6 Things To Do In the First 6 Months of Blogging

6 Things To Do In Your First 6 Months of Blogging

Is April almost done? Where have 4 months of this year gone? Speaking of which, this also means that I have been blogging and nurturing Songbird Echoes for 6 months now. But that’s not what this post is about. Today, I want to share 6 things you can do in the first 6 months of blogging in order to build a strong foundation. I’m mostly speaking from my experience thus far so if you’re a new blogger, or about to hit the 6 month mark, or even if you’re past the 6 month mark, these are strategies that anyone can start practicing with their blogs right away.

1. Be Social

Engage, engage, engage. I can’t stress how important it is to not only have a social media presence (I’m talking Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat – to begin with) but also to engage actively with members of each platform that fall into your niche. Don’t just post something and move on to your next task. Take the time to respond to comments and interact with other blogs. This will generate traffic to your social media profiles and eventually interest a new follower to check out your blog. Speaking of which, engaging doesn’t end at just social media platforms. It’s even more important to engage with other blogs. Read (actually read) other bloggers’ posts and comment on them. That’s becoming so rare with the presence of social media these days, that it will actually set you apart. It further helps your blog because readers from that other blog will see your comment and if it was interesting and genuine enough, they will click on your blog and boom, you have a potential new reader.

2. Guest Blog

Is there a particular blog with a larger audience that you love? Okay, chances are that you probably have a lot of those blogs on your list. But choose one and write to them, pitching the idea of a guest blog. Guest blogging is beneficial for both parties because it gives the host some different content and it gives the guest some additional exposure. Speaking from an SEO-perspective, guest blogging is beneficial both ways here as well. How? Google loves when your blog has a backlink or an inbound link, which is essentially when another website refers to your website. So when you guest blog, you can introduce which blog you normally write from and this is how you will generate a backlink to your blog from the host’s website. You could then return that favour to your host by announcing on your blog that you will be guest blogging at their blog, providing a backlink to them. Fun, right? Finding a blog to guest blog for can be difficult when you’re new, so make sure your networking skills are top notch and you may just be able to do it with someone from a blogging network you’re a part of. I can’t speak from experience yet, but I’m in talks with a wedding blog so keep your eyes peeled for that in time to come!

3. Collaborate with Brands

Collaborations. The great “C” word in blogging. Seems like everyone out here in the blogosphere just wants to collaborate, right? Well there’s a good reason for it. Building relationships with brands is important and while it isn’t easy to achieve the best collaborations within your first 6 months, there are still many opportunities out there. It’s probably crazy to believe that I partnered with Fairmont and W Hotel in my first 6 months, right? This is an example to show you that anything is possible, all you have to do is seek the opportunities and truly hustle because ain’t nobody else gonna do that for you. Think about it, did corporations come knocking to your door asking if you wanted to do your 9-5 there? No. If they did, please write to me and tell me how. But chances are, you wrote countless cover letters and tweaked your resume to seek opportunities for yourself. The same applies to blogging and working with brands. This is not to say that you won’t ever get contacted – you will. Brands are trying just as hard to seek the best talent in the Influencer community so you have that advantage here as well. At the end of the day, working with reputable brands gives your blog credibility. Make sure you pitch professionally and don’t be afraid of rejections. Also remember, you must stay true to what your brand and blog is all about or you will lose the trust of your readers.

4. Observe and Learn

There’s this quote I love a lot, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. However in blogging, it doesn’t hold completely true. When you try to imitate fellow or your favourite successful bloggers, it won’t help you in the long run. Why? Because after all, you aren’t being yourself and you can only imitate someone for so long until it doesn’t work its charm anymore (or you know, they or your readers have caught on and then you’re in serious trouble). However, I always say new bloggers should always observe and learn from successful bloggers in their niche. It’s okay to take inspiration and frankly speaking, everything has been done out there. There isn’t much you can do that’s unique but the power you have, is to own the inspiration by putting your personal touch to it. With inspiration and work as powerful as that, who knows, it might actually lead to you doing something unique. But at the end of the day, make sure you know what’s going on in the industry and are up to date with it. While observing and learning from bloggers can be helpful, it can also hurt you if you tend to compare your work with theirs. Everyone has their own pace and this practice should only inspire you to serve your audience better.

5. Network Locally

There’s nothing more exciting than meeting other members from the blogging industry that stay in your city. We get so caught up with perfecting our blogs and social media presence, that we forget the human aspect of it. It’s really important to disconnect and meet like minded individuals. Meet ups with fellow bloggers can be beneficial in so many ways. For starters, it helps build a much stronger relationship with that individual than you could ever do online. It also helps each other to feel more inspired. While chatting, you’ll tend to discuss all the blogger woes you experience and it’s great to have someone who can relate with you. Don’t be afraid to share your experience online as well, because it shows other readers that you’re sociable and approachable. The truth is, we all work better together, so why stay behind the screen when you can meet someone for coffee or a meal. I promise you will come out of that meeting feeling refreshed and motivated. Additionally, you can attend blogging conferences and speaking by experience, I absolutely recommend you do this. It can be expensive, but it’s a matter of finding a way to re-arrange other expenses if it’s over your budget. I think it’s a great investment if you’re serious about blogging.

6. Affiliate Programs

Not everyone blogs to make money from it. However, there are some (most) of us who are incredibly passionate about it and see no reason for why it shouldn’t be rewarded financially. Blogging can easily become just an expensive and time consuming hobby and before you know it, you’ve lost out on opportunities that would compensate you and then it becomes difficult to join that race. This is why it’s important to position your content in a professional manner from the start, especially in the first 6 months of blogging. Joining an affiliate program is one of the first steps you can take towards monetizing your blog. Some programs are very well organized, like RewardStyle for example, and help you along the way by working through strategies and tips for your blog. It’s a great start and it can open doors to many exciting opportunities in the future.

7. Blogger Network

7? Yes, you just got a bonus tip. Joining a blogger network can seriously be the best thing you do for your blog. The earlier you do it, the better. I joined Style Collective just days prior to the launch of my blog and I’m so glad I did. Before even going live, I already had this incredible support system of girls who run their own blogs – some new, some veterans. The one goal we shared? To support one another. At Style Collective, not only do we engage with each other’s blogs and social media channels, but we are a tight knit group of sisters whom we can speak with anytime. Shady emails in the early stages of your blog can be nerve racking to deal with alone, but with Style Collective, you have a platform to ask the members their experience with such and such brand, or ask if they too, received a similar email. I can go on about the many examples I’ve appreciated being part of a blogger network, especially Style Collective, but the main reason is that you will have a community to call your own. Send me an email if you’d like to receive a referral to join Style Collective.

I’m sure you’ve been practicing a few of these things within your first 6 months of blogging already, but I’d love to hear which ones you found most helpful. Comment below and let’s chat more.

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51 Comments

  1. April 28, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    Thanks so much for this post! I’m new to blogging (literally started around 3 weeks ago!) so it’s great to get some tips and guidance on how I can improve and attract people to my page.

    Keep up the good work, and if you fancy checking me out, you can find me at http://www.theforbesfile.blogspot.com 🙂 x

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:35 pm

      Hi Rachel, welcome to the blogosphere! I’m so glad you found these tips helpful. Will be checking out your blog soon, I’m always here if you’d like to shoot any questions 🙂

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:36 pm

      Hey Mackenzie, congrats on the launch! So glad you found my post helpful.

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:37 pm

      Absolutely right, Kait! So important to maintain these habits through the blogging journey. Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. April 29, 2016 / 9:00 am

    Wish I read this when I started LOL

  3. April 29, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    All great tips Gunjan that can be applied for a lifetime. I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon Style Collective when I did. It’s truly an amazing group. Loved the post! Xoxo

  4. April 29, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    I loves these tips! I’ve done most I think in my last 8 months but you have some really great tips. We obviously need to meet up now since we share a city 😉 xo

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:42 pm

      Thanks Maggie! Yes, love your blog. We definitely need to meet up 🙂

  5. April 29, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Love this! I’ve been blogging for two years and am just now starting to see success because I joined Style Collective.

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:42 pm

      That’s great to hear, Liz! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  6. April 29, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    These tips are SO GOOD! It’s important to hit the ground running when first starting a blog and I agree engagement is the #1 priority. My professors once said about social media: give love and get love! It’s so simple!
    http://stopdropandvogue.com

  7. April 29, 2016 / 6:38 pm

    Such a great post! Love the tip about networking with local bloggers! It’s so important to be social but I think we also need to remember that everyone catches up at their own rate. I find the weekends are the best time to engage with other bloggers on social media and through blog posts. The weekend is also a great time to network with local bloggers. I love brunch and lunch meet ups, they’re so much fun! Love this post and keep up the amazing work!

    xo Mariam
    http://www.thepetitebijou.com

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:44 pm

      I absolutely agree, Mariam. Everyone does have their own pace and we’ve all got to understand that. We’ve defs gotta brunch when and if we’re in each other’s cities 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

  8. April 29, 2016 / 11:09 pm

    Being social and observing have helped me so much! Just taking note of how other bloggers phrase things, or getting ideas for post, But you are so right, that can easy turn into a competition. Engaging in others has definitely helped me the most! Such great tips!:)
    Emily
    Darling, Dearest

  9. Angelle Marix
    April 30, 2016 / 9:20 am

    Ahhhh, Yesss. These are ALL so true and so good. Engaging has been huge for me. I have been wanting to get a group of local bloggers together . It’s next on the list!!!

    Xo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:46 pm

      I wish I was local to you!!! Thanks for reading, Angelle 🙂

  10. April 30, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Girl i am BEYOND impressed td what you’ve been able to do within your first 6 months. I just learned so much from your blog, and am like WhyTF havent I been doing some of these things already!?! It can be so overwhelming to create our own content, update social media and then engage engage engage- but it’s obviously the only way to survive & thrive and i’m v. grateful for the reminder.
    <3 your writing style as well! Way to go. :)))

    -Ryan
    http://www.sheonlylivesonce.com

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Aww! Thanks Ryan. We’ve always got loads we can learn from each other’s blogs 🙂 thanks for weighing in!

  11. April 30, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    Great tips, wish I read this when I started blogging! Xo c

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Thanks Courtney! It’s never too late to start practicing any of these tips 🙂

  12. May 1, 2016 / 1:41 pm

    Such great lifetime blogging tips! I think engaging and networking have truly been the most important things for me and helping my blog grow. So glad I can always count on my Style Collective to have my back and support me along the way!

    xoxo, CiCi
    http://www.worldwidestylista.com

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:48 pm

      Thank you! Yes, you’re doing so well, and gotta love SC fo sho 🙂

  13. May 1, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    gunjan–hey girl who’s only been blogging for 6 MONTHS?! like what?! dang i thought you were doing it wayyyy longer than that! WOW, keep it UP!!! you are correct on all points, i loved reading what you had to say, your writing style is so consistent which of course had me laughing at “ain’t nobody else gonna do that for you. ” WORD. WORD. WORD. thanks for sharing your thoughts, i’ll def be retweeting this. xoxo,

    janna | http://www.jannadoan.com

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      Oh stop ? thanks so much Janna, the blogging community needs more souls like you!

  14. Roselyn
    May 1, 2016 / 5:09 pm

    These are all great tips and I couldn’t agree more! Xo, Roselyn

  15. May 2, 2016 / 7:13 am

    I loved this post! I am glad that you listed Be Social as number 1 because for some reason it seems for bloggers that once you start really engaging with others that the other things come shortly after. You have done an awesome job blogging, keep it up girl!

    XOXO Morgan
    http://www.styleonedge.net

  16. May 5, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    so glad to find your post. thanks for sharing. love your style and your blog!

  17. May 5, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    These are some great tips. Speaking as a social media director, engaging in person being social is imperative. You are spot on. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • May 8, 2016 / 2:51 pm

      Glad to receive a nod from a social media director! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  18. BettyCook
    May 6, 2016 / 1:32 am

    I love these tips, and i am so happy to read it

    DreamyDressShop

  19. May 18, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    LOVE this post, Gunjan! Sorry I’m late to reading it… But it’s really well written and thoughtful! I appreciated all your tips! 🙂

    <3, Kristin
    http://www.thedelilahblog.com

  20. June 15, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    These are such great tips! I especially love what you say about hustling to get those collaborations! A lot of times I type out emails and then never send them because I feel like “big” bloggers or companies will never take interest in a smaller blogger like me. BUT I have to hustle and knock on all the doors until someone is willing to give me an opportunity!

    XO,
    Jen (who feels all motivated now!!)

    http://www.jenzeanodesigns.com

  21. November 29, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Great tips girl, I’ve been blogging for only 2months but I think it’s time to step it up a notch!!

  22. March 13, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    Love your advices, really, it helps me so much, I’m reading you now every time! Come to my website and take a look. Xoxo.

  23. Krupa
    April 13, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Your posts are so helpful! I love your style of writing too. Thank you for all the tips really really helpful.

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