I write TWO different blogs. Total is five days a week posting. Ive been doing it for about three years with a year and half of that being full-on five days/week.
The thing is, today as a result of doing so much, I’m starting to feel the Bloggin’ Blues…
insert guitar pickin’ blues music here…
It’s important that I remind myself why I started and why I need to continue…
insert saxophone solo blues here…
Why I Blog….
I started my blog as a platform for the future.
Initially I was told I had no platform for my non-fiction (which I’m still being told btw), so a newspaper column was born and morphed into a blog (Auntie Says) and then another blog (My Twisted Writer Brain).
So, what’s all this about needing a platform? Really, it’s all about having a ready show-case for your work.
If you have aspirations in the writing world, like writing a novel or a non-fiction how-to book, then a blog is a good place for readers to get to know you.
A blog is also useful if you have something you want to sell. There are many creative people who blog about almost anything you can think of.
It gives you a voice.
And, hey it keeps me writing everyday.
It also clears my very cluttered and often chaotic brain.
If a publisher, editor, or other professional googles my name–it doesn’t come up empty. Try it–just google me. I actually have some real estate on the web and that wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for my blog. And just a reminder that if you haven’t googled your own name in a while, you should. Just saying.
A blog for me is a means to an end, in that it’ll be my platform when I hit the big time. Yup, that’s my plan. The New York Best Seller list. I’ll be there–don’t you doubt it. I have to keep believing,
Does A Blog Help?
Well, that’s a good question to ask of someone who’s got the Bloggin’ Blues… But I will say I have many followers and people who visit my blog on a regular basis. I so appreciate that. Keeping up and writing fresh content does get overwhelming sometimes but the pressure is always self-inflicted.
Along with my blog, I’ve also been able to put together a monthly (or so) newsletter. When I first started writing I didn’t really understand the importance of this but it is a huge and powerful marketing tool that one day (on my way to the New York Times Best Seller list perhaps) I’ll be able to use.
The thing is that sooner is always better than later. I don’t want to be scrambling to try and get my name out there when I climbing that list…I’m doing it now.
I think a blog helps people–anyone really–get to see another side of your personality. I mean hey, let’s face it–writing isn’t an easy thing to do. It not only takes time and effort, but also takes talent and persistence. To continue writing helpful, informative, and enjoyable posts is huge. It’s a great challenge.
I believe a blog takes you forward. It’s difficult sometimes because the statistics can become an obsession… yup…let’s chat.
The analytics (a word I never even contemplated) of blogging are very interesting. The statistic analysis will show you what country your readers live in and what they read– I have to fight to stay away from the stats and just continue writing.
Stats, and/or the lack thereof, can be devastating and really get me down.
It’s tough when I work really hard to put together a well thought out blog post and then only have 10 visitors. I have to continue to believe though. Believe.
I see or read other blogs that are minimalistic in nature but have tens of thousands of followers and hundreds of comments –I want that.
How do you get that? Well, for the most part it’s kind of like The Field of Dreams… If you build it…they will come!
The idea is that if you write nothing, there’s nothing for anyone to read or interact with. I’ve been told that content is king. You must be predictable in publishing on a regular basis (which I am) and the build up of posts will bring readers (I believe). It’s about keeping the faith that the readers will actually show up and engage. I’m hopeful.
This really is the most difficult thing. You have to be in for the long haul and not expect to be an overnight sensation–though I’d be okay with that…really, I would.
If you see a blog like mine. Don’t just click the wee star to “like” it. Maybe go in and read it and comment. Oh that’d be nice.
What Should I Blog About?
I see this question a lot–especially in online forums for bloggers wanting to make a living as a blogger.
Seems rather mixed up doesn’t it. The career choice is made but there’s zero skill, motivation, or know-how.
If you don’t know what you’re going to blog about, you’ve got trouble. Or, you’ll be the break-out star who everyone loves…sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason.
Find your niche or write a bit about everything. Readers will either find your writing fun and informative and follow or they’ll will move on. It’s all good. Just make sure you keep writing.
To directly answer the question: what should I blog about?
Write down 100 things. I don’t care what. They could be memories, a random thought, food, the weather–whatever. Now write 500 words about each one. Just like that. Boom-you have a random thoughts blog.
Now if you want something specific, (don’t go so narrow that you run out of ideas)–instead of “children” do “family”; Instead of “Baking”–do “Foods”; or instead of “losing weight” do “wellness or self care”.
Do you see how each is a bit broader? Now do the same thing… ie: Family–make a list of 100 things related to that topic. It could be the kids, food, the car, finding a babysitter, time management…Make your list and get writing.
With each of those 100 things you should be able to get another list: ie: the car–how to keep it clean, on the go snacks in the car, how to change a flat, leather or fabric? Don’t limit yourself. Let your imagination take off.
Sigh… I got me the Bloggin’ Blues…
The only way to keep your blog momentum going is to show up.
You need to write consistently. Share those blogs on social media (I do FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter) and respond to any and all correspondence received through said blog. I signed up for Pintrest but for me the learning curve is just too much and I stepped away. I don’t want to waste my time on that.
Here’s FIVE things that I hope will help you.
- Keep your energy high in your writing. It does show through.
- Keep notes and keep your brain constantly thinking of your blog. For example: if you’re driving along the highway and you have an emotional response to something–maybe you see road kill or experience road rage–ask yourself–how can I make this experience into a blog post? Remember to note down the main points. The world is your inspiration. The grocery store, the park, the gym…
- If you’re getting bored doing the same type of writing, change it up. People love lists. Make a list of something–anything–make it fun.
- Talk about yourself. Like today–I have the Bloggin’ Blues. It’s light and fun and yet hopefully informative. Add pictures of your personal life into your blog. Readers like to see the real person behind the name. If you’re doing a blog on fashion for example, it’s okay to show up in your pj’s once in a while and show your human side.
- Use tools like headline helpers, photos, sub-headers to make your blog easier to read. You know, if I click on anything and at first glance it just paragraph after paragraph of writing–chances are I’ll move on. People want quick reads. You can still do longer posts if that’s the type of writer you are but make some effort in your formatting. How does your blog post present itself. Does it welcome the reader in and lead them down a path or slam them with long narratives with no breaks? Think about it.
Remember the blog is yours and represents who you are in this vast world.
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