Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Top Five Tips For Better Bloggery

So, you're thinking of starting a blog?  Or perhaps you're hoping to make your blog better and/or grow your blog audience?  I'm no expert, but I have learned a thing or two over the past few years!  I recently had someone ask me to share my "all of my blogging wisdom" with them, and here's what I said: ...because when I had to narrow it down to just a few things, the most important things rose to the top like cream on milk.

1. Schedule posts a month in advance.

Yep, that's right. You've got to think ahead. Whenever the brainstorm bug really bites hard, open your calendar/planner/ical program.  Write down all of your post topic ideas in a Word or Textedit doc, then pencil them in as titles in your planner/ical.  As you come back to these Docs, you can add bullet points, quotations, questions, and other ideas for each post as it develops into something worthy of clicking "Publish."

2. Work toward your goals in small increments.

Does this mean edit photos on Monday, work on post titles on Tuesday, take pictures on Wednesday, or is there a less OCD way of doing things? ;)  You can do it a bit more naturally and organically than that, but do whatever makes you the most organized, efficient, productive, and sane! ;)

I knew a blogger once (me), who was so tempted by that Beautiful Publish Button, and the thrill of knowing that just a click away, a million people would be reading her stuff, that she hurried and rushed to push Publish on every post.

And then a million people didn't click.

...huh!!!! ;)

Once she (I) realized that the Publish Button wasn't really all it was cracked up to be, she learned how to slow waaaaay down.

Each piece of the blogging puzzle (editing, editing, editing, photos, brainstorming topics, editing photos, and more editing) should be approached very, very slowly... actually, slower than Christmas.  See each puzzle piece as a little adventure.

Do you need to do some research for a post? See that block of time doing research as a little adventure, and make as much time for it as you need!

3. Read a bunch! {Read everything}

The very best advice I can give you is to read, read, read.  Read a lot. Read widely, read incessantly. Read more books! ;) Honestly, I can give you any better advice than that.

I'm not talking specifically about research, here. I'm just talking about reading widely, so that you can keep your mind sharp, expand horizons, and increase creativity.

It makes a difference and it shows up. Read the newspaper, read articles from Twitter, read blogs in your Feedly or other feed reader, and of course, read lots and lots of books!

4. Read Even More! {Read lots of different kinds of books}
~Read Quality Motivational books

There are so many readable, helpful books out there. We are scared off from reading a lot of times, because we associate “reading a book” with working on a book for a few weeks before we see the last page.
The trick is to find books that you know you’ll love, as well as quick reads in combination with harder reads.  Self-help books very often fall into “readable” material, and although we like to put them in the “I don’t need that” pile, reading them just for the sake of finishing a book is a win-win: you accomplish something tangible, and you might just learn something in the process! Even if you know you're not going to love it, sometimes that's ok too. Read some books that you already know in advance you're not going to give 5 stars.  There's no fun in never not liking something!

~Read Writing books and/or autobiographies of famous people/writers

In addition to Self-Help or books in the Inspirational category, biographies and writing books are the next best (or even maybe THE best) categories for you. If you want to keep your chops, constantly learn more and seek out piles from the library. You will thank me. ;)

Every time I pick up a biography or a book on writing, I feel a deep confidence that I am doing something right. It doesn't just help with blogging, it helps with my life as a writer trying to be a better person.

5. Don't write when you're bitter. Just let the feeling pass you right on by.;)  Say, for example, that you want to take a cross-country road trip but you don't have the money for it.  It's a big turn-off to indulge those negative feelings.

The most important thing to remember is to stay balanced, so that you're feeling thankful in the middle of it all. Thankfulness is better than distractedness, every time!!

Happy Blogging!
adding my link to 5 Favorites. Thanks Jenna!! :-)


Debbie said...

Great advice - I loved the line "thankfulness is better than distractedness." Need to post that one in a prominent place!!!!

Megan Elaine said...

This is so helpful from a new blogger :) I am obsessed with the publish button and definitely will work to start slowing down the process!! Thank you for the advice!