We are all experts.
We all have something unique to offer.
And you, my friend, are no exception.
I’m not talking about the hang-a-framed-degree-on-the-wall kind of expertise. I’m talking about real life expertise.
Expertise that is experienced wholly, felt deeply and learned passionately. This is the type of expertise that can change the world. When you share the lessons that are etched deeply on your soul you can impact another person’s life in a meaningful way.
You can start a movement and, now more than ever, the global community needs people whose souls are set on fire; people who pursue their passions with reckless abandon.
So, what are you passionate about? What do you feel compelled to share with others?
Carving out my little corner of the internet, after experiencing a life-changing paradigm shift that led me to natural parenting is one of the best things I’ve ever done.
But, boy has it been a steep learning curve. I’m still on my way to where I’m going but I have learned so many lessons on this journey. If you’d like to create an impact in 2018, here are a handful of tips to help you.
(Psst: A few affiliate links are used in this post, which means at no extra cost to you, making a purchase by clicking these links helps support running Raised Good. Thanks!)
Write for YOU.
Blogging is a marathon and if you reverse engineer it and choose a topic purely for an audience, chances are you will give up before you’re successful.
Of course, you need to write about a topic that resonates with an audience but, first and foremost, write about what lights you up inside. Write about what you want to learn about and then teach others. Writing will push you to uncover and learn about a topic deeply, because if you can’t explain it to someone else, you’re missing a piece of the puzzle.
Once you’ve decided on your topic, create a writing habit. Take the art of writing seriously. Treat it as a craft. Exercise your writing muscles and they will strengthen.
Because, motivation isn’t what drives success, it is intention, planning and execution. Schedule a time to write, set a target word count each day (I suggest starting with 1000 words), remove all distractions and write.
Don’t worry if you think that what you write is rubbish – I have countless abandoned pieces of work that will never be read (if I can help it!) but they’ve paved the way for great posts. It is all part of the process.
Here are some of the tools that have helped me with my writing:
Enchanted Marketing – When I started writing seriously, I took Henneke’s Business Blogging Course and it was a game-changer. I’d highly recommend you read her blog posts, which are always chock-full of insights and sign up for her Free Writing Course.
Thesaurus – I could not write without thesaurus.com. Expand your vocabulary. Ban generic words like awesome and amazing if you can help it. Use this tool shamelessly.
Scrivener – I used Scrivener to write my book, The Lost Art of Natural Parenting. It is an incredible piece of software that helps you write distraction free, while organising your content in a logical manner.
Workflowy – Organisation is not my strong suit, so Workflowy is a brilliant list-building tool for me as it is so simple. I use both on my phone and laptop to jot down ideas for blog posts, headlines and to-do’s.
Now, that you have a solid writing habit in place you need to publish your work. To create your own website, you need to register a domain name, choose a blogging platform and purchase hosting. Here are a few of my favourite resources to get you started:
WordPress.org: most websites are created on the WordPress platform. For simplicity and support, I wouldn’t entertain choosing any other platform.
SiteGround: If you’re new to blogging, I highly recommend SiteGround. Not only do they offer fantastic hosting, 99.99% uptime and simple WordPress hosting, they also have super responsive customer service and reasonable pricing. For a beginner plan, SiteGround typically costs $3.95 per month.
WP Engine: I recently moved Raised Good over to WP Engine as the site’s traffic has grown. If you’re a beginner blogger you don’t need dedicated hosting like this, but once your traffic grows I can highly recommend WP Engine.
Creating a home for your writing and your community is so much fun, but can also be overwhelming when you’re getting started. There are loads of free WordPress themes, that you can fine in WordPress under Appearance > Themes. You can also find free themes at Creative Market every Monday, as well as paid themes, fonts, logos, graphics and more (I love Creative Market!).
Another option is purchasing a customisable theme. I highly recommend StudioPress, which offers a wide range of clean, professional and minimalist designed premium themes that are built on the Genesis Framework. These themes have all the elements of professional web design (including mobile-responsive design) at a reasonable price.
And the final option is to hire a designer to professionally create a unique website just for you. Hannah Loaring of Further Bound designed the Raised Good website and I couldn’t be happier with my little online home.
4. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIST
Which list? Your email list.
If I could only give you one piece of advice it would be to start building your email list from day one. Social media is important, but email trumps it every.single.time.
Because, the truth is, you don’t own your social media followers….Mark Zuckerburg does and he can change the rules any time.
With a constantly changing algorithm and the rise of needing to pay to reach your audience, you never know what reach you will achieve on social media. I’ve heard numbers as low as a 4% reach for social media whereas your email will be delivered to your readers every.single.time.
I started with MailChimp, which offers you a free email list until you reach 2000 subscribers. But, now I use ConvertKit and couldn’t be happier. I adore their service; they understand the needs of bloggers, have incredible (and personal!) customer service. If you’re serious about growing your blog and email list, I’d start with ConvertKit. And if you’re already with another mail provider, ConvertKit offers free migration services on lists over 5,000 subscribers.
5. GETTING SOCIAL
Oh boy…..social media is such an incredible resource to connect, create and engage with your community. But, if you’re not careful it can take over. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest (which technically is a search engine, not social media), it can get overwhelming in a hurry.
My advice is to choose two social media platforms to start with and do them well. Determine where your audience spends most of their time and which platforms feel most authentic for you. When you create your social media accounts be consistent with your messaging on all platforms as you grow and solidify your brand.
Use social media to connect with other bloggers and always, share a bigger bloggers content well before asking for any favours.
Most days, I still feel like a total beginner! There is so much to learn and the online space is forever changing and evolving. So, here are some of my favourite resources that may help you on your journey:
- Amy Lynn Andrews’ Useletter – sign up for this weekly email newsletter, which is chock-full of helpful blogging tips for both beginners and seasoned bloggers.
- Amy Porterfield’s podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, is excellent, as is Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast
- For new mom bloggers, I love the course Blog By Number by Suzi at Start a Mom Blog.