Blog Secrets – Behind the Blog And What I’ve Learned

This blog post is going to be a bit different from the rest. I don’t have any great tips, tricks, recipes, crafts or even ideas. Instead, I’m going to let you in on some blog secrets that I’ve been educated on in the past 7+ months. I thought I’d give you an idea of what it means to be a blogger, some things I’ve learned in this process and how things work in this new world of mine. I want to give you a bit of an insider’s look at the things that actually go into making a blog, having a website and starting a YouTube channel.

First Steps To Writing A Blog

Normally, when I write a blog, I pay attention to what’s trending on the internet, what type of information people are searching for, what words they are using in their searches. The idea is to make it easy to find my website and to write about things people want to know about.

This is going to sound surprising, but it normally takes me at least an hour to find the exact right wording to title a blog post so that it will get the most “traffic”. Traffic, in the blogging world, is good. I use an app and several websites to help me research “keywords” to use in my titles.

When I started to research the world of blogging, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew is that I love to write, I love to plan events and I love to make things, so it seemed like the perfect marriage of all three. It absolutely is, but it’s an ongoing education that requires a lot of time and money.

Can I Make Money in Blogging?

The research that I did, also taught me about monetizing my efforts. If you get enough Followers on Instagram, Friends on Facebook and Subscribers on YouTube, companies will advertise on your website and YouTube channel, and that’s how you earn what’s called “passive income”. It means that I’m not selling anything myself, I’m just bringing people to my website who will see ads sprinkled into my content.

I know that sounds great, and maybe even easy, but it takes so much time and patience and an investment in equipment, apps, supplies, etc., in the hopes that people will discover your content, enjoy it and want to see more of it. It’s a bit of a gamble. Okay, it’s a lot of a gamble.

I’ve been so lucky to have a husband who believes in me and encourages me, because I went “all in” to a world I really knew nothing about! And to hear that my kids are actually proud of me for trying something so far out of the box is an amazing feeling. It’s a lot of pressure, though, because I don’t want to let anyone down.

Photos Are Necessary

I’ve also had to learn a lot about photography, because a big part of this process is taking pictures that people like and want to see more of. I’ve always loved photography and been interested, but I never expected to take a crash course by watching a lot of YouTube videos and trying to figure stuff out by myself.

Promoting

After publishing a post in my blog or releasing a new video, it’s important to try to promote whatever you have created. This is where I really had to learn how Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are so important. Before this, I didn’t use Instagram much, because I’ve probably taken maybe 10 selfies in my life. Not a fan of being photographed. Because of all of this, I’m working to overcome that aversion.

Learning The In’s and Out’s Of Pinterest is Essential

Pinterest is an animal of it’s own, and to be successful there, you have to make “pretty pins” and lots of them! Some bloggers make 3 or more pins per day and post them to Pinterest. I haven’t figured out how some of these people are making pins, posting to Instagram and Facebook, constantly, making 2 YouTube videos a week and writing a blog! I do know that when a blogger or YouTuber takes off, they hire people to help them.

Conquering YouTube (and my fear of being on camera)

And then there’s my YouTube channel. What in the world was I thinking? I hate being in front of the camera. All of my insecurities become magnified and shown to anyone on the internet! But, as I said before, I was going “all in” in this process, and if I’m going to monetize, I need to explore all avenues.

My first few videos were painful to make. I shot the videos myself on my iphone, and my son edited them and taught me the process of editing so that I could eventually do it myself. If you watch my first few videos, we included a “Blooper Reel” at the end. I thought that if I showed that I could laugh at myself, maybe people would laugh with me instead of at me, because the videos were not great.

I now have 22 videos under my belt. Before I started, one of the people on YouTube who was teaching how to start a YouTube channel, said that your first 50 videos would suck, so don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m almost halfway there, so, clearly I have some improving to do! I do feel proud of myself for not giving up yet because I still don’t enjoy hearing the sound of my voice on the videos, and I’m not a big fan of seeing myself on the screen. I’m trying to be less critical, though. It’s a work in progress, for sure.

I still shoot the videos myself, on a tripod, but I have a nicer camera now and an actual lighting kit and professional microphone. I’ve also learned how to edit the videos, myself. The equipment all looks very impressive now, but I still have quite a bit of work to do in order to “not suck” and at least 28 more videos to make. I’m trying, guys!

Convincing (or begging) People to Subscribe

If you’ve watched any of my videos, you’ve noticed that I practically beg people to subscribe to my channel. Yeah, it’s kind of humiliating, but it’s necessary. YouTube has an algorithm to see how many viewers are watching each video, how long each person watches the video, whether the person is a new viewer or a returning one, etc. I need to have at least 1,000 subscribers on my channel to be able to use the name “Celebration Elevation” in the link to my channel and in order to earn any money from advertising. I’m still at the point where I know exactly how many I have, and I celebrate each time a new one is added. At the time of this writing, I’m at 70. I know, it sounds discouraging, but I keep reminding myself that I started at zero.

Do You Like Me?

One more little tidbit you might not know is that YouTube pays attention to whether people click the thumbs up button to “Like” your video and they keep count of how many comments you get. They don’t care what the comment is, but they want comments. So even if someone just comments “Hello” or “Nice video”, they matter! AND, if I reply to the comment with “thanks”, that counts, too. So feel free to say hello in my comments section!

Google Really Matters

I have not yet touched on Google. Ok, so Google is basically “Big Brother”. Google knows all. Nobody is quite sure exactly how Google’s algorithms work, but there is constant speculation. In the blogging world, you hear a lot of things like “Google doesn’t like when you ____” or “Google will punish you if you don’t include _____ in your post”. I never thought I’d have a fear of Google, but I do and it’s very real.

 There’s something called Google Analytics that bloggers are obsessed with checking. We can find out, in real-time, if someone is reading something on our website, what page they are looking at and how long before they clicked off the page. Also, it tells us our readers’ demographics, which day and time of day our websites are looked at, the number of people who have read each page in the past 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, etc. Google Analytics tell us everything and even provides grids, charts, pie charts.

YouTube and Pinterest are also the same, in that we can check to see exactly how we are doing on all these platforms and believe me when I say that we all check them frequently. It’s hard not to because we want to know which posts or videos or pins people like, and we can feel encouraged or discouraged depending on what the analytics show us.

Sharing is Caring

A very common motto with YouTubers and bloggers, alike, is “Sharing is Caring”. You’ve probably seen that on people’s websites. Every time someone clicks the little “Share” button under someone’s video, Facebook post, blog post on their website, etc, you help deliver that person’s work to people who may never even have known they existed, therefore, hopefully increasing that person’s subscribers and followers. So, in our world, sharing is a very big deal.

Keeping it “Reel”

The newest thing on Instagram is the Reel. If you don’t know what these are, they are little videos (15, 30 or 60 seconds) that you can make to hopefully get more people to notice your website. They are just like a Tik Tok video, where you can quickly show a “how-to” or just some entertainment to gain attention and views. In order to get Instagram to promote you, you have to make them happy by bringing followers to the platform, so they really want Content Creators (another name for Blogger) to use the latest and greatest tools to get people interested.

Since the latest and greatest on Instagram is the Reel, I decided to try my luck with making some and trying to gain some traction. The first one I made, I video taped myself with my iPhone on a tripod and demonstrated that you can mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid with 2 teaspoons of sugar to make a hand scrub. You can use music to go with your video, so I chose “Happy” by Pharell Williams, I posted the video and held my breath. I wasn’t even sure I did it correctly. Within 24 hours, I had over 8,400 views! Not exactly “viral”, but I was pretty excited. You can click on the link below to see my reels on Instagram.

Instagram Reels – Celebration Elevation

The next week I posted a video on Super Bowl Sunday showing how to make a cocktail, and it tanked. I think maybe 200 views. I made one showing how to decorate a wine bottle that got 3,700 views, and yesterday I made another cocktail. 188 views. So, I’ve definitely learned that nobody wants to see me making a cocktail. I’ve also learned that making an Instagram Reel is hit or miss, and I have yet to figure out the magical ingredient to making something go viral.

Letting You In On My Secrets

This post is not going to increase my volume of readers or make Google love me, but I wanted to give you the inside scoop as to what I’m doing and a little bit of info on how this all works. I hope you at least found this interesting.

Share. Like. Comment.

There are three words I want you to take away from this post: Share, Like and Comment. I mean, obviously, I really just hope you enjoyed reading this. But, as I try to say in my videos, if you like the content I deliver and want to see more of what I have to bring you, please support me by remembering those words when you see the work I put out, because, believe me, a lot of work goes into all of this.

Many friends and family have asked what they could do do show support. I never know really what to say, but I might as well just be honest. Reading my blog and watching my videos are showing support. But to help me progress, I need help getting my work shown to more people. Clicking “share” under my Facebook posts, at the bottom of the blog post in my website or right below my videos in YouTube would all really make a difference for me.

Thanks for stopping by my website and reading my words. I really do appreciate the fact that you’ve taken time to read what I’ve writtten, so I sincerely thank you for that.

 I hope you find a lot of things to celebrate this week!

Xoxo Teresa

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