Creating a Successful Blog
I know I haven't been running my blog for very long, but Tolia suggested that I give advice on how to run a successful blog. I appreciate that he thinks so highly of me, so I guess I'll try to live up to his expectations. As you all know, I started my blog a month ago. Technically speaking, it's been going since November, but that's only because I really wanted you, the reader, to have more than just one blog post to read when I first started my website. I'm all about creating enough content to keep you interested. I dislike going to a website and only seeing one or two things there, and I don't like when I want to get into a web comic or series and I catch the front end of it. I don't have the patience to wait lol.
That being said, if you want to start your own blog, or advice column, or what have you, do it.. There are plenty of free websites that you can design in order to get started. Money doesn't have to be an object. Free websites like the one I am using, Wix, GoDaddy, Wordpress, Web.com, and sitebuilder.com. I have only used Wix as it was suggested to me by my friend Tamashir0. It's super quick and easy and basically walks you through the whole process. I'm not super handy when it comes to website development and don't have a ton of time to update constantly, so spending an hour or two before bed editing the site is really awesome. You can also pay to change your domain, which is what I did, but I'm also running my business from this site.
I have heard good things about GoDaddy, but I believe they charge after a 14-day trial, so keep that in mind. I specifically went for something that I could have free while I edited and built my site before opening up the store. I really didn't want to have the blog up and running while I was working on the second part. I really enjoy having everything together. You are more than welcome to try GoDaddy out, or even some of the others, I just don't have the knowledge to give you a well-informed opinion about them.
So! You've picked out your site, and you finished building and you're ready to create your blog. Now you need content. Luckily, I have a wonderful customer- and fanbase that helps and is more than happy to help throw out ideas for blog posts. Obviously for me specifically, I write about cosplay advice, spreading awareness in the cosplay community, interview photographers and cosplayers, and write about my builds. There are millions of subjects I could write about. And I feel I will have a lot of content for some time to come. I'm so thankful for these people, as well as their eagerness to help me out. If you happen to have an idea for a post, you can always send me a message at the bottom of the site, or on Facebook! Once you have figured out what you will write about, you actually have to do it.
Set up a specific schedule. How often will you write? Once a week? Monday/Wednesday/Friday? Every day? When you have picked out your writing schedule, hold yourself to it. If you have to, get someone that is willing to keep on you to make sure you keep writing. Don't stop. You will need to maintain this schedule in order to build up your own followers. This is also just as important if you decide to stream on Twitch, or have a Youtube series. Markiplier made a video a day for two years before he became relevant. Understand that you won't blow up overnight. I know I haven't and I probably still won't for a while. Have realistic goals when it comes to your blog. If you reach way too high, it'll be really discouraging if you don't reach it when you expect to.
These goals are really important. "I want 5 followers in the first month." It may sound silly, but as long as you maintain your posting goals, it should be feasible. Post your stuff everywhere. There isn't any harm in sharing your blog with others. Don't force them to look at it and follow, that will ruin friendships. And you don't want that for the sake of your blog. If you don't hit that follower goal, that's alright. There is no harm in not hitting your goals every time. It's a learning experience and it will be okay. Just go harder. Set up different posting times. It's easiest for me to post in the morning, but share it on my Facebook in the evening to give that little extra oomph when people get home from work. Figuring out when is best to post for you is the most important thing. After you hit that first goal, set another, "Let's hit 10 followers this month!" As you grow your blog, you can set more than a few followers at a time, "I hit 1500 last month, so let's try to hit 1600 this month."
Even though I have 3.2k followers on my facebook, not all of them followed me onto my instagram (I have 1,025 as of this post), or read my blog right now (Which you can see by the views on the posts). My goal right now is to get a comment on one of my posts. The goal before was to hit over 50 views for some of my posts, and the goal after this one will be to have a comment on half my posts. I know I'll get there, and most of the goals are small, but will add up to one big success.
Also! Before I forget. Remember that this blog is essentially for you. This is your baby and you are in charge. If you don't want to post something, then don't. I have deleted a couple interviews because I couldn't get a hold of the interviewee to clarify some information or they were just a terrible person (this has only happened to one interview, and I will not say who.) The reason why they are a terrible person is because they start drama in the St. Louis Cosplay Community and I won't stand for that. I won't spread their name, but I will also not put them up. Negative people need to be left alone, until they can apologize and learn from their mistakes. Only then will I let them be featured. You can also take a break from the blog if you need it. Something helpful I have learned is to save a couple easy ideas if you aren't really feeling up to it or you can have some queue'd up for later. If I'm not feeling up to writing, I write up an interview, that way I can still spread a little positivity while I need some myself.
As always, please feel free to ask any questions. I will do my very best to reply to the comments you may have. I really appreciate you reading my blog and supporting me as an artist, I really cannot do this without you.