Blogging

Recently I’ve had a couple of people ask me about blogging. I find this hilarious as I am a learner myself. But here’s what I’ve garnered so far.

This will only be relevant to WordPress blogs as it’s all I have experience of.

I’m assuming you’ve already chosen a blog name, a layout and decided what it is you wish to write about. My blog is a complete mish mash of things – like my life! But I do know that if you stick with a specific theme you will get more readers. If that’s important to you, nail that down and make it clear in your picture and blog description.

Have the personal touch. People want to know about you otherwise they wouldn’t have followed. Also a good idea to write a statement in the ‘About’ section. Respond to comments. If people have taken the time to comment on a post it’s only polite to acknowledge it, even if this is just by hitting the like button. Nobody likes an aloof know-it-all.

The most important thing is to only write for yourself. When I started my blog I was terrified at the thought of people reading it… but then what if no one read it?? Ultimately it’s out of your hands. Just write what you like. Also if you find yourself editing your writing for a certain reader (like your mum or great auntie Ethel) then it defeats the point. Your blog should be your space. There’s a reason so many of them are anonymous.

The numbers game isn’t all it appears to be anyway. WordPress lists “followers” above your blog when people search it. Mine currently says I have 32 followers. What it should say is that I have 32 WordPress followers. That’s people who have registered with WordPress and most likely blog themselves. That figure does not include people who subscribed by email or people that regularly read via social media.

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Don’t worry about the likes. As I recommend that you shouldn’t look at follower numbers for validation I would also say the same for ‘likes’. Before I joined WordPress I followed a couple of blogs. I subscribed to them by email and would read and enjoy their posts a great deal. I never once clicked on the link to visit the website with the express purpose of liking a post. I felt the very fact I’d subscribed by email was a clear sign that I really liked the blog. That’s what people do. Also on my WordPress account, which is the basic free package, you have to be registered with WordPress to click the like button anyway. That’s a narrow section of my current readers. I click the like button a lot more now as I appreciate the effort people put into their blogs but let’s be honest, that’s because I’m on WordPress and it’s easy.

Use social media. Linking your blog to your Facebook or Twitter account is very easy and spreads your blog to a far reaching audience. Make sure you use hashtags to reach people outside of your registered Twitter/FB followers. I would say 95% of interaction regarding my blog is through Twitter. People tweet and message me all the time. Sometimes to say they like it, sometimes to express criticism. It’s all good.

Check out the stats. OK, so I’ve told you not to worry about the follower numbers or the likes… this is because there’s a much more effective way of seeing how many people are reading your blog and how popular certain posts/themes are. And that’s the Stats page. Only the writer of the blog can view the blog stats. This can be addictive! Not only does it tell you how many views you’ve had that day/week/month/year but also which posts they read and which country they’re from. The country bit is easily what I get most excited about. “Ooooh somebody in Trinidad & Tobago read my post!”.

Nov – Dec 2015

Jan – present 2016

The stats page will tell you all sorts of handy information as well as your most popular day and hour. However, these stats don’t include the people who have subscribed by email as it’s based on website visits.

Download the WordPress app. I regularly use the app to write and edit my site. I’m forever spotting typos or spelling errors that need adjusting and its’s super easy to do on your phone. It’s also free.

Don’t be self critical. Life is too short to beat yourself up about a blog. I follow blogs where the writing is infinitely superior to mine. I don’t sweat it. The most important thing is to enjoy it! That’s it! Those are my wise words of wisdom, I have no further knowledge to impart… give me a break, I’m new to this!

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