It’s the big day, people! I’m so excited! I am finally going to PUBLISH something. Go me! 🙂
For me, the most challenging part of blogging is actually writing blog posts. With a full-time job, it’s difficult to find the time and energy to draft, then proof-read, then publish (and catch up on reading blogs I’ve subscribed to, and comment and have meaningful conversations with other bloggers). I’m sure most – if not all – of my fellow bloggers will agree: blogging takes SO much more time than you would expect it to. Don’t get me wrong, blogging is a very enjoyable hobby. If it wasn’t, this blog probably wouldn’t exist. I love it, but it’s definitely a lot of work. A LOT of work. And I am the KING of making things extra difficult on myself (yay me!) *faints with exhaustion*
I constantly have to remind myself that it’s totally okay if I don’t release posts regularly. It’s difficult to find that balance between blogging and burnout, but I’ve learned a few things about actually planning and writing my posts that have saved me a TON of time and stress. Now, I’m no expert – I still write most of my posts at the last minute
and then rewrite the whole thing in a blind panic but when I DO succeed, it makes a world of difference. These are just some of the many tips I’ve learned to help me be a better blogger.
Write Down New Ideas
I can’t stress this enough: write stuff down! It’s so easy to get distracted by day-to-day things, so if a fun idea pops into your head, make a note of it! Keep your ideas safe in a notebook, or in a word doc on your computer. It might take you a while to actually get around to writing that post, or shaping it into the final polished version, but it’s nice to have a solid backlog of ideas, because there will be times when the well runs dry and Writer’s Block rears its ugly head (boo! hiss!) and your brain screeches to a halt.
Yep, this! Take the time to put down your thoughts and first sparks of inspiration. From poetry to short story snippets to one-word prompts, keep trying new things. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone! It’ll make the blogging experience much richer and much more rewarding for you and your readers. Which leads onto…
Mix it Up
If you’d like to write a blog that focusses on just book reviews or childhood memories or your favourite holiday trips, that is COMPLETELY up to you. You do you! 🙂 It’s your blog at the end of the day, nobody else’s. But I’ve personally found that both my readers and I have much more fun when I write different kinds of posts to spice things up. Each week, I’ll aim to publish my latest chapter plus maybe another miscellaneous post on writing tips. It helps me from getting bored (because sometimes writing the same content after another just feels so DULL) and also appeals to a wider audience; not everyone is going to like the same posts week after week, so it’s nice to switch it up for new things. I currently follow blogs that do mostly lifestyle and writing advice, but I also read their posts about food or books and love that they cover a little bit of everything. This blog, for example, is a bit more niche (okay, not EVERYONE will like historical thrillers with a dog-loving anti-hero with a weakness for cookies
fight me), but I’ll try to cover more than one topic with the content I publish.
Visuals are Cool
You’re probably thinking – this guy sure love Disney movies, doesn’t he?
And you’re absolutely right PSA: Pictures. Are. Awesome. It’s true that posts of just block text can save a whole lot of time, effort, and stress without worrying about adding pictures or graphics. Believe me, I tried it a whole bunch of times before. But then I found out, well…it was just BORING.
I didn’t like the way it looked, and I’m pretty sure you guys don’t either. People like pretty pictures. They draw the eye. They break up long blocks of text. They enhance what’s being said. And blog posts look way much more professional when they include pictures. Whether it’s photos, GIFs or graphic art
or mainly Disney GIFs, weaving them through your content like this will help give your posts a ton of visual flair and colour (if you plan on taking pictures or making art for your blog – go for it!). It’ll help make your posts stand out from the crowd without creating a ton of stress for yourself.
Take. Your. Time
So many of my posts (including this one) were written and rewritten over several sessions. If something doesn’t feel right, or I can’t put words down quite the way they are in my head, I’ll save a draft and come back to it later. There are two reasons this works for me: First, I have a bunch of halfway- to mostly-finished drafts sitting around in the event I can’t think of a post and need a backup plan (which happens a lot). And, second, when I DO get around to finishing and publishing posts (yay commitment! 🙂 ), they’re more thought-out and better written because I didn’t half-ass them for the sake of getting something frantically published to a strict deadline. More than a few of my posts have sat in the drafts folder for months (like this one) until I was ready to finish them. And it made them better. Don’t be afraid to let a post ‘marinade’ for a while before publishing it. You’ll return to it with fresh eyes, see mistakes you’ll have originally missed out, and notice what works and what doesn’t.
Spread the Word!
Let’s be real: external validation is a GREAT feeling! 🙂 Firstly, it’s so satisfying to get approval from your fellow bloggers who enjoy what you publish. I love to read new comments on my blog, and I love it even more when that same blogger genuinely enjoys my posts every time I post. Don’t be afraid to do this – you might think it’s annoying, but all bloggers love to read comments from other bloggers. It’s so rewarding to publish content that people will enjoy!
Secondly, blogging is a big commitment because you have to be able to write your blog posts AND read and comment on other blogs if it is really going to work. So a blogger who writes for themselves AND leaves comments on other blogs obviously enjoys being part of the blogging community. They would make an ideal follower if you are looking for more interaction and feedback on your blog. Visit their page and let them know that you have found them via another blog. Make them feel that it was worth them leaving that comment because YOU noticed and YOU took the time to follow it up. That’s awesome!
These are just some of the things I do to help build a community for blogging:
- Post consistent content on a regular basis (e.g. once or twice a week)
- Be active with my followers’ blogs, by liking and commenting on their latest posts.
- Reply to comments on my own posts.
- If I have busy weekdays ahead, write when I can, and then schedule my posts to automatically publish.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you found this post helpful! It was a nice reminder to me, too, because I haven’t been the best at posting lately. If you have any tips or tricks you like using for your own blogs, please let me know in the comments! Have a great week! 🙂 ❤