Ahh the blogosphere… you’ll either love or hate it, but you’ll never be indifferent to it.
My reasons for starting a blog are very selfish. I don’t have many IRL friends because I piss people off regularly with my strong opinions, so a blog is the perfect way for me to get all the things out of my head and save the therapist’s bill.
I don’t blog for money, hence the wordpress site vs. the paid domain. I have no need for that right now. However things may change in the future and I’d like to keep that particular door open. Just in case!
That said, I still read all the advice on writing a blog, how to get people to read your blog and all about SEO’s and Analytics and so on. I didn’t say I understood any of it, but knowledge is power!
But I am a firm believer in processing everything you read with a skeptical mind, sifting the crap from the gold and then interpreting what you have left for your own circumstances.
So here’s what I’ve learned from all the advice on the interwebs and what my take is:
1. Content is king!
Man, have I read some k@k blogs in my time! Yoh!
No thought to grammar, readability, SPELLING(!) or just what they are trying to say. Some people post blogs with nothing more than pretty pics, links to other people’s blogs, or even (gasp!) bits from books they’ve read. No opinion, no review…NOTHING.
Skaam jy nie vir jou nie!How disrespectful to me, the reader! You’d better believe that if I’m taking the time to read your blog, you have something worth saying, or have a take on what you’re posting. Otherwise I just won’t bother coming back.
2. Find a niche
I dunno….I don’t have a niche. I guess that has something to do with the fact I’m not doing it for money? Also, I have too many opinions on too many things. I drove myself quietly insane for a while with this one.
Must I have a niche? What kind of niche? Do I know what kind of niche I want to write for? And the answer to all these questions was no.
A month in a pattern started to emerge, and I could lump my posts into headings on my menu bar. Finally I could see a niche… more or less.
I now have:
- Food and Recipes
- Relationships and Marriage
- Children and Parenting
- Work and Career
- Self and Body
- Month End Catch up
My take is that you can work towards building a niche. Don’t always expect it to be a given.
3. Bloggers are a family
Sounds corny, but it’s true. I have found that the bloggers at the South African Bloggers Network on Facebook provide great advice, a sense of community and an opportunity to read other bloggers’s work.
That said, they also fight amongst themselves, have differing opinions, mean girl style take downs, and the like. Just like a family!
4. Have some sort of plan for content creation
Blog planners, editorial calendars, planning apps and fancy diaries. Great to have but I feel if you’ve got an original voice, overthinking it too much can let you down.
I post 5 blogs a week, Sunday to Thursday ( that’s UAE speak for Monday to Friday). I write all the blogs on Friday/Saturday (your Saturday/Sunday) and schedule them for posting using the WordPress calendar thingy. That way I have all week to think of the following week’s posts.
I also have the WordPress app on my iPhone,and can plan, draft and collect content ideas on the go.
5. Quality images make a difference
The one area I’m working on is the quality of my pics. Currently I shoot with my iPhone or with my point- and- shoot Sony. The pics aren’t always great but I am learning. I do not plan to buy an expensive professional camera. Hubby would love one but he wants to shoot vintage cars and planes rather than my behind in a slinky outfit!
Making pretty collages or backgrounds are also on my To-Do list but, honestly? Who has the time? Styling a shot for half the day doesn’t sound half as much fun as having my daughter or hubby or friends shoot me just as I am.
I feel there are so many pretty picture blogs out there that I don’t want to join an already saturated market. I am more interested in real raw images that stay true to me. Blurry, messy, slightly out of focus and oh – so – imperfect images show me as I am.
So there you have it. The things I should be doing according to the blogosphere afficionados and what I actually plan on doing or am doing.
What advice have you used from the blog masters of the interwebs and how do you apply it? Lemme know in the comments.
Until next I blog,