I was having a conversation yesterday with my uncle on Viber. It all started with him sending me a very nice message that he’ll spread the word about my Facebook blog page which will hopefully lead to some likes. Gladly, the little exercise did earn me some likes, hooray! However, as we were discussing my Facebook page we somehow managed to change the subject… sorta. Eventually, we moved onto discussing my whole blog and what I should do in order to get more attention and up those traffic numbers. While I would very much like to become one of those successful bloggers that actually contribute to people’s lives with more than giving them tips on what to wear or buy, I wouldn’t want to lose myself and my personality. Hence, I decided to digest this topic a little bit further and ask you what is your opinion on the matter.
Ahead, three main topics that my uncle and I discussed and my reflection on them.
What Is Your Niche?
As we were discussing my blog, he told me I should focus more on the recipes and videos that I’m making as that is what interests him and his friends. While I appreciate their interest in seeing my recipes and actually watch my videos (I’m doing quite poorly on YouTube, FYI), I don’t want to focus on those as they are taking a lot of time. If you’ve ever made a video and then tried to edit it, you’ll know how much time the whole process of setting up your gear, having the right light, etc, takes. Don’t get me wrong – I love making those videos as I’m interested in everything digital and it excites me more than having a bar of chocolate. Ok, I think I exaggerated there… slightly! Point is – I love making them but I don’t want to focus on them in order to become a successful blogger.
When I thought of starting this blog, I did a lot of research and probably 90% of the articles said I should find my niche and focus on one or two topics. From a marketing perspective, I completely get it, from personal – not so much. Isn’t the whole idea of blogging to actually share what you’re doing on daily basis and cover all sort of things that excite you?! Is this industry becoming so commercialised that we’re willing to sacrifice the true meaning of blogging?! So, if I want to become a successful blogger, I would have to focus on one or two topics. Otherwise, people won’t get the meaning of my blog and would get confused. Are people really that sluggish that when they see one post about pasta recipe and another about makeup review, they won’t get the idea of your blog?! Am I not allowed to be interested in a range of topics, without having the fear of losing my audience?! If that is what it takes to become a successful blogger, then I’ll pass, thanks.
Who Is Your Audience?
Based on the statistics from Google analytics, I can comfortably say that more than 30% of my traffic is coming from returning visitors. Contrary to what the articles are saying, those 30% are not getting “confused” when they see a range of topics. On the contrary, they most probably enjoy what they are reading, thus coming back to have another slice of my scribbles. However, my uncle expressed a disappointment that I’m not writing in Bulgarian as my fellow Bulgarian audience is not able to fully understand what I’m writing about.
Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, quite the opposite – I’m very grateful that even though I live in the UK, there are Bulgarians that are actually interested in what I’m writing. Howbeit, I can’t please everyone. I have people reading my blog from all over the world – Europe, USA, Asia – and haven’t complained about the lack of a translator on the page. On the contrary, they are coming back and post comments, etc. Those are the right kind of audience that I want to see on my website. Sadly, if my Bulgarian visitors are not happy with my all-English writing – they are the wrong audience. I can’t translate every single article into Bulgarian as it takes time. People just see the end result; they don’t know how much time it takes to not just put your words together but write in a compelling manner. Also, English is an international language that has to be finally learned by everyone. In this case, pride and nationalism should be left behind. That’s the beauty of learning a global language – to be able to communicate with each other no matter where we live and what language we speak. For this reason, I won’t change my writing and if being a successful blogger means to please everyone, then I’ll pass… again.
How Do You Engage With Your Audience?
Another good point that my uncle mentioned to me was that I have to engage with my audience. In order to do it, I’ll have to provoke them in some way – be it good or bad. But what does that mean?! How are you supposed to engage with your followers on your blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page when they don’t even want to? The people that actually take the time to send me a message get an instant reply from me! I’ve helped people with their skincare problems, weight loss struggles and they’ve always been so grateful. But the other ones – the people that don’t even read – and come to your blog only to comment in the hope of getting noticed and drive traffic to their own website?! How do I engage with them, I ask you?
At least I’m trying to engage with you compared to other bloggers. Look at Tanya Burr and Zoella for instance. In no way, I’m trying to shame them as I really like them and I like what they stand for. However, they’ve stopped engaging with their audience. They have their title of a successful blogger and have completely forgotten about their followers. The people without whom they wouldn’t have the success they are now blessed with. Tanya’s latest post is a sponsored one from Kellog’s while Zoella is only doing vlogs. Is that how we’re supposed to engage with our audience?! I would like to see much more of them, the real them. But it seems that real people are not appreciated anymore. People want to see fame driven Instagrammers and YouTubers. If being a successful blogger would mean to engage with my followers in ways that are not in my nature – no thanks!
So, here I am – provoking you with this post. 80% of you won’t read the whole post, but 20% will and I ask you: why do we always have to get controversial in order to get noticed?
What does it mean to be a successful blogger nowadays?