For 10 years, I have maintained this blog, ReyBelen.com. And as much as I can, I try to make the best out of it.
Through the years, after the name registration of ReyBelen.com, I have learned a lot of things. 10 of which are below that I find very important for people who plan to start or have already started blogging, and even vlogging or being into social media.
1. Backup Your Databases
LOST. That’s what it is once you did not save a backup or properly save one.
That’s what happened to at least 5 years of my contents.
Even if I already knew what I had to do, I did not have the patience to save multiple copies of my databases on different location. I relied solely on my copy offline. Only to find out that the downloaded databases were damaged or incompletely downloaded.
Adding to the injury was that my former host already deleted the copies of my sites.
Everything can be lost with just one, small glitch.
What a way to learn that lesson? Good thing though, that it happened from my personal blogs and not from my clients’ websites.
I was able to do what’s best for my clients, but did not bother to check what I knew was necessary for my own.
So be sure to have copies of your contents – online and offline.
2. Provide Valuable Content
Content is KING. True before even truer today (and in the future). The social web is growing exponentially before people want contents.
All of us want contents.
It is only fitting that as bloggers or vloggers, we provide content – VALUABLE content that is. Whether your content is to educate, to entertain or to inspire, people will only view our pages if we provide valuable content.
As the number of creators grow day by day, the online competition for time and eyeballs is never been stiffer than ever.
The only thing that separates your contents from the rest of the world’s content is VALUE – how much value can you provide for your readers and viewers?
3. Find a Niche
In almost any endeavor, focus is always a key. Same is true in social media.
Focusing on a niche can increase your chances to hit the tipping point to your success.
Even the successful bloggers and vloggers talking about merely almost anything, started their success from a specific topic. They just leveraged on the momentum to elevate their stature and eventually stretched their topics.
For starting bloggers and vloggers, it is best practice to focus on a particular topic. Generally, there’s a higher chance to retain audience base and loyalty, if you focus on a particular topic your target audience wants to read or view.
It is easier to branch out to other topics once you get the audience or traction you need.
That’s why it is a common practice that many bloggers and vloggers have multiple sites or channels providing specific contents for different sets of audience.
Only those that reached the status of being Internet Celebrities get the pass for compiling different topics on their channels – since most of the time, their followers follow them because of them as a brand, not merely just their content.
4. Build Your Identity
Whether it is your website or yourself, branding is a thing that you need to build on. It is a must for online creators and influencers to know the value of how they brand themselves.
Beyond the content, peoples’ perception of you, is what elevates or dips your site, your channel or yourself among the multiple online personalities.
Branding yourself creates that bigger, outer persona that your audience can embrace and remember. You live and die by your brand.
It is best to build the online identity you wish and plan for people to know you of. Make a conscious effort to align your contents, promotions, actions and other things (like logo, videos, et al) to what you want people remember your brand for.
Your brand is the unique identifier that separates you from the rest online.
5. Pleasing Everyone is a MESS
Whether you like it or not, no matter how much effort you do, you will FAIL, if you want to please everybody.
Trying to please everyone with your content will only mess up your direction, not to mention, your brain.
No one person has been able to muster the image to be liked by everyone.
Even Jesus, who died to save the world, was, is and will be hated.
So, for creators for us, it will be a burden to consider so many angles of an article just to please everyone.
As long as your content is still within the bounds of decency and valuable, it is always worthy to publish.
6. Be YOU
Which leads me to this next lesson, BE YOU.
There’s only one you in the world, and there’s NO ONE who can be the best you, except you.
This is very critical especially if you plan to blog or vlog from a first-person standpoint. You are not just a host of a noontime show or evening talk show who reads scripts provided by writers.
You are letting the world know of what you think and how you feel about things. So it is only fitting to be the REAL you both online and offline.
You’re putting yourself in a hard position being in the middle of two different personalities that you wish you can have. When in fact, there can only be one.
No amount of lies can ever outweigh one truth.
As the saying goes, it is best to be hated for who you are than to be loved for someone who you are not.
7. Network with People – Online and Offline
Being social, in essence, is connecting with people. And to grow your network online, one big component is knowing how to network with people through social media and face-to-face meetups.
I’ve met many people via blogging and increased my network by doing-so. But, I have maintained contact with most of them via social media.
Most of the time, the people who know you, are the same people who will either share your contents to others or recommend you to the people or companies who you can grow even further.
No viral content ever blew on the internet without the people closest to the creators sharing their contents.
8. Optimize for Search Engine and for People
One of the things that I learned early on was SEO or search engine optimization. With proper optimization, my articles increased their visibility online, beyond what my inner circle of friends can provide with their shares.
I was able to reach more people across the world, with interests on the contents I provide. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing were able to indexed my articles properly for people searching the same interest.
Also, I optimized my contents, so that the people visiting my site can have a better experience on browsing and reading the contents I provide.
It is a balance of optimizing your sites and contents for both humans and search bots to appreciate what you provide.
9. Hustle. Persevere. Work Hard.
Absolutely no substitute for this.
With all honesty, knowing what I know now, I am certain that I could have done far better than what I have achieved now, if I worked harder than what I have done.
If I hustled even more. Pushed my boundaries further. And persevered to push myself to the limits.
Crying over the lost time can’t do me any better now. But, I have my next 10 years in my hands. That’s why this is also a preaching to myself to always look at the now and the future to hustle, push further, persevere.
Work hard to push yourself towards what you want. No amount of knowledge can ever replace the value of perseverance.
Many things are possible until we stop on believing.
10. Don’t Dream About It – DO IT
You can wish to be the next internet star. Or dream to be the next online sensation. But unless you do the works, it will all be just a dream.
All of those who became successful did the work needed to be done.
Whether they started with an old laptop to write their first article, or just a smartphone to record their first video or audio or photo, one thing is common to those who became successful they all mustered their will to let themselves out in the open. And put themselves in position to be successful.
There will be challenges…. You can learn from.
There will be obstacles…. No doubt.
But, only those who run the race will ever be in the position to win. So go, just do it. Run the course.
Sooner or later, you will find that space of success for you in the vast world of social media.