The other day I came across the high school yearbook from my senior year. My senior quote was this: “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
This quote has been attributed to nearly a half dozen people, but regardless of who said it first, it’s great advice. Teenage Javacia knew it was great advice and, fortunately, grown-up Javacia knows that, too.
And so I’m always eager to try new things and eager to encourage others to try new things as well. If you’re a writer or blogger, here are five things you should try next month:
1. Start a Facebook group. Figure out what you’re most passionate about (preferably something related to your blog’s niche or the focus of your writing) and build a group centered on this topic. This can be a great way to build a sense of community around your work. Check out this blog post for more on why starting a Facebook can be valuable.
2. Host a live event. Like Facebook groups, live events can also help you build your tribe, a tribe that will support you when turn your blog into a business or release your next book. If you don’t have the resources to host an “in-person” event, host a virtual event like a webinar, a Google Hangout, or even a Periscope workshop.
3. Start a newsletter. Every blogger and writer with a website should be collecting the email addresses of her readers. And you need to stay in touch by emailing at least once a month. Don’t wait until you have a program to promote or a book to sell to reach out to them. You need to give, give, give, give, and then ask. Send your list valuable content — something informative, inspiring, or entertaining — on a regular basis FOR FREE before ever asking them to buy something from you.
4. Guest blog. You’ve probably heard a million times that writing guest posts for other blogs is a great way to build traffic for your own blog, but you still haven’t tried it. Make September the month that you get to it, girl! Or maybe you’ve tried it and didn’t have much success. Or perhaps you’ve reached out to your favorite bloggers, but got no response. Here are a few tips on how to guest blog like a boss:
- Be sure you’re guest posting for a site with readers who’d actually be interested in your blog.
- Get your blog ready for guests. Make sure your latest posts are top-notch and your About page is up-to-date and compelling.
- If you’re trying to guest blog for one of your favorite experts, don’t send them a generic pitch for an even more generic post. Send them a case study instead. If you revamped your wardrobe with tips from your favorite fashion blogger, for example, let her know and offer to write a post sharing your story. If you’re a lifestyle blogger her readers will most likely be interested in your blog, too, and your style story will be a great introduction.
5. Start using an editorial calendar. Consistency is one of the primary ways you can stand out from all the other bloggers and writers on the Internet. So decide on a posting schedule and stick with it. Yes, this will be hard. But if it were easy everyone would do it! Just stay focused on why you started writing and blogging in the first place and keep yourself motivated with short-term and long-term goals.
If you need more guidance with any of these, don’t fret. I have modules on all of these topics and more in my e-course Lady Blogger to Boss Lady. Enrollment begins Sept. 12. Join my VIP list for a special discount on the course and if you’re in the Birmingham area, be sure to join me for a free event to kick-off the e-course release. Details here.