The month of March marked my second year of learning about blogging. Last year, I wrote about about my first year of blogging, but just when I think I have reached a comfortable place with balancing my blog time, and family, and all other responsibilities, and that my blog is set the way I want, some new opportunity comes, or I learn a better but different way of doing things, or a new social media becomes big, and I have to learn another, sometimes time consuming, way of handling my blog. In February, I switched over to WordPress, on the spur of the moment, without any preparation, and I would not recommend doing it that way. If you decide to switch to wordpress, create a test blog “behind the scenes,” get to know as much as you can about how to use wordpress, read up on switching your feeds, and let your readers know that you’re switching in case there are any bugs.
A few thoughts from my second year of blogging:
- If you switch platforms you will probably lose some followers and pageviews to begin with. It may or not be because of the incorrect way I switched, by not being up and running with my wordpress blog before I redirected my url, but my pageviews have gone down about 2-3000 a day, which for me is significant.
- I try hard not to compare myself to other more successful bloggers, (at least in such a way that I get discouraged). I’ve seen blogs that started around the same time as mine, and have thousands more followers and/or are featured in magazines etc,… and it’s easy to get down in the dumps, but then I started catching information on how many hours some of these bloggers are putting in (some up to 70 hours a week), and I realized at this point in my life with my husband’s job, it’s not necessary, and it’s not what I want, or am willing to do. Set time limits each day on how much time you want to spend on your blog, and make time for other responsibilities and interests; obviously needs are different if you are seriously needing to contribute to your family’s income or if blogging is just a hobby, and also on your children’s ages and school situation. However, we really don’t want regrets when it comes to our families, and unfortunately the “blogging to do” list can go on and on, and suck up all of our time if we’re not careful.
My current blog to do list:
Fix broken links.
Edit some of my old blog photos.
Organize my blog photos.
Delete multiples of pictures.
Fix spacing on older posts.
Fix “the’s” in menu posts from transfer.
Get new profile picture.
Put a subscriber invite at top of posts.
Organize my Pinterest boards.
- I am really trying to work more efficiently, instead of just working more – I don’t take every opportunity that comes, I weigh the benefits against the time it will take.
- If you are short on time, don’t link up to every party coming and going, view your analytics to see which parties are giving you the most hits, and link up to those.
- Choose which size ads and which placements get the most clicks.
- Make your blog user friendly and showcase some of your best posts so they are easy to find. InLinkz makes it easy to create galleries to show off your past posts.
- If I don’t know how to do something, (and don’t want to spend money to pay someone to do it for me) I search the internet to find a tutorial or an answer that helps, or I ask other bloggers, and many are happy to help.
- If you are not getting many comments, check to see if you have word verification on, although I still don’t get tons of comments, hmmmm.
- Save your records of any income and giveaways for tax purposes.
- Learn about blog hosting and compare pros and cons. With my wordpress blog I have GoDaddy as my blog host.
- Think twice about getting too personal with children’s photos and info. It’s just my nature to be more cautious anyway, but I cringe sometimes when I see the intimate details some people share on the internet. I think it’s a good idea to talk over with your husband and family, parameters as to what you will and will not share, to make sure you are in agreement.
- Align what you post about with your life experiences, duties and hobbies. That way your time is doing “double duty,” which means less blog expenses and more efficiency.
- There aren’t many (maybe no) get rich quick schemes. I have seen a slow but steady growth in my blog income, but it is still in the “fun” money stage, and since I don’t have to support my family with it, I can be choosey with what opportunities I choose for my blog. I use Google Adsense and Rivit right now, and an occasional Social Spark post. For my desires, blogging is the perfect part time job because I can choose my hours, work in my pj’s, there are no traveling or clothing expenses, and many times a child is snuggled up beside me.
- As I have time, I research online and in books, to see what is working for other bloggers to make my blog better, more efficient and more competitive. There seems to be new avenues to learn and choose from constantly: Mail Chimp, Instagram, Google +…
- Personally, I think a simple blog style is better, where everything is easy to find, the font type is easy to read, and the text is dark enough to see with the naked eye.
- According to analytics, many visitors are new, not returning, so showcase some of your older popular posts to make it easy for newcomers to see your best work.
- Learn and pay attention to blog etiquette and the legalities of using others’ words and pictures.
- Check out how your blog looks on different media, such as tablets, netbooks and phones.
I have learned a few things this year, but still have much to learn and as fast as things change these days, it is probably a never ending process.
My advice (and I’m speaking to the choir here), is to choose how much time you want to spend each day or week on your blog, and stick to it, so you don’t neglect your family and other responsibilities.
Prioritize your “blog to do list” (Make sure you have a to do list, so you can free your mind from the clutter).
I know I was a bit random with my thoughts, but I hope they can be helpful to you in some way!