Over the years I have been asked a few blog related questions, and I noticed that I have shared my answers all over the place. So to make it easier for new and curious bloggers to find the answers they are looking for in one place, I have created this post.
Blogs will always be relevant in my eyes, they have opened up conversations and opportunities for many who wouldn’t have usually been seen or heard.
If you want to start a blog now, your why has to be strong because you will be tested. It is a very fast and sometimes competitive space, your why will be what keeps you going through those slow and sometimes discouraging times.
How far in advance do you schedule your content?
If you want to grow your blog remaining consistent is key. The best way to stay consistent is to schedule content, have a few posts ready to go up, so that you can focus on writing new content.
I currently have 50+ posts in my drafts and 0 scheduled, Am I stressed? You bet, but I am trying to focus on producing quality content and sometimes that takes time. Especially because of the topics I focus on, sometimes I might not be in the right place to speak on race or mental health.
I like to have at least 2 posts scheduled so that I know I have two weeks to figure out what I want to post next. Sometimes I have more scheduled posts, but it really just depends on what content I want out and what is ready.
Give yourself time to build up a schedule before you start setting yourself unrealistic goals for how many posts you think you should be posting. Start with what you can actually commit to, if it’s once a week or once a month, start with that, there are no rules about how little or often you should post it really depends on what results you want at the end of it and what you can produce.
On average how long does it take you to write a blog post?
I timed myself writing this post, without any editing and adding in any links or pictures it took me just over one hour to write this.
Editing and photography time can be anything between 1 to 2 hours, depending on the length of the post. In total I like to give myself 3-4 hours to fully complete one blog post. This isn’t always done in one day, break everything down: write one day, take photos another day and edit, proof read, publish another day.
How do you stay motivated to keep blogging?
I have spoken briefly about this before and honestly you will be the one to keep you motivated. I would like to say it’s this and it’s that, it might be money if you’re making money or it could be the buzz you get from reaching 100 reads in the first week of posting.
The motivation to keep going is difficult when it’s just you, your thoughts/idea and your keyboard. You won’t always be motivated to write, it just means you need inspiration or a time out. Take 10 minutes from your screen, go for a walk, make a tea, have a dance break or read a book, do whatever you need to do to help your mind rest. A lot of the time the ideas are there you just need time away from everything to allow them creative juices to flow.
What are your tips for new bloggers?
I really want to quote one of my favorite bloggers because knowing and understanding your why is so important!
“If you’re trying to make it successfully as a blogger/creative, you have to keep reminding yourself of the intentions behind why you do it. Otherwise the desire to be heard and feeling like you’re not being recognised can drive you crazy.” – Ashalvesblog
Nobody is expecting you to be 100% sure especially when you’re starting out so my advice is to at least have a strong why (it may change) but start with “why”. It can be hard to deal with the lows as it is, and even more difficult when you add in comparison and self doubt.
What helps you get through writers block?
I have a whole post on writers block on my blog. After spending time trying to fight it, I now give into it. Fighting it makes it worse, especially when you go about things in the wrong way like forcing out content. Creative people shouldn’t force creativity, look for inspiration in a variety of ways but my number one tip is to take a break.
How do you retain and recapture your readers?
This one really got me thinking, I do wonder what it is that I do well enough to keep my readers coming back and satisfied. I had a look at what I do and I think you do need a few things to maintain and regain your readers attention.
First ask your readers what they want to see from you. Make your options really selective so that you know exactly what it is they want. They already know what you can do, so give your readers the option to make suggestions. Ask them what they want more or less of. This is going to help you build a relationship and a good understanding of your readers interests and naturally you will get better at giving them the content you enjoy creating and they enjoy reading.
Secondly, slightly similar to the last point, but more self reflective. Think about the content you’re producing, what about it makes it interesting to read is it your style of writing, your tone, the humour you use or maybe it’s the number of stats and facts you include. If this is what your blog is known and loved for, keep it up. Your readers will come back if your journey is easy to follow.
This is a tricky one, as much as I would honestly love to say that numbers don’t bother me, I would be lying. They don’t bother me as much as it could, I don’t let it get too out if control. I let myself feel whatever it is I need to feel, ask the uncomfortable questions like: “what do you even want more followers for?“, “Do you really care about the numbers?“.
Once I come to terms with my answers I take action, either I am actively going to work on growing my numbers or I am going focus on what I actually care about and see longevity in, which is my content. I try to remind myself of what matters most to me, instead of focusing on what I should or shouldn’t be doing based on what others may say or think.
Is there anything you want to add? Do you have some useful tips and advice for other bloggers? Share them in the comments.