Last night I asked on my Instagram Stories if there were any blog related questions, but when the questions started coming in, they all required much longer answers than I could answer in a simple Story. I realized that!
I’ve been asked similar questions several times: is it worth starting a blog now, or is it too late, and when should I pivot to blogging.
The answer is:
Is it worth starting a blog in 2020?
I’ve been asked the exact same question about 10 times, so let’s start with the important part. Is it worth starting a blog in 2020?
I’m a pretty old-school blogger. I started blogging in 2009, when people were creating blogs and vlogs just to write, take photos, make videos, and share their passions online. A blog is like an online scrapbook where you can save all your memories and thoughts and keep them safe in a corner of the internet. It’s also a great place to share something you’re passionate about and connect with like-minded people from around the world.
There’s never a bad time to start blogging, as it’s a great way to learn new skills and keep up with your learning as the industry advances!
But if you want to start a blog as a new business.. well.. you’ll need to think long and hard about it. If you already own a small business or are looking to launch a product, I think a blog can be a great marketing channel to sell your product. This is a great way to get traffic to your products, attract new customers, and keep existing customers engaged and interested.
But if you want to start a blog purely to make money, there are many better ways to make money online in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many brands are not spending as much money on influencer campaigns as they did last year. Therefore, it is much more difficult to make money with blogging now. Affiliate sales are down because people are spending less and the RPM rates for display ads have also gone down.
I’m sure it will pick up again, but this has been a tough year for bloggers and influencers, and I don’t think it will pick up much in 2020.
Is it worth pivoting from blogging to Instagram or is it too late?
While it’s not worth abandoning your blog to focus completely on Instagram, it’s still worth investing more time and energy into it.
I think it’s always worth having a blog because it’s a platform that you own and have complete control over. I’m not going to put everything in the Instagram basket because Instagram is unstable and the future is uncertain. But that being said, Instagram is still huge and most of the brands I work with still want to work on Instagram campaigns. The platform is still growing and has a lot of space for creativity and opportunities to connect with people.
But make sure you know where your target audience is. Older social media users still use Facebook, so if your audience is over 50 people, most of you are using Facebook.
How do you get followers?
High quality content and consistency! That’s the best way to build a real audience that’s interested in you.
Nowadays, quality content means different things to different people. It can be great photos, relevant posts that make people feel understood, interesting content, interesting things, and helpful things that help people. If you can successfully combine all of the above, you will be on your way to winning.
And it takes time to get the word out, so consistency is key. You can’t just share 10 posts and think you’ll get followers. It can take years to consistently share great content.
There are other tactics depending on the platform you’re using, but I think people rely too much on tactics and forget that they need to get the fundamentals right. As the old saying goes, content is king, so focus on creating top content and the rest will follow.
What am I doing wrong? My blog has everything that one need in it.
I get asked this question a lot, but I’ll be honest here. There are usually two possibilities:
- not written in first language
- Not understanding basic SEO techniques
unless your English is absolutely 100% perfect, it can be difficult to attract an English-speaking audience. It’s different for vlogs, but when the content is written, perfect English is required. People may read your informative posts, but they’re unlikely to come back again and again.
I’m no expert when it comes to SEO, but I understand the basics and it makes a big difference. All you really need to do is think about what people are Googling.
Let’s say you want to write a blog post about your weekend getaway in Wales. Many people name their blog posts “Holidays with Jeff” and wonder why they don’t get any page views. Your vacation with Jeff was probably great, but no one is going to Google this. You might search for ‘holiday in Wales’ on Google, but this search term is highly competitive and you have to compete with some of the biggest holiday websites. So choose a niche and focus on the specific areas you visit. Something like “weekend in Aberporth, Wales” is better because people will actually search Google for “weekend in Aberporth’.
If you want to take it a step further, use KeySearch. If you’re writing a blog post about Aberporth, use KeySearch to find out what people are searching for when researching Aberporth. In fact, we found it appropriate to focus on the words ‘Aberporth Beach’. So I’m going to name my blog post ‘Weekend holiday to Aberporth Beach’ and have the phrase ‘Aberporth Beach’ interspersed throughout the article. No one is searching for vacation with Jeff, so think about what people are searching for and put this phrase in your post.
Any platform/program recommendations? Not sure what to do with my old WordPress blog.
I think I’ll stick with WordPress. WordPress is the best.
How does the blog make a difference from just writing Instagram posts?
Oh, that’s a good question!
The main difference is that blog posts are searchable via Google, so when you write a blog post, people will continue to read it for years to come. On Instagram, very few people read your captions after 24 hours.
If your blog post ranks well on Google, it could potentially earn you money for years through display ads and affiliate links.
This also means it’s easy to gain new followers. If someone searches Google for “best face wash for oily skin” and finds your blog post, they’re likely to follow you and you’ll have a following for life. Masu.
A good example is a post I wrote about “What women should wear in India.” This article, which she wrote in 2013, has received over 1 million page views. It ranks very high on Google and gained many new followers thanks to this post. People often tell me that they found my blog when they were looking for what to wear in India and have been following it ever since. That post contains affiliate links and display ads, so I probably earned around £2 a day for around 7 years. Granted, it doesn’t make her a millionaire, but it adds up to more than £5,000. If she had 100 posts on her blog that could do that, she would have earned £500,000 in 7 years and continued to gain followers.
How often do you need to post on a blog?
As often as possible! Most people don’t grow their blogs as quickly as they want because they simply don’t have enough content or don’t post often enough.
I would like to aim for at least twice a week.
Of course, there are exceptions, and I’ve heard stories of bloggers who grew huge blogs with just a few posts. However, unless you’re an SEO guru and you don’t have a ton of content, that’s unlikely to happen.
Another thing about posting frequently is that you can learn something new from each post, so if you’re posting regularly, you can learn a lot!
And the other thing is linked to what I said above about making money. It’s unlikely that individual blog posts will earn you a lot of money. Most bloggers I know only earn £3-4 a month for every blog they write. But you’ll be earning 3-4 pounds every month for years to come. So if you’re earning £2 a month from 1,000 blog posts, you’ll be making £2,000 a month for the time being. The sooner his blog posts reach 1,000, the better!
What non-Instagram ways drive traffic? How much do you use SEO to determine content?
Compared to other sources, Instagram drives very little traffic to my blog. He accounts for 0.08% of my traffic. After typing this, I’m wondering why I spend so much time on Instagram!
My traffic breakdown is as follows:
- Organic search: 65%
- Direct: 14%
- Social: 10.7% (of which 80% is Pinterest)
- Others: 8%
- Referral: 1.5%
Therefore, SEO plays a big role in my content.
Do you use WordPress? I’m struggling to get my head around it. Any advice?
Yes, I do, and I 100% recommend everyone to use it. I learned how to use it just by searching on Google every time I had a question. It will take time, but it will get easier little by little. YouTube videos are great for following step-by-step guidance.
How do you know when it’s time to let go/move on/pivot?
I’ve been asked this question a lot. Some of the questions came from people who have been blogging for a long time but have lost their mojo and aren’t sure if they should just cram it in. For some people, things have changed and the original blog theme no longer suits them.
This is a question that no one else can ever answer, but if this question is rolling around in your head, it’s probably time for a change.
What I want to emphasize is that blogging should never be made to feel like a guilty pleasure. It should never be a chore on your to-do list. We all have enough chores on our to-do lists!
To answer this question from my perspective, I would change this question to ‘When did you know it was time to pivot’.
The moment I realized it was time for a change was when I realized I wanted to be the best, or at least “one of the best.” I always thought I wasn’t very competitive, but maybe I am!
I realized that I would never be “one of the best travel bloggers” ever again because I simply didn’t travel enough. He can’t be a top travel blogger if he only travels 5-6 times a year. It’s like a wannabe beauty blogger who only reviews six makeup products a year, or a food blogger who only makes six meals a year. You can be really good, but you’ll never be the best. But more to the point, I never wanted to be one of the best travel bloggers. I lost interest and started reading less and less travel blogs. I no longer get excited reading about other people’s vacations, I start reading other types of content and watching more videos on YouTube.
I always think that you should create the kind of content that you want to consume. If you don’t do that, you won’t feel as much passion.
How easy/hard was it to change a domain name?
i didn’t actually do it. I use rtwlabs.com for hosting and Chris did it for me. He set up a redirect so the old link points to his monicalucy.com. Chris is amazing and a very nice guy so I trust he will take care of all of that aspect. Whatever he suggests, I just go with it. Knowing that I don’t have to worry about hosting, domains, etc has taken a weight off my shoulders.
I have actually changed my domain in the past and with the help of tutorials and YouTube videos I managed to do it!
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