Happy Birthday to My Blog – The after party

My thoughts on keeping up momentum with your blog.

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I wrote here a couple of weeks ago about the one year anniversary and threatened to impart a few thoughts on my year of blogging, so here you go.

My thoughts on keeping up momentum.

A lot of people seem to start out with much gusto and quite quickly falter when they realise that you wont actually get many readers at all when you first press submit.  Hitting the first year was important for me as I read that 90% of bloggers throw the towel in before they reach that point and I was determined to not be one of those.  Apparently 80% of people who hit the first year don’t make it through the second so yes, the chances of success are slim, but then again what do you regard as success?

Whether you write for pleasure or for profit I think it goes without saying, though I am going to say it, that you have to have a degree of tenacity.  You need to love what you are doing and if you do and work on your craft and engage with others then over time you will build up a following.   Perhaps that is the best you can hope for?  You can only control yourself and not others so as brilliant as you may be and as fabulous as your writing is you might just struggle at first.  I think some of my first posts had four or five views at best – and even now when I have 650 or so followers I might still only get 40 or 50 views for a piece if I’m lucky – so you have to be patient and work for the reward.

For me I have always avoided the idea of a follow for a follow.  I will check out most people who follow me in the hope that their work or they themselves are interesting – and if they are I follow – otherwise I move on.  It is not at all personal – I just like my reader feed to be full of things that I can engage in. I know of bloggers who work damned hard at flitting around from blogger to blogger liking and commenting (often with the same comments) to try and get them to follow them in return.  From what I can tell this does not necessarily create an engaged and interested following.  You reap what you sow and I think that type of insincere approach gets the same in return.  You can tell because the blogger will have a complete lack of engagement with their work despite a number of likes.  Comments aren’t everything, and people can comment without reading, but when a piece has 40 likes and no comments at all on a subject that cannot go without comment that makes me wonder.

I might be wrong but I don’t think I am.

So where was I heading with this?  Not absolutely certain but here’s a few bullet points on my thinking if you can’t be arsed to read all of the rest of my thoughts up there:

  • Write regulary.  If I follow you I want to read your stuff.  It will make you a better writer too.
  • Engage and be engaging – people can be more interesting than their work
  • Consider the length of your post.  I’m surprised you got this far.  People have a short attention span.
  • Don’t be afraid to repost earlier posts.  They are probably fab and worth another look.
  • Take joy in what you do.  It shows and it is infectious.
  • Don’t take it personally if no one likes your stuff.  It might be shit, it might be that people don’t get you.  Who cares – you’re creating stuff and that’s awesome
  • Share someone else’s work now and then.  I should do it more and will.  You should too.
  • When you think you can do it anymore or don’t want to then that is precisely when you sit your backside down and do something,  There isn’t enough creativity in the world.

I think that will do for now.  Until next time.

Michael

x

 

 

Photo courtesy of pixabay

 

 

Author: Michael

Husband, dad,programmer, comic collector and proud Yorkshireman. I have no idea why im here or why im writing but i rather enjoy it. no great fan of punctuation;

33 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to My Blog – The after party”

  1. Well said. I look forward to the discussion at the end of year 2.
    I decided at the start to limit the posts I do each week, because my purpose is to write novels, stories, and the blog is a place to warm up the brain (and fingers), and not a place to chase fame. A tool for my use, and under my (limited) control.
    Cheers [that’s a beer I’m holding up].

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good points! Into yr 3 on one, and approach yr 2 on my second blog…. I would agree thousands of following and few likes no comments hmmmmm look odd.
    I know which ones truly follow and enjoy meeting new creative people in my hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every point is valid Michael. I have mentioned before that I was blogging 4 1/2 years with the same 18 or so people when suddenly things took off in November 2017. I am overwhelmed but it is nice to know more people are reading. My blog is on two local newspapers, one with the same title, and another with identical content, but a different title. I never get comments from these posts though – 99% of the time only other WordPress folks. My earliest posts are amazing to look back at now – I thought it was unique to have one long paragraph, a one-word title and occasionally one small photo. So, I’ve come a long way. I know I am too wordy and should combat that … but my longer posts are a narrative matched to the photos, but still … I know people do have a short attention span. Keep creating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A good list of points. Glad you made it through the first year… my first year way hit and miss (more miss than hit) but once I committed to it I did a lot better. You make a good point about the number of followers and likes. The comments are where I feel the “numbers” really matter the most. I hope you have a good list of plans for year two… can’t wait to see and read what you do next! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope so as I want to use it as a resume for when my boss retires. He is 71 and his son just finished law school and is now going for his Masters in Law and that is another year of school, and Robb (my boss) is paying for it so we’ll be in business at least another year. Having not worked on site since early 2009, I would find it difficult to be in an office again and I’m burned out as to office work. I had a gig writing blog posts for a SEO … did that for two years (luckily before I had many followers on the blog, so I had a little more time) … I did 700-word blog posts on various topics for his clients and sent them to him in Word and he posted them on various free sites (Wix or Weebly) he created for his clients. It was okay, didn’t pay much, but good experience in writing. I would look for something like that again if possible. I got that job by using my blog as part of my resume. I won’t be rich doing that, but there are a lot of remote writer jobs out there … some are interesting topics, some not so much. I never told my boss I did this gig but we were very slow during 2014-2016 so it worked out okay. Now we are swamped with work … I would be killing myself with two jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t realise the freelance market was as big as it is I know that a sites out there that you can bid for aren’t there and pick up work and then get paid per word. I think you’d be good at it your meticulous and accurate and your work is very easy to read and enjoyable

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t either Michael and there are sites you can bid on, and some sites, you have to buy tokens to bid on … not interested to do that. I had a pretty good deal wherein I got a list of topics and just wrote the posts on them. I got the assignment of four weeks of posts and completed approximately 8 posts a week. It was all good until he got a girlfriend … then he got behind in assignments. Previously I turn in my assignments and the next day I’d get 32 new posts and a month to do them. Then he’d get behind and I’d get an e-mail with 32 posts and he needed them in two or three weeks. That jammed me up and several times, I’d go out and walk and spend the entire weekend writing posts … ugh. Then it got tedious. He knew I was a legal secretary so he got a client that was a law firm, so I had a slew of posts about legal-related topics … but it was estate planning and divorce law, which I knew nothing about. Sometimes I spent hours researching, writing one post. Then spending more time with the girlfriend, he ran out of topics, so I had to create my own topics. Eventually he lost some clients and the work fizzled out. He originally hired me to write posts for his work clients, then he had a side job, and his own clients and I was writing for them instead. In a way I was relieved it ended as it took up way too much time. There are some jobs out there similar where you just get the assignment and have to churn out “x” number of posts a week, as opposed to posting them right on a site … thank you for the compliment. I think that my posts got longer after I worked for Eugene as I started writing more. I learned everything you could want to know about a daycare center, cosmetic dentistry and what types of paint color and types to use in your home.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I did check on Indeed.com under virtual remote writers … sometimes it appears it is a job that is strictly remote, and you read the whole ad and you have to be there part-time or several times a month. I get a newsletter every Tuesday for “work at home” positions. There are many administrative jobs as well as “content writer” positions. That is what I responded to … “contract writer”. I’ve seen several jobs for small companies writing posts for their blog and website and they vary from health and beauty, to new mothers to essential oils and vitamins. You often are given a topic to write and they judge you on that and whatever prior work you’ve done.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Also … some require you to be hands-on as to posting web content – I’ve not done that. Some do want you to be proficient on a blogging platform (usually WordPress). This one you need to be able to use Photoshop and I’ve not used it. Many use Google document and I’ve not used that platform either. I have to brush up on learning new things after my Robb gig is over … here is a sample job from the “Work at Home” site (wahadventures.com) for a content writer.

    Community Thought Leader, Content Creator – Remote
    LanceBase – San Francisco, CA
    Part-time
    This job posting is no longer available on Indeed.
    Find similar jobs:Community Thought Leader jobs – LanceBase jobs

    Job Overview:

    Are you a freelancer with an inquisitive nature and a creative disposition? Are you naturally curious about people and love chatting? LanceBase.com is seeking a Content Creator to engage fellow members with valuable information, compelling storytelling, and relevant interactive experiences.

    We believe the evolution that began with chat rooms, growing into the dynamic message boards of today, will continue to grow into a future where forums are a global cultural touchstone that cut across age, gender and nationality. If you share our belief, join us.

    Job Description:

    The Content Creator will develop various forms of original forum content aligned with LanceBase thought leadership, culture and free resources. The Content Creator will craft both long and short form forum posts/discussions, tips & tutorials and other forms of interactive content.

    Collaboration with the Admin team will also be critical to ensure all efforts drive the strongest member engagement. This is an excellent role for a digital nomad with a background and interest in freelancing and freelance platforms, who excels at explaining related topics in a message board environment.

    Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

    Generate conversation throughout the forum by developing relevant content.
    Engage with existing members to build trust and cultivate relationships.
    Preferred Qualifications:

    Professional writing and editing skills.
    Speaks English at an advanced level, able to type using proper spelling & grammar.
    1+ years content creation, editorial, or related experience.
    Excellent communication skills.
    Deep familiarity with forums and online communities.
    An intuition for the type of content that engages.
    Ability to take direction from Admins and execute accordingly.
    Entrenched in the world of business, freelance platforms, writing, design, marketing, gig economy, tech, etc.
    High emotional intelligence.
    Love making connections and building long term relationships with fellow freelancers.
    Social media experience a plus.
    Administrative Assistant experience a plus.
    Familiarity with Photoshop or other creative tools a plus.
    Candidates will be considered in totality of their skills and experience vs strict interpretation of “qualifications”.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow I have no idea people would pay for stuff like that for the purposes that it describes full stop maybe one day I could make a few quidd out of doing this if I work hard at it

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I came back to see if you saw this – pretty amazing isn’t it and you write this stuff all the time, and these are often your longer pieces. I’d tuck that name away … too bad you didn’t have time now, or I’d say you should apply for the heck of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Admittedly, it might be difficult now with a full-time job, but down the road, definitely think about it – the different genres where content writers are needed are endless, and, in perusing them from time to time, I often see something I would definitely do, after my “Robb-Job” gig is up. I’d like something that I am not tied into group meetings via conference call, just to create content and if need be, post it on their website/blog site. You have the advantage of computer programming skills as well, if that skill set was needed (and it probably is).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Been doing a bit more reading and looking at that site and stuff and you’re right there’s absolutely tons of stuff can write about I’ve never even considered it as something that would actually earn some money so it’s quite exciting to know that there are options out there if ever I fancy a change of pace

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I subscribe to that site (FreelanceWriting.com) and get an e-mail about once a week. They have more writing jobs as opposed to the one I sent you last night from Work at Home Adventures (wahadventures.com) which are not only writing gigs but customer service and admin jobs as well. These are legitimate jobs too. The writing content I did for Eugene (the SEO) I found on Craigslist under “writing” jobs. It paid via PayPal and I had not used PayPal before and asked if he could mail checks instead. He was okay with it, so we went that route. And, if you publish any limerick book(s), you could use them on your resume, or just link your blog sites. Again, you are lucky because if you need to be skilled in creating a website/blog site, you have that knowledge already. Some of the jobs require more skills than just writing blog content.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. its great to know that there are options and by the look of it plenty of them. I guess I never think of my blog as something that I could ever have on a resume . Actually given some of the stuff I write I might miss it off 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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