So I was thinking about the whole blogging world and our journey in it. I thought I would share our journey and give a blog update. This is going to be an update on where we started and where we would like to go. We are going to try, and give periodic updates on how things are going.
Over a year ago I was wanting to start a blog, I was loosing my job due to budget cuts and getting my position cut. I thought starting a blog would be a good way to fill up some of my free time while I wasn’t working and looking for a new job. I really didn’t know what I wanted to blog about. There were so many different things that I am interested in, and wanted to write about. Starting a photography blog was towards the top of my list of blog topics. As a part-time photographer I thought it would be fun to document my shoots. Well I didn’t think I went out on shoots enough to talk about it, I shoot a lot of sports, so I thought that it wold get boring pretty fast.
So I thought about getting some help with the blog, that way two brains writing articles would be better than just one. So I asked my older sister if she wanted to help me out. After she agreed, I knew we had to go a different route with our niche. She isn’t a photographer and has different interests than me. We decided on being a lifestyle blog, talking about many things that interest us. After much brain storming we chose the bam Two Chicks In The Midwest. The reasoning behind our name I think is kind of obvious, as there are two of us and we live in Iowa.
I got our blog set up and we started to write, well mostly I started to write. I did most of the blog post as my sister was to busy, to get me articles, she did get me a couple. So after a while I ran out of things, I was trying to do crafts, fashion, DIY, and more. It just wasn’t working, I was all over the place, then got busy during sports seasons and a new job, that the blog went on the back burner.
Once my life started to settle down a little bit, I was able to start writing again. That is when I decided to change the direction of our blog to country music. I love country music and follow a lot about the industry, so I thought that would be fun. Well that worked for a while again my life ramped up and got busy again. It was all really hard to keep up with, as sports photography is very demanding. So once again the blog went on hiatus.
Now bring on present date, I am going to start once again. This time bringing on my little sister to help me. We are going back to a lifestyle blog, focusing on the journey our lives are taking right now. I have decided to refocus my photography, I am shifting a lot of my focus away from sports. Now I am still going to shoot sports as I still freelance for a newspaper and have a lot of family that plays, I am just dropping all the other stuff. Putting more focus on other areas of photography. Like landscapes, macro, abstract, and portraits, this should free up a lot of my time(less editing).
So with my little sister now on board working with me, we are in the beginning stages of getting this all started again. We have a ton of ideas, it’s just working out all the kinks and schedules. We are going to really treat this like a business and not a hobby.
A few things I have learned along the way:
1. Have a niche: I thought I could get by without having one. Well that’s not the case, it just makes your site look messy. Now you can write about several different topics, but make they all go together. We are a lifestyle blog but focusing on fashion, health, decor, and beauty, all things we really enjoy. Yes that is a lot of topics but as along as we can keep the interchangeable and together, I think it will be fine.
2. Be Consistent: This is something that we really struggle with big time. Constantly writing and posting is a very big deal. This will help get your blog better recognized on search engines. As well as continually bring visitors back. If you do not post on a schedule then your blog will get forgotten about, because visitors will get tired of checking and nothing new. If you have a schedule then they will know to check on those days.
3. Set Up Email Subscription: set up a way to capture visitors email addresses when they visit your site. Even if you don’t have a newsletter yet, it is always good to capture emails anyways. This is something we didn’t do in the beginning but have corrected now. We use MailChimp, it is free up to like 2000 subscribers, which is great for us for now.
4. Social Media: Have a social media presence, and post constantly on there to. This one can be a real challenge for people, including us. I am on social media and have been for forever, but that is just personal and not business, which is completely different. There are so many platforms out there, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, and more. The blog is on most of them, but I think we are going to cut those down and only focus on a few.
There is a lot of information out there that people are getting a ton of traffic from Facebook, then it was no Instagram is the place to be, then it’s nope you need to be on Pinterest. I say pick a couple of them out and test, see where your traffic come from then focus on those. We are going to just focus on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for now.
5. Target Audience: This is pretty important as well, you need to figure out the person you are talking to. Our blog is going to be gear towards people in their late 20s and older who are on a budget, trying to save, either just to pur money in savings, or to buy a house, or new car. The reason that we chose that audience is because that is who we are. We are living paycheck to paycheck trying to save for a car, and house, and travels. So that is who we will relate to, but your audience might be different, you may target people who are well off and love luxury. It doesn’t really matter as long as you write for that audience.
This is our journey so far, and a few things I have learned along the way. We will try, and keep you updated on how things are going as much as we can. Also want to send out a huge thank you yo all of you who are in this ride with us. We appreciate it so very much.