Got the Blogging Blues? Ready to give up? Here’s what to do!

Happy Monday!  I’m really excited about today’s post!…it’s long though, so PLEASE stick with me 🙂

From today forward I’ll be posting with this schedule

M- Motivational Monday- Advice/Inspiration

T- Tasty Tuesday- FOOD!!

W- Geek Glam 

Th- Family/mom advice and personal experiences

F- Featured Fridays- Product/Service reviews and Guest Posting by other bloggers

Blogging is not just writing.

Blogging is not just writing.

When I put my blog up in early May, I didn’t know ANYTHING about blogging.  The only thing I knew was that I wanted to try my hand at writing in a fun way and that I needed a place to express myself.  What I didn’t understand is that blogging is more than just writing.  There’s interaction, visibility, and social media involved.  I thought with having a facebook page with over 1,000 friends would be all the exposure I would need to get some readers…WRONG.

The first posts I wrote were regarding Influenster’s vox box program reviewing a handful of different products.  Once that was over, I wasn’t sure what to write.  I knew I had a lot to say, but I was lacking direction.

I decided to take some advice I had read years ago and just start writing.  The rest would figure itself out.  I started with a reflection of a devotional book that I had been reading.   Next, I talked about Julep’s recent award and then I put a creative spin on Minnie Mouse’s latest nail polish from OPI.

Interaction is key!!

Interaction is key!!

Feeling like my content was lacking depth, I changed direction.  After writing How to be Epic I felt that I wouldn’t be stereotyped as a ditzy beauty blogger, and that I had found the key to generating more traffic because the writing was more purposeful and inspiring.  THEN...nothing happened.  What is the problem?!  I’d been sharing on Twitter and my personal Facebook profile as well as the Facebook page connected to this blog.   On a whim, I DM’d another blogger, @aopinionatedman on Twitter who had started following my blog a week earlier.  His blog Harsh Reality, has over 310,000 views and nearly 20,000 followers..in only 7 months!  He told me, “You write great, so what’s the problem?”

Finally! Breathing a HUGE sigh of relief (thank God, I don’t suck!!)…we talked a little more. (The comment thread can be read here.)

FAST FORWARD 2 WEEKS…

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve digested a TON of information about blogging, SEO, social media, and writing.

You DO NOT have to wait 12 months to get 3000 views.  May, I had 19 views.  June 250.  For July? Nearly 700.  The growth rate is awesome.

UPDATE (Aug. 9, 2013): Need more convincing to read on? My final total views for July was 2,056, and 9 days into August, I’m at 1,255. That’s a total of 3,580!  Now do I have your attention?

OK, so WHY DOES THIS MATTER TO YOU? 

I’m going to pass on what I learned to you.  According to OM, “Blogging is only 33% what you write.”  No one is going to magically see what you write on Google.

Blogging basics!

Blogging basics!

Basics:

1. Get a Twitter account.  Follow people you DON’T KNOW who blog.  Look at their blog, follow it, and comment on a post you like.  Talk to them on Twitter and tell them what you liked personally. Start a dialog.  Ask for feedback on your blog, but don’t be pushy.  Do you expect people to interact with your blog, but you don’t interact with other blogs?  You can’t be a writer without also being a reader.

2.  If you find a blog that writes in a style you like, read it often.  You will naturally write more like them, but in your own style.

3.  POST regularly.  I don’t care if it’s once a week or five times a week.  Be consistent, and show up for your readers. Even if your audience is 10 people.  ALSO, include several images in your post.  Make sure they are royalty free- check out Pixabay.  Some people will only read the captions under your photos, so make sure you use images and great captions.

4.  Find a blogging community.  If you are a woman, try The SITS girls.  They have lots of ways to improve and connect with other women.

5.  Maybe your writing could use some improvement, or maybe you just need to make it visually easier to read.  Check out Jeff Goins.  He offers practical tips and encouragement.

6.  Blogging is fun but it is a lot of work.  Take the time to make your blog readable.  If your theme is cluttered with too many buttons and/or the colors clash, your readers will be leaving and moving onto a different blog before they read ANYTHING you have to say.

7.  Guest Post.   After you have a couple months of  blogging under your belt and have a consistent rhythm of posting established, find a blog you interact with regularly and request to guest post.  I’ve started guest posting for Geek Glam.  Learn more about guest posting here.

Your READER is the most important person to you!

Your READER is the most important person to you!

8.  Write to your reader! For example, if you are writing about photography, don’t be too wordy.  Not sure what you want to write about yet? Pick 2-3 topics and start there.  Then, schedule which days you will post on those topics.  Deliver the same topics on the same days.  This will automatically give you direction and help you feel organized.  Your readers will come back for what they like.  Blogging is fluid, so you need to monitor your stats as you try this tactic and  develop your voice, writing style and grow your audience.  Try Statcounter.com or Google analytics (no google analytics for wordpress.com users.)

9. SHARE YOUR POSTS.  Every single share button should be at the end of each post.  Just because you don’t use LinkedIn doesn’t mean your readers don’t.  Make sure you include your personal social media contacts on each post so your readers have an opportunity to reach out to you.

10. Make sure your tagline rocks (mine still needs work) and your titles are effective at grabbing readers.

Lastly, you are a human. Write like one.

There are a lot more tips than that, but I hope you found something helpful here.

What would you tell your beginning blogging self? How long have you been blogging?

What #1 tip would you add to this list?

What 5 words would you use to describe this blog? Do me the honor of answering in the comment section below.

Are you writing fearlessly?

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Music this post was written to:

Easy -Sheryl Crow, Jua -Evan Duffy, The Garden -Mirah, You do the Same for Me -Dave Barnes, You Don’t Know me – Michael Bolton, Breathe -Ryan Star,Silhouettes -Sleeping At Last, No Such Thing – John Mayer,  Awake- Josh Groban, Swimming-Florence +the Machine, Only Love -Ben Howard, The Heat- NeedtoBreathe, Clarity- Zedd feat. Foxes, Babel -Mumford and Sons

85 thoughts on “Got the Blogging Blues? Ready to give up? Here’s what to do!

  1. Hi Shelly:
    I started my first blog on July
    15th and am working on a second one now because I am basically finding my literary voice. Some topics seem to me to require a different voice than other topics.
    I was going to only write occasionally
    as the mood struck me but a very good friend told me that would not be fair to my readers; that they would look for and expect to hear from me on a regular basis. Although he doesn’t write or blog, his advice seems to mirror yours, doesn’t it?
    The hardest thing for me will be to forgive myself any mistakes and just write. Maybe that is what I would advise starting bloggers to do, were I to give advice. Thank you for following my blog. Any advice from you is very welcome.

    • Thank you for your thoughts and kind words. 🙂 Let your humanity shine through! Realize criticism will come, but if u take it with a great attitude, it will only help u. I love how blogging allows you to write more like you speak.

  2. I must be really honest here. With such a young blog you have got here, the way you write posts is awesome. You write like a professional blogger. But do regularly read blogs about blogging. They are gonna help you a lot. And why don’t you setup your own website 🙂

    • Thank you! I would like to set up my own site in the future. I still want the freedom of learning and enjoying myself. I need lots of room to make mistakes! I also want to make sure that I have a great following and audience, while defining my voice before I move on to self-hosting.

      • Unfortunately, in this commercial world, you get a good audience by having a genuine website of your. The whole learning and committing mistake thing that you said is a very realistic approach. Although, blogging doesn’t come really easy. But you have got the talent of a good writer. An excellent writer. My advice for you would be,

        1) Write more to develop a writing power. Become so much experienced that you can even write when you don’t have anything to write about.

        2) Read blogging guides and regularly visit such websites.

        3) Get to know with the Alexa Rank and Google Ranking system.

        4) Learn about the technicalities of running a dedicated website.

        5) Well, you just told it yourself. Develop a great reader base.

        If you follow these steps, you’ll grow really fast. I had no teacher so I had to face the music every single time I committed a mistake. 🙂 I hope to learn from you in the future.

  3. You’re so right! The interaction with other bloggers makes a world of difference. Besides, yakking back and forth with bloggers you admire is like having a Dorothy Parker Round Table discussion with interesting characters who make the Internet a cool and enjoyable place to hang out. Great post Scully!!

    • I’m so with you girl! It shocks me how enjoyable it is to engage other bloggers. Hearing the thoughts and ideas from people you would never mingle or come across in day-to-day life is invigorating and refreshing! It’s like being in a coffe house during open mic night, while eating at a picnic table with other parents from different decades and simultaneously being at a concert and yoga session at once lol

      • Well said and I’d like to think that one day I’ll have a chance to meet some blog buddies at a book convention and actually have that coffee and a laugh. I like the feel of a Global Cafe that bloggers seem to naturally create. Hey, can you pass the sugar, please?

  4. I stopped at your site on my “BlogAbout” … my efforts to improve my blog by “walking” through blogs, one link at a time.

    Really enjoyed this post…I like debunking some of the “conventional wisdom” out there.

    Great blog

    Peace,
    LBD

  5. Scully, I’m now a fan of yours. I went out and talked to people (and read their books and blogs), in order to find out the best ways to use social media and my blog, just like you did. People are very generous with their know-how, and that would be another tip: find out what your audience wants to know and give it to them.

    Thanks for reading my Communicate! blog.

  6. You did a great job making this ‘How to’ post interesting and helpful. I think your advice about being human is excellent… it is the personal touch that keeps me coming back to visit a blog. You did this well too!

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  7. Hey Scully, great post. Oh and I thought the same thing, when I first read Mr. Opinionated Man’s blog. I wanted to know how he was able to get all of those readers in such a short time? Anyway, I was so impressed by him I wrote a little bit about him. I am impressed by you as well, this post is filled with great advice. Actually I feel the need to go over the post again just to jot down things that I deem important. But for now I just wanted to let you know you seem to be doing a great job and I like your blog. I look forward to reading more, however right now if I don’t get some much needed sleep I am going to be no good to anyone tomorrow and I have a 9-5. It’s 3:17 am and I said that I was going to bed as soon as the clock turned 3. Good night.

  8. Great post and great tips, thank you. I only started my blog about a month ago and am so pleased to have found the time to have written posts fairly regularly. Next step is to mingle a bit more, virtually of course, so thanks for the advice x

  9. Five words: fun, inspiring, engaging, interesting, surprising.

    #1 Tip: Develop thick skin FAST. I began LBH in 2009. It took ONE negative comment from a fellow believer to shut me down for four years. If you believe you have a message for the world, ignore the nay-sayers.

    The Lord led me back to LBH on March 26, this year. My first ever follower was OM (Harsh Reality)! Snooping around on his blog was rewarding – all of his sticky notes on how to be a successful blogger were helpful. I followed the 33% rule only, and in four months have almost 300 followers, and am 99 views short of 10,000! I’m shocked – and humbled that Jesus has invited me to be His spokesman, sharing my experiences with Him.

    The learning curve for some of this stuff is steep, I’ve discovered. There’s much to learn about SEO and other nebulous tricks to help.

    Right now I’m going back to LBH and going to add the rest of the share buttons! I may not be on any of those networks, but that doesn’t mean my readers can’t be!

    Thanks for your info on blogging. You’ve learned much in a short period of time!

    Blessings, Little Sister!
    In His Majesty’s service,
    Tami
    \o/
    Praising Jesus who leads me when I’m clueless!

    • I have a couple of close friends who help me with the blogging world, but a lot of the learning is done by READING…and it’s not always interesting. I’m so glad Jesus lead you back to blogging, he knows our hearts…he has written every unspoken dream you have on your heart, so congrats on listening to Him and never giving up 🙂 Glad to know I was of help to you!

  10. Scully, this is great stuff, wow, look at what you have accomplished in such a short time! I have been bloggng since January as a way to mark my journey as an aspiring writer (only 30 years in the making 🙂 I had no idea what i was doing! I’m also a big fan of OM. There is so much to learn about blogging, there is way more to it than I realised and I have much more to do so far as all the social media is concerned but I’m getting there, slowly! Thanks for this wonderful advice, so helpful! My number one tip? Write about what you know and are passionate about. 5 words to describe your blog? You’ve come a long way baby! (sorry, I cheated, that was 6 words!) Happy Monday 🙂

    • Thank you for answering my questions and taking the time to read my blog! 30 years! Wow what a journey in writing, I bet you’ve got so much valuble information to pass along. Do you find blogging to be a release for you? Passion is so important, if you don’t write with passion there is no reason to write at all! No matter what you are passionate about!!

      • You are very welcome, likewise, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, and I hope you like what you find there, just my little ‘slice of life’ stories! I have ‘dabbled’ in writing all these long years while bringing up my three (now grown) children, but it was when my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome 2 years ago when she was 18 and I lost my job at a law firm at the same time that I really got down to my writing seriously.
        Yes, I do find blogging a huge release as it is what keeps me sane amongst all the other ‘stuff’ of life, especially the endless battles I have trying to get the proper support and help for my daughter. Writing about the past and telling stories of my life when I was a young mum helps me remember all the good and how it can help with the present, here and now.
        Sorry, I’m rambling, but yes, no matter what it is you are passionate about, then write about it!
        Keep in touch 🙂

      • A very dear friend of mine has Asperger’s and it is such a challenge. I sympathize with you in dealing with that, I can’t imagine how difficult that would be as a parent.

  11. Pingback: A week for the record books | Scully Speaks

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  13. This was so informative and had many answers to questions I have had being a brand new blogger! I’m very excited to keep reading and I thank you for all this information!

  14. Hi Scully! Firstly, thank you so much for following my blog, SeeSondraSlim! Also, this post is PERFECT! It’s like you’re a guardian angel. I have been doing research on how to expand and truly “brand” my blog, and my journey…and this post has given me some excellent insight! I look forward to reading more! Nice to “meet” you! 🙂

  15. Very helpful post. I had one question: I already have an established Twitter account with relevant followers, but not specifically for the blog. Would you recommend creating a a separate account or would using my personal account be okay?

  16. I have a schedule, I’ve been posting consistently on a MWF schedule since the beginning of the year, so two months in on that schedule, and been pretty consistent in blogging since last October, so four months of consistency. I post articles on Monday and Friday and Poetry on Wednesday. I have a blogging plan with articles planned almost a month in advance. But it’s the networking I think that has me completely hitting a wall. I post to several different sites automatically, but only follow up with my Facebook page because I don’t really know how to use the different sites… (like twitter) I’ve followed a few blogs, and like a few regularly, comment occasionally. But I just seem to be hitting a wall. I think my writing is good. I want to eventually make this blog something more than just a little hobby, but I want to prove it could actually go somewhere before I put money into it for self-hosting.

    • Sounds like you need to interact w/other bloggers a lot more. The interacting is borderline more important than the writing. I spend every other day doing nothing but searching different tags on WordPress reader and following/liking/reading/commenting.

      • It depends on the day to be honest. I have 3 girls that are school-aged, and a 2 yr old boy as well who I stay home with. I would just ask yourself if you feel like you are on the computer too much bc you feel guilty of what ppl might think if they knew/society’s expectations, or if you feel that your motherly instinct is telling you to spend more time with her. If it’s your motherly instincts, I would listen. If there’s any chance that it’s the other thing, do what you need to do. It’s so easy as stay at home mom’s for us to feel guilty for even a small amount of me time. Also, keep in mind that just because you feel like you don’t have a lot of readers, doesn’t mean you should get discouraged. This is a great time to practice better writing and learn about blogging. You’ll have plenty of time to really invest in your blog before you know it. I had to take a full 6 months off from August-February. As soon as I came back, I was ready with all the energy and time I needed to really invest in all aspects of my blog…and that was just last week! Hang in there!

  17. I totally just googled “Blogging blues” and your blog came up as the first result. I clicked through the rest of your writings and I love it. As a writer myself i found myself looking for more and more. As a blogger well the blues come and go. I’m a deal/coupon blogger and it seems we are in a different realm than if I just wrote all posts of my faith/marriage ..instead of the one or two of those posts a month! Anyways the post was inspiring and am now following you on Facebook! Thanks for sharing!

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