Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#THEMOMBLOGCOLLECTIVE // How to build your online community and establish your brand

As of about ten minutes ago this post had no photos.  Thanks Sloan for "geckerating" (decorating) your room and looking so cute :).

I touched on this in my last #themomblogcollective post, but I really do believe that a successful blog becomes a brand.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to create a blog, but it does take a strategic plan to create a brand.  Honing in on your focus is key when creating your brand.  Once you've done this, it's time to get your blog in front of people!  Gaining a loyal following and creating an online community can take time, but with patience it's definitely possible!

I shared before about how my blog got a much different start than most.  I worked so hard to grow a loyal Instagram following for my handmade shop.  When I decided to close my shop and start a blog, I already had a decent sized social media following.  I grew my following by hosting giveaways (giving away my product), collaborating with other brands, and by having my product tagged by social media influencers.  My following wasn't invested in my life though (they were there for the bracelets!).  It took time and patience to get my followers invested in my life and blog, but eventually people came around!

In one sentence I would say that my blog (and my brand) has evolved into a space where I share about my adventures in marriage, motherhood, and creating a beautiful home.  I do this by sharing our real life experiences, my triumphs and failures in motherhood, products and processes we love, and room tours of our home.  When I first started sharing more from my personal life, my engagement was so low.  I really wanted to share and connect with other mothers though so I just kept on doing my thing.  I tried to be real and raw and over time people bought in and became engaged on my blog and Instagram feed.

Instagram has been the best marketing tool for my blog.  In the last year I have focused on growing my Instagram following and this has directly impacted my blog.  To grow your social media following organically, I cannot stress this enough... be yourself!  Be inspired by others, but at the end of the day-be yourself.  When you do you, people will notice and become engaged.  Authenticity and original content draw people in.  Focus on being the best version of yourself and sharing in a way that is real and honest.

Some other things I have done to grow my Instagram following and build my online community:

-I always tag the products I use in my photos.  From the girls dresses to a sippy cup, I tag the brand.  I do this mostly so that my followers know where I got the product, but also because it is beneficial to me when a brand reposts my photo.  Every time a brand reposts one of my photos to their followers, I gain at least a handful of new followers.  Those handfuls add up!
-I often do giveaways with brands that fit within my focus and style.  Having my followers tag their friends is a great way to gain followers.  It is also really beneficial for me if the brand posts about the giveaway and sends their followers my way to enter.
-I believe it's beneficial to use appropriate hashtags.  If you're sharing about your daughters bedroom, look up which nursery or big girl room hashtags are commonly used and add them to your post.

Those are just a few ways that have helped me grow my following.  I have found that there are two ways that have helped me best engage my audience and build my online community though.  First (and I know I already said this!), be yourself and be honest.  People can sense authenticity and are drawn to it.  Let's be real-everyone copies everyone on Instagram.  Be inspired by others and dang it, if you love those purple bowls that your favorite blogger posted about-you buy those purple bowls!  But in your captions and posts, be genuine and convey your authentic thoughts.  Be raw and real and share about things that are important to you (and not just popular).

The other thing I have done to help build my online community is to be as responsive as possible with my followers (when time will allow!).  I always try to answer questions and comments on my Instagram posts and respond to DM's.  My goal is to connect with other mothers so I want to get to know my followers!  When they feel a connection with me, they buy in and become a loyal follower.  This is why Instagram feels like a community to me, I have made so many incredible connections with other women and mothers!  I also try to comment and connect with other bloggers and women on social media.  It may be a big one, but I do treat Instagram like a community.

A successful brand has customers.  Think of your blog readers or your social media followers like your customers.  It's important that people can find you, are interested in you, and feel some type of connection with you.  This way they'll keep coming back for more!

I hope this post has been helpful!  Please let me know in a comment below if you have additional questions!  I'll be back in two weeks with another #TheMomBlogCollective post and make sure you check out all of the other posts on this topic by some of my fave mamas (see below)!



You can see more posts on this topic on these blogs:

1 comment :

  1. How did you start collaborating with other brands? Do you wait until someone reaches out or should you ask to collaborate? Love these post. I bought a domain now I just need to work on a host and my first official post.


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