How To Make Six Figures a Year Blogging – PART THREE
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Evolution of Content and Skills
The biggest blogging mistake that I have seen over the years is lack of learning new skills and evolving.
Eight years ago, there were few social networks available, photography wasn’t at a professional level and videos weren’t a common content element. In fact, in 2008 my only platforms were Twitter and this blog. My husband (a video creator) helped me put together a recipe video for a blog post and I felt so innovative because no one else was doing it at the time!
Eight years later, I taught myself how to make my own recipe videos. It wasn’t a skill I knew how to do before, but I took what I knew and jumped in. My first edit wasn’t very pretty, but I kept at it.
Now that I know how to create one from months and months of practice and research, I can offer a new piece of creativity to my clients. This is why evolving is so important.
As each new year passes, new streams of income present themselves because the trends and technology are ever-evolving, which is exciting! I’m grateful for this ongoing change because it challenges me to think differently and pushes me outside of my comfort zones (which is also an important business mindset to always keep). Each new skill I learn adds a whole new service that I can then provide to new and existing clients. Or win awards. 🙂
The fear of learning new skills or elevating blog content will ultimately kill a blog.
There are no excuses for months of low traffic, a new social network that was newly launched, or Facebook’s latest algorithm throttling your content. Instead, find new solutions that are ethical and effective. Stay confident, positive, and excited, and you will ride the waves of change.
Lean into the flow.
Skills that can evolve:
- photography – try experimenting with your current set-up or leap to a new one, take online courses or hands-on workshops to keep learning
- writing/spelling/grammar – my best advice is to read as many books/articles as possible, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, and proof your work MANY times before publishing (I still have a lot to learn in this area)
- networking – go to conferences/retreats and join online groups, forums, social networks
- video – experiment with your current set-up or leap to a new one, take online courses or hands-on workshops
If I were to provide a single piece of advice on the best way to grow a business of any kind, networking would be it.
I attended my first blogging conference, BlogHer 2009, a year after starting my site. It was, by far, the best decision I ever made for my blog. I have no doubt that the networking I did at BlogHer was the springboard for my career.
My goal going into my first conference wasn’t to gather stuff or about how attendees could provide me favors, it was simply to get to know the people in my space. There was nothing complicated about it. I was friendly, positive, and open to listening to new contacts and bloggers without an agenda. That was it.
In fact, attending conferences is still important today. I try to explore a new one (in possibly a new niche) each year. It’s important that I nurture my past relationships while also making brand new ones. The intent isn’t to meet as many people as possible so that I’m stretched thin, it’s to simply do what feels natural and organic. There is no need to force my way into a conversation or look in the other direction while I’m chatting with someone. Not every interaction has to lead to a paid job. That’s not how networking operates.
When another blogger or brand gets to know YOU, they will learn what you’re capable of without a forced one-minute pitch. Yes, you should have an idea of how to answer questions about your work and content, of course. But wait for someone to ask you first or at least bring up the topic. Better yet, ask your new acquaintance first. 😉
Also, singling out those who you assume are worth seeking out (because of their perceived income, influencer, etc.) isn’t a solid plan, either. Everyone has something to offer, even on a personal level. If you get too caught up in making your way to the “top” (whatever that means), you’ll forget who YOU are. In short, stay the rockstar you are and own it. Your positive energy will attract the right people and contacts to YOU, not the other way around. No need to overdo it, flirt (ew) or interact in a situation that makes you (or others around you, including potential rock stars) uncomfortable.
Just. Be. You.
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Founder of Mom Spark – a lifestyle blog for moms.