What I’ve Learned From A Year And A Bit Of Blogging…
Welcome back to The Student Entrepreneur. I would like to start by yet again apologising for my lack of posts for the last couple of months. It seemed I have suffered from a large bout of laziness; so lazy have I been, in fact, that I didn’t even write a review of the final episode of this year’s The Apprentice series. In case you didn’t know and want to, Leah Totton triumphed as Lord Sugar decided to take a risk and invest £250,000 in her medical cosmetics company. Congratulations to her!
So, back to the important stuff. I’ve been racking the little brains I have over the last couple of weeks for what I could write about next. Trying to gain inspiration, I revisited some of my earlier posts from the blog and they made me realise that The Student Entrepreneur has been operational for over 15 months! In this time I’ve learned a thing or two about blogging and so I’ve decided to share with you some of the most basic things I’ve learnt.
1 – Write about stuff that interests you!
I started the blog hoping that it would inspire me to become more entrepreneurial. I wanted to try something different each week and then report back to you, my lovely followers. It hasn’t quite worked out like that. But despite the fact that I haven’t made any money or started a business out of it, I have had a great time writing about weird and wonderful things with topics ranging from the most popular Christmas toys of recent years to why Fifty Shades of Grey became so successful. I’ve always tried to write with a bit of humour and inject a bit of my “unique” personality into each post because at the end of the day, that’s what’s enjoyable for me. And it seems to have worked as you can see from the stats…
2 – Build an audience
Some bloggers will tell you that building an audience is essential if you want your blog to be “successful” but I guess it depends on what sort of blogger you are and how you determine success. Some won’t give a hoot about how many followers they have or how many views they get but me, I’m greedy and I want more. I’ve amassed a following of sorts; nothing to try and start a new religion on but my blog’s twitter page has almost 500 followers while my Facebook page has gathered a credible 65 likes (If you haven’t already, like The Student Entrepreneur by clicking on the box at the top right of the page…go on!) Add to that the 20 WordPress followers I have and it starts to make you realise that if you persevere with your blog, people will take notice and follow.
3 – Post regularly
Something I have come to realise is that it is hugely important to keep the blog updated regularly. It’s just I haven’t always practiced what I preach! In the early days, I would post something new on average once a month and unfortunately the result was that it wasn’t enough to sustain people’s interest. The views of the blog were low and I knew I needed something to write about regularly. Having written about last year’s Apprentice final, it was suggested to me that I should blog about each episode of this year’s series and so I did (minus the final!) and as you can see below, my monthly views jumped drastically from April to May. I was blogging about a programme which people were interested in anyway but more importantly, I was writing about it regularly and so it appears from the stats that people came back to the blog, which to tell you the truth, is a lovely feeling.
4 – The importance of tagging
Another reason why this series of The Apprentice has gained me so many views is because I tagged my posts with phrases related to the show, specifically using the names of the candidates. For example, had you typed the phrase “Leah Totton wiki” into Google a couple of months ago my blog ranked as one of the top five results. Even now, although falling from the top page of results, The Student Entrepreneur still sits proudly at both 12th and 13th position for that specific phrase (at time of writing). My advice to people who want to start a blog or who are struggling to get noticed is to really spend time thinking about what the best tags for your posts could be. They need to be individual but there still needs to be a certain number of people searching for the term in order for your blog to be discovered. If you want to get views, never underestimate the importance of tagging.
5 – Get motivated!
Although I do suffer from blogger’s block occasionally, I find the more you discover about your topic of choice, the more interested you are in it. I’ve read some great things about entrepreneurship and I’ve also started trying to meet like-minded people. If you want to produce the best blog I suggest you do the same. It doesn’t matter what your field of expertise is, it’s more than likely that someone else will be as passionate about it as you are and rather than let this put you off, speak to them and get their experiences and you’ll find that you’ll get your passion back.
So there you have it, five basics things I’ve learned over the last fifteen months which I think are useful for any prospective blogger who wants to get noticed. I will finish this article with some very exciting news. The Student Entrepreneur, aka me, has a job, of sorts! I recently joined the Manchester Entrepreneurs society and noticed a vacancy for a marketing internship for a new start-up company called “Mama’s Meals”. They produce home-cooked takeaways using the freshest ingredients and are aiming to deliver these to students who want an alternative to the unhealthier alternatives!
Like them on Facebook here:
Stay tuned for more about my role with Mama’s Meals soon!