Six months ago, the idea of blogging for a living was nothing but a distant dream for me.
And let’s be honest: Isn’t that every blogger’s dream? To work from home, be your own boss, and do something you love for a living?
If you’re new to Blog Beautifully, you might not know that I’ve actually managed to achieve this dream (wahoo!) and start earning an income through my blog. I’m living my dream life, I’ve become my own boss, and I finally have the freedom I’ve wanted for years! Someone pinch me.
(You can read my full “story” here, if you like!)
When I think back on all the roadblocks, detours, and hurdles I’ve overcome, it actually makes perfect sense. Because the thing is, I didn’t just sit around waiting for my blog and business to become successful. I worked HARD. I jumped over every hurdle and obstacle in my way. I didn’t give up when things got tough.
And you know what else?
You can do the exact same thing.
You can hustle hard and turn your blog into a profitable business, just like I have. The secret? You need to get serious about blogging. You need to go into it with a strategy!
Success doesn’t come without hard work. You have to be willing to put in the hours to make big things happen. That’s what I did, and that’s what I urge you to do as well: Dream big, and keep working hard!
If you’re ready to get serious about blogging, I’ve compiled a list of 12 things to incorporate into your blogging and business routine ASAP. Ready to see what they are?
12 Ways to Get Serious About Blogging
1. Have a consistent posting schedule.
When your readers know they can expect a new post from you on Mondays and Fridays at 8 AM, they’ll start anticipating and looking forward to those days and your posts.
On top of that, having a consistent posting schedule helps you hold yourself accountable. You know you’ve got to put in the work to get your posts ready to go live on those days, or you risk disappointing your readers (and that’s never a good feeling!)
Speaking of consistency, you should also be posting on your blog at least once a week – and that’s at the very minimum! Twice a month isn’t enough. Every ten days isn’t enough. You need to be posting new, original content on your blog at least once a week. And if you can post more than that, even better!
Posting frequently helps your blog stay fresh, current, and at the top of your readers’ minds. If you only upload a new post once a month, they’re going to forget about you and your blog pretty quickly!
2. Invest in social media scheduling tools.
There are a lot of amazing free tools I’ve used to grow my blog. However, when it comes to Pinterest – which, by the way, is the #1 social media platform you need to be on! – I’m not afraid to splash out a bit of cash.
If you’ve been around Blog Beautifully for a while, you probably already know the tool I’m going to recommend…
BoardBooster makes growing your Pinterest account a breeze, which in turn makes growing your traffic a breeze. If I could only suggest one tool for you to invest in, it would be BoardBooster, hands down.
For more information on how to use BoardBooster to grow your Pinterest account and traffic, check out this post featuring my three favorite BoardBooster tools and how to use them!
3. Hire a coach or find a mentor.
I know a coach might not be in everyone’s budget, but if you can afford one, I’d highly recommend making the investment.
A good blogging coach will do so many amazing things for you, including:
+ Sharing tips, advice, and wisdom to help you grow
+ Keeping you motivated and on track
+ Helping you speed up your blog and business processes
+ Creating a step-by-step game plan for success
If you can’t afford a coach right now, see if one of the bloggers you look up to will serve as your mentor. If you can offer them something in exchange for their time, even better!
4. Cut out time-zapping activities.
When you’re blogging while working a full-time job, you don’t have a lot of time to waste. With that being said, I’d be willing to bet there are a few (unnecessary) blogging-related activities eating up a ton of your time without you even realizing it.
+ Scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed
+ Reading blog posts on Bloglovin’
+ Commenting on other people’s blogs
These activities might be fun, but if you’re ready to get serious about blogging, you need to cut back on them to make room for more important activities.
Try tracking the time you spend on each task for the next week or so using a tool like Toggl. Next, figure out which activities are eating up the majority of your time, and make a game plan to reduce or eliminate them.
5. Automate what you can’t eliminate.
If there’s a task that’s eating up a lot of your time, but it’s a task that’s directly related to your blog’s success, look into automating it. I’m a HUGE fan of automation. Anything I can automate, I will. Here are a few things you might consider automating:
+ Scheduling social media posts with a tool like BoardBooster, Hootesuite, or Meet Edgar
+ Using If This, Then That to share the same post across multiple platforms
+ Setting up an email autoresponder to let people know when you’re out of the office
You could also look into hiring a Virtual Assistant to help you with the blog-related tasks that don’t necessarily require your “personal touch”. These might include:
+ Formatting your blog posts
+ Filling up your Twitter scheduler
+ Answering emails with standard, stock responses
Outsourcing these kinds of tasks allows you to focus on the things that are most essential for your growth and success (and your income!) For more details on automating and outsourcing, check out this post.
6. Invest in your blog’s design.
Your blog’s design is the very first impression people have of you and your business, and it forms from the minute they land on your homepage. Don’t skimp on your design!
Whether it’s time or money you’ll be investing for this step, I promise it will be 100% worth it. There are thousands of free tutorials you can check out if you want to DIY your design. For some of my favorite resources, check out my “Blog Design Tips & Tutorials” Pinterest board.
However, if you’re really struggling, I suggest working with a professional designer. They’ll be able to put your design light years ahead of where it is now, which will only benefit you in the long run. I promise it’s totally worth the investment!
7. Develop consistent visual branding.
In this post on five common beginner blogger mistakes, I talked about how important it is to be consistent with your blog and social media visuals. Consistency is what makes you memorable and recognizable online, so it’s SUPER important for your success!
Notice how you see the same colors and fonts repeated over and over again on my site? That’s not by accident! Those fonts and colors are part of my brand’s “Style Guide”, and they’re the only fonts and colors I’ll use on anything related to my blog. My readers recognize me by these fonts and colors.
If you want to create your own Style Guide, check out this awesome tutorial from Miranda Nahmias!
8. Join or create a Mastermind group.
When you’re looking to grow your blog and turn it into a business, it is so important to surround yourself with people who will fuel, motivate, and inspire you. Joining a Mastermind is an amazing way to connect with like-minded bloggers who will help you grow in your blog and business journey.
The perfect Mastermind will have somewhere between 3-8 members, and generally you’ll want everyone in the group to be at a similar stage with their blog/business. From there, what you do in your Mastermind is completely up to you! You might meet up once a week on Skype, create a Facebook group to chat daily, or even meet up in person.
Use your time together to ask questions and get feedback, bounce ideas off each other, and see what you can do to support your fellow Masterminders. In return, they’ll do the same for you!
9. Create and grow your email list.
I’ve talked about the importance of email lists many times before, but honestly, it’s so important that I’m going to mention it again! If you want to turn your blog into a sustainable source of income, you NEED to have an email list and you NEED to use it effectively.
I could talk about email lists for days, so instead I’ll leave with you some of my best resources on the topic. Read through and explore these posts over the next few days.
10. Write a Business Plan for your blog.
Business Plans were a foreign concept to me until I was getting ready to launch Blog Beautifully in the spring of 2016. I stumbled across an article that explained why they were so valuable for bloggers, and I knew right away that I wanted to create one. Now that I understand their purpose and have seen their magic, I’m a believer!
Why do Business Plans work so well for bloggers? Because having a game plan for how you’ll grow and monetize your site will be a huge factor in your ultimate success.
Not only will a good Business Plan outline a step-by-step plan for your blog’s growth, it will also help you decide on the things you won’t be spending your time on, which is equally as important. As busy ladies, we have limited time to work on our blogs, so we need to make sure every single minute of our time is well-spent!
For the most epic guide to creating a blog Business Plan, check out this amazing post from By Regina (this is the exact guide I followed when creating my Business Plan for Blog Beautifully!)
11. Invest in online courses.
For the longest time, I steered clear of blogging courses and ebooks. I was convinced that I could learn absolutely everything on my own. But you know what? I was wrong.
Dead wrong, in fact. It wasn’t until I started investing in my learning and training that things really took off for me. So far I’ve taken almost a dozen blogging-related courses, and I’ve learned a ton from each and every one of them.
Online courses will save you HOURS and DAYS and WEEKS of struggle. Fo’ real. Plus, when you invest in a course, you have more “skin in the game”, as Amy Porterfield would say. When you invest money in yourself, your training, and your blog, you’re more willing to put in the extra work it takes to be successful.
12. Use the Pomodoro Technique to maximize productivity.
Heard of the Pomodoro Technique before? Maybe you’ve heard that all the serious bloggers use it to manage their time. Or maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “Wait, the Poma-what-now?”
Don’t worry, it’s actually really simple. Simple, but magical!
The Pomodoro Technique is a way of managing your time that involves 25 minutes of high-intensity work followed by a 5-minute break, which you repeat over and over again for as long as time allows.
Think of the Pomodoro Technique as like the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) you might do at the gym. Bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by brief breaks where you catch your breath. And we all know that HIIT workouts are amazing for our fitness, right?
The Pomodoro Technique is amazing for productivity. It forces you to work quickly as you “race against the clock”, and then gives you a few minutes to relax and recharge before moving on to your next burst of activity.
Want to try out the Pomodoro Technique? Here’s my favorite Pomodoro timer. Warning: it beeps obnoxiously when your time is up!
So there you have it! 12 ways to get serious about blogging when you’re ready to turn your blog into a business.
You don’t necessarily have to jump on every single one of these 12 items right away. Instead, choose a few to focus on this week, and then a few more to work on the following week, and so on until you’ve crossed everything off the list!
Which of these 12 items are you most excited to incorporate into your routine? Do you already do some of these things? Let me know!