Hi, friends. So, my first blog post was published in September 2017. I had a rocky start of minimal views, but don’t we all? The blog is flourishing more now. Depending on what they discuss, my posts average 20-40 views, and I passed 100 WordPress followers last week! Thanks so much to those who read consistently.
Below are six lessons I’ve learned in six months of blogging. The first three pertain to improving your blog posts, and the last three relate to being a blogger.
WWIR: What Would I Read?
I like the acronym WWJD, which stands for “What would Jesus do?” When you are racking your brain for content ideas, ask yourself, “What would I read?” Whether you’re interested in books, movies, history, fashion, travelling, cooking, parenting, gardening, home improvement, a healthy lifestyle, Christian living, or something else, think of posts you’d like to read and write them yourself!
KISS: Keep It Short, Stupid!
This acronym usually stands for, “Keep it simple, stupid!” The more straight-forward version for blogging is, “Keep it short, stupid!” I struggle with succinctness, which may seem counter-intuitive…isn’t writing less words easier than writing more? Technically, yes; however, achieving a balance in length where you include the interesting and relevant facts or details without overbearing the reader is difficult.
Perhaps this is obvious, but the reason that shorter is better is because most readers are skimming your posts. They’re more likely to return if you make that easy. Speaking of which…
Vary the Formatting
The further your blog posts are from unflinching walls of text, the better–remember WWIR. Some basic tips are 1. press enter every couple sentences and 2. include a featured image (Pixabay and Unsplash have free images).
Further tips: Before writing a post, see if you can divide the information into sections with headers. After writing the post, go through and bold the most important sentences. Highlighting important sentences could even help you edit out fluff (remember KISS). Bullet or numbered lists are also easy to digest.
Optional extra: embed small images throughout the post by adding an image, resizing it, clicking on it, and selecting one of the four options in the pop-up bar for text wrapping. Hint: add the image on its own line, then use text wrap. Pasting an image in the middle of a paragraph/on a line of text and wrapping it looks fine on a desktop but bad on a cell phone.
To build an audience, you have to get proactive. Use tags in your posts and follow tags. Spend time looking through the posts on your followed tags and seek out interesting blogs. You can also search for key words. Spend less time on your Facebook feed and more on your WordPress feed. Spread the love liberally. Like posts. Comment on the posts that really strike you, even if it’s just, “Great post!” Blogging works like karma–you get what you give.
Appreciate the Little Things
It’s easy to get discouraged because you wish you had more–more views, more likes, more comments, more email subscriptions, more social media followers, etc. Just remember that every like or comment means someone took time to read your post out of everything on the internet.
Now for some tough love: no one feels sorry for you because you don’t have more. Every blogger on the internet wants more, so buck up and make it happen. If you stop dwelling on your stats and focus on reaching out and appreciating any attention you get, your blog will grow.
Don’t Give Up
If you enjoy blogging, be diligent. When the novelty of a new idea (like starting a blog) wears off, self-discipline carries you. A lot of people throw in the towel when they realize they aren’t going viral any time soon. If you’re writing posts that are helping you grow personally or intellectually, and if you’re learning from others while making genuine connections, try not to lose sight of the value in those things during stagnant times.
Sometimes, “uphill battle” seems like an understatement–more like ninety degree angle battle. Some days, I give thirty likes to get one. Some days, I spend thirty minutes looking through tags without finding any blogs that intrigue me. But it’s worth it to reflect on the progress I’ve made in just six months.
Thanks for reading! And thank you for all your likes, comments, and follows!