I’m aware of how quickly my blog has been growing over the past 5-6 weeks ( it took me 6 months to gain 200 followers, and now 327). I have noticed that many of my new followers are fairly new to blogging, so I thought it might be useful exercise to reflect on what lessons I’ve learned in blogging since I started at the end of July 2022.
I’ve put together 6 things I’ve learned during my time blogging that I hope will help other bloggers.
1. Engage with the Community
The community is very important and its one of the best places to develop relationships with other bloggers and through those relationships, attract others to your blog too. You should read other people’s blogs (use the Reader) and leave meaningful comments on their blogs.
I would suggest leaving the comments section open on your own blog so others are encouraged to leave comments, and you should respond to all comments left by your own readers and followers. To me, it feels rude to have messages that you leave not acknowledged. I recently unfollowed a blogger who not only didn’t respond to my comments, but deleted all comments left on his site. I don’t understand such behaviour. Why leave your comments open if you’re going to delete them all, isn’t it better to close off the comments. I also think the “slap in the face” behaviour of deleting comments won’t help his site.
2. Be Realistic
Being consistent is important and you should be posting to your blog regularly. It has taken me a while to identify what pattern works best for me. You need to establish how often you want to publish and decide if that is going to be realistic for you. If you’re like me, you may need a bit of trial and error to find out what works. Many things impact on how much you can publish across a week/month – its a combination of the type of blogs you are publishing, both the content and the length; what other things you have on in our life, if you work or have lots of other activities and commitments. You need to think about everything you have in your life as well as the type of blog you plan to run so that you can decide on a schedule that works for you.
I’m still trying to master scheduling my blogs but initially I found even if I had a pattern – 3 days a week, I would be so excited and impatient to publish and share what I’d written, that my publishing schedule was all over the place. As I say, I’m still working on my schedule, but I’m getting there, and occasionally, I do schedule a post in advance. My key advice here is to stick with your schedule and try to practice self-control to hold onto work until your scheduled days.
This isn’t just about scheduling my posts so I have something to publish on my set days of Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday but taking time out to come up with a list of different topics/themes I can write about (currently I have over 200 listed in a notebook). I would also say, from my experience, having more than one piece of work in progress at the same time works for me. Maybe because I’m writing about a range of different topics, but this works for me as I can chop and change between themes if a particular topic doesn’t sit well on a particular day, I can put that aside and still find something else to work on.
4. Blogging is not just about your posts
I love blogging, writing and sharing my posts. However, managing a site is more than just posting your work. There are a range of other things that are important
- Managing Comments
- Reading other blogs and engaging with the community
- Keep your website up-to-date
- Website pages
- Broken Links
- Manage your followers (remove inactive ones)
- Check and manage pending and spam folders (sometimes “proper” comments end up in spam so you want to catch these)
You need to make sure you cover all of the above elements regularly. I try to review at least once a month.
5. Ask for help
There is so much to learn when we’re starting out, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help. The WP Community is very supportive and there are some excellent bloggers who write blogging tips and guidance. You’ll find them in the Reader. For me, even now, if I’m looking for something specific regarding blogging I’d go to either Renard’s World or Hugh’s Views and News.
My key point is you shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions or check out blogging as a theme on the Reader for general guidance.
I write in response to prompts when they speak to me, but I don’t feel obliged to participate every time. I find the WP ones can be quite hit or miss, but I tend to review some of the submissions to support new bloggers, give them some encouragement, maybe I’m returning the support and encouragement I had received but I do wonder if participating in occasional WP Prompts is adding to the traffic to my site. The prompts are a good way for new bloggers to find their feet.
I hope the above tips might be helpful to new bloggers. They are drawn from my own experiences so may not be relevant to everyone. If you have any other ideas or tips, please also feel free to add them through the comments.
Good luck to the new bloggers in the community.
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