The blogging tips series is back! Over the holidays I was a bad girl. I didn’t keep up with my blogging tips. Well, after being MIA I am back and I have a fun post today for you all.
Ever have one of those “smack-your-hand-in-your-face” days when it comes to writing great content? You sit down to a blank calendar with zero ideas, and decided once again, to write a post about your dog Biscuit or take another picture of your baby eating a banana. We have all been there. Our blogs feel stale or boring. We visit other blogs and cannot find one fun post to read. Then we come across a gem of a blog and think, “how do they do it?”.
I have so been there. I have posted for the sake of posting many times. I have looked back at many of my posts and cringed. Some of my posts have been downright horrible!
My sister told me the other day that she things many blogs are silly. I totally got defensive about it, and then I decided to sit back and listen. Real feedback from a real person, I reasoned. I asked her a few questions: “what blogs do you visit?”, “what are your favorite blogs?”, and “how much time do you spend reading blogs?”.
Her answers were easy to sum up. There were three reasons she visits blogs.
1. There was USEFUL information.
2. The blog was ENTERTAINING.
3. They were EASY to read.
Oh- and she said she might spend five minutes max reading a blog.
I just kind of stared at her for a second, and then said the magic words she never expected me to say- “You are right”.
There are two kinds of bloggers. There are bloggers who blog for themselves because they love to blog and post only information relevant to their inner circle, and then there are the rest of bloggers who hope to have an audience. I sit somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I post stuff because I love it and hope people might get a kick out of what is going on in my life. Many of my posts are for the general public. I desire to write posts that are useful, entertaining, and easy to read.
If you are the first kind of blogger, this post doesn’t really apply to you. Write whatever the heck you want.
If you desire to gain followers, I wrote this post for you. I am not an expert in perfect blog writing. I have failed many times. I just have a teensy bit of experience from my failures and have thought a ton about the subject. So maybe you can learn a bit from my mistakes and observations.
Let’s get real here. There are BILLIONS of blogs. I tried to find current stats, but there are so many thousands of new blogs added to the web daily that it is almost impossible to find a real number. If you want a few followers, you have to give your blog some critical thought and attention to the kind of content you are posting. Be excited and grateful for every new reader of your blog. That is a huge compliment! Then, sit in their shoes for a bit while I ask you some questions.
How many blogs do you have the time to read daily?
What blogs do you read?
I will answer that question for myself. I might read two or three blog posts a day, and I read blogs posts that are relevant to my personal life or seem interesting to read. Plus, I am a blogger so I assume I read more blogs than the average person. I read blogs by gals I trust write good content. I will sometimes simply look up a blog I love on google and read what she wrote for the day. I get excited when one of my favorite bloggers has a new post up that is useful or entertaining for me to read.
So, if you are like me and want to write better content here are some ways to do it. I made this list for myself in hopes to do a better job of writing quality content. I love sharing it with you all. I am sure there are more calculated lists out there that take into account post length, etc. I simply went with practical tips I could start using today. Enjoy!
1. Check your own google search history.
I know, it seems dumb. Yet brilliant. What are you searching for? I remember searching for a great baby registry list and having a hard time finding one. So I made my own. It is my most popular post to date based on pageviews, and still gets tons of traffic. Do you have any knowledge in the area? Did you make a great recipe you searched for? Could you write a relevant, helpful blog posts for others? Ask your friends and family for their most recent google searches (be prepared for scary answers), and then come up with some great and useful content.
2. Ask a good friend for feedback.
Do you have a friend who reads blogs? It might be nerve-wracking, but ask him or her to read a few posts and give you a second opinion. Sometimes another pair of eyes can point out the most obvious needs or issues and can generate amazing inspiration or ideas. Ask them- is my blog boring? Is it easy to read? Do you find useful information? Is it entertaining? I’ve worked in marketing in the past, and these types of brainstorming sessions are essential.
3. Check your statistics or blog overview page.
What posts have recieved the most pageviews? Is there a trend? Do you notice all of your fashion posts do well? Do your recipe posts get the most pageviews? I have seen some of my topics do way better than others. Take note, and think about writing similar posts that engage your audience. You don’t have to do it everyday, just incorporate that knowledge into your blog.
4. Write what is on your mind in the heat of the moment.
This advice might be bizarre, but some of my best posts have been heat-of-the-moment. Maybe I was ticked off about something and wanted to rant. A few times I have been deeply moved by a current event or life issue and instantly wrote down how I was feeling. I was lucky enough to have a pen and paper or computer around and just throw out all my emotions onto that blank screen. Passionate, quirkly, meaningful posts are a delight to read, and there are never enough of them. Don’t always schedule your posts. Allow your personality and opinions to shine through certain posts and write them when you are feeling inspired. Just make sure to spell check and don’t hit “publish” until you are 100% comfortable that the entire world will be able to read your post.
5. Be you, not a stale version of someone else.
Unfortunately many of the blogs I visit today feel like something is missing. I sometimes feel like I am wandering through the land of “cookie-cutter blogville”. Ever drive through a neighborhood and say, “I want to live here!”. Why? It might have a great vibe, tons of personality, or lots of life. Same for blogs. The few times I’ve tried to fit in with other blogs I have failed, big time. Write your own content, come up with your own ideas, try your own new link ups. Don’t ever copy other bloggers, and don’t try and do what they are doing. I’ve been there and done it, and it fails every time. Be yourself, be proud of it, and dare to try new things.
*6. Post regularly.
I put a star on this one because I only wanted five main points, and I go back and forth on this last point. I often visit blogs that are trying to grow but they only post once a week or so. Honetly, don’t expect to grow a ton if you are not posting at least a few times a week. Last week I only posted three times. I shoot for five posts a week. Life happens here and there. Always put your life and family first. I am simply saying do not spend lots of money sponsoring other blogs or focusing on blog growth during a season you know you will not be able to post on a regular basis. You will only get disappointed. Writing can often be like anything else- running, for example. You might have great runs or terrible runs. Some days your posts will feel easy, some days it will feel like work to get anything on the page. Consistency is often key.
Any other tips you want to share?