So you’ve set up your first blog! 😀 Woo-hoo! It can be really daunting to dive into a whole new world, but well done you! You made the leap!
You’ve got the world at your fingertips, you’re poised ready to write, when…yikes! Anxiety!
‘I can’t think of anything interesting to say…’
‘I don’t know what people want to read about…’
‘I don’t have time to write, I’m far too busy…’
Believe me, I worry. A LOT. Balancing serious blogging with a full-time job and a
nonexistent social life can be SO frustrating.
For me, here are a few simple tricks that have helped me get back on track:
I can’t stress how important this is. It’s your blog. YOURS. Nobody else’s. Write for yourself first and foremost. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you publish, just focus on your own thoughts, ideas and opinions, and figure out how to put those into words. When I started out blogging, one of the best lessons I’ve learned is simply be ME. No need to appear too ‘professional’ or use ‘big words’ to impress others. If you’re totally comfortable with whatever niche your blog fits into and what YOU yourself want from it, then it makes things a whole lot easier and less stressful to worry about. Either people will like what you publish and enjoy reading new posts, or they don’t and won’t. Since I’ve been writing for myself, I’ve found that I write more and publish much more often – I enjoyed the writing process way more, which had me writing far more than I usually would.
Above all, stay true to yourself and your own voice. People don’t care to follow sites so much as they care to follow people. Writing isn’t about picking the right topic; it’s about finding the right voice. If you publish something for yourself, you won’t feel anxious about what reception your newest post will receive within your audience. Be real, be honest, be interesting, and be helpful. Whatever you publish, if you’re truly passionate about it then it shines through in the content, which will resonate with so many readers who appreciate that genuine enthusiasm for a subject you love! ❤
This, this, this! When your blog has been inactive for months it looks like you might not be in business anymore. It can be really difficult for readers to engage with your blog if you drop off the radar for weeks at a time only to suddenly pop up again.
If you blog ‘whenever you get the chance’, the takeoff you hoped for will never happen. It’s far easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up again. Instead, publicly pick a schedule, publicly state it, and STICK TO IT – even if it’s infrequent. Commit to consistently blogging once a week, once a month – whatever YOU decide – but treat this commitment to your readers the same way you treat a serious commitment to anything else. Writing every other Monday and actually making it happen is much better than writing three times a week then falling off the wagon in exhaustion a few weeks in. If you keep your blog consistent and regularly updated, it’ll help maintain that core group of readers who will appreciate your content and look forward to new stuff. Plus, a well-planned schedule will give you clear deadlines you can focus towards, helping avoid that icy panic of missing a post!
Which leads onto…
Go Big or Go Home
Let’s be real: we’ve all had times where we half-assed a project, right? Did maybe 10% of the required reading for a seminar we didn’t enjoy? (I did none. Oops). So how did that make me feel? ROTTEN. I felt bad at myself for not trying, for not committing to it, because I knew I could have done better with the time I had. It’s the same with blogging: half-hearted blogging wastes all of the time you spend on it and provides no value to yourself or your potential readers. Better not to do it at all. So if you decide to do it, COMMIT to it. *Spoiler Alert*: If you think you don’t have enough time, we all actually have the same amount of time each day – no one actually has any more time for blogging than you do. ‘I don’t have time’ really means ‘Well I could do it, but blogging isn’t more important than everything else I’m already doing with my time.’ Fine. Great. Blogging is right for many people, but not everyone. If you really want to build a blog presence online, put in the time, and the results will follow!
Love Your Existing Readers
Okay, this is a BIG deal. Love the readers you already have! A lot of bloggers can often get quite obsessed with finding new readers – to the point that they ignore the core ones they already have. Yes – do try to reach out to new readers every week, but spend time each day showing your current readers that you value them too and appreciate their feedback. You’ll find that they will help you grow your blog in turn, from reblogging new posts to sharing your blog website with their friends and making your audience bigger!
There are many different ways to find a following. You could comment on someone’s blog, like their latest post, maybe follow them first. Show genuine enthusiasm for their blog and be interested in what they have to say. This kind of community following is a fantastic way to find new and exciting people, and probably the nicest thing to do for any blogger. I’ve made many blogging friends this way and it does NOT disappoint. 🙂
Sometimes even just liking a comment in
the Community Pool *cries softly in the distance* a Swimmers party will get you a new follower, but still, try to be sincere when you like a comment or post. People really appreciate honest and meaningful feedback for their work, and giving a dishonest reply can often do more harm than good.
Keep It Short
Biggest lesson I’ve learned in my past year of blogging: keep it in the 1-3 minutes reading length. I aim to keep posts around the 1,000 word limit – long enough to be interesting, short enough to be easily readable.
When I’ve written articles that were way too long or had far too many ideas, they didn’t get much of a reaction. When I read books, I often feel bad for the brilliant plot twist buried on page 238. It’s a great idea, but…who will hear it by then?
Stop the orchestra. Solo the motif. Let it stand out!
Repeat it. Let the other instruments build on it.
Same as blogging: present a single idea, one at a time, and let others build upon it.
Whether you’re a brand-new or experienced blogger, I hope you found this post helpful. These things might seem like common sense, but they took me a long time to learn.
How have you found building your own blogs? What different tips and tricks have you used to broaden your online audience? Let me know in the comments below. Have a lovely week! ❤