Wham! I’m back! I LOVE blogging – strong statement, but totally true.
I’ve actually had my blog set up since 2012 and occasionally, if I got bored, I would write a half-arsed post every now and then. It wasn’t great, I’ve gone back and re-edited and even deleted some old posts – they were shocking! I literally had no idea.
2015/16 I was a little more into it, got more involved and even started looking at analytics and fancy SEO stuff. I downloaded plugins to my WordPress dashboard just because I read I ‘should’ have them – I’ve lost count of how many blogging advice posts I’ve read – which in all honesty pretty much say the same thing anyway! (no offence intended). I didn’t quite get it, I was trying at least, but I just felt as though I had lost my umph!
Then for some reason, 2017 has become my year for really upping my blogging game. The inspiration and motivation to really do it, like properly get into it was back – in full force! I’ve really started to enjoy blogging a lot more and it’s all down to some really simple – and in hindsight, obvious – changes. I’m publishing regularly, I have different varied content, some exciting sponsored posts and I currently have eight posts sat in draft form! What the heck happened? I’m going to try and figure that one out now and thought I’d share some of the reasons why I truly do love blogging. I’d love to hear why you do, too.
1. Go With the Flow. Firstly, I’ve come to realise in the last few weeks that I kind of treat my blog like a diary, I thrash away at a post (like now) sometimes with no idea of the direction it’s going to take and it’s actually really therapeutic. Then, I’ll go back, tidy up, correct spellings and grammar plus take out anything too revealing (it’s not a real diary remember) and add headings etc. The more I get into writing about things, the more relaxed I start to feel – funny huh? If you tend to be more structured and write a plan (I occasionally do this) then I highly recommend trying the ‘bash it out and see what happens’ technique.
2. Write About What You Know. I decided around December 2016 it was time to expand my blog from being just about cakes, recipes and baking to also include lifestyle and parenting related posts – they say to ‘write about what you know’ and whilst baking is still ‘what I know’ (and love), parenting is too. Plus, I’ve learnt that the parenting blogging industry is literally the most friendly group of bloggers to exist! Baking groups, along with the cake-world in general, can be quite bitchy and whilst I do have a few lovely cake friends, its a very ‘each for their own’ kind of industry. Which leads me to think that the reason I’m enjoying it more is because I feel like I belong here a little more – does that make sense?
3. Sort Your Design Out. I re-vamped! Changed my theme, spent hours optimising, SEO’ing and generally faffing about! I began learning new things and started to actually understand it more. I deleted wishy-washy, no-sense or pointless posts, shed a few tears when my blog went self-hosted and I thought I’d lost it all. Blogging is one of the few things that I know I will get out of it what I put in and my time and effort always pays off, even if it’s in a way I didn’t expect it to. Remember it’s always going to be an ongoing project too. If you don’t love the look of your blog then your’re never going to love writing for it too! SORT…IT…OUT! That’s it… well done… 😉
4. Tidy Up Your Social Media. By this I mean, unfollow spammy people, or accounts that post content you never interact with. I also removed spam type followers on Twitter and Instagram and the reason for this is whatever engagement I was going to receive I wanted it to be genuine, not bots or accounts purely out to up their likes. Instagram was driving me insane, people followed me to purposely just get a follow back! It’s also rude – morons 😉 So, I got rid, deleted and even blocked. When an account has 10k followers but only 25 likes on a photo – there’s something not quite right there!
5. Work Out If You Want To Sponsor Content. I realised that if I wanted to continue with my Facebook page I needed to understand when my followers were online and when they interacted the most, and if I really wanted them to see my blog posts I also needed to sponsor them. I now spend £5 a post to reach out and spread the word… it works! Facebook is a business itself after all, so yep.. have a coffee on me Zuckerberg!
6. Blog About Whatever You Want. Overall, I only write about what I want to write about. The online world is a magical place and I’ve been lucky to now to take part in some collaborations, reviews, paid for posts and have been sent a few packages with free goodies in and it’s fab! So, in conclusion – you don’t have to be the best writer, it’s not like you’re writing a book is it, you just have to relax, take your time and enjoy it! Everyone has a story – tell it! Even when I do accept a sponsored post I’ll only say yes if I truly have a vested interest in the product and will always use my own words and comments. Blogging has actually made me a better writer too.
7. Focus On You. Don’t worry about what other bloggers are doing and instead focus on you, no-one can do that better than you right? Tell your own stories, they’ll be unique and they’ll be yours! (I still struggle with personal posts, I get embarrassed if I publish something personal and go and hide for a couple of hours once a post is out there). Your blog serves as a personal account of your ‘journey’ (cheese alert) and gives you something to look back at when you want to reminisce and see where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and how you’ve gotten here. So, this is as much aimed at me as it you reading – “don’t be afraid to open up and bare a little bit of your soul” What’s the worst that can happen?
8. Don’t Dwell On Your Numbers. Finally, last but not least, I stopped worrying about stats, numbers and flipping bounce rates. I mean, I wasn’t doing bad and some weeks averaging over 500 visitors a day! I may still be a small fish in a big pond, but I was really enjoying it this way, so I now only check my stats once a day, at the end of the day. That’s it. It is what it is…
How do you feel about blogging? Do you love it? Are you struggling? Do you have any favourite blogs that inspire you? I’d love to hear about your story.