Hobby Bloggers – Top 10 Tips to a Successful Blog

Hobby

Since 2010 when I started my blogging escapades I never thought of it as a way to make income or a way out of corporate life. I love the corporate world and I love being in an office environment so for me blogging was my release.

It started off as something I did to talk about my life and what was happening in it, sort of like a journal. Transitioned in to plus size fashion, then beauty and finally, the blog you see today. Beauty with some fashion and lifestyle sprinkled in.

I have never taken blogging seriously, never had a blogging schedule or really even had a theme for photos. I did try once or twice but it just didn’t work for me.

I realised that I wasn’t the only one. There is a whole swathe of Hobby Bloggers out there. Enjoying the freedom of having their little space on the internet for people (including myself) to get enjoyment out of.

Although I don’t blog in a professional capacity I have managed to successfully grow my blog and following to now have some recognition. Thus, I have recently been contacted by PR companies and it’s quite overwhelming, and of course, very exciting to be considered. What it does mean though is that I am more flexible in what sort of blog post I can do with them.

I am not looking for an income with my blog, I already have my day job, I am looking for an outlet. Being offered items to review has been so exciting but it’s not the reason I have my blog. 95% of items shown in the blog are paid for by me which I think people really like, makes it more relatable to my readers. I am Β also very honest with my readers if I have been contacted to do a post and work on the provision that I get to say what I really think about the things I do review.

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I think the Hobby Blogger is becoming a bigger community with much more blogs starting up and less room for people to take it through to a full time job so here are 10 tips from me to you if you are starting out:

  1. Set realistic goals. Not just for followers and engagement but for how many blog posts you will actually write. Do once a week for starters. You might have a tonne of ideas but writing them and publishing them all in one go might not make your blog sustainable. There are so many blogs that you want people to know they can come and find you and you will be there.
  2. Don’t spend tonnes of money on your blog. Find your writing style first, write about things you own or you need to buy rather than ‘for the blog’. You don’t receive any of it back and we all fall foul to it but actually – if you’re not earning money then don’t spend your hard earned cash…unless it’s a necessity
  3. Don’t expect to be flooded with PR opportunities immediately. It won’t happen. I have been blogging for years (7 to be exact) and it’s trickling in only now. It’s great because I haven’t been pressuring myself to get those contacts but recently my little space is being recognised.
  4. Put time aside for your blog and social media. Don’t let it take over your real life. I enjoy writing and I allow myself a small amount of time each evening for social media and promotion of my blog. Blog posts will be written on a weekend or during a lunch hour when I might be feeling creative.. (I send myself so many blog posts in an email it’s ridiculous!)
  5. Enjoy writing. I see so many people get disheartened because their blog isn’t being followed or engaged with and that they ‘fall out of love’ with their blog. The thing is, when it’s not your job then you have the freedom to take time out if it’s too much pressure or you can take it back to basics. Ask yourself these questions; Why did I start blogging? What do I love most? What is fun about it?
  6. Find other ‘Hobby Bloggers’ and build a community. There are so many smaller bloggers out there that will feel the same way about you. Connect with them in Twitter chats or facebook and you can discuss what you find good and what you find frustrating. Community for me has always been a key way of keeping enjoyment in my blog.
  7. Engage. You might be feeling sad that you aren’t getting any engagement and you are not the only one. I have found that if I comment on a minimum of 10 blog posts every few days (included in my time I set aside) I get lots of engagement back. You can’t expect people to just find you. If you let people know you’re loving their blog they will want to know who you are and engage with you back.
  8. Set up a media pack. I honestly think this is invaluable and it’s so easy. I will definitely do a blog post on how I created mine but there are plenty out there. All you need to include is your blogging stats and your social media stats as a basic. If you have worked with any brands (that includes being invited to events) then include them in your pack.
  9. Know your worth. You might just be a small time blogger but you are still providing a service. Of course you’re not going to be charging hundreds of pounds for a blog post if you’ve got small engagement but do try and work out what you should accept. For me, I do accept gifting for review as a way to work with PRs but I have done a couple of sponsored posts that fit really well with my blog and have charged between Β£50 and Β£70. Include this in your media pack if you can.
  10. Don’t make your blog too specific. I am primarily a beauty blogger but I chose my blog name to represent me and everything I love so that I could be more flexible and do write about anything I wanted to, if I wanted to. It widens your audience and makes it more personal.

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I am definitely going to do a post about why I chose to go self hosted, what I paid, the blog layout I used and the benefits of doing so soon as I really think it would be a benefit to others.

Are you a ‘Hobby Blogger’? Have you just started out recently or had your blog a long time with small engagement? Is there any of the tips you will take away?

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28 Comments

  1. September 18, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    Nice read! I’ve loved doing my blog. It makes me really happy. That self satisfaction is all the reward I need. Keep up the good work x

    • admin
      September 18, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Aw thank you – you’re like me – it’s about the satisfaction of having s creative outlook. xxx

  2. September 18, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    Great post! I started out as a Hobby Blogger, and I loved it. I’m trying to make a steady income from it now though. I definitely agree about not making your blog too specific, my blog name may be slightly bizarre, but it’s not specific unlike a lot of other blogs. I know so many bloggers that have changed their blog names for this very reason!

  3. September 19, 2017 / 6:20 am

    I’m also a Hobby Blogger, in that I have a day job I enjoy and my blog isn’t aiming to be overly commercial. To be honest, I enjoy the creative freedom. I never have to compromise on my content to please a brand. Readers have told me that they like the fact that I buy a lot of what I write about, so I’m giving an honest consumer’s opinion. And if I do include something commercial then there is generally a good reason for it.

    The down side is just not having enough time to do everything I would like to with my blog, but that’s just life innit?

  4. September 19, 2017 / 8:51 am

    Great post! I’ve had my blog for about 4 years now and it’s not monetised but I do wish I could get some sort of income from it or pr opportunities to help get my content out there. I recently took a jump to buy my domain to get rid of wordpress in my website address and that makes me feel better about my blog being more personalised. Baby steps but all in the right direction. πŸ™‚

  5. September 19, 2017 / 9:01 am

    I couldn’t love you more for this post! I’ve been blogging for ten years – my current blog is only 2 years old and I rarely make a penny. If opportunities come up – great – but I’m not forcing it. I’m more interested in getting my writing out there for potential freelance commissions, rather than centering my income around my blog. There’s so much pressure in the blogging community to blog a certain way to get deals and it’s so easy to forget what you love about blogging. Like you, I see blogging as an escape. I love writing and I love reading other hobby blogger’s work too.

  6. September 19, 2017 / 11:21 am

    These are some great tips for hobby bloggers, I think a lot do spend a lot of money and really if your just doing it as a hobby you shouldn’t be.

  7. September 19, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    I love this kind of blogging…. It’s the uber competitive world of professional blogging that can do my head in… I have been blogging for nearly 8 years, starting out when we first moved abroad, mainly to keep in touch with family and friends and to let them know what we are up to. It’s grown from there, but I won’t let it take over my life, I just enjoy it for what it is! πŸ™‚

  8. September 19, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    I love this so much, thank you for sharing these tips! πŸ™‚ I especially love the one about engaging with other bloggers! I adore the blogging community and I love finding and commenting on other blogs! <3 I don't blog for money at the moment, but I'd love to work with brands in the future..you've reminded me that I really should set up my media pack! <3 xx

  9. September 19, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    I would classify myself as a hobby blogger, I too love my corporate work and wouldnt change it for the world. It is fulfilling to be contacted by PRs and brands to collaborate or even make money from. Lovely tips

  10. September 19, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    These are absolutely brilliant tips. For me enjoying writing is key :)x

  11. September 19, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Great tips, I’m more of a hobby blogger too, every penny I make from my blog goes into supporting my handmade business, so it works well that way!

  12. September 20, 2017 / 7:09 am

    What a bunch of great tips there. I’ve been blogging for four years now and it’s amazing what the world of blogging has given me!

  13. September 20, 2017 / 10:47 am

    You’ve covered everything with this post. It takes a a lot of time and effort and some time it can be frustrating but you have to remember why you started. For me it was a creative outlet.

  14. September 20, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    We’re hobby bloggers too and absolutely love doing it under our own steam. Its not a chore and we get loads of benefits and perks which we enjoy. Having a blog has really embellished our lives. If you are a hobby blogger you don’t have to worry too much about stats either, however we are doing well. I think if you enjoy it, it comes across in your writing πŸ™‚

  15. September 20, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    Great list of tips, I agree that a bit of self reflection and reminding yourself why you got into blogging can really help when writing.

  16. September 20, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    Would definitely agree that you shouldn’t expect too much too soon. My other advice would be try not to compare!

  17. September 21, 2017 / 7:26 am

    Some lovely tips, building a community of like-minded bloggers is super important for a good support network πŸ™‚

  18. September 21, 2017 / 7:53 am

    These are such brilliant tips and I would have loved to read this when I was setting out. I think the blogging community is one that it’s lovely to be part of.

  19. Danielle Mar
    September 21, 2017 / 8:00 am

    I will have to disagree about spending money on your blog. I think you have to spend money to make money. That doesn’t mean buying products to review etc, but buying excellent photography equipment, having a self hosted blog, editing equipment etc. There are so many blogs out there now, you need to stand out.

  20. September 21, 2017 / 10:55 am

    A great list of tips and enjoy writing has to be the hardest one as you can feel so overwhelmed sometimes when it comes to blogging that you forget to enjoy writing the posts

  21. September 21, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    This is a really useful post as too many people try and compare their blogs to other well established bloggers and then get disheartened when their numbers opportunities are not growing at the same pace. Your readers will indeed return for more if they enjoy your writing.

  22. September 21, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Nice tips for new bloggers! I agree about not expecting opportunities to fall at your feet straight away. It takes a lot of hard work!

  23. September 21, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    I love this post as I consider myself a hobby blogger. I write because I HAVE to write. I love it and my day isn’t complete until I have written something, anything!
    I love all the tips and I am going to be trying some of them out – I really do need a media pack! XXX

  24. September 22, 2017 / 1:59 am

    I have learned engaging is so important to growth on all social platforms! Thank you for these tips!

  25. September 22, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    I honestly didn’t know a ‘hobby’ blogger was a thing I thought it was just lifestyle! Some really good tips for all new bloggers πŸ™‚

  26. Sarah Ann
    September 22, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    Engagement is so important. Like you, I make the time to comment on blog posts and it’s resulted in me making some strong friendships too.

  27. September 25, 2017 / 10:03 am

    So many people expect to just set up a blog and start being contacted by PR companies and they don’t appreciate how much hard work goes into them!

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