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Tuke Morgan: 26 Lessons Learned from 2 Years of Blogging

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Tuke MorganSo, it’s been two years since www.tukesquest.com was launched and there are many lessons I’ve learnt along the way. Last year I wrote out 24 lessons I learnt in my first year of blogging, today I’m sharing 26 lessons I learned in my 2nd year of Blogging…Enjoy!

Build your email list from day 1
This is sooo crucial, so so crucial. It helps with reader retention and mailchimp has great analytics which gives you consumer insight. It allows you track and measure how readers react to your words. The number of subscribers you have can be added to your media kit to justify your rates. Plus, if you ever have to take a long break from your blog for educational or medical reasons, you’ll have a list to fall back on when you’re ready to resume blogging again.

Collaborate
Collaborate with Brands, with other bloggers, with designers, with make up artists, with photographers. There is no limit to the types of collaborations you can do. Myself and two other bloggers (Cassie Daves & Berry Dakara) organized a Blogger Meet n Greet last year and that was one of the highlights of my Blog year. Collaborations expose you to people’s network and you learn new ways of doing things.

Don’t stop doing what you did to get you where you are
Don’t think you have arrived because you achieved a certain Blog goal. Don’t think you are too big to leave a comment on new and upcoming blogs. Don’t stop sharing your new posts because you think everyone would have seen it. Don’t make assumptions.

Keep on Networking at events
People like to work with people they know and trust. As a blogger you will get mails from brands that are interested in collaborating but having a one on one relationship keeps you top of mind. So when you go to events like Lagos Fashion and Design week, go say hi to that person you follow on social media, exchange cards and keep in touch. Maintain relationships with the brands you have worked with too.

Don’t ignore emails
Reply your mails and try and do so as soon as you possibly can. It’s rude to not reply a mail & you don’t want to be remembered as the blogger that doesn’t reply her mails. I got a mail from a brand last year and it was obvious the person who sent it was based in another country and used a translator to convert from his language to English. There were grammatical errors and I had to read the mail over and over again to understand the message. The brand paid promptly for advertising with no wahala. So if I had ignored the mail because I thought the person didn’t understand English, I would have missed out on a nice collaboration.

Step up to the plate and suggest ideas to brands
The worst you can hear is No. I got a mail from a brand who just wanted to introduce themselves. I suggested we collaborate and they ended up paying for three different forms of collaborations. Don’t be scared of the word No. If you have an idea share it, so you don’t live life thinking about what could have been if you had stepped up to the plate.

Become more professional
Presentation is so important. After one year of blogging consistently you should know if you’re in it for the long haul. If you are, buy your domain, get a logo and ensure your layout has an easy user interface.

Join blogger networks
There’s the International Fashion Bloggers Network, Black Bloggers Association, Bloggers Association of Kenya and many more. Some are more active than others but there is something to learn from each one. They share blogging tips and it’s a great way to meet bloggers in other countries.

Understand digital marketing/analytics as you are seen as a digital influencer
This is pretty self explanatory. You need to have a basic understanding of digital & social media marketing. There are loads of free courses online and this information will be a plus when collaborating with Major Brands. It’ll give you more confidence in certain conversations too.

Learn from the mistakes of others
You are not the first blogger and you will not be the last. Bloggers like to share their experiences and reading their stories will help you avoid certain mistakes.

Have a global vision/outlook
Don’t think local, be aspirational. Like Mo Abudu says, if you can think it then you can do it.

Stop comparing, everyone’s growth level is different
Don’t get depressed because Blogger A has more Instagram followers than you. Maybe she is more consistent or she understands digital/social media marketing so there is a method to her madness. You have a unique selling point and so does she, find it, know it, understand it.

Share your content
Having your blog content shared by a platform in your niche amplifies the reach of your work. Tag relevant parties in your picture so they know the content exists.

Don’t be shy
You can take the first step and approach a brand that you think ties in with your blog ethos. There’s nothing stopping you from writing a proposal, some brands will appreciate you for taking the initiative.

Get a blog planner
It helps you manage time better, plan posts and you’ll be more organised and efficient. Cassie Daves & Dee Mako are two Nigerian Bloggers who have created this revolutionary product. Invest in one; it will change your blogging life.

Shoot looks in batches
The first time I saw this happen was on Fisayo Longe’s snapchat then I saw J’adore Fashion do it too. At first I thought it wasn’t right as I was used to taking outfit pictures on the day I wore it. Then I realised that shooting looks in batches is a way of working smarter. For people who pay their photographers, it is cost effective too.

Consistency is key
Eat Drink Lagos is the perfect example. Being consistent and staying true to their niche has put them on the world map, CNN.

Stay focused
I tried out vlogging last year and created a Vlog Series on Lessons I’ve learnt as a Creative Entrepreneur, I was able to pass my message across but I haven’t got a Mac so video editing isn’t easy and glitches in my camera equipment meant I couldn’t post the way I wanted to. I varied from my core and the experience had it’s pro’s and cons. I learned things I didn’t know about youtube but I also lost slacked on blogging because I was spending a lot of effort and time into something that didn’t yield as great a result. So when you want to deviate from your core, do a cost benefit analysis to ensure It is worthwhile.

Evaluate your growth and learn from your mistakes
Review the progress you have made so far and come up with strategies that can improve your growth.

Invest in Workshops
I went for Stephanie Obi’s Building your Online Empire workshop. She has mini courses too on topics like “How to make money from your blog”. There are online workshops organized by bloggers who may not be in the same country you are based in e.g. Maya & Caitlyn. This is a way of learning from other’s mistakes and it’s time effective too as the person speaking has invested a lot of time, effort and resources into becoming an expert in that field.

Learn to balance your activities so certain aspects of your life don’t suffer
I am a Creative Enterpreneur, a professional Saxophonist, an award winning food photographer, I act and model and love to travel too plus I work a 9-5 as a Brand Executive at an Advertising Agency. With only 24 hours in a day, finding a balance isn’t easy. My Blog suffered last year, numbers dipped and I focused a lot on the Sax as it was bringing in more money and grew in ways I didn’t expect. I was doing a Music exam too and that required a lot of time. I had to make a conscious effort to ensure that I put in the work into all my areas of interest.

Innovate & adapt to changes
Try out the new social media platforms that crop up and know which one works for you. Have a basic understanding of the major platforms too.

Decide what platforms you want to focus on
There are soooo many social media platforms and new ones pop up every other week. You can’t do it all or you would wear yourself thin, decide on 3 -6 that you want to focus on and understand how they work, peak times, hashtags, etc

It’s alright to take a break to re-strategise/rebrand but try stay connected to your community
Sometimes it isn’t possible to possible to stay connected with your community as the troubles of life have overwhelmed you and that’s fine. A social media break/fast can be good for the soul.

You have to put in the hours
The more you do something, the easier it becomes & the more seamless the process. Read about Outliers, the 10,000 hour rule is the truth. Practise makes perfect. You cannot reap where you did not sow.

Know why you blog
What is your blog core? What segments do you focus on? Why do you blog? What do you want to achieve with your blog? My blogplanner has a section for Blog audience, aim/purpose of blog & description of blog. Answering these questions will help you be intentional about the message you push out and will stimulate you to write the sort of posts that will attract certain brands e.g. I want to travel this year, work with tourism boards and airlines so I’m pushing out travel related content along with Food, Music, Natural Hair & Style related content.

Adetuke Morgan is a lifestyle blogger who is passionate about playing the Saxophone, writing, modeling and acting. She loves to travel, rocks her Natural hair with pride and is a sucker for great food. Read about her adventures in Lagos at Tuke's Quest and follow her on Twitter & Instagram @TukeMorgan

22 Comments

  1. happiness

    February 8, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Too long, I didn’t read. What is she saying pls?

    • huh

      February 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      @happiness
      don’t be silly. someone has taken her time to write lessons which would be of use to people who may need help getting their own blogs moving and the best you can say is “Too long”?? Next time don’t bother opening the link.

      Thanks Tuke, i think no 1 is my main takeaway for now as I am still at the very early stages

    • Tosin

      February 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      i skimmed and a lot of stuff about blogging smart, i think with a focus on monetizing but i could be wrong.
      i’m sure i’ve been on tuke’s blog a few times, i know she does stuff with the sax and she did another blog i think fairouz something.
      i agree with you on attention span: even six lessons is more than long enough for me usually, i’m one of those “whats the koko” listeners half the time. Till today i’m pissed about the Sustainable Development Goals because they’re so many I’ve never succeeded in reading them all, so i just stick with the summary – three items.
      and why did somebody now write “don’t be silly” loool.

  2. dee

    February 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    thats why you were supposed to read it to know what she was saying…didnt your read the title of the writeup ‘Tuke Morgan: 26 Lessons Learned from 2 Years of Blogging’? so it is supposed to be long. From the sound of it you are not a blogger so it doesnt concern you. i read it and it makes sense.so if u want to understand what she is saying @ HAPINESS ,read the writeup!!!

    stop belittling other peoples work. someone reading your comment would think her writeup isnt worth read and thats not true. if u have nothing nice to say..dont say anything ,just waka pass!!!

    • Chic_hijabi

      February 9, 2016 at 5:58 am

      Why would that be belittling someone’s work? More like you don’t feel so superior because you read it. She already stated she did not read it, biko look around you at the comments, people that had an interest or thought it was beneficial to them read it. My attention span got me to number 4, hers didn’t even do 1…you got to 26, congratulations…you won…insightful tips.

  3. Tonkabelle

    February 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    This is an excellent article and very well written. Well done Tuke!

    wurassecrethair.blogspot.com

  4. 'Diddie

    February 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    very insightful…

  5. Oludotun Joy Biao

    February 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Great read, learnt some important tips

  6. TOLANO

    February 8, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Excellent post. It really shows that being a blogger is not as easy as it seems from the outside. Excellent job

  7. Betty

    February 8, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I tried visiting her blog but I am apparently NOT ALLOWED to view the page until I give my email address…….. Na by force???

    • Ima

      February 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      But you are allowed to view it. If you don’t want to drop your email address, simply click on close at the top right corner, that’s what I did, no big deal!

    • Hawt Talk With Tosan

      February 8, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      I tire o. Just close the box and read on.

  8. Tobi Taiwo

    February 8, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Nice one Tuke

  9. Berry Dakara

    February 8, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Very nice lessons, Tuke. They’re very relevant and useful for both new and old bloggers.

    Two thumbs up.

    Berry Dakara Blog

  10. Tosin

    February 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I really loved these lessons! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Adaku

    February 8, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve come across a few articles on blogging tips and advice and this is the best one so far. Nice write up, Tuke. Thanks for sharing.

  12. TA

    February 9, 2016 at 6:20 am

    I won’t be blogging but found useful tips here especially the bit about stay focused and know why you blog- tips that can be adapted to any side hustle. I will send this link to a dear friend blogger.
    Now on to some famzing- shout out to my girl Tuke, Yes , I know her. Loool 🙂

  13. Detola

    February 9, 2016 at 6:41 am

    This is very very insightful. I’ve been working on branding and collaboration for sometime, and I’ve also tried networking as well. I won’t relent on this and I hope it pays off eventually.

    I have two questions; can someone have a multi niche blog, is it possible? Then how do I get a blog planner, seem I’m gonna need one!

    • Frances Okoro

      February 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      You can get Cassie Daves blog planner like Tuke mentioned.
      Her site is cassiedaves.com and mail [email protected]

    • Cassie Daves

      February 11, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Hey Hun, you can get mine by emailing me [email protected] and you can find more info on the planner on my blog cassiedaves.com

  14. Ella

    February 9, 2016 at 6:57 am

    very insightful and useful blogging tips.
    musekafe.com

  15. Modupe Ogundare

    February 9, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Great insights, Tuke. Gleaned a lot from them

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