Let's Talk About Blogging: Top 5 Things I've Learned About Blogging // Blogging | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Let's Talk About Blogging: Top 5 Things I've Learned About Blogging // Blogging

This post originally appeared on my good friend Kelly's blog back in October of 2012. I've rejigged it slightly and thought I would share with you today. 

Blogging can be a funny beast, but it should always be fun. Blogging for me is about so much more than making money or the number of fans/followers & stats I have. Sure, those things are nice. But if that is the only reason you're blogging then you might be in for a bit of disappointment and you probably won't last long. 

One thing that almost all bloggers say after they've been doing it for a while is that you have to love it. You have to love writing and more than anything you have to really love connecting with people and being a part of a community to have any kind of success, no matter how big or small that success may be. You'll only get out of it what you're prepared to put in, so if you don't participate in the community, by reading and commenting on other people's blogs first and foremost, people won't read and comment on yours.

So, without further ado, I present to you the

Top 5 Things I've Learned About Blogging



Things I've Learned About Blogging #1
 - 

Blogger's Block can happen to you.

There will be times when you just have nothing to blog about and no desire to blog. I know while you are in the throes of early blog addiction it feels like this will never happen to you, but trust me, it will. Blogger's fatigue, or Blogger's Block, whatever you want to call it, is a very real thing. Sometimes it may only last a day or two, other times it can last for months on end. Don't stress though if it hits you.

Sometimes it can be a very good thing to take a step back from blogging, clear your head, spend some time hanging out with people in offline-life (offline-life you say? I'd forgotten what that was!) and just generally not worrying about blogging. You'll feel better for it and you're readers will almost always still be there when you return. Well, the ones who really get you and love you will.

Things I've Learned About Blogging #2 -

You might not make a lot of money from it.

Unless of course you create an ultra-uber-ginormous website, ala Mamamia, or you were already semi-famous before, chances are most people won't make a lot of money from blogging. In fact it may even cost you money. But that's OK. My feeling is if you start blogging purely for the money then you're doing it wrong.

It's been said many times but content really is king! Create good content and the readers will come. Consistently create good content and the readers will stay. More readers means you can, if you want, start to make a little money from blogging. But don't get so focused on the stats and money-making side of things that you forget what blogging is all about. It's about connecting and creating.

Like any hobby, sometimes you have to spend a bit of money to create something, and really, I like to think of blogging as just another craft like knitting, scrapbooking, needlework. You're creating with words instead of yarn, paper or thread. Like blogging for money, if blogging isn't fun then you're doing it wrong.

On the subject of spending money, I figure you might as well get your own domain name, because it only costs maybe $10 a year and that's nothing compared to what you might spend on some hobbies. Whether you register your name or the name of your blog, it's worth it, in my opinion.

Things I've Learned About Blogging #3 - 

You don't have to be on all of the social media all of the time.

You don't have to spend ridiculous amounts of time on all the social media platforms to be a good blogger or to get readers to your blog. Yes, I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Google+ account, a Pinterest account and an Instagram account (all of which you should totally follow, ok. I'm also on Tumblr and YouTube if you really wanna know!). But out of all of them, the only ones I am really active on are Facebook & Instagram. I have linked the Facebook page to my twitter account (even though I know this annoys some people!) so every time I post something to the FB page it automatically posts it on twitter as well. But that's just how I roll.

Some people love twitter and use that a lot and I say pick your poison and stick to it. I dabble and dip in and out of Twitter when I am feeling in the mood. Despite the crappy reach of late, personally I feel that if you're only going to have one social media account for your blog make it Facebook.

I love to follow blogs on Facebook and it is my blogs number one referring social media platform. I am more likely to read your blog post if you link to it via your FB page. There are of course issues with reach but if you're smart and spend a bit of time learning a few simple tricks, you can make it work for you. I've written about this before and I also have a board on Pinterest solely for Facebook Tips & Tricks.

And while we are on the topic of blog following, always give people the option of subscribing by email, and make sure that you reward people for their email subscription by syndicating the entire blog post in the email. You might think truncating the post leads to more click through to your blog but it doesn't. Not for me anyway. In fact I found it led to less click through. Just something to consider.

Things I've Learned About Blogging #4 - 

Blog posts work better with pictures.

It's always nice to have a picture or two with your blog posts. Sometimes the only comments I get on a post are about the picture I've included, whether it's one I've taken myself, or one I've found and nicked off the interwebs (thank you Google Image Search). But remember, if you do use an image that is not your own, that you have found via Google Image Search or some other way, always, always provide a link back to where you found it.

It is the height of rudeness not to do this and it can also get you in trouble. I have no problem if someone wants to use one of my images on their blog or for a post, but I would be mightily pissed off if there was no link-back or credit given so I always try to do the same.

Things I've Learned About Blogging #5 -  

Don't get hung up on the numbers.

It doesn't matter how many "followers" or "fans" you have. In the end, what blogging is about first and foremost for me is making connections with people and getting to know someone. The number of followers or unique hits you have will never accurately reflect the true number of people you are really connecting with. According to stats and follower numbers, there are a lot of people coming to my blog. That doesn't mean however, that they're all actually reading and commenting on the blog. And that's ok.

Because what I do have is a loyal core of readers, and that is what matters to me. They have been reading my blog from the start, and even when I have had long breaks, they are always the first to comment on my latest post and that is what blogging is all about for me. Don't get hung up on a number. Get hung up on the people interacting with your blog and you'll be a much happier and relaxed blogger for it.

How long have you been blogging? What things have you learned? What would be your best tip for someone who has just started or is thinking about starting a blog?

I also wanted to give another quick thank you for all of your lovely, kind words after this post last Tuesday, and then this one on Friday night. There are good days and bad days, but we are definitely starting to have more good than bad ones. Your support has been invaluable and is yet another of the reasons that I love blogging so much.

You'll find more of the stuff I've learned about blogging from around the web pinned here:

25 comments:

  1. I've been blogging for just over a year and all of this is so true. I was a little obsessed with stats in the early days, now I just write what I want to write and what I think my readers will enjoy and publish. Sometimes Facebook loves it and heaps of people read it. Sometimes is just gets sucked into the big black internet vortex and echoes around saying "Hello? Is anybody out there?" I just move on and keep writing. It's the writing and connecting that I love. I love reading other blogs and being part of a community. If just a few people read my blog and get something of out it, the same as I get a lot out of other blogs, I'm pretty chuffed that they've taken the time to come and visit.

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  2. I've been blogging for nearly 10 years and these tips still hold true to me {currently also kinda having a writer's block which is driving me nuts haha}. I think one of the most impt things also is to remember your own "blog voice" and not compare. People want to go to your blog to read about you and your life.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  3. Agree with all, Also agree with Ai Sakura as well. Do it because you have your own purpose that drives you. Once your purpose is clear the rest comes easily.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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  4. Great post. While I don't have blogger's block or fatigue I do have a lack of time thing going on at the moment. Taking a step back from social media is one option and possibly after reading this more doable than I first thought.

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  5. Thanks for the great advice, a few months in and I'm still not really sure what I'm doing! This gives me some things to focus on.

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  6. Thanks for the great advice. I've been blogging for over 3 years, and often have issues with what to write. I started my blog as a place to record special moments with my girls, and not really thinking about who would come and read it, so to have someone leave a comment or tell me they've enjoyed a post means a lot to me.

    My advice for a new blogger, remember the reasons for starting your blog. Try not to get caught up in the stats or worry about making any money at first. If you enjoy what you write, others will too. :)

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  7. I have been blogging for over 2 years and I agree with everything you've written about. Building community and responding is a must as is visiting other people's blogs and commenting. I say forget the figures too because you end up comparing your figures to someone else and it's not fair on you if htey have been blogging for years and you haven't been blogging for as long.

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  8. Only do it if you love it or you wont keep up with it. Be prepared to invest hours of your time into it too - its somewhat taken over all my spare time, but I love it. And all of what you said above :)

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  9. I'm so glad the good days are starting to outnumber the bad! You are such a strong family. These are some really great tips. I will have to go back later when I have time and read your Facebook tips. I must admit I am hopeless at Twitter. I just don't have the time. I find Facebook works well enough for me, so I will stick with that for now. As far as syndicating and truncating go, you lost me there! I have a lot to learn :) When I started blogging I jotted down my objectives, key messages, theme etc. Whenever I feel like I'm getting off track I go back to that and remember why I started blogging and what I wanted to achieve. It helps ground me and I think that's important in this game. A big hello via #teamIBOT :)

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  10. For me, it is about the words and the journey they can take - I love taking the images for my blog posts and trying to make them part of the journey. I love the community that gathers around a blog post, an idea, a feeling. The numbers, the social media, that all becomes distracting more than anything else - but still part of the journey - finding the balance is the hard part xx

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  11. Great post hon. I'm not a trained writer but I am we'll know chatterbox, so for me blogging it just a way for me to chat and share stories. Once I stopped stressing out and putting pressure on myself to post ever other day I've really come to love it even more my random ad hock posts haven't seemed to affect traffic much at all. So tip would be, do t put pressure on yourself, just enjoy it x

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  12. You're a wise woman and YES to images, I get bored with lots of text as you know as I put heaps of silly puts on mine. I think my tip is to write for you - and don't stress about stats xx

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  13. Awesome tips Kylie. (Nearly wrote Emily cause her comment was below mine!)
    I no longer bother much at all with numbers. I have a rough idea of stats but that's it. I don't care about that like I used to. Now i just love the community.

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  14. Great post Kylie, you're absolutely right in everything you say. I've been delving into your Facebook tips too and they are starting to work (I think), so thank you!

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  15. Not getting hung up on numbers - that's a big one and important tip. They can rule your life if you let them!!! I don't look at stats very much anymore, because its not why I started the websites in the first place, and I know I can never compete with the big guys, so just go with the flow these days......

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  16. The BEST thing I've discovered in my 18 months of blogging is what a great community we have. It's amazing the wonderful, insightful, clever people I've connected with. I had no idea it was all out there waiting for me :)

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  17. This hits the nail on the head, spot on. I am still building my community so it can be hard some weeks not to focus on the numbers (or lack of) but this is a very good reminder of what is important.

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  18. Great tips Kylie. I cant even remember the last time I checked my stats and numbers! I just get a buzz out of the connection and finding so many talented and unique individuals along the way. :)

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  19. Some important tips here Kylie. I agree with them all, though I'm not sure how my posts look when they're emailed to people. Guess I should check that out! xx

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  20. Absolutely agree with your tips Kylie (although I would suggest you nab your handle on all the social media channels, even if you have no intention of using them at the moment.). Off to make sure I follow your Pinterest boards. xx

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  21. Ooh I definitely agree there are times where you need to have a break - think its so important for creativity. Loved your list - Fab lil reminders. Rachael x

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  22. I'm not sure that I've actually had blogger's block yet, because I've always had heaps of ideas to write about (mind you if I wrote about my life rather than nutrition and health, I would run out of ideas). Recently though I've just felt a bit blah about wanting to write, but it's probably just more from being worn out with other life stuff than the writing itself. Definitely agree with all of your tips though, especially the one about pictures.

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  23. I had my first official case of bloggers block last week - only a day after I wrote my answers to an interview saying, no I dont get bloggers block because I have too much too say. my words came back and bit me on the bum ;) Great advice hun xx

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  24. I think 'just do it' is the advice for new bloggers - don't get caught up on getting the right look and voice as that will come with time. I blogged in 2008 but stopped before starting again in late 2012. I love having that instant access of the internet to communicate and can usually think of a fair bit to say! Last week, I finally joined up Twitter, created a Facebook page and signed up with Instagram and Pinterest. I don't think any of it will be time consuming once I'm in a routine (I hope!!)...

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  25. Fantastic tips, especially for bloggers like me who get a little overwhelmed with the whole social media side of things! Thankyou for sharing :)

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