Become a Blogger in 5 minutes!
This post took me about 5 minutes to read (and 2 weeks to write, lol), hence the title. I need to take out time to appreciate bloggers out there. They work really hard to ensure they provide the best quality for their readers , spend a lot of time getting posts together and usually don't go to bed until they know they got it right, only then, do they permit themselves to plop down on their with a smile on their faces because they know they have made someone's day. So, here's to bloggers out there!
I have been blogging for about one year now, actually 11 months. I seem to have fallen in love with it. From sourcing for a creative urge to sitting down in my space to build and design; watching responses and blog statistics; finding ways to be better; encouraging new and fellow bloggers; posting; interacting with all my great readers; giggling with people who send me private messages. I love it all and i'd be crazy not to encourage others to blog. Some people say it's therapeutic- the writing bit. I don't know about that, maybe, but I do know it's fun and challenging! Here are a few things i have learnt over the last 11 months both first-hand and second-hand, which have helped me on this super-exciting journey. Enjoy!
Set your vision and goals
A question i had to answer at some point on this journey was; what do you hope to achieve from blogging? My honest answer was and still is to provide a space where we all can be life/relationship hackers, unfazed by life's curve balls, which it throws at us all the time. Pagesbyike was created on that vision and serves as resource that draws from science, God, experiences and real people to provide its community with hacks! Understand what your vision is and run with it. Set goals to achieve this vision, then plan.....
Map out a blog plan
Something bloggers might struggle with is the consistency of putting up posts. We have other responsibilities that require our attention, of course and your readers completely understand....not! Lol! If they love what you write, they probably want it everyday, every hour even! Drawing up a blog plan to work with and setting deadlines, makes blogging much more tangible and manageable. I have learnt to always plan ahead, 3 months ahead. Having an idea of what you'd like to blog about ahead of time, takes out the initial nerve wreaking frazzle of the "What do i post?!!!" situation.
Choose your subject matter
Write what you know but also test the waters. There's so much stuff to write on. Choose something that you are absolutely passionate about, not merely just interested in. I am super-passionate about making better life decisions and continuous self-improvement but i am interested in food recipes. I would gladly read food recipes off another blogger but i might not last a week blogging about recipes. Know you passions and differentiate them from your interests.
Don't be obsessed with statistics
O, the statistics!! I remember my first month writing, i think I was my only reader, lol and of course Ed. I'd check the blog metrics and there'd be only two counts for visitors. Needless to say, it was quite discouraging but Ed would always say "Just write", I don't think there's anything more inspiring than those two words. It outweighs all the technicality and stats and helps to focus on the right thing; passion.
Know your audience
It's helpful to know the demographics of your target audience. Some blogging platforms provide the geographical locations of your readers (blogger, squarespace). Blogger provides a very comprehensive geo-location analysis of your audience. When we were on blogger, sometimes, i'd see readers in Russia, Senegal or Alaska! It was terribly exciting and it helped me understand that i had to be more dynamic with my writing. Knowing your audience helps you tailor your posts to their needs and interests.
Help me tailor yours, send me a message here!
Respond to all comments
From my statistics, i can tell you that less than 10% of readers comment. If some readers from that very small percentage choose to comment, honor their comments with a response. Also, as a blogger, make it a habit to comment on other blogs. My friend says its like a sowing a seed, it will eventually come back to you too. Another reason is that your comment encourages those bloggers and it may also direct traffic to your blog if you leave an interesting comment.
Do give aways!
Giveaways are a great way to engage your audience. True, there may be people who just stop by for the freebies but hey, haven't we all. No judgement. My first giveaway is coming up soon! Watch out for that...christmas might be coming a little early this year!
Thank you, to all those who comment ever so frequently!
What is your favorite blog? Are you thinking about starting a blog? Are you a new blogger? What are your main challenges? How long did it take you to read this post?