After a year of saving and 6 stressful months, I finally dropped a day at my main job to focus on my blogging and social media accounts. Whilst this may surprise some people, as I’m far from a household name and I don’t have a huge number of followers, but with a plan, some savings and determination I think it’s going to be possible long term. If it’s not? Then I’ll go back to working full time.
As I wanted to grow my blog and social media but didn’t want to become a slave to my phone or computer for hour’s each day, I decided to invest in some help.
I often come across people who choose not to pay for applications and have been able to grow a successful blog/social following in spare time alone.On the other hand, I take the view that for a small monthly outgoing I’ll really benefit, so from my personal opinion, these small costs are worthwhile.
Saying that, let’s focus on what changes I’ve made at no cost.
*Firstly, I started following Jenna’s blog (I did download her guide for around £5.00 however, her blog/newsletter is excellent if you’re on a budget). This is a great starting point for people who are looking to progress from blog to business, full of helpful and friendly advice – Join the Facebook group too!
*I joined various Facebook Groups, I now primarily use Facebook as a source to find freelance and blog work/ask advice.
*I started updating my old posts for example: changing titles, adding SEO, updating pictures.
Please don’t underestimate the importance of imagery, for example, see below:
*I spent an evening ‘Pinning’ various images from my blog/social media on Pinterest, I’m currently using ‘Tailwind’ to schedule my Pins and there is a FREE trial which is what I used.
*I made an effort to be SOCIAL on social media, I find the more I interact with people the faster my followers grow. Again, there are time restrictions on this and because honesty is the best policy, I’ll admit that I’m not always consistent.
So, as I’ve previously mentioned sometimes we all need a helping hand, so here are some of the applications I pay for.
Ivory Mix – For royalty-free stock photos, there’s a fantastic selection of high-quality images, which I’ve used on social media and my blog. They do have a free option for a small selection of monthly images which are ideal for occasional use!
From free – to $10.00
Tailwind – Firstly as I’ve previously mentioned, I’m using Tailwind for Pinterest which means I can schedule my Pins weeks in advance, this is a huge time saver. Secondly, I use it for Instagram, I find it hard to keep ‘ahead’ with Instagram at times so I use the analytics to work out the best time to post and the most effective hashtags to use. This has made a significant difference on my Instagram and the application is easy to use and prompts you when the post is ready to be made live.
$119.00 annually or $15.00 a month.
Hootsuite-Ah, this is something I’ve been using for years and let me tell you this, Hootsuite has been my saviour many times. Once a week I dedicate a few hours to schedule a bulk of my Tweets and Facebook updates and let Hootsuite do all the hard work.
Note: There is an option for Instagram posting on Hootsuite too, but I’m currently finding that tailwind is most effective for me.
Pic Monkey – I know there any hundreds of photo editing websites and applications, but I love the ‘templates’ on Pic Monkey. Alongside Hootsuite, Pic Monkey has been a real asset to me and has been remarkably helpful in redesigning post imagery and social media posts.
Note: When it comes to social media posts, a good free option is Canva and I firmly recommend this for designing a professional looking media kit too.
I really hope that you’ve found this helpful, it’s not one of my standard topics but after lots of trial and error, I wanted to share some of my successes with moving a blog into a business. But, without having to spend 12+ hours each day working and being anti-social by having to update my social media accounts on nights out, or stressing about not being able to get the ‘perfect’ photo.
There’s nearly always a free or low-cost option, even if that means putting in more work yourself and this is just an overview of some of the applications that I use.
Is there anything I’ve missed? What do you use to help grow your blog/social media? Any recommendations?