2016 is just speeding by. October was a month of mixed emotions and events for me. I had some downs and tears but some great moments and memories too (finding out the gender of baby #2 especially made October special). On the blogging front I achieved some small milestones that made me especially proud, like:
Hitting 1000 followers on Twitter (don’t forget to follow me)
They are relatively small achievements, but ones that have made me super proud and happy especially as I put lots of blogging effort in throughout October. Reflecting has made me aware of these achievements and given me a bit of motivation to continue on in the direction I am going. November isn’t usually a positive month of me. This time last year, we found out that our landlord was selling and we needed to be out of the house for January (which over the Christmas period wasn’t ideal as you can imagine and I cannot believe it’s been a year), it’s also the fifteenth year anniversary of my mothers death too. So you can see why I am a bit gloomy going into this eleventh month of the year. With it being the beginning of the month I thought it was perfect to set some new goals and go into November with a positive mind. Here we go:
Blogging. It’s a roller coaster of a journey that none of us expect to go on and definitely don’t except to learn so much on. I for one had no idea how vast the world of blogging is. I came into fairly under educated and with no goals. But after blogging for almost a year now (with the odd break) – here’s what I wish I’d known when starting out:
Promote promote promote – blogging is (well can be) a time consuming thing. As a newbie, I thought it would be as simple as putting a post up and people would flock from all over to have a ganders. How innocent I was. I never knew the importance of promoting and that’s something I wish I knew from the get go. Whether that’s through social media or linkies, how is anyone meant to know you are here if you don’t let yourself be seen.
Get involved in linkies – I hadn’t the foggiest what a linkup was. It truly hurt my brain trying to understand/find/join one. It took me a good couple of months before I got involved in any. It’s really important to find out what’s out there, not only for promotion but also for blog inspiration. Different links bring different audience. Utilise this!
Set up social media platforms – when I first started blogging, I didn’t have anything linked to my blogging profile as like I said I had no clue of what the blogging world entailed. Looking back I would have loved to set up twitter/Instagram/Pinterest straight away, promoting on them from the start. I’ve only just created Instagram and Pinterest so this is most definitely something I would fully recommend looking into and joining as a newbie, they are fantastic platforms. Again it links to promotion.
Interaction – it took me a while to get submerged into interacting, be it commenting on fellow bloggers posts, or just basic conversation through social media. It can be daunting to a newbie. This is something I’ve found is hugely helpful. Blogging is a community that mostly supports and uplifts each other. As you’ve probably read or discovered yourself, it’s one big circle of people all looking to achieve the same thing (mostly), so don’t be scared to tweet responses to people, to start conversation and leave your opinions on other blogs. It gets you known and let’s people see who you are, behind your posts.
Create picture content – whether this is your own photography, the use of quote pictures or even a collage/header you created. I didn’t know how this simple feature could improve your look AND content of posts. It just adds a bit of extra love and really promotes the effort you put in. Looking back on my earlier posts, I discretely cringe at what pictures I used (all evidence of these will be edited eventually once old posts are updated). So it’s useful to include picture content straight away and even the use a photo editor to just update content – it can be something as simple as using picmonkey or as complicated as photoshop. The choice is yours.
Spend time browsing others – blogging is very much a lover of karma. You can’t expect results overnight. You get what you give. You can’t expect people to visit your page if you don’t spend time visiting others. If you visit pages and leave lovely feedback and comments, you are likely to see bloggers return the favour and start to visit your page. You develop a repetition for yourself too, which is lovely to have in the blogging world, and create lovely bonds with other bloggers. It’s a long winded process, one I’m far from mastering. But knowing this earlier would have been helpful.
Scheduling – this is a HUGE point I wish I’d have known long ago. It just helps you become more organised. When you’re having a motivated day filled with lots of inspiration and time, get typing those posts and schedule them for later dates. The same goes for scheduling social media updates. I use Hootsuite.com to promote my new and old posts on social media. The good thing is you are in charge of what you put out there and when, so if you know your going to be busy on certain days and not have much time to be present, it’s a good tool to keep you active. It’s also a great feature to help give you a break, and as a result reduce the stress and pressure you put on yourself drawn with the need to update constantly.
Be kind patient – things don’t happen overnight, blogging takes effort and time. Especially in building up a nice following and readership. So make sure you commit to things if you want results. Don’t beat yourself up over things. Slow and steady does it. Enjoy the world and live in the moment. Don’t take things to seriously and don’t try to be the perfect. You don’t need to put additional pressure on yourself rushing to learn too much at once or take on too much in a short space of time. Things will come together in time and you’ll look back in a year and see those small improvements to be the most important.
I don’t claim to be a blogging success and my goodness, I have a very long way to go. I have so much more to learn, so much more to achieve and I am most definitely not an expert. But these simple points, I feel, can really help someone get things going that little bit quicker, and help them learn to love blogging that little bit more.