Reader Q&A: Starting a Blog, Balancing 9-5 and Growing Online

I asked you guys to send me questions for today’s Q&A post, and you definitely delivered! Not only did you come through with great questions, you got wonderfully specific in your asks. Today, we’ll be chatting about blogging, personal branding and balance.

First and foremost, thank you all so much for sending in your questions! I’ve intentionally tried to do more Q&A posts this year just because I love helping you guys out however I can. I’m really grateful for this little community and hope these Q&A’s help everyone to grow and create more.

So, let’s jump into it…

Q: If I’m just starting out. how do I get my content noticed?

A: This question came up a lot. The best piece of advice I have here is to work at your craft consistently. That’s honestly the hardest part, meeting a level of discipline and diligence that allows you to produce quality content over and over again. But that’s what people pick up on, and that’s how you get noticed.

After consistently blogging, improving my graphics, honing in on my social media strategy and learning to produce strong content over and over again, I was noticed more. It happens naturally.

Pair education and discipline with consistency and watch what happens!

Q: How do I start to grow my audience?

A: My answer above definitely applies here, too. Learning and being disciplined enough to create consistently will result in growth. But you also have to treat your audience like people, and not just a metric.

Don’t just talk at your readers (or viewers, followers, etc) talk to them. Ask questions and be genuine. Share parts of yourself and your story so that they get to know a person behind every post.

Q: I want to start a blog, where do I start?

A: Start writing. Before you start reading posts with tips and tricks and inundate yourself with the mass of information online, start writing. You don’t even have to use a blogging site (like WordPress or Blogger). Open a document, and start putting words on a page. Get comfortable with it, nestle into your writing style. And when you’re ready to start sharing your content with the world, pick a platform. Hone in on what you want your online space to be, and wa-lah you’re a blogger.

Don’t overcomplicate it. You’ll make changes, you’ll learn and you’ll grow but only if you start.

Q: How do you find time to blog while working a 9-5?

A: Balance is tough and everyone struggles with it, regardless of their profession. If you want to run a successful blog while working a 9-5, you’re time management and discipline skills have to be on point.

I use my days off, nights and weekends very wisely. I do work in batches as often as I can –taking/editing photos one day, writing posts another. Once you find a routine and rhythm that works for you and your schedule, it get’s easier.

Q: How has working in marketing and PR influenced you as a blogger?

A: Working in this industry has definitely worked in my favor. I get to live on both sides and experience the roles of content creator and brand at the same time. It’s definitely helped me know how to achieve certain goals, know other tools that are out there and what growth metrics to pay attention to as a blogger.

On the other side, knowing what it takes to run a successful blog has definitely helped me to be a better marketer and PR person. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes always helps you perform better, in my opinion.

Q: Investments to make in your brand early on?

A: Once you have a blog up and running and you know what content you’re going to produce, I’d say focus on the investments that will help you create that content as best as you can. That may mean spending $5 on an image editing app for your phone or $500 on a new camera to enhance your blog images. Work within your means, but identify the tools that creators similar to you are using and start mapping out an investment plan.

Q: Tips on promoting yourself without feeling weird about it?

A: It always feels a little weird if I’m being honest. Talking about success I’ve had with the blog or promoting the things I’m doing can seem a bit braggy and definitely takes some pep talking to do.

For me, I just remember what my focus is, and why I do what I do. It’s not because I’m trying to be “internet famous” or anything close, I just love making the content that I create. And the point of making it is to a). make myself happy and b). share with others to potentially make their lives easier. Keeping my wins to myself is against the point, and honestly a little selfish.

We’re supposed to share our gifts. And as long as our intentions are good, we shouldn’t feel weird about it!

That’s all for this Q&A. You can always email, tweet or DM me your questions at any time and I’ll do my best to answer them all!

How often would you like to see Q&A posts on the blog? Monthly? More spaced out than that? I’m curious to know!

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