I begun this blogging adventure as a young and naive little girl. A 13 year old to be exact. Not going to lie, I started out hoping that I would get rich quick or at least get famous quick. I just wanted to be that 13 year old that every other 13 year old wanted to be. Seeing as how I'm 15 and still not "famous"... You as a young teen will most likely follow in my steps and struggle with the amount of time you put into your work, and the almost always frustrating results.
Because I was 13, I had no strategy or game plan prepared for the next two years. The first year Classy Cathleen was live on the internet was quite a struggle. I didn't know what to do. I would publish two little posts a day and they were just dumb posts that required no thought or effort. A five year old could have written them... Except I was being mistaken for a college student which I let get to my head. I was too scared to have any social media accounts other than instagram for fear I would be found out by someone at school - especially, heaven help, a boy! Lucky for me.. that never happened. It took me until like a year in before I created my facebook page and twitter account. Anyways, when I first started out I had no guidance and was basically a lost cause. Here is my guidance and advice to those young teen bloggers who are trying to make it big quick:
make friends //
One of my biggest mistakes was thinking I could make it on my own. Boy, was I wrong! Nearly a year had passed before I really started keeping up with other bloggers on a more personal level. Sure I had followed others on instagram, I read other blogs, but I never made an effort to reach out via email or direct message to collaborate on a post. I was so excited in December when I got asked to join an online community magazine type of site... I met so many people from that, teen bloggers and 20 some bloggers and many were surprised to know I was just a freshman. Sadly, some blogger drama happened (try to avoid if at possible - girls are mean in person and online just if you were wondering) Anyways, I still have a wonderful group message with all different lovely ladies. Even though some of them don't blog now, they all have wonderful stories and perspectives and are just genuinely fun people to chat with. I still talk to these girls, but there are so many other bloggers I have been blessed to meet through blogging. I love the I-help-you-you-help-me relationship that bloggers have with eachother. I've hosted twitter chat on twitter chat with some help from my friends as well as other bloggers that I keep up with on all social media platforms and are always there when you have a question.
Having relationships with other bloggers is the only way to survive in the blogging world. They help with social media interactions, finding followers, ect ect. I wouldn't have gotten out of the little slump I was in as a young teen blogger without some help from these gals. I strongly suggest that you, if you don't already, start connecting with other bloggers in your niche. You can find these bloggers through social media. I find hosting linkups and other types of collaborations is the best way to propose a friendship with others which is essential to teen blogger survival.
post only when you have something good to post //
Now, I can't say that I've always followed this... Especially not when I was just starting out, but it's the only way to improve in your skill as a blogger. If you keep posting the same blah posts, than you won't get any new readers or followers. People will already know your content and you won't have any exciting or attention grabbing posts. The best way to make sure you always have good ideas is to always be making lists. Always have a piece of paper with you so you can write down your ideas. Stay on websites filled with inspiration, such as Tumblr and Pinterest. Read tons of other bloggers' work and always try to challenge yourself.
The good thing about having a personal blog is being able to post whatever whenever. Say you're feeling really inspired one day, but not another day... that's totally okay for personal bloggers to do! I'd much rather read a post full of helpful tips, tricks, advice, style, a personal story, anything than a type of post that's been done many times before. I feel like you should be able to have at least 200 words in a blog post... Unless it's like a fashion post with lots of photos.
Be sure you're always keeping up on social media such as Pinterest and Tumblr to stay inspired.
interact with readers //
Your readers should feel like they're your best friend. You should always treat them with respect, ask them for their opinions and advice, and try to reply to comments. If your readers are other bloggers, share some of their posts on your social media accounts to spread the love. If they don't blog, be sure you're tweeting at them, liking their instagram photos ect. Get a basic understanding of at least some of your readers and that will help you know your audience's preferences better as well.
invest in yourself //
Even if you know that blogging won't be your "forever thing" it's always good to invest in yourself, your interests, hobbies, ect. As a teenager this means talking with your parents, shopping at discount stores to get cute items to instagram, shop sales - always, and purchase a domain name. By investing in your blog and your interests, you will be able to prove to others that you're serious about your blog. Domain names are perfect for first impressions. When people see a professional domain name they instantly think you're older than you are. I purchased my domain name from Google and it was fairly cheap. It doesn't take a lot to be professional. Of course, you don't have to spend any money to be a good blogger, but of course, purchasing a domain name is the smallest but still a very significant and beneficial way to be more professional as a teen blogger.
be on all platforms of social media //
I can't stress the importance of this enough. If you're not on social media you have no future as a blogger. There are so many people that use more than one type of social media... but everyone has their favorite. As a blogger just starting out, you have to be dang good at social media. Especially Instagram and Twitter. Pinterest is very helpful too, but I would prioritize and be the best at Twitter and Instagram first. Be sure to link your blog in all your bios and write an attention grabbing bio that would make other people really want to check out your blog and find out more about you.
Read up on how you can become a better instagrammer/tweeter/pinner and the best times to post and the inner algorithms of the social media sites. The more you know the better you can be!
honest & transparent //
So many people lie on the internet that when readers come across a blogger that is open and honest and willing to share all kinds of details they just want to read more and more. Staying honest with your readers is definitely important. If you can get this right from the beginning of your teen blogging years... You're set for life! Not only is this an attractive quality in a blogger.. but it's also a good quality that all humans should possess. I'm not saying take photos when you're in the shower or on the toilet and blog about that... but feel free to share personal stories with your readers as well as funny experiences... This also goes for your social media accounts! Snapchat is the best way to share your daily life with your followers, but readers will really enjoy the personal element on your blog.