Hey, ho I’ve made it too 100. It’s pretty impressive; two years and a bit and 100 posts. I have to admit I wasn’t sure I’d get this far when I started out. The early months were tentative and uncertain, writing into the void, no echo, no response (only bloody spam) but something moves you on and so I continued to write.
Slowly, slowly it build, like a cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria, not yet a Category 5, or even a 4, but on its way to a 3 – some damage caused somewhere, well, let’s modify that – some impact felt somewhere: the winds and rain casting wider and wider spiral arcs. Perhaps not the most apposite metaphor but as a girl who spent the best twenty years of her life in the tropics, in and out of cyclones, it can stand.
What have I learnt about blogging?
It takes a while to find your voice. But it’s okay as nobody’s paying you any attention for a while anyway, so experiment, but keep your eye on what your saying (topics) and how you’re saying it (style and crafting)
You should read other blogs, comment and get involved in the great blog-sphere but be nice. There’s no need to leave nasty feedback, just don’t read the blog or revisit it. There are plenty of blogs out there to find and engage with; you don’t need to waste time or energy in negativity. However, thoughtful criticism or commentary is different. But not a lot of people here in ether-land seem to know.
Don’t expect blogging to pay your bills: very few people are making money out of blogging. The real money came and went years ago, or is for the exceptional few. If you’re blogging to make a fortune STOP RIGHT NOW.
Write what you want to. If you’re single purposed it is probably quicker and easier to find your audience. Some people choose to run several blogs to cater to their range of writing interests – seems exhausting and time consuming to me, but each to their own. Also – it’s better to write it out first, draft and then copy to your post box – more efficient way to write and keep track of your topics.
As you know by now mine is an eclectic blog, but I am noticing as my hit/visits/followers increase that more people are drawn to my Lifestyle-wisdom pieces in my Live Strong and Well category. Does this shape the posts I make? I’m not sure. Certainly it’s been rewarding reading the stats about visits (hopefully reads as well!) to see that more and more people are visiting or people are coming back to read more. Either way is good.
I’ve noticed is that pictures seem to add to the attraction. I like the extra zing it brings to my post – either from my own photo collection or courtesy of the immense Google-images, where choice is abundant and can easily distract you from your purpose. From my observation getting onto Word Press’s Freshly Pressed seems to be more about the visual images than the written word. I’m not sure that’s such a good thing. Surely Freshly Pressed should be promoting good and interesting writing as well as lovely images?
How important is writing well? I pride myself on being well written, well structured with a decent vocab and an interesting hook, as well as nice touches of humour and humility. (I trust I’m not deluded!!) But other blogs with considerably greater following than mine are not all that well written. I am not in the least bothered by this, but find it intriguing as it seems to fly in the face of the advice on most blogging sites.
Posting often seems to be central to creating more traffic or visits. I’ve tried to up my posts to 2-3 times a week, with usually a poem mid-week; one from years gone by, that only needs a quick polish and can be out there. I like this mix, my followers seem to too. Weekends do attract the most visits but Tuesdays and mid-week is not without attention.
The more posts you have the more likely you are to have visitors who stumble on your blog through search terms attached to your posts. Using tags helps, using direct headings also helps too: get your topic out there cleanly and obviously. Obscurity doesn’t cut it in the blog-sphere.
My wisdomosity on reaching 100 blogs is that you blog because you want to, because you love to write and you want to find your audience, build your following, engage with your readers. You may be building a platform for your novel, or your poetry collection, etc but don’t do it just to sell something. I think that’s cheap and dishonest.
Blog because it brings you joy, because it makes you feel good. If you love it, it will show and your readers will come. Think Kevin Costner and his field of dreams. (For previous blogs on blogging see Find Your Own Voice and You Will Find Your Audience (Oct 4, 2011), Blogstar, Twitterati – Helping or Hindering Your Writing (Sept 2011), Hunting the Purpose (Oct 3, 2010) (Images courtesy Google Images)
Tags: adding pictures, blogging, blogging won't pay the bills, eclectic, finding your voice, increase traffic, joy, post often, read others, reading other blogs, what I've learnt about blogging, writing into the void