Many people consider starting a blog. But before you start, it’s worth considering what you hope to achieve from your blog. Here one champion blogger gives her Six Top Tips On Becoming A Successful Blogger…
BY LISA PEARSON
I’ve just won the Small Business Category of the National Mums and Dads blogging awards (MADs), which was an amazing experience. So how did I manage to become a ‘successful blogger’? With a lot of hard work, a dash of luck, and loads of enjoyment!
1) What is success?
First you need to work out what would make it a success in your eyes? Readers, friends, cathartic release, free stuff, the odd £30, earning enough money to not have to work, having a magazine column, writing a book; which is it? If you were looking back on your life, what would mean most to you? For me it has been having a good reputation and reaching out to as many Mums as possible.
2) Are you sure you want success?
You won’t be a success until you are ready to manage both the good and the bad side of success. You’ll get more attention, but can you work out who is offering you a fair deal and who is trying to rip you off?
Are you willing for someone to trash you publicly on twitter, face book or your blog post or for friends to think it is rubbish? I learnt loads from a public falling out with a massively well-known blogger, because I wasn’t upset about it.
3) What are you willing to do?
I was once told to ‘fight for every reader’. Will you do that? Are you brave enough to hand out business cards? I even have my blog on my car window (I also then drive carefully and politely, in case someone remembers me!)
Will you invest in the look and feel of your blog, and learn about the technicalities of blogging and online communities? Whenever I write a post, I tweet it 3 times that day to catch different readers and then watch my stats to see what my readers liked the most; David Tennant, Sex and Decluttering are very popular!.
4) What is your limit?
Some things just won’t fit your blogs purpose e.g. I don’t do many reviews or memes.
I don’t share too much deeply personal information about my husband or children, because they didn’t ask to be in the family of a blogger.
5) Why are you unique?
You need to stand out from the crowd. Blogs can be thought provoking, funny, sad, or full of ideas. So what is it that you can write about better than others? I believe I understand human behaviour really well and am willing to show that my life isn’t perfect. Plus I’m willing to admit a love of sparkly earrings.
6) Is it worth it for you and your readers?
Is it worth the time that it takes to read it because your readers are busy people with a big choice of blogs? Is it worth it to you, because otherwise you will burn out? For me it is and I show readers my appreciation by trying to reply to every comment or tweet.
Lisa Pearson is one of the UK’s top 100 mummy bloggers and the author of book, The Mummy Whisperer’s Six Steps to a Sparkling you and enjoying being a Mum. Find out more here: The Mummy Whisperer.
You might also like: Blogging and Tweeting to gain publicity
Do you work in Public Relations? Are you a literary agent, a TV director who makes reality documentaries or a producer of a daytime TV chat show? Perhaps you are an intern working at a PR company or on a magazine? You might be a trainee journalist on a local paper. Maybe you are an expert in website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or gaining publicity on Facebook or Twitter? Or you might be working in a busy charity press office or running a successful blog. If so, read on…
When I started this blog 18 months ago it had just a few posts and a handful of visitors a day. But today it has over 1000 pages and posts, is currently viewed by just under 10,000 unique visitors a month and its popularity is fast increasing. It began as a way for visitors to sell my story website Featureworld to read the stories behind the headlines – to read what happens when people sell their story to the press – and that will always be its first premise. But, when I began, I also wanted Sell Your Story UK to become a helpful resource for anyone considering selling their true real life story to a magazine, newspaper or television. At the same time, I wanted to help non-fiction authors, charities and small businesses gain publicity for free.
Today I am regularly asked the same questions time and again – how do I become a journalist? (it was so long ago for me that I don’t think my experience of becoming a tea girl at a press agency straight from my rough comprehensive is relevant any more…), how do I break into TV? what are literary agents looking for in a non-fiction book? how can I find a ghostwriter? can a PR agency help establish my brand? what’s a typical day like for a film editor? … numerous questions allied to the field of real life journalism that I can’t answer!
So I am now on the hunt for ‘experts’ to write a short piece on their field for Sell Your Story UK. In return for helping me build up the valuable advice sections on Sell Your Story UK you will gain a dofollow link to your website, some free advertising for your company, blog or yourself and hopefully some new fans or new business.
Incidentally, don’t be put off if you don’t love writing. If you don’t want to pen your own small piece, I can email you a template of questions or someone can ring you and have a quick chat on the phone.
If you have an idea for a blog for Sell Your Story UK either email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in this quick form Here.
As a publicity agent and journalist selling stories to national newspapers and television every week I am often asked what people can do to raise their profile.
Many people might have spent hours gaining ‘friends’ on Facebook, begging people to follow them on Twitter and might have written thousands of words on a blog. Some people have devoted themselves to writing a book, sending it to various websites – but despite doing all this, their story has yet to get ‘out there’.
So why despite all the work with social media websites, is that?
Well, unlike tweeting and blogging, publicity gained in the national press carries a huge premium. Space is tight in the mainstream press and so if a national newspaper devotes a page to you, it is saying it thinks you are important enough to devote space to. If a women’s magazine is paying you for your story and giving you two pages to tell it, your story must be special.
Celebrities would not be celebrities (and therefore have their millions of Twitter followers) without their initial publicity from major magazines, newspapers and TV. The tweets from the Beckhams for example only really become news for the masses once they are picked up by traditional media.
And mainstream websites are far becoming THE biggest sites on the internet. MailOnline, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday’s website, attracts some 80 million monthly users worldwide (The New York Times is currently the biggest newspaper site) – the point is, if you just do one story you can instantly obtain massive exposure for free.
If you are a business, just a mention in a national newspaper about your product can ensure a flood of orders overnight. If you are raising money for charity, one person might come forward with the whole lot after reading it in the morning paper and if you are seeking justice, you might find justice does come your way if your story in a national newspaper causes a national outcry.
So should you not bother to tweet, blog or use facebook? Yes, you should use them as it all helps. Social media is perfect to gain a buzz about you – and gives more chance of your story being picked up by the mainstream press.
Also if you are about to sell your story for publicity I always recommend you have a blog, website or Twitter account in place where readers can go to next. Then sometimes the blog becomes the story – for example, one mum’s blog about how she hated moving away, was serialised in a national newspaper. From there, she was approached by a publisher to write a book.
But don’t under estimate the power of mainstream media – of getting your story printed in a magazine, newspaper or going on TV.
And if you don’t want the exposure of the national press, but still want to sell your story, I can always place your story in a smaller publication instead.
Read more: Real life experiences
Contact me to find out more about getting your story into a mainstream national newspaper, magazine or on TV: Contact Alison.