I can’t believe today is my THREE year bloggiversary!
Three years ago today, I started My Heart Beets, an allergy-friendly food blog. Over the past three years, I’ve transformed my blog into my full-time business and every year on my “anniversary” I share a post encouraging you guys to start your own blog. There are so very many reasons to start your own blog but the focus of today’s post is about why you should start a blog in the summer.
Before we get to that, here’s a quick recap at the blog anniversary posts I’ve written over the past couple years:
1 Year Blog Anniversary: How to Create a Successful Blog in One Year
2 Year Blog Anniversary: How I Became a Full-time Blogger and Why You Should Start a Blog
3 Year Blog Anniversary: Why Start a Blog in the Summer (Today’s Post)
Alright let’s get to today’s topic: Why Start a Blog in the Summer!
Summer = Online Downtime = Good Thing for New Bloggers
It only makes sense that in the summer, when the weather is nice out, people tend to read blogs less. Of course traffic can vary from blogger to blogger but overall, the blogging industry as a whole tends to take a catnap during the summer season. You might be wondering why that’s a good thing? Well, to be honest – it’s not necessarily a good thing once you’re already an established blogger – BUT, it is good for newbies.
That’s because it gives you time to find your blogging groove, get into a routine and make mistakes with fewer eyes watching.
It’s also good because come fall and winter, you’ll have several posts complete so once a reader is finished with a post, they’ll have a reason to stick around.
And there are some benefits for established bloggers too: it gives us time to enjoy the summer, post when we want to and work on long-term projects, updates and behind-the-scenes stuff (I’ve been doing plenty of that this summer! Check out my new shop and improved recipe index!).
Summer = Great Time to Research Blogging
I always feel like there’s less “pressure” in the summer. I mean, as a business owner, the pressure is there year-round, especially now that I’m working for myself full-time BUT I still feel like there’s less stress in the summer. The days are longer so while you soak up those extra hours of sunlight, soak up everything you can about blogging too.
When I was working full-time, the summer was typically a slow season. I worked in marketing, which was nice because I could spend my slow days reading about search engine optimization or social media and it’d still count as “work.” If you’re in a different industry, that’s okay – use your lunch breaks or down time to read about all things blog related. And if you can’t find time AT work, then make time before/after work. Wake up a few hours before you need to – you’ll feel productive and you’ll be doing something good for YOU. And, most of the time, you’ll find that the research has already been done for you. For example, after I spent hours of my time reading about different website content systems out there, I decided on WordPress and wrote a post detailing the steps you need to take to start a blog.
Stand Out, Get Noticed & Create a Foundation for your Blog
Even though potential readers might be taking the summer off to enjoy the outdoors vs. the interwebs, the fact is that google’s robots work year-round. What you write now, can help you reach readers later.
As you continue to blog, you’ll figure out what you like to write about and what you don’t. Take the time to find your niche and really hone in on it. Since you’ll be coming out with new posts during a “slow season,” you’ll have a better shot at getting noticed by other bloggers. I clearly remember that a couple of my posts were shared by bigger bloggers soon after I started blogging – not because I knew what I was doing but because well, my content was relatively new and different. I’m sure there was some luck involved too but I really do believe my odds were better because it was the summer and there wasn’t quite as much “competition.”
It really helps to be in a small niche too. I can’t stress that enough. The “paleo” niche is a lot bigger now than it was three years ago. My sub-niche is flavorful recipes/Indian food which I think makes me much more visible too. As you think about your blog posts, think about your niche and what you can do to stand out of the crowd.
A good time to connect with other bloggers
During the “summer slump,” there’s nothing I love more than seeing new comments on the blog. I go from getting many comments a day to well.. very few. If I were to get a comment from another blogger on a slow day, I’d be more likely to remember it – check out their blog and possibly share their stuff if I felt like it fit with my niche. Or at least, I might think of their blog the next time I put together a roundup. The same thing goes for people who link to one of my posts – either on their blog or through social media.
This is also a great time to reach out to established bloggers and offer to guest post. Guest posting is a great way to get exposure – reach out to your favorite bloggers and they may accept a post from you – especially if they’re planning a vacation. That said – not all bloggers accept guest posts. I actually no longer accept guest posts. I had to make this rule because I was sick of weeding out real bloggers from companies pretending to be bloggers (yep, you have to be careful. some companies are sneaky). That and my blog is also really personal for me – it’s kind of like a live journal. I’m definitely not the norm though! If you sound like a real person, have a legit blog and decent photography skills, then chances are that bloggers will accept your guest post.
Have I convinced you to start a blog this summer?
Just do it. Don’t over think it. Create quality content, but don’t try to be perfect – especially in the beginning. Focus your energy on what really counts based on your niche. For example, if you’re a food blogger, make sure your recipes are legit first and foremost, then focus on improving your photography at a later time. Oh and a little bonus – since the days are longer, the light will help you take better photos!
Alright, now go get started. Follow these simple steps to create and host your blog. Then leave me a comment with your new website so I can check it out!
If you think of any other benefits to starting a blog in the summer, let me know by leaving a comment below! 🙂