We’re about a week into 2018 and I’ve been seeing lots of blogging about blog planning and how to kill it this year. If you’ve read my January focus post for 2018, you’ll know that my focus is about keeping it simple and just being happy. So I thought I’d share with you all about how to ‘blog happy’ in 2018. It’s long so you may want to grab a cuppa, but nothing too groundbreaking. Think of this more as a reminder!
1. Create content that you truly enjoy writing about
I’ve had times in the past where I’ve felt forced to write about a certain topic, or to have my content look a certain way. I realise now, looking back, that these were times when I really did not enjoy blogging. This year why not focus on what you really love and are passionate about. Don’t worry about ‘keeping up with the Jones” or anything like that. Be you.
2. Do not be afraid to step out of the box
Sometimes we have the most creative ideas, but because it’s so different to what everyone else is doing we just let it go. Let’s try not to do that this year. Be bold and take that new approach to the review that thousands have already done, say that you love / dislike the product that is hated / hyped up. It might be that instead of taking pictures in front of random front doors, you take pictures of yourself in the real moment. Be brave.
3. Comparison is the thief of joy
This is one I’ve struggled with a lot over the years. I’ve compared myself to everyone. Whether you’re a blogger or not – I’d always find a way to compare my circumstance with yours. The fact of the matter is that 1) it’s tiring as hell, 2) no one cares, and 3) it’s doing more damage than good to you. Blogging is not a race – I’m not actually sure where the collective destination is if it was. Yes someone or some groups of people appear to be doing better than you (and me!), but that’s their journey. Look to your own journey. Be focused.
4. Read more
I love to read. When I was a lot younger, I’d read a book a week. Now it’s more like a book a month. But reading is something I’m determined to embed into my core routine this year. Reading doesn’t just have to be an 800 page novel. Read more blog posts, websites, news articles, books, magazines – whatever. Reading is key for building your knowledge base and can give you heaps of inspiration for your blog too! Be knowledgeable.
5. Always ask for advice from others
I’ve generally been quite good at asking for help when I need to. I do like to figure things out for myself most of the time, but sometimes that just won’t do. Be open to asking the ‘how-to’s’ and ‘where can I’ questions to those in the know. If you’re not one to ask questions, try to join some Facebook groups that are solely to help bloggers. There are lots out there, you just need to search! Be inquisitive.
6. Show support to other bloggers
Being supportive of others is something I’m very conscious of. I’ve learnt this past year that regardless of how you show support to others, you should always do so without the expectation that you will get the same in return. You can show support by commenting on others posts, videos, Instagram pictures etc. If you know them personally then you could simply send a text through to check on them. However you show support, just make sure it’s genuine. Be supportive.
7. Be consistent but don’t be too stringent when it comes to scheduling
Consistency is key. For me to be truly happy in blogging, I have to actually be blogging. I’m not saying that you should never have a break (please do!). But when you’re back in the mindset to write again, make sure you do so regularly. If having a schedule will help you stick to this, then create one that’s not going to stress you out. I’ve been there to the point of burn out and it’s not a good place to be. Be consistent.
8. Create a mind map of content
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? I think EVERY writer has had this happen to them a few times. To overcome this I try to plan out my content. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not as meticulous as those writers who can plan out each day – definitely not me. I’m more of your list writer. I can write lists all day. But I find that if I don’t think too much about my list, I can then organise it into categories (i.e. topics, months etc). Before long I’ve created some mind maps for me to refer to. I tend to do this until all of my ideas have run out, so every month give or take a week or so. Be a planner.
9. Be willing to share your tips with others
If you weren’t aware – I’m a teacher by profession. I’ve been a teacher for nearly 10 years now, so educating and helping others is something that somewhat comes natural now. I love to write posts that share tips and ideas, as it not only helps others, but it’s also a reference for me in the future! Let’s be honest – these kind of posts are also great for your blog traffic. Be helpful.
10. Take breaks when you need to
In blogging, to be successful (by whatever measure you use), you’ll need to want to work hard. With the rise of blogging as a source of income for some, many want to get in on the action. I’d be lying if I say that I haven’t considered making blogging my ‘job’. However, to do so I know that the hard work needs to be put in. As I mentioned before, I’ve worked so hard that I’ve let myself burnout – but this does no good to anyone. So you really need to have breaks when you know your body needs it. It might be when you start to lose inspiration for writing, or when your stress levels are reaching next level heights. Be smart.
11. Make your content useful, entertaining or informative
Your content is free for you to create however way you want. But also be mindful about what attracts people to your posts. Let your personality shine through and write posts by imagining that you are writing the content you want to see out there. Be relevant.
12. Create friendships within the blogging community
Out of all of the points I’ve mentioned, this is definitely the hardest for me. I’ve had some really negative experiences with bloggers in the past including those that used me for their own gain and those that stop talking to me as they became ‘friends’ with other bigger bloggers. It’s really hurt me and also made me very cautious about the company I keep. Despite the negative experiences I’ve had, I’ve also made some great friends in the community. I don’t have a formula for sifting out the bad apples from the good in this one, but I guess using your intuition is a great place to start. Don’t let the negative stop you though. Be open.
13. Share your posts on social media
This one is quite simple. Don’t expect people to just happen to fall upon your posts. Your post may be the most amazing out there, but if you don’t share your work then it won’t be seen! Be proud.
14. Up your photography skills and try something new
I really try to ensure my pictures look good. I’m getting the hang of flat lays now and props to use. I really want to get into self portrait pictures this year for my blog and Instagram. Pictures can definitely attract people to your blog, so why not make them look great? Be creative.
15. Engage with your readers
It’s very important to reply to those who have taken the time to comment on your blog. In fact, it’s just common courtesy. Also engaging with your readers will give you a sense of accomplishment – in that your work is being recognised and appreciated by others. Be thankful.
16. Share the content of other blogs that you enjoy
Ever heard the term ‘sharing is caring’? Well, I guess another way to show support is by sharing content that really catches your attention. This not only shows the content writer that you’re supportive, but it can also get you noticed by them to. Imagine being able to strike up a friendship with your favourite bloggers! Be generous.
17. Keep your content less staged and more authentic
There’s nothing better than being you. People want to hear you when you write, and not a version of all the other bloggers out there. Also being authentic is something more and more people are looking for. I really believe that the age of the staged, and everything is perfect blogger is dwindling. I know for me I’m much happier when I share my reality with you all than try to put on a sugar coated front. Be authentic.
18. Stay basic and enjoy every moment
I feel that this year, stripping things back and going back to the older days of blogging is really going to bring a lot of satisfaction. It can be like a rat race out there if you let yourself get caught up in it all. You don’t need to have all platforms thriving. Keep it simple and really enjoy your moment on one platform. Juggling too much can sometimes be a hindrance. Although saying this, I see a few bloggers out there who are really thriving with multiple sites and youtube, so it can be done. Just know your own limits. Be simple.
I hope this post has helped you refocus. Blogging happy is actually quite simple, but we just need to remind ourselves to make it a priority in 2018.
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