So it’s been just over a month since I officially decided to begin this blog. I technically had launched it a few weeks before January 14th, but that is the day that I really started to put real effort into it.
I’ve learned quite a few things during this first month, many positive, and a few negative. There have been ups and downs and I definitely am far from having everything figured out, but I truly think that overall, it has been a successful experience.
So, I would like to share a few things that I learned within the first month of Author’s Canvas. Perhaps you’re a new blogger yourself and could use some insight, or maybe you’ve been blogging for years and can remember back to when you first started your blog. Either way, any advice you guys want to throw back at me is always appreciated!
1. Post More Than You Think You Should
I figured this one out pretty quickly when checking the stats page on my blog. While my posts were getting a fair amount of views, I wasn’t getting very much general traffic to my site, and I was not getting a wide variety of viewers. I turned to a few blogging advice posts and realized that my once-every-other day posts were not gonna cut it. I quickly boosted my post count up to about 2-4 posts a day and I also varied the times that I posted at to get a wider variety of viewers. Within a week, I was able to the see the huge difference this has made in how many views my site was getting, and my follower variety also increased.
2. Schedule Your Posts
After you do start posting more, you are going to realize that posting so often gets very time consuming. Let’s be honest, unless you have a ton of free time on your hands, no one really has the time or motivation to be writing, editing, and publishing two or three or four posts a day. In my mind, I wanted to set aside chunks of time to work on my blog and write, and this did not include random half hour segments throughout each day. This is where the Schedule Your Posts tool on WordPress comes in handy. This tool allows you to plan ahead in your posts and schedule them to automatically post on a certain day at a certain time. This method of posting can be convenient if you write a lot on weekends and not during the week, or if you have more time to write on certain days than on others. I would also recommend varying the times in your posts and checking to see when your site is most active on your stats page. Although my blog happened to be most active at 4:00am Central Time, I was able to accommodate this by scheduling the majority of my posts to auto-publish during this time. This way, my pre-written posts will be shared on my blog while I’m still snoozing in bed.
3. Check to See Which Posts Perform the Best
Obviously, you should visit your Stats page often to be up to date with what’s happening on your blog. One of the best tools on this page, in my opinion, is the post performance tool. This shows you how each of your posts has performed, as in, how many likes, comments, views, and shares it received. While eventually you will want to be able to post whatever you want, you should also pay attention to what posts your readers respond to. A huge part of blogging is realizing that you must accommodate to your audience and that the blog is not all about you. This is how you will get a following and get others to like your posts.
This tip is crucial. Make sure that you take enough time (I recommend at least once a day) to check up on the blogs that you follow. Like other bloggers’ posts, share some of them on your own blog, and find new blogs to follow. Commenting on other posts is also a great way to interact, just make sure you are actually reading the other person’s post so that you can write a detailed and post-relevant comment. While it’s nice to see a comment that says “nice post” or “good job,” it’s way better to receive a comment that proves you actually read the post. The benefit of interacting with other people’s blogs and sites is that you gain insight from more experienced bloggers, you advertise your name every time you like, comment, or share, and you let your readers and those you follow know that you are in this for more than just yourself. Blogging is about you, but it’s also about your readers and your blogging community. Plus, it’s fun to see what your fellow bloggers are posting, so don’t forget to check them out!
5. Avoid the Landslide
Oftentimes, your attitude towards blogging will be affected by the feedback you receive. You may have a couple really successful days where several people comment on your post and you gain a ton of followers. However, you may also have a spell of bad days where you feel like no one cares about your blog, and you have very few visitors to your site. The key here is to only let these results affect your mood and not your blogging habits. It’s okay to be bummed for a bit, but you cannot let poor results and a crappy mood interfere with your blogging schedule. If you decide one day that it just isn’t worth it to post, chances are your site’s views will decrease even more, and you will be even less motivated to post the next day. This can start a landslide and horrible writing habits that will get in the way of your blog ever becoming successful. Starting as a new blogger is tough and you can’t give up or things will only get worse.
6. Only Compare For Improvement
One of the easiest ways to feel like a failure is to compare your blog that’s been in existence for just few weeks to someone’s that has been published for years and that has thousands of followers and gets hundreds of comments and likes per post. Comparing can be healthy because it can show you what you are doing wrong, and it can help you improve. However, if you are only comparing to make yourself upset and jealous, then stop. Yes you have a long ways to go, but just because you’re not as far along as someone else does not qualify you as a failure.
Thanks for reading!