blogger. There’s a way to spin anything into an interesting and engaging blog, but remember you have to find a way to make yourself standout.
Today blogging is a lucrative profession that thousands of people are looking to break into everyday. It’s a major offered at universities, and something that is only growing. I often accredit timing, my eduction, and dedication as being the 3 key things for how I found my place in this highly saturated world of blogging. While blogging looks easy and glamorous from the outside, it’s actually a very time consuming profession that often doesn’t pay off until years later, or if ever.
While you may think you can just jump on the blogging bandwagon, quit your job, and do whatever you want, it just doesn’t work that way. So make sure you are ready to spend hours each day alone writing, your own money on things that you hope one day become free, and people thinking your nuts because you’re following your wanderlust.
Blogging isn’t for everyone, but if you think you have an original idea, what it takes, and the drive and dedication to make it big then implement these 5 tips and get going because every second you waste someone else is out there living the life you dream of.