With four years of blogging under my belt, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve tried, failed and wanted to stop writing more times than I could count. There have been some very tough conversations I’ve had with myself along the way about what it takes to succeed as blogger. But to be honest, I can’t imagine doing anything else right now. So today’s post is my wellness blogging 101 class. Everything you need to know about creating content, getting eyes on your posts and making it work. Grab your glass of wine or cup of tea. This is going to be a long one.
Defining Your Niche
I’ll be completely honest in saying that my niche is strange. I cover a lot of territory because I’m a very curious person. If you only want to talk about recipes, talk about recipes. If you want to talk about movies, talk about movies. You won’t really know until you start creating content what resonates with people or builds your community. But whatever you’re sharing, you content should serve others. It could be telling a personal story (what it’s like to lose a parent to suicide) or sharing an adventure (our Pack Up & Go Review). But if you’re passionate about it, chances are there are other people out there who LOVE it too.
In general, your content should inspire, entertain or encourage. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow across all of your platforms. I would also add teach to that rule. We often assume because we know something that other people do. But remember, you had to learn it to begin with.
Content Buckets Are Your Best Friend
In order to grow and get eyes on your beautiful new blog, you need to be posting regularly. You’ll pretty much hear that in everyone’s wellness blogging 101 class but it matters. For seo purposes and making your website have internet power (aka google wants to rank your posts because they are relevant so people find you when they google a question), you need new, consistent content. But how do you schedule that? How do you know when and what to post? Let me introduce you to content buckets.
WSS has 5 content buckets with the bonus option for travel. I’m currently writing this post during the Covid-19 lockdown so the extent of my travel is from my front door, around my neighborhood for my run and back again. It’s all very exciting!
Because I have 5 content buckets, I tend to post 5-7 days a week. You DON’T have to do this. Post in the time that works for you. But make sure you do it consistently. If you have 3 buckets, you could post 3 days a week. If you have 4 buckets, you might post once a week and cycle through them each month. The idea is that when you have an idea, it goes into a bucket and that helps fill your content calendar up.
Abide By The Have I Shared This Rule
When you’re first starting out as a blogger, it’s really easy to get caught up in what everyone else is sharing. You might have followed a lot of blogs and wanted to start your own for a while but have been hesitant. My suggestion? Mute all those other blogs and feeds for the next 6 months while you establish your brand. Sounds harsh right?
If you follow loads of other people who share similar-ish content, it’s easy to think that your community has seen xyz post so you don’t need to share it. Wrong. If they haven’t heard it from you, they might not have heard about it at all. If I ever question whether or not I should share something, I ask myself if I’ve already shared it. If I haven’t, then there’s a good chance my girls don’t know about it and it’s my job to teach/introduce/invite them to this new topic.
Skip The Quick Fix Methods. They Bite You In The Butt
Back in the day, when instagram was a baby and no one knew what TikTok was, I dived down the hole of comment groups, engagement groups and like for like posts. And TBH, it did me very little good other than introducing me to some other amazing women that I still chat with online today.
Think of your blog like your little home planet. You want to invite people to come live on your planet, enjoy your planet and be apart of your world. You need to focus on building a community. Personally, I’ve found that community is best built on instagram. It’s a great space to have one on one conversations with people. But if you’re really going to make this work, you need raving fans. You need people who are connected to your work. Viral moments are great but they won’t sustain you long term.
Tell Your Story
Top wellness blogging 101 lesson: you’re going to repeat yourself a lot. Just because you’ve written a post and it lives on the blog, it doesn’t mean people are going to get it the first time. Think about how many times you see something before you cave and buy it. Or how many times it takes you trying a new thing before it really clicks.
Every new person who comes in your bubble may know very little about you. When you’ve got hundreds of posts, they might have only seen 1 but they want to learn more on that topic. I share a lot of content about healing hormones because it took me a long time to do. Clearing my hormonal acne was a beast. And other people want to know how to do it. So be prepared to repeatedly tell your story in a new way, finding a new angle.
Walk The Walk
Whether we like it or not, there’s an image and expectation that comes with wellness blogging. We’ve been taught to view healthy in a certain way for a very long time. So if you’re going to take anything from wellness blogging 101, you have to show up and lead. You have to do the things you’re telling others about and respect that trust. The people who read your content or follow your instagram want to be your friend. They need to trust you. Show them through your posts that you’re doing those things. Even if it seems silly or simple, it matters.
For example, I share my workout daily on instagram. I show them that I’m leading a healthy lifestyle. Is it just a story? Yes. But that builds trust with them that I’m doing the things I say I’m doing. Don’t just preach. Show up.
Don’t Dismiss The Trends
Tiktok is having its day currently. And it’s influencing content on other platforms. I.e. the coffee trend that was mentioned a few times this weekend has now taken over my feed. Trends can be hard to keep up with but if you’re flexible, they can boost your exposure. Posts like my review of Girl, Wash Your Face or Girl, Stop Apologizing helped me attract new eyes and continue to do well.
Planning out your content calendar is great but always be willing to be flexible. If people are talking about something, there’s alway the opportunity to introduce your audience to it. I wouldn’t suggest building your entire platform around trend items but be open to creating content inspired by a trend.
Get Comfortable With Learning
If you’ve never ever used anything on the back end side of blogging, it can be a bit of a mind mess. And to be honest, you’re going to be googling solutions to problems for now until forever. Platforms like Skillshare are amazing for helping you learn. You can teach yourself everything about editing photos, learning wordpress, building the back end side of a blog (if needed), how to edit videos and more.
Your Questions & The Basics
I asked on Instagram what you wanted to know so here’s the breakdown of all things WSS.
What platform should I host my blog on?
I started with Bluehost. They are very affordable. I believe their cheapest plan starts at around $4.
How do I design a blog?
There are a few ways to create your look. I’ve been fortunate enough to trade skills with friends over the years to create lots of the pieces of WSS. You can opt for a template and customize from there. The current WSS design was created by my friend Blair. She’s offering WSS readers 20% with code WHATSAVVYSAID.
Does branding matter?
In one word, yes. You want people to recognize your content and associate certain colors with you. It helps people know and find your stuff across all platforms. My branding was done by Katelyn at Good Golden Creative Company.
Having a defined branding makes it easier to match colors no matter what you’re using. You can find your own using websites like Colorhexa. But you’ll want to define your colors so you can make sure things match everywhere. Instead of having to guess if something is the right pink, I can type in the color. So the pink I use for pinterest, my email, the quotes I post on instagram and anything else is the same.
Do you think seo works?
Yes. But I don’t think it’s the only thing you need. SEO is a fickle bitch for lack of better phrasing. Essentially, it rates your site for the quality of what you’re posting. For things like reviews, SEO is amazing. I would say learn the basics. Make sure you have Yoast SEO installed. Use tools like KeyWords Everywhere to help you determine the power of the word you’re using. And then learn to write your content weaving your word in like Wellness Blogging 101.
How do I get traffic to my blog?
Pinterest is the one place everyone tells you to share things. It’s a big traffic driver of mine. But I’ll also share posts in groups if I think it’s appropriate. Not the blog sharing type groups. For example, I’m a member of a few podcast facebook groups. If someone has a problem and I’ve written a post on it, I’ll direct them to it in a way that isn’t spammy. I’ll also update pins on the blog for old posts that have been around a while to get new eyes on it. Or I’ll share things on instagram stories regularly. Your posts can have more of a shelf life than just when you share them.
How do I develop affiliate partnerships?
Once you’ve gotten a handful of posts under your belt, you can apply for affiliate companies. I use amazon, rewardstyle, shareasale, cj affiliate, rakuten advertising and a few other miscellaneous ones. Some brands opt to work under umbrellas like shareasale while others might just have their own in house version. Primal Kitchen & Four Sigmatic are two that fall into that category.
If you get rejected, don’t worry. Just apply again in a few months. The companies really want to see that you’re growing. So keep applying as you grow.
You can also contact them via their website/email if you want to establish contact. I reached out to Seed before they had a partnership program. They are one of the most profitable affiliate programs currently for WSS. They didn’t have a program then but when they launched their program, they let me know. And that particular partnership has led to other brand conversations and partnerships. So if you have a post that helps a brand, don’t be afraid to reach out and let them know.
Is there a length of time I’d recommend before reaching out to affiliates?
It depends on the traffic you’re getting and the posts you’re writing. Ideally, you want to be able to show that you’re growing. But I would say don’t be afraid to apply online after a few months of blogging.
How do I take, edit and brand photos?
After my first year of blogging, I set a goal to move away from stock content. I shoot all of my photography in house. Lots of trial and error has taught me how to do it. But I also took Minimalist Baker’s Food Photography school back in the day.
However, for the sake of simplicity, here’s how we go from concept to photo to posting. Let’s take today’s post as an example. I’m going to look at the theme of the post when planning photos. Today’s theme is wellness blogging 101. My photos are going to tell you the story of that from my perspective. I write almost all my posts before I shoot them so I may decide while I’m writing a post that I could shoot in a different space. But most likely, I’ll shoot the photos for this in a few ways. I’ll shoot a set of photos in my office that will go with the blog post. Those photos will show me writing or developing for the blog. I might even show you my bullet journal because I use it to organize my content, write out posts and track things. BTW let me know in the comments below if you want a full start to finish post on how I create a blog post!
Now while I’m going to shoot certain photos for the blog, I’m also going to shoot something different for instagram. Blog photos are great for showing things in action. Instagram photos do better when people see your face and it’s more casual. And because people on instagram associate wellness blogging with fitness blogging, my photo will most likely feature me in workout gear in some way.
Editing wise: I use a preset in Lightroom. If you don’t know what Lightroom is, it’s a method for editing photos. It’s saved on both my laptop and phone. I try to avoid posting day of on instagram because then I can’t do the research for hashtags ahead of time. But I use the same filter on EVERYTHING. If it’s on my feed, my stories or the blog, it has the same look.
How do I come up with new post ideas?
I write based on problems or something I think I can teach. So if I’m talking to someone on instagram and they tell me they are struggling to get back into a workout routine, it’s probably going to end up as a post. I also use this to create recipes or for posts like my tv/movie round ups.
Where should I focus my energy?
I would say start with learning how to write for SEO and then pick one social media platform to focus on. They are each different. And don’t be afraid to test things to see what works. It’s a lot of trial & error.
How far out should I plan content?
I keep a ROUGH calendar for about 2 months out. I say rough because it’s kind of my ideas chucked onto a calendar and then things could shift. But it gives me a sense of what I’m writing. If you’re doing once a week, I’d say do things a month at a time. Unless I have a paid partnership, I’m flexible with moving things around because shit happens.
I also try not to do anything too close to publishing time for the sake of my sanity. And it’s easier to edit with a little space from your post. Additionally, if you’re looking to add new affiliates to your site, there’s typically an approval window. So to make the most from your post, you want to make sure you have enough time to get approved if you’re writing about something that is new.
Repurposing Content For Instagram?
The easiest way to explain this one is to share it in the way that I do it. I love instagram. There have been moments where I wouldn’t have loved it so much for wellness blogging 101 purposes. But it’s a helpful space. I will say that I think that it’s important that you remember that just because you’ve talked about it once, doesn’t mean everyone has heard you. Mentioning things more than once can help you solidify with your audience that you love something. And that consistency carries more weight than talking about a million products or things.
Writing reviews on products is a great way to get people to dive into more info rather than just giving them a swipe up option. You’re giving them details. You’re telling them WHY it’s important.
You can also use captions to build the know, like and trust factor. People may land on your blog for different reasons. Remember, everyone consumes content in a different way. But if someone asks a question in the comments, turn that into an opportunity to write a little micro blog post as a caption. The more you can educate on your particular topic, the more likely you are to find that people engage with your content. Just because you know it doesn’t mean they do. And even if they do, it might be a good reminder.
Repurposing Content For Newsletter?
Everyone uses newsletters in their own way. I like to try to start my week with the question: what emails do I need to share this week? Is there a sale I want to let people know about? Is there something I didn’t feel like got enough attention last week? This is something to play with and see what your audience prefers.
How To Rotate And Use Blog Posts Again?
I have to say that I don’t do this too often. If I feel like there’s a topic that is relevant, I’ll post it again. I might update a recipe or add things to a review. Round up posts are great for creating a small blog post based on lots of content you’ve created before. These are great is you’ve done lots of recipe posts, travel guides or single product posts.
However, if I feel like I’ve learned something new or can expand more on something I’ve previously written, I’ll update it and reschedule it. Pinterest currently thrives off of original pins. So even if you aren’t creating new blog posts, creating new pins for old blog posts can give it new life.
Okay friends. I think I just wrote you a mini novel. However, I’m happy to write more because I’ve definitely barely scratched the surface. If you aren’t already following me on instagram, come hang out there. I’m happy to answer questions via DM. OR leave you other questions in the comments and I’ll do a follow up post.
I’ve also created a list of everything I use in a week to help breakdown the little services. If you want that list, you can find it here. But for now, I’m sending you all the love and positive vibes. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
I do a few sponsored posts but they are limited to maintain the authenticity of © What Savvy Said. Some links in my posts may be affiliate links. This means I receive a small compensation for purchases made through those links. The presence of affiliate links and potential commission compensation are marked with an (*).