It’s been a crazy year for the blog. I went self hosted in a motivational attempt to push on with writing and have moved on from studying a degree in a relatively unhappy mental state to studying my dream medical degree. I’ve learnt a lot about myself; I’ve also learnt a lot about how to blog in a method that makes people successful, but importantly I’ve learnt what makes blogging successful for me.
I’ve written a few small lessons and tips that I have discovered through trial and error in the last year that I will take over into this new year as I move into what is going to be a tough but amazing year for myself.
Stop looking at all your stats – I spent a lot of time this year fretting over my stats on both my blog and twitter. It got to a point a few months ago where I was so over the stress of blog stats and twitter followers that I truly considered giving up blogging. It took me a few days to remember why I started blogging in the first place, to express myself and try to inspire others; stats don’t determine that!
I focus on one stat every month and that is my monthly views. I don’t try to get ridiculous numbers and I don’t check it everyday just once a month and my only aim is to be a the month before by one view. Anything more than that is a success. Stats don’t define you, enjoyment defines your blog.
Stop scheduling posts you’ve not written yet! – I am certainly not a blogger that puts posts out on specific days at specific times, it’s why I would never be a successful blogger full time. I prefer to think of my posts as a surprise, who knows when they are going to appear!
I found writing to a schedule completely ruined my love for my blog and the passion disappeared from my posts. Some people totally rock the scheduled posts and frequent twitter content; but my lifestyle doesn’t fit into that and trying to do it was causing my blog harm if anything. I go through multiple posts on twitter assuring other bloggers that if you love scheduling posts but get run down than its okay to take a break! I do it constantly, but when my posts make a surprise appearance I definitely am proud of the content.
Remember who you are – I take a lot of inspiration and creative outlets from other bloggers and my favourite YouTubers. There is nothing wrong with that and as long as you take ideals and not outright plagiarise, most people find it flattering if you reference them in your blog as inspiration. But please remember who you are. Don’t change your blogging style or content to fit what you believe is an ideal blogger. Its not you, and the one thing that will be successful for you and your content is yourself – you are your USP!
Engage and spread the love – As a self proclaimed complete failure when it comes to understanding social media I still understand the value of and make time to engage with other bloggers on social media. Not only is it an easy way of spreading the word of your blog, but I allows you to engage with a really loving blogging community and you get some great advice and opportunities. If you aren’t an active social media user try to take 20 minutes out of your day, on public transport or over your morning coffee to read other bloggers and comment with love on their posts.
Stay away from word counts – When I was trying to get a better understanding of blogging and how to improve the content I offered on my blog, I did a lot of reading about the length and frequency of posts and how if affects engagement. I not only learnt that there Is apparently. A magic number of blog posts per week for peak engagement (3-4) but a recommended word count for each blog post. This information shocked me, mainly because I have hardly ever achieved that count on some posts and due to the fact that writing to a word limit is like writing an essay at uni; it drains all the fun out of writing and stops you wanting to write any posts.
Give every post a message – Whilst you don’t need to preach your beliefs or encourage an uprising in every post; you should make a conscious effort to put a message in every post. Where its direct advice or just something you have learnt from your life (like this post!). Trying to do this gives you a reason for writing a post and ensures they are all meaningful and worth spreading on the internet. I find putting the effort into making this a reality in every post is a great quality control method when I am having a rubbish writing day.
So here are my lessons for 2018 from blogging! I look forward to taking my own advice onboard and seeing the improvement in my post quality. Are there any bloggers out there with some great tips for a successful 2019 blog? Do you have any lessons you have learnt from 2018 that you look forward to 2019? Lessons learnt from 2018 are great, because they allow us to only go up and improve making 2019 the best year yet!