Today’s post is a continuation of the 101 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging. To read Part 1, go here!
- Your brain is going to hurt a lot when you’re getting started. Mine hurts right now. But it’s a good thing. You’re learning, you’re growing, and you’re putting all your effort into something amazing.
- Learn something new every day. Learn from your experiences and from those around you. Do you see something on a blog that you’d like to implement? Figure out what it is and how to do it. Be continually learning.
- Apply what you already know. Use the skills and knowledge you’ve gained from all of your life and funnel it into your blog. I have English and Communication degrees, and I use them every day on a craft blog. I worked for a credit union for years, and I’m so grateful for the technological skills I learned there. I managed a process for a crafting company, and you’d better believe I’m managing processes in running a blog. My personal experiences as a single girl, a married woman, and a mom come into play. EVERY experience can help you with your blog, you just have to figure out how to apply it.
- Know your limits. I can feel myself getting stressed at points, and I know when I have to back off. I know when I need to call in help, and when I can do it myself. Now actually asking for help is another thing, but I know my limits, which keeps me from overextending myself and keeps me in check.
- Make your time commensurate with your goals. How much time do you have for blogging in a day? What is your best use of time? You have to be able to answer some tough questions and make sure your available time and your goals align or you won’t find success.
- Start with one social media outlet, then move on to another when you’re comfortable using it. If you try to jump into them all in one week (ahem) you’ll find yourself really overwhelmed and totally underutilizing (or misusing) several of them. One at a time unless you’re already comfortable with them.
- Integrate all your media outlets. Send the same integrated message through all your media. Don’t have one voice on your blog then a totally different one on Facebook and the rest. You have to have a unified voice that your readers can identify and you have to have an integrated message they are comfortable with. They all work together to show who you are and what your blog is about.
- Automate your blog as much as possible. You can’t always be tied to your computer, so schedule posts ahead of time. This way you can work ahead or publish when it’s best for your readership, even if it’s not the best time for you to be at the computer.
- Automate your social media (to a point). Post to Instagram and let it to update your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. Or use Twitter to update your Facebook page. Whatever outlets you’re using, find a way to automate some of it. You should still do some things by hand, but new post alerts are easy to set up and makes your work of publicizing much easier.
- Post consistently. Whatever blogging schedule you choose, do it consistently. Day of the week, time, etc. People like to anticipate!
- You really do have to love what you’re doing. If you’re not jumping out of bed in the morning to get started, you’re probably not invested enough or writing about the right topic. OK, maybe “jumping” isn’t quite right, but if you dread getting out of bed because there’s a looming blog post, you might need to reconsider your topic or your blog. Love what you do and do what you love.
- Keep a notebook by your bed. If you’re jumping out of bed in the morning to get started blogging, you’re probably also going to have ideas running around in your head 24/7. And they don’t stop running just because my body is tired. Instead I lay awake thinking of all the things I don’t want to forget. But once I write those ideas down, I can sleep knowing that they’re not going to be forgotten overnight.
- Lists are your friend. Use them for everything. Grocery shopping, blog ideas, blog tasks, daily chores. You get the idea. The more organized you are, the better you’ll be at getting things done. Because there is a lot to keep going, especially if you have little ones.
- Keep your lists and your schedule in one place. It isn’t easy to get things done when you’re running to the other room to get your supplies list and then you forget what you were doing.
- Use an editorial calendar. Plan it out so you have direction and motivation. I like to do a month at a time, and when I get a few minutes, I look at the next week I’m working on so I know what to do next.
- Work ahead of schedule so that if something comes up, you have a buffer. Something will come up, it’s inevitable. I usually feel good if I’m a week ahead, but ideally I would be further out than that. But working ahead helps your stress levels. Promise.
- Sometimes you just need to turn off the computer and do something else. There are times that I need to go do something blogging related, but the thought of doing it makes me tired because I need a break. When I take that break I’m refreshed and I can attack my To Do list with gusto. But if I do just one more thing, I face a shut down. So turn it off and take a hot bath. Your blog will still be there tomorrow.
- Spend time with your family. They need you more than your blog does.
- Know when to turn off the social media. Social media can be wonderful, but there’s a time to turn it off. If you’re blogging, you probably have a hundred things to do, and you can’t get them done if you’re waiting for someone to comment on your Facebook post.
- Don’t check your e-mail every 5 minutes. It doesn’t help (so guilty). It’s like the proverbial watched pot that never boils. E-mails will come sporadically, and you’ll have plenty of time to answer them at the end of the day.
- Sometimes great things happen like a feature or interview or an invitation. Sometimes nothing great happens. It’s all part of the blogging experience. There are hills and valleys.
- Prepare mentally for those bad days. Traffic, stats, and e-mails are important to blogging, but it’s going to be unpredictable. And when you are prepared for those inevitable bad days, you’ll be better equipped and you’ll sail right through them.
- Take holidays and events into consideration. No one is going to be reading blogs on July 4 or the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas; they’ll be out enjoying the day with family and friends and you should be too! And when your stats go to pot that week, know that everyone else’s are, too. It’s a holiday.
- You’ll inevitably run into a down day–those where you feel like no one is reading your words and you don’t know if it’s worth it. Carry on. It’s worth it.
- Expect big drops a day or two after a feature or a big traffic day. If it doesn’t happen, that’s awesome, but most of the time there’s a big drop off once all the readers from the referral site have seen the post. Hopefully some of them will be back, but don’t expect all of them to.
- E-mail subscriptions trump all. Get (and keep) happy subscribers, and you’ll be successful. Your subscribers are more important than page views or visits because these people are already committed to you on some level. Give them all the love you’ve got. (Thank you to all of you who have subscribed here!)
- Guest post as often as you can. Guest posts give you the opportunity to share your ideas with a new audience and to set yourself up as an expert. But I think my favorite benefit is building a bond with the other blogger. It’s deeper than exchanging comments because you’re working with a common purpose and for mutual benefit.
- Promote others as well as your own content. This is another one I’ve been slow to learn. When you only promote your own work, it’s like saying “me, me, me” all the time. This ties back to being gracious and promoting others’ work.
- Use the same social media handles if possible. Don’t be Lisa Mabey on Pinterest, mabeylisa on Twitter and Instagram and Mabey She Made It on Facebook. Yup, I did this, but they’re all the same now–MabeySheMadeIt–and it’s much less confusing. I’d love it if you followed me on any or all of these!
- Use a social media handle that makes sense. Using my name made less sense than using my blog name if I wanted people to be able to find me. And it’s frustrating trying to find people on Pinterest who have cryptic usernames but their real name displayed on their homepage. Just make it easy for people to find you.
- Link to your social media in multiple places. Make it easy for people to find you and convenient for them to click. They’re more likely click a link you’ve provided than to search you out when/if they remember.
- Decide what your driving stream is going to be, then stick with it. Of all your social media outlets, which do your readers prefer? Find where you’re getting the most interaction, and focus on that platform. Use the others, of course, but concentrate where your readers are most likely to be.
- Let people get to know you through social media. While your personal life may not debut much on the blog, social media is the place to let your personality shine. Just make sure you’re the same (genuine) everywhere or people will see right through it. Your readers are smart!
- Give everything you’ve got; don’t hold back. One thing I’ve noticed about passionate people is that they don’t hold back; they give everything they’ve got and it shows. There’s fire in their eyes when you engage them in something they love. Even if you’re not a passionate person, you’ve got to go all in for your readers. Give them everything, and you’ll get more than you can measure in return.
What one thing from today’s list stuck out in your mind?
Thanks so much for all the tips! (Really helpful for this new blogger!)
Welcome to blogging, and I hope you continue! It can be so rewarding!
Spending time with your family .. I recently became unemployed unexpectedly when they did away with my position and have thought about starting a blog. Its just me and the hubs (well my furbabies) at home and the kids are grown. I thought it would be a good way to share my sewingtips, crafts, quilting, crocheting, cooking, baking etc.. My biggest thought that goes through my head is would I truly have the time to devote to it while maintaining that delicate balance between the blog and the family. Especially if the granddaughters come out- such thoughts to ponder in… Read more »
I struggle with that one too, Diana. I do great for a while, then I get engrossed and my husband has to remind me where I SHOULD be spending my time.
It truly is something you have to dedicate time to if you want it to grow, and balance is sometimes hard to come by, but I truly love it.
Love these! It was fun reading through and thinking about the ones I am doing and the ones I’m kinda not. 🙂
I’m in the same boat–so much to do, but sometimes things fall by the wayside.
Fantastic advice here. Thanks for sharing this and being so honest as well!
If you have a minute to spare I’d be thrilled if you could share your post at my weekly Say G’day Saturday linky party. It has just started and this would be a fabulous addition!
Best wishes for a great weekend,
Natasha in Oz
Thank you Natasha. Blogging is fun and challenging and lots of work, and the more you understand that, the more successful you can be (in my opinion). 🙂
Working ahead of schedule, and then actually turning off the computer and walking away are two things I’m working on!
Turning off and walking away is SO HARD! It’s definitely one of the things I struggle most with. I know I should, but it’s still hard.
Ditto! It’s so hard to get ahead of schedule, but it’s even harder (for me, at least!) to shut the computer and walk away when it’s time!
Great list! I admire you girl for posting 101 things. Its amazing how many tips are out there. You shared some advice I will definitely use. :):)
Thanks, Jilene! The funny thing is that writing all these things down really helped me get more organized and figure out blogging faster than if I hadn’t. 🙂
I’m really enjoying this series. Such great tips and reminders. We have been blogging for a little over a year and LOVE it, but sometimes it is so overwhelming and there is so much to learn. Thank you for this. I pinned this to reference later, when I need another reminder. 🙂
It’s so true, Kathleen. I need these reminders all the time, and it’s funny how I could probably do another whole series now that I’ve been blogging a bit longer–you learn something new every day!
I love this list!! Thank you for sharing…. Umm, checking my email every 5 minutes- yep 🙁 thanks for the reminder of keeping things in priority! Would live you to share it at my link party on my blog now 🙂
Kendra–I’m so guilty of this! Especially now that i check it on my phone. But we’re all working on something, right? 🙂
LOVE all your tips! I make a list for evvvvverything!! lol Pinning. 🙂
Lists are the best! I need to make one right now…
I’m really enjoying this series of yours – thanks for sharing! 😀
PS you can set specific numbering in your HTML code — if you can edit the code, find the place where the list starts which is at the tag. You can update your tag to say or whatever number you want! (remove the spaces around the less-than/greater-than symbols — and forgive me if the HTML here doesn’t get through the comment form!)
Thank you Shanti! The numbering was really bothering me, but now it’s fixed. See? You learn something new every day in blogging! 🙂