How to make blogging work for you

First of all – blogging should not be a chore. Like any endeavour, there will be days where it feels like work, but if it feels worse than doing cheese-baked dishes by hand, all-day-every-day: you need to change something.

I’ve reached a point where blogging has felt like a chore for me. Sometimes it’s about the way I’m blogging, the content, or even the blogs I am following. I wrote about it in this post, where I realised I was restricting myself too much in terms of content. It just wasn’t fun any more. I also reduced guest blogging on my site, as a lot of them became too advertisey, and a strength of my site is its personal touch. So on that note, let’s get started:

Write what’s on your mind.

Um, but do filter, please! I find that one great benefit of blogging is the release / rant / rave kind. Not that I’m saying to make every post a rambling of things you hate this week, but think about a topic, or issue, that’s been on your mind a lot and write about that. For example, this post is about managing blogging, because I’ve been reflecting on the purpose of my blog, the necessity of social media, and who my blog audience is. This is something you guys may be interested in reading about, so I’m pulling it into a blog post.

Define your purpose.

Arguably, this should be step one, but I think it’s more important to enjoy blogging than it is to have a clear, defined purpose (unless it is SOLELY a business blog, in which case I’d suggest hiring someone to blog for you rather than doing it yourself and hating every minute of it).

The purpose is clearly important, but this does not mean it can’t change. At first, blogging was just a tool for accountability, and it’s grown into a community for sharing, and a platform for my writing career.  Right now, the purpose of my blog is to help others by sharing my experiences, and build a platform / personal brand from which to sell my books. I’ve written this with more eloquence on my About Page.

Your purpose will influence what you write about, your style of writing, how and where you share your posts, and the visual elements of your site. Need some help? I’ve written a post here: What’s your brand?

Make an editorial calendar.

When my blog was at it’s most successful point (in terms of views and interactions), I had an editorial calendar. And I stuck to it. And it worked. But I’d restricted myself too much, so it went out the window (or rather, to the depths of my hard-drive, taking up valuable space and slowing down my laptop, never to be seen again).

I do encourage having one, though, and I am in the process of building a new editorial calendar for myself. I’ll write a post about that next week, but for now I suggest keeping it flexible, keeping it clear, writing your targets, and reading this post: Keeping Track of it All. (I just re-read this post. There’s some great stuff in there, if I do say so myself!)

Grow your audience.

A blog without an audience still creates satisfaction, but writing for an audience is a whole ‘nother ball game. It’s not just about growing your audience, though – the readers I appreciate the most are the ones who interact with me, whether that be on one of our blogs, on social media, through email, or even – shock, horror! – in real life.

Knowing there are people who care about what you have written, and maybe even learn something from you, is a blogger’s bread and butter.

There are several ways to grow your audience, but they do rely on having great content. This of course, can mean different things to different people. I stick with the theory that if it’s something that excites you, there’s bound to be other people passionate about it as well.

Beyond great content, there are blog hops (just do a google search), blog link-ups, and the wonderful social media avenues. For more on social media, I wrote a pretty detailed guest post on Joy Findlay’s blog.

12 thoughts on “How to make blogging work for you

  1. I’m in a similar position, Zee, and looking at my blog, considering content and wondering if it still works for me. Time constraints contribute to my current frustrations, and I can see how having an editorial plan, whether you stick rigidly to it
    or not, is an easy and practical approach to adopt. A very helpful post!

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    1. Glad you find it helpful. I don’t think it’s necessary for your blog audience to be your readers, because there is more than one reason to blog as an author. If you’re doing it for yourself, it doesn’t matter obviously, but if you’re writing for other writers it can contribute to setting you up as an expert in the field.

      Your blog does this fantastically. The content and the way you write denonstrates that you know what you’re talking about, and youv r done your research. These go on to indicate that at the very least, your books will be well-written.

      Make an editorial calendar and let me know how it goes. I’m interested in learning what works for different people.

      I’m fortunate in that the lifestyle I have built for myself affords me the luxury of time. Also, writing in the children’s genre means shorter books, so I can be more productive with less time. Of course, children’s books have their own time-sucks, but for the most part I can spend considerable time thinking and planning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just saw your reply, Zee, don’t know how I missed it other than to say whizzing through my emails leaves a lot to be desired.Thank you for your comments on my writing – but nothing is perfect, as I’m learning.
        Are you doing the illustrations for your children’s books ‘cos that must add another interesting dimension to the process.

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        1. Lol all good. I totally understand. No one is *expected* to be perfect. But you are up there with excellent and thorough.

          Yes! Have got an illustrator now. I’m glad I’ve got someone else to do them, but I think thr biggest difference is that print books are more important than when writing for adults.

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  2. Well said Zee. A very timely reminder of some of the things I’ve let slip – which has also resulted in me not enjoying blogging so much. I’ll use this as a guide to help get back on track.

    On a completely separate note, very nice use of typography on your blog BTW.

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    1. Thank you, Jon. When I’m not enjoying something, I take it as a sign that things need to change.

      I am glad you found these ideas helpful. Let me know what changes you make and how they work out for you.

      And thanks! I’m very pleased with the typography and design as well.

      Like

    1. Thanks, Amanda! Getting organised reminds me that I know what I’m doing, and I have a plan. Even if (read: when) that plan changes, it’s a way of knowing I can achieve success.

      Like

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