This week I received a few messages on Twitter from fellow bloggers. Our chit chat had somehow steered in the direction of “How To Run A Successful Blog (+ live and breathe at the same time)” and “Blogging Tips” in general (#hottopicsamongbloggers). In my humble opinion, the main issue every blogger had, has or will definitely have at some stage is how to keep up the pace and avoid becoming overwhelmed and stressed. In no way I consider myself an expert in blogging even though I’ve been following and reading blogs for many years. Things are completely different when you start your own blog and face all these different issues: what to write, when to post, how to approach others, what to share, how to self-promote, etc. We are not going to go over all of these questions today but I would like to share with you my personal (and friendly) advice on how to run your blog at full speed, prevent burnout and enjoy it all in the process.
No learning does equal no growth, no matter how harsh (but honest) it might sound. In the ever-evolving blogging community we all have to keep up the pace and learn new tricks to keep growing. It rings the bell not just with new bloggers, such an myself, but with the “veterans” as they have changed over the years providing their readers with fresh articles, layouts, photography and whatnot. SEO, HTML, CSS still make some of us shake our heads in horror and throw in the towel. However, what might make you even more astonished is words of one of the “big” bloggers in her interview with Glamour magazine: “I taught myself HTML at the age of 13”. I am a little too late in going back to my early teens to start teaching myself coding but I am willing and eager to learn in my late 20’s.
Do you like your blog’s layout? Are you happy with images you attach to your posts? Are you excited about the last post you published? If all the answers to those questions are “yes”, I applaud you. Although, if you have a “no” or “50/50” as an answer, don’t get frustrated because there is always room for improvement. You just need to learn how to make them. For example, if you are not happy with your photography, learn how to step up your picture-taking skills. You don’t need to invest into a super expensive camera (even though we all would love one, right?), but look up apps that will help you edit, play with light (try taking photos in the morning / outside / at sunset), colours (add something to the picture that will make it pop), backgrounds (options are limitless: flowers, textures, minimalism – you name it!). Obtain new knowledge and apply it.
Even if your blog is just for yourself or it is your very own personal online diary (unless you want to keep it completely confidential and private), you would still want people to come and read what you have to say. That’s why it is important to brush up your analysis skills. I’m not talking about stats and stats only. Although if we start with stats, my friendly advice to you is please remove the page visit counter immediately. Yours truly was guilty of this one in the first few weeks of blogging. Every visit was celebrated and I just loved watching that meter go higher every day. Then, while learning and reading tips from people who know their stuff, I took it down without looking back. Visits are still important and I appreciate every single one of you who is reading this very sentence right now. But that little counter is better stay for your eyes only.
If you are using Blogger at the moment (just like me), and do not have a chance or haven’t yet decided on moving to your own domain, use Blogger analytics to help you see what posts are viewed the most and what feedback you are getting, check your traffic sources and visit those people who popped in and keep an eye on your audience (it’s also fun to know where your visitors are from, right?). But if you want to start doing it more professionally, you might want to check out what Google Analytics has to offer. It will provide you with so much more detail! Also, do not forget about SEO (I am still learning and getting a hang of it) and use your words wisely, literally 😉
This one might be even more difficult to some than SEO or HTML coding! Believe me, I am also working on how to self-promote correctly and trying to push myself out of the comfort zone while doing that.
Though, there are 3 top tips you have to take into consideration when you self-advertise:
1. Do not spam.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep it under control. Spamming can have so many forms. For instance, leaving a comment with a pre-written standard phrase “Nice outfit” (and nothing else) and posting a bunch of your links or flooding the feed on Twitter with nothing but links to your posts. Do you ever click that link someone is promoting on Instagram? I don’t. As for the blogs – visit others, read their posts, think of what you want to say and then you can sign off with a link to your blog / Bloglovin’ page.
2. Use social media platforms.
Either you are a huge Twitter person, can’t live without Facebook, addicted to Instagram or won’t stop pinning, get your blog on those platform and promote wisely. Huge tip: show your personality. Write actual words (not just a “template phrase”). Interact with others. Connect with people. Show respect to their work (if you really mean it). And it will all work out for you in the long run.
3. Don’t be shy 🙂
I decided to start my blog because I wanted to write and share things I love with you guys. That’s why my next tip is a little reminder – please, write. I know it might sounds strange because isn’t that what we all are doing (or trying to do) here? What I mean is: write with a heart full of excitement for your next post, write with a dedication, write to make your personality shine through and, finally, write to connect and make friends in the community. To be honest, it takes an effort for me personally to want to come back to a blog where I only see photos of outfits and links to them (no words). There is no personality there, only a gorgeous image. I’m not saying it’s bad but I am definitely not your regular reader. Another no-no is writing something generic as if you nearly “copied” it from someone else or Google. Mix your posts up, add words, show yourself. Put a thought into each posts, do not post just for the sake of posting.
Writing also includes interaction, replying to comments, going to your favourite blogs, saying hi and leaving a thoughtful and genuine thought below their post. Blogging IS writing, no matter how much someone wants to escape that. In a nutshell, display your personality, speak up, show your voice. Write in as many languages as you want to write (I love multi-lingual bloggers!), it is all up to you. I am often toying with this idea to start writing in Ukrainian or Russian (below my English) but the tricky part is I have been writing in English for years and years, and my Russian might come out as a robot-translated version of my English text haha. So I will have to work on that 😉 To conclude: I love bloggers with a “voice” spoken through their writing.
Last but so not least, remember to enjoy yourself in the process. A lot of bloggers face this issue, as sometimes blogging does get overwhelming. It is A LOT of work, afterwards. If you want to run your blog and keep up the pace, you still need to get your priorities right and find that perfect balance. You can’t neglect your University and studies, you can’t forget about your work duties and you most definitely can’t ignore people you love because blogging consumes all of your time. That’s why I think blogging calendar comes in handy here. Schedule your posts, pre-write your material (when you have inspiration for it, of course), take some of your photos in advance. Also, dedicate a certain amount of time you spend on social media not to have those precious hours slip through your fingers. Planning and organising your blogging life is the key to prevent stress and burnout. Remember why you started blogging in the first place. Is it your hobby / therapy / job? No matter what it is for you, live your life, blog away and enjoy yourself.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found my little pieces of advice useful.
By the way, this last quote is my most favourite quote.
Could you give me some tips on blogging from your point of view?
*header image is found on Pinterest and customized by me
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
P.S. Enjoy blogging, writing and sharing. Be thoughtful and thankful.
Just like I am so thankful for you reading this.
You inspire me and you matter to me 🙂