In just under 2 months it’ll be 2 years since I first ever started blogging.
Okay, so that is sort of a lie. I’ve had other blogs before that, but they were ones I was forced to make for school purposes, and had one post before being abandoned forever. I can’t even remember the passwords for them. Heck, I can’t even remember the URL’s (probably a good job, saves me embarrassment). So to rephrase my opening line; In just under 2 months it’ll be 2 years since I first ever started blogging for myself.
It wasn’t over on this blog. It was over on a blog that was purely about my cancer diagnosis and my treatment, which I made when I first got diagnosed (obviously). I haven’t posted on it in AGES. Namely, because since I’m off active treatment there isn’t a great deal to talk about, and I actually include all my cancer stuff on here now (given this blog has a bigger following it makes sense to talk about it on here to spread more awareness, also because everyone who follows me on that blog has or already knew about lymphoma when they followed me). So when my treatment was over, and I realised I wanted to continue writing, I knew it was time to move on to something bigger. And here we are.
My productivity on this blog has had it’s highs and lows. Last summer I didn’t blog at all par 2 blog posts. I was awful. But since this Christmas just gone, my productivity on this blog has been at an all time high. I’ve been posting as regularly as I can, my photography has been improving, my writing has been improving, my following has grown. Everything’s been going really well.
But, just like everything, there is room for improvement. So here are 7 things I want to start doing in order to become a ‘better blogger’, so to speak.
1) Reply to comments.
I feel like this is such an important thing to do when you blog, but I’ve been slacking at it recently. They’ve taken time out of their day to write a comment on my posts, the least they deserve is for me to respond to them. If I don’t, then it’s just a pointless, one way conversation for them. Then they’ll probably never bother to comment again, because what’s the point and I loose engagement, which is so important right now. Actually this applies to Instagram and all other social media as well. Even if I just like a comment on Instagram, whoever posted it will know it’s been acknowledged.
If you’re reading this right now, and you’ve ever commented on one of my posts… Just know I am determined to get back to you, no matter how long it takes me to get there!
2) Comment on other blogger’s posts.
This is something I try my best to do, but have been seriously lacking in these past couple of weeks. I always read posts, but then always forget to comment on them. Commenting on other blogger’s posts not only helps you get your own blog out there and hopefully get some views, but it also gives your fellow blogger a helping hand in terms of engagement, too. Because if bloggers aren’t going to help each other out, then who is?
3) Schedule posts, tweets, and status updates in advance.
Okay, so I’m actually a third of the way there with this one. I have at least 2 posts in the queue at any one time, and have one scheduled to publish every Tuesday (it’s my day off so I have more time to make sure everything is promoted).
But I need to become more organised when it comes to promotion. Sometimes I go days without so much as tweeting about my blog, because I’m simply too busy to do so. Same with Instagram and Facebook, really. So the next logical step is to start scheduling some tweets, Instagram posts, and status updates for those days where I may be too busy to post in real time. There’s so many apps that allow you to do this, so it’ll probably take some trial and error before I find one that’s right for me.
4) Pay more attention to my stats.
A large following is nice, but it’s not the be all and end all for me. Don’t get me wrong, success would be nice, but even if I never become successful with this I’d probably continue to write because I love talking complete and utter bollocks to anyone who will listen.
So when I mean paying attention to my stats, I mean paying attention to what kind of bollocks you prefer me to talk about. What posts did well, what posts didn’t do as well. What do you want to see more of. While I blog for myself, I am also blogging for you. So if I can create more of the content that you guys want to see, then I should do that.
5) Add more photos in my “photo bank”.
Like my posts, I try to make sure I always have a few photos in my little “photo bank” for whenever I need to post something to Instagram, or need a generic blog photo, but don’t have the time to take anything. Usually these are just generic flatlays of whatever I can find laying around, or just random photos of whatever I’m watching that day (see this blog’s photo of me holding a Sherlock DVD, which I took because I was watching Sherlock and have liked the shot ever since.)
My photo bank has been used quite a fair bit now since I’ve been back at college. Mainly because on those days I don’t get back home until its dark, so quite literally can’t take any photos because the lighting isn’t good enough. It’s getting quite low now, so I need to spend at least one of my days off trying to take some good photos to replenish the bank again.
6) Join in Twitter chats more often.
I was getting good at this one, and then I started slacking again. Joining in Twitter chats, involving myself in the discussions, and then sharing my blog at the end of them has actually done wonders for my blog stats. Actually I think it’s grown my following more than any other thing has so far. So I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Not to mention they are bloody fun. It’s great being able to chat with like minded people on any given subject. Literally, the subjects can be about anything. More often than not they are about blogging topics, but sometimes they are just about random things.
Of course there are so many Twitter chats out there, no one is going to have the time to participate in all of them, all of the time. But even just participating in one helps loads. The blogging saint that is John created a blogger chat schedule a while ago, with a large proportion of the blogger chats available going up there, which helps loads as I can see which ones I’d be able to participate in each week.
7) Make better use of Pintrest.
I’ve heard on so many blog posts that Pintrest is another thing that does wonders for your traffic so my next step is trying to sort that out. While I’ve started, I’m not entirely sure I’ve got the hang of it yet, as I’m still not getting any traffic from there. But it hasn’t even been a week yet, and these things do take time. Or maybe it’ll be like Bloglovin’ where it only works for the select few. Who knows?
Have you got any other tips to become a better blogger? Let me know in the comments!