The One & Only Thing to Do To Improve Your Blog ~ Sweet Blogging for Real Girls
Mon 24th, Oct, 2011
G’day from a lovely warm, sunny laundry day on the beaches…
Another Sweet Blogging post for ya! I’ve been mulling this over pretty much all weekend since Twitter (I have been badly bitten by the Twitter bug, find me here) and some of the blogs I frequent in the bath were alive with blogging advice at the end of last week.
I am always surprised about how much I enjoy blogging about blogging…and from the feedback I get it seems you like it too…in fact I can’t actually believe that my first ecourse (another one in the pipeline) was about blogging…it just sorta happened that way…I think I talk about blogging because I find that what happened to me in blogging wasn’t typical of what the professional blogging sites tell you…for me it sorta worked a different way and it weaved its way into mine and this cottage’s life….I think of it as Real Girl’s blogging…
I am telling you though, I have read a whole lot on blogging in the last few years…some ridiculous advice that was oh-so-very inappropriate for a blogger trying to settle into a new country, an old cottage and with a busy life/home/kids and I think this is one of the reasons I think I like to give it my perspective, not from someone running it as an empire…
some of the blogging advice I read though I know now was absolutely one hundred percent spot on…and one of them was this….you hear over and over and over and over again, ’til you are about blue in the face is content, content, content.
In case that might not have been clear to you.
Content is King.
Or in this case Queen.
And the best thing I did in my own blogging journey, is throw most of the blogging advice out of the window and focus on my content – I removed myself from those ‘How Popular Are You, I Am More Popular Than You’ Ranking Sites, I stopped checking my stats, I stopped wondering about anyone else and continued to as I had started and to do this for the one person and the one thing that it turns out mattered the most.
That person turned out to be me and guess what? The content was what followed.
I decided to start running my own blogging race, to beat to my own blogging drum, to take it as it came and see what happened…
There were three simple reasons for this…
1. time and how much/how little I had of it
2. I wanted to focus on what I was passionate about rather than thinking about stats
3. I was *very turned off by the get more advertisers/get more sponsorships/ get more networks type advice & decided that this blog would continue just because of me…
Yeah, yeah, yeah…content, shcontent…
What the heck is that anyway…? Where exactly do I find that? Can I download somewhere in the depths of this place they call the internet a magic little pill to give me it?
Well, here’s what I think below, The One and Only Thing a Real Girl Can Do To Improve Her Blog ….coming to you from the place of me that is oh-so-very much a blog reader combined with sitting down to blog my own stuff every week…although I am a blogger, my place in the blogosphere, as I have written before, is very much about being a blog reader…
I have come to think of great content as a combination of these things that follow (and please remember we are not talking a blog career here that will mean you can pay off your mortgage and buy a boat, though purlease I hope these things come for you (or me for that matter)….no these are things I have learnt as a Real Girl Blogging fitting this medium into my life as a mum, wife, fixing up this old cottage and having a real life…
Sweet Blogging for Real Girls What Does Great Content Actually Mean Anyway?
1. Content = Consistency
Whether you post three or four times a day, or once a week, get in a rhythm with it…so you post 3 times a day, guess what, your readers expect it and will check back in with you, happy for the latest update…. maybe that’s not for you, you have a lot to say but it takes you a bit of time to fit it all together and you blog once a week in one big hit…fine…just make sure you stick to it…and when they take the time to arrive at your blog, you are there!
As a blog reader (and a blog writer) I am a creature of habit…my posts go out generally at the same time, and I get to know when my fave blogs will post…and I like that…and your readers will too…though throwing in the odd surprise post on a Sunday arvo always goes down well too…
2. Content = Your Blog Voice
I wrote a whole load about this in my ecourse Sweet Blogging..in my opinion this is crucial to blogging, and you won’t find many, perhaps any big successful blogs who don’t have a very very unique voice.
I get emails from the gals on my course all the time about this…how they suddenly had a lightbulb moment when they started using their own voice rather than trying to be someone else….how when they just wrote about what floated their boat, almost miraculously comments appeared on their posts…all of a sudden, writing as them followers started hitting follow and as they posted more things in their own voice amazingly not only did they get commenters and followers, crikey those people kept coming back!
bottom line on Real Girls Blogging?
use that one unique thing that you have over every other of the bloggers out there…YOU!
Finding my voice was never really an issue, and I think a lot of that was because I used my blog as a log and a place for me to be a bit of me in the early days, but here’s what I notice about the blogs that I read..
Blog like you speak…what do you talk about with your BFF over coffee in the morning? What do you ramble on about on the phone to your friend in England while you are in the bath? What do you gossip about after a week at work in the wine bar…the latest tablecloth in your fave home shop, your kiddos education, that nail polish you bought and just lurve, your new IKEA mirror?? love it, blog it
Use Your Blog Voice to Just Blog You!…make ‘em laugh, tell ‘em what you do to make it through the day, make ‘em cry, get them to think, inspire them to go out thrifting, nudge them to get a paintbrush in their hand (these are my connections in my voice…but what are yours…do you LOVE a particular popular tv show and its characters? blog it, do you adore crochet, blog it, do you know every single thing you could ever know about baking…share it)
Your Readers Want You – this is one of the main things I have learnt as a blog reader versus a blog writer that I have incorporated into my blog…as a blog reader, I have been following some of the girls for a long time now….I feel like I know them, they are in a strange way part of me now, I think of these girls as my friends, Mr BC even knows about them, I actually think I have a friend in Portland, event though I ain’t ever stepped foot in Portland…and I know through my Facebook journey that girls from all parts of the world think that about lil’ old me….but what I have learnt is, I want more, not in a stalker way, just in an interested/friend/wow I am happy to know you kinda way…know what I mean? Even on the business blogs, personal posts with some insight to the writer are normally pretty well received…sure I love reading about my fave bloggers new sofa and her amazing DIY skills, but what I also love is the little things about her life…how she found a fab new nail polish at the supermarket, what she wears to work, how she budgets in real life…
3. Content = Your Own Ideas - this is tricky, but I think it’s key to blogging success…readers know what’s going on in the blogosphere and if you hop on the bandwagon of the latest I Made a Vintage Bus Scroll posts you won’t make much impact…but you decide, with a passion, to paint one of your bedroom walls bright pink and it looks hot hot hot baby and you blog it, you will be building quality content that is your own. The best thing I have found for coming up with content ideas is to just go with what I am doing anyway and am naturally interested in…that’s has most definitely worked for me….so have a go and find yours….
4. Content = Themes / Niche – once you are big you can blog about a paper bag and someone will comment, before that your content needs a niche. Your niche will, hopefully, be what makes you get up every morning, the hobby you love, the fashion you adore, being a new mummy, the DIY projects you get stuck into…find your niche, throw in some of the real you and you are on your way….
But most of all content will be there if you
love your blog!
So that’s my Real Girls ideas on what content actually is…it’s not this magic secret thing, written in the most perfect way, alongside photos taken by a professional…it’s about you, your voice and what you’ve got to tell the world.
I hope that might help, that’s what I have done and it’s kinda worked….
Cheers for now lovelies, I am going to buy a front door today, woot woot….yes that is how exciting my life is, that is MY blog voice, I am dancing around this old cottage because of a door…and you thought your life was boring and you had nothing to blog about…
Adios from the beaches
my tips for great blog design, featuring an exclusive interview with the lovely Darcy from Graphically Designing,