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.
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
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: