I published my first blog post almost exactly a year ago, to the day. And as I blow a single candle on a tiny cupcake 23 posts and 176 page views later, it’s fair to say blogging has not been quite what I expected. But somehow, it hasn’t put me off. Maybe it’s because finally, I get to write again (albeit in English rather than in French). Maybe it’s because having to find content has pushed me to cook more new stuff, and I really enjoy that. Maybe it’s because I’m just too stubborn to admit defeat.
Either way, here is what I’ve understood and picked up over the past 12 months:
1. Blogging takes time: finding/doing things to write about, taking pictures, sometimes even doing a bit of research… Just like going to the gym, you have to really commit to it and make time for it. Otherwise, it will quickly slip to the bottom of your priority list (when blogging becomes less urgent than sorting out your spare buttons tin, it’s definitely time to re-evaluate. I mean, sorting out your spare buttons tin has made it on your priority list???)
2. Have an agenda. From your writing style to the content, it is worth thinking about what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Of course, things will fall into place as you get going and people react to your posts, but without some kind of overarching idea, your blog can quickly become as messy as a 13-year-old teenage girl’s bedroom.
3. Planning, planning, planning. There’s a lot of spontaneous stuff that will happen in your life and if you’re lucky, it might even be worth blogging about there and then. But for those times when nothing significant has happened, or you haven’t got the time or the energy, having a handful of prepared posts means you can still keep your audience entertained. You can also write in advance of an event, say for your blog’s first anniversary for instance (yes, this post was actually written 10 days ago, and yes, despite that planning I managed to miss the actual date!).
4. Be professional. Of course, blogging should be fun. But fun doesn’t have to come with typos and grammar mistakes. It’s also important to stay professional when interacting with the readers or when commenting on other people’s blogs. Respond to comments, be polite, it all contributes to the image of your blog and whether it will make people want to come back!
5. Share! There are many channels to promote your blog these days, from Twitter to Google + to Facebook etc. And bear in mind that the internet is a big place so you are likely to find like-minded people. Visit their blogs and engage with them, participate in writing or photo challenges… It will stretch you and help you make your blog noticed.
Now I’ve talked the talk, am I actually going to walk the walk? See you here in another 12 months!