12th June 2016.
The day I first published a post on this blog.
I’ve had many blogs over the years but this one is the first one that’s stuck. I mean, it’s changed so much since I first started but at least I haven’t completely deleted it like all my previous blogs! I’ve lost count of how many blogs I’ve deleted but I think it must be over 10 so this really is a step forward for me!
So technically, the whole blog changed. The name, the host, the design although the blog posts transferred. If you really feel like seeing how / if my blog posts have progressed, my first post is HERE.
Anyway, that means that it’s now been over one year of me blogging consistently. What!!? I never expected to actually stick to it but it looks like I’m here to stay and I’m really enjoying it especially in the last few months. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months brings.
Today I wanted to share a few things I’ve discovered in my first year of constant (ish) blogging. I know it’s quite a generic post but I’m hoping my points will be a bit more unusual!
It’s certainly the case for me.
I can’t help comparing myself to people who started their blogs at the same time as me or more recently and I’ve watched as their follower count has flown up while mine has moved slower than a centipede with 50 legs.
It’s something that does get me down but I’ve realised there are some people who naturally have the right style of writing for their audience to want to read and there are some people who have had spotless photography from day 1.
I’m not anything like that and blogging has been a developing journey for me. It’s fun looking back on how I’ve progressed in the last year and I know I still have so far to go.
There are 2 types of blogging.
One is a more personal orientated style of blogging and the other is more audience orientated. I’m trying to turn my blog into a mix of the two over the next few weeks.
The personal orientated blogs tend to be more online diaries and a space to think openly for the author. In my opinion, each post is a lot more raw and less time is spent editing every single word of the post and more time is put into the actual meaning behind the words. Audience orientated blogs are written to be read and the posts are designed with the audience in mind. Photos, layout and subject are key. The posts are designed to make the audience learn something or to help them.
I’m not saying either one is better than the other or anything like that, but it’s really interested me to see how each blogger approaches blogging.
You may have the ideas but not the time.
I started out 2017 with the plan to blog every 3 days, it worked for a bit, then I took a break, then it worked for a bit, then I took a break and so on.
It just wasn’t maintainable. I had enough ideas for each post but not the time to write them. I found it very frustrating and decided that blogging every 3 days just isn’t manageable for me.
Yes, I could prioritize blogging a bit more over other things but this year, those ‘other things’ have been GCSE revision so that’s not really a good idea!
Hence the lack of posts in the last few weeks… I think I’ve sorted out a more manageable schedule for when I get back to school in September so hopefully, I won’t end up taking so many big blogging breaks!!
Visuals do mean a lot to the reader.
When I first started out, I thought that it was the words that mattered most in a blog post and obviously they do matter but if the post doesn’t look appealing or is just big blocks of text, they won’t read it.
It needs to be appealing.
Writing is something I really enjoy but design is a part that I struggle a lot more with and wasn’t something I thought would be a part of blogging when I started up.
I really do want to improve my ‘look’ because nothing is more satisfying than a blog with perfectly put together layout, design and photos.
A Niche isn’t necessary but it helps depending what your goal is.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I don’t have a niche at all, I write about whatever I want. When I google things like ‘How to improve at Blogging’ (and yes, I google that a lot!), one reoccurring tip I see is, ‘Have a niche’.
For me, I can’t think of a specific niche that I wanted to write about so I decided I’d have a go at everything and decide later. I think that’s the best decision for me as I realised you don’t need a niche.
If you want to grow big or get lots of repeat visitors, it helps if you have a specific topic to base your blog around as you attract the people who are interested in that topic but, for me, I think I’d lose interest in writing about the same sort of thing every week.
So, yes, if your aim is to grow a big following quickly and become a big blog, I think that a niche helps but if you’re just doing it for the fun of it, you do you!
I started out just making stuff up as you go along with my blog but I can’t help thinking how much more successful this blog would be if I’d read all the info I could get my hands on before hand but to be honest, since starting blogging last year, my focus has completely shifted from ‘MUST BE A BIG BLOGGER’ to Actually, this blogging thing’s quite fun’.
To be honest, it had never occurred to me that bloggers would share their tips because I had expected it to be a much more competitive community than it is. I never expected people to help each other and it warms my heart to see everyone being so supportive of each other.
My biggest tip to a new blogger is, make the most of the information available and use it!
So here we have it. I have officially been blogging for one year and while I might have summed up some of my biggest lessons here, I have learnt so much.
I’d like to take the opportunity to tell anyone reading this, even if it’s the first time you’ve come across my blog, thank you. I have enjoyed it so much and I promise I have some great things up my sleeves for the next few months, please stick around!
Happy 1st Birthday Life in Kateish!