50 posts, 100 followers, 500 likes : My journey.
I reached the milestone of 500 likes on my blog about a week ago. This was really exciting for a relatively new blogger like me; unbelievable that so many people liked my writing and my comments. You can see my thank you post here.
This was followed in a few days by another milestone : 50 posts. Yet another was around the corner, 100 followers. Blogging wise, the month of November has been really lucky for me.
These little milestones may seem inconsequential to non-bloggers or to veteran bloggers with many such under their belts. For new bloggers, these markers are just as important as a baby’s first steps.
Instead of just writing a thank you to the kind people who have followed my blog and just giving myself a pat on the back for writing 50 posts, I am going to do something different. I am going to try and list the things I did, the things I didn’t do (and the ones I should have done) to get this far.
Define Your Goals
When I started blogging, my only goal was writing, and getting my work out there for others to see. I did not really have any particular goals.
I soon realized that writing or “creating content” (the currently fashionable term for writing) is only 20% of successful blogging. The liking, commenting and following that make up the social interaction of blogging are responsible for 80% of your results.
I was too naïve to set any clear goals for myself so my blog grew very slowly. My suggestion is to divide your blogging time into different chunks for writing and for reading and interacting with other bloggers.
Set goals of where you want your blog to be in ‘X” number of weeks/months. Believe me, if you try, it will happen. Don’t be clueless like I was.
Get A Blogging Buddy
The term “blogging buddy” was coined by my friend Sadje (you can check out her blog Keep It Alive, here). After my mother, she is my most loyal reader. But unlike my mother, she is very tech savvy.
She made a WordPress account just to comment on my posts. Two months ago, she started her own blog and now there is no looking back. She is a prolific blogger now with far more posts, likes, comments and follows than I.
It was my lucky day when Sadje decided to blog. She pushes me forward and pulls me up regularly. Some mornings she will call me and tell me to write a word prompt. On other days she will tell me to drop my link at such and such site.
I would have been happy to type out a post a week (and no posts some weeks) if it hadn’t been for Sadje. She insisted that I DO MORE i.e. post more frequently even if it meant writing pieces far shorter than I usually like to.
These milestones that I have achieved this month can be credited to my Blogging Buddy , Sadje, who gave ME that title. You can read that post here. I would ultimately have reached them otherwise too, only much later.
Guys! find yourselves a blogging buddy. If none of the friends around you fit that description, find one in the blogosphere.
Be Prepared For Work
Blogging is not easy; if you have been at it for any length of time you must know this by now. If, however, you have yet to take the plunge, be prepared for a considerable amount of labour.
A blog is a lot like a pet. When you first get a cat or dog, you fantasize about the fun you will have with it. When you discover that it has to be fed, washed and its litter box cleaned out, you realize what you have let yourself in for.
Blogs need regular attention too; otherwise they can starve to death or waste away. Be prepared for regular and consistent effort if you want your blog to grow.
Invest Time (& Money?)
Successful blogging requires a considerable investment of time. For people to read, like and comment on your blog you have to spend time on content creation as well as promotion. The more time you give your blog, the better it gets. This I can tell you from personal experience.
If you are not sure that your daily or weekly routine allows for a chunk of time for a blog, don’t begin yet. For busy people who want to blog, I suggest writing and saving some blog posts. When you actually launch your blog, do it in vacation time or during a less busy time of the year.
Many people will tell you to invest money in your blog. Their logic is that you have to spend money to earn money. In my opinion the only things you should definitely spend money on are domain name and self-hosting. I feel that investment of time and energy is far more important.
Be Active On Social Media
It is said that, “If you build it, they will come.” This definitely does not apply to blogging. “They” (your readers) won’t come unless you promote your blog and the best way of blog promotion is social media.
I never had much time for social media. Although I like to stay in touch with friends via WhatsApp, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all the rest were alien territory until I launched my blog.
Several months into blogging, I realized that no one was reading what I wrote. Granted, a few bloggers did very kindly follow my fledgling blog. You can read about them here. For the most part, I got very little traffic. I soon realized my problem: no social media presence!
I made a Twitter account and followed several people including some bloggers’ groups. Although my traffic did not go through the roof, it picked up considerably.
The bigger social media presence you have the more traffic your blog will receive.
I do not pretend to know a lot about blogging since I have been at it only for about ten months. In this post I have tried to put down all the things I did wrong as well as all the things I didn’t do at all. I hope bloggers who are just setting out find it useful.
Please remember to like, comment, follow and share.
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