|Patrice Yursik of Afrobella.com|
Yesterday was blogger mania for me. Thursday evening, through my organization See Jane Write, I hosted a blogging seminar and panel discussion called So You Think You Can Blog. (Don't deny it, you know you love the name.) I'll have more on that on Monday.
Thursday afternoon, however, I had the opportunity to participate in a Twitter chat with Patrice Yursik of Afrobella. The chat was organized and hosted by the ladies of The Social Niche and Blogalicious. Leading up to the October Blogalicious conference, they will host chats with star bloggers each Thursday at 2 p.m. EST.
Afrobella was one of the first natural hair blogs and is now one of the top beauty blogs for women of color.
When asked what it takes to start a successful blog, Yursik's answer was simple: "Originality, creativity, persistence and determination." When trying to decide on your niche, look to fill a void, she said. Explore the blogsphere and figure out what's missing. That said, she also stressed the importance of blogging about something that is your passion and staying true to your voice.
And while you should have a niche, be careful not to underestimate yourself or your readers. "Yes, have a niche," she said, "but also be bigger than your niche."
In regards to social media, most bloggers know that these tools can help you build an audience for your blog and even get ideas for posts. But make sure you're not spending too much time on Twitter, Facebook, etc., Yursik warned. You must be sure to make time to actually, you know, blog! She uses Chrome Nanny to limit her time on social networking sites. Chrome Nanny allows you to block URLs at certain times in a day or limit to certain number of minutes or both. So you can block Twitter from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (OK, that's probably a bit drastic) or to a maximum of 60 minutes a day or both.
And speaking of social media, Yursik also spoke to the importance of being professional when using these tools. For example, using profanity could jeopardize your opportunity to work with brands that could be interested in you and your blog.
So what about blogger's block? We all face it. Yursik says, don't panic. One solution is to turn to guest bloggers, but be sure those writers match your vision and your voice. Also, remember, she said, "Not every post needs to be epic. Short posts can be great too."
If you're feeling discouraged because the blogging market is so over-saturated these days, don't be, she said. "There is room for your voice too!"