Many of my readers are just getting started with their own homesteading journeys, and in some cases their own homesteading blogs. Today we’ve got a guest post from Rob Russo about how to get your blog off to a strong start – or give it a jump start if you’re not attracting as many readers as you would like.
You are a homesteader if you’ve milked a cow, dyed your own wool and cleaned a coop — all before 10am. Or perhaps you are a city dweller with three chickens and the word “canned” reminds you of dinner options instead of “getting fired” from your desk job.
Either way, if you are reading this via desktop, laptop, e-reader or mobile device, you don’t live off the land *so* much that you’ve given up the modern convenience of technology.
It’s true, while my wife and I purchased a few acres and love our chickens, we each are connected to our iPhone and laptop. It’s how we stay connected with family and faraway friends. And how we’ve shared family adventures on our Wild Sage Homestead blog and learned from others.
If you have a homestead blog — or are eager to create one — here are a few things to consider before jumping in with both feet.
6 Steps to Creating the Best Homesteading Blog
Follow these 6 easy steps to get your homestead blog off the ground — and on the right track — quickly.
#1 BUY LAND
You own land to farm? Well, time to own your piece of cyberspace, too.
Many successful bloggers get started and even obtain wild success on a free blog platform (think Blogger, Tumblr…) but I say it is time for you to stake your claim of independence.
Think YourHomesteadName.com not YourHomesteadName.blogspot.com…
Capture your own piece of the web with your own domain name and personal hosting package. I suggest a WordPress site hosted with HostGator due to their easy setup (don’t worry if you have no idea about web design or HTML
code) and great service. (Note from Laurie – I have noticed a significant increase in traffic since I switched from blogger to my own domain name.)
#2 MOVE TO THE FARM
So you bought the land with a beautiful farmhouse — your site, in our example here. If you don’t move in and live there, the home will sit vacant and soon be overgrown. Live, play and enjoy your creation.
Write blog posts and post photos. Don’t be afraid to share successes and failures. You will grow alongside our blog as you find your voice and readers find you.
#3 PLANT SEEDS
So you have eyes on a big fall harvest: Thousands of blog readers that love your site and pour over every word, companies paying you to advertise on your blog, and so on.
Well, you won’t have any crops to pick later if you don’t plant the seeds now. And you won’t have any visitors to your farmhouse if you don’t invite them.
Plant seeds of your blog happenings on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Don’t spam with a bunch of posts asking everyone to comment on every post, but mix it your day’s events, photos from the farm and homestead happenings with links back to your site.
#4 MILK THE COW … EVERY DAY
Some chores are required daily. I hope you wouldn’t skip feeding your animals for a day. Or you couldn’t go too long without preparing the hole in the fence before all your animals escape.
The same thing applies to your site, Facebook stream and anywhere else you are online. If you don’t use it often and manage it, you lose it.
Show up and participate in social media and remember to keep your site refreshed with new content. Thank your readers and reply to their comments.
#5 BARTER AND TRADE
We have chickens that produce more eggs than we can consume. We sell a few dozen but also trade fresh eggs for other items we don’t have on hand. One neighbor brought a horse over to munch on grass in our yard — and we received the bonus manure for our garden! The options are endless.
Online, one way of bartering is to trade a guest blog post with another homestead blogger. (Just like I’m doing here.) Laurie wrote a great post for us in the fall on keeping mice out of your home. Your guest post will give the blog admin a short break from posting, give their blog a temporary new voice and expose both to a new audience. And your regular blog readers will be introduced to someone new. It’s a win for everyone.
#6 CELEBRATE THE HARVEST
After all your hard work comes a season of celebration. You main gain a mass of readers and followers that love learning from you and sharing in your homestead successes. Perhaps you could create an e-book and have an instant crowd of fans ready to click the “Buy Now” button. Or maybe something else?
It goes back to something you should set now before you start. What’s the point of the blog? Who are you trying to reach? Be sure to have well-defined goals BEFORE you start and know how you can measure your successes along the way.
The Connected, Unconnected Homesteader
In the end, many of us turn to homesteading to “get back to the land”
and return to simpler times. But remember you can embrace the advances in technology in a way that makes you a better homesteader.
Utilize a blog, social media and your phone to share your experience and create an online following. Think of it as having a mass of friends online while still being able to get away, escaping to your private, unplugged life offline.
And if you are thinking you don’t have time to maintain a blog or keep up with the latest trends in social media, know that it doesn’t have to consume your life. That would be defeating the whole purpose of homesteading you set out to accomplish! But you can find pockets of time to update your blog — say while your dough is rising — that can add some online fun to your offline adventures.
So if you are new to homesteading, ask Laurie for tips and browse this site for a ton of useful tips. If you are new to blogging or have a question about social media, marketing your homestead site or more, leave a comment below. I’d love to keep the conversation rolling.
Rob Russo has a strong background in design, advertising and marketing and a love for social media which he puts to good use as Founder & Creative Director of TWELVE TWO Design. He has worked with companies both large and small designing logos, print ads, websites, brochures, newsletters and more.
Rob helps businesses — especially solopreneurs and start-ups — develop engaging marketing plans and an eye-catching brand identity. He is co-founder and creative director at MediaDoc Marketing and marketing director at HelloScent.com. Otherwise, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and kids (and flock of chickens) on their family homestead.