So, I’ve been around for a while, often inconsistently and with little direction, but around I have been. I have had long periods of not updating, planned absences and unplanned ones. I’ve been blogging intermittently for a long, long time, first on Blogspot, then on a little sub-domain kindly gifted to me by a friend, then on my own domain, and now here, on Word Press (which is by far my favourite).
I thought it would be nice, as a break from the normal routine, to share some things that I have learnt about blogging while still maintaining your sanity (though that part is debatable).
Here we go!
Write posts in advance
Schedule, schedule, schedule! I try to always have at least one week of blog posts ready to go (my last planned blogging break was only a break because I hadn’t done this – more on that in a later entry). If I’m being really productive, I will have two!
This takes a lot of the pressure away from having to get posts up and really allows you to enjoy writing them, to take your time and really write the best post you can write. A rushed post is never going to be as polished as you would like (she says, when her posts are definitely not polished in the slightest…).
I don’t always write my posts in advance, I tend to schedule my Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday posts but I always allow myself the freedom to post outside of the schedule if I want to, or if I have an idea the I absolutely have to share right now.
If you have an idea, write it down
I have lost so many great post ideas because I didn’t write them down when I thought of them. Well, I say ‘great’, I don’t remember what they were so they could be complete trash.
Of course, I’m not saying you should write the post the moment you think of it. That would be ridiculous. I think of a lot of my posts in the shower and I certainly don’t take a pen, paper or electrical device in there but as soon as I get out, I scrawl it into a note on my phone and then transfer it into a giant google doc I have for exactly that purpose.
Sometimes, I start a new post and just include the title. Normally I do this when I want to write the post sooner, rather than later. (I have several of them sitting in my drafts right now.) Either way, write them down or else they will float off to the ether, never to be seen again.
Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers
This is something I have fallen victim to. A lot of the blogs I follow have new posts every day and always have something witty or insightful to say about the subjects they’re blogging about. I pore over people’s monthly round up posts and marvel at everything they have achieved, and all the books that they have read.
I often wonder how. How do they get through that many books in such a small amount of time? That’s a stupid thing to wonder. For several reasons (a lot of them specific to book bloggers).
People read at different speeds, the amount of books you can read in a month doesn’t define your worth as a book blogger. It is your love of books and willingness to blog that makes you a book blogger.
The blogging community is vast and diverse. The person you’re comparing yourself to could be in high school, they could be full-grown adults with full-grown careers and children to boot! They could be like me, twenty-somethings who are still trying to make their own comfy little dent in the world. They could be male, female, non-binary, they could own a cattle farm in Guam (if there are cattle farms in Guam, I have no idea). They will have commitments and constraints on their time, or maybe they won’t, maybe blogging is their full-time work.
Other bloggers will have opinions that differ from yours, neither your nor their opinion is more valid than the other and neither diminishes you as a blogger. You don’t agree, write a blog post about it! Write an insightful article about why you think the way you do.
Post what you want to post
So you’re a book blogger but you have this really cool idea for a food post, what do you do? Post it! If you’re interested in it, it will be interesting to the people who like reading your work. People are passionate about what other people are passionate about.
I have a few posts waiting in my drafts which have nothing to do with what I normally post, and every so often I post about my life and one day, I want to post about my outfits (when I wear something I am particularly pleased with); I will always post about books and words and folklore, but I will include smatterings of other things that interest me because this is my space to do with what I will.
Don’t be afraid to post outside of your little blogging box, it’s refreshing and there will be someone out there who will enjoy it.
Engage with the community
For a long time, I didn’t follow other blogs. I existed in a vacuum where I was just writing my own stuff and not looking at anyone else’s. I got a fair few followers but very little engagement. I didn’t receive many comments, and when I did I don’t think I replied. When I started to blog regularly again, I made the decision to really make an effort with other blogs and it’s been great!
You will have seen that I’ve done a few tags recently, which was something I never thought would happen. I have people commenting on my blogs, and really engaging with my content. It’s so lovely to actually know that someone out there is reading your work and taking the time out of their day to let you know what they think of it but that only happens if you’re willing to do the same.
Don’t be afraid to take a step back
Blogging shouldn’t be stressful. If you feel you need a break, take one. Your followers will still be there when you get back and they will understand. Your well-being is and always will be more important than your blog.
I hope you find these helpful and would love to hear your top tips too! Have a wonderful Tuesday, pals.