The world of blogging is a rather daunting place. There are so many rules. Type in #bloggingtips on Twitter and you are faced with an abundance of ‘How to drive traffic to your blog’ or ‘How to make money blogging’ posts. Posts that I once read and considered to be snippets from some sort of a blogging bible that would make my blog successful. Only the deeper I delve into the blogging world, the more I realise that actually according to these posts, I’m not actually very good at blogging at all.
- Schedule your posts
- Schedule your tweets
- Schedule your Facebook posts
- Schedule your pins
- Schedule time to comment on other blogs
- Schedule time to reply to comments on your blog
- Schedule time to reply to emails
- Schedule your toilet breaks
Well, I can’t say I really schedule anything to be honest. I write posts when I get a chance to write them and I publish them there and then. People will say ‘your readers need to know when new content is uploaded so they know when to visit your site’. My readers are generally parents, so that means a majority of them read my blog when they manage to use the bathroom by themselves without a child stuffing toilet roll down the plughole or emptying a packet of tampons on the floor. I’m pretty sure most of them forget their own name most days, so I don’t think they will remember what day I upload a new blog post. Also I don’t actually know how to schedule a tweet.
Always be active on social media
- Don’t bombard people with Tweets, space them out throughout the day
- Post varied content on Facebook every two hours, i.e. photos, statuses, links
- Post at least one Instagram image a day
- Pin at least 15 times a day
So this is kind of linked to the above point of scheduling. It would be easier to do these things with a bit of planning and scheduling, but my blog isn’t really about my organisation skills. It is about raising happy children and the adventures of parenthood. Sometimes my children are happily playing with their toys and so I tweet like it’s going out of fashion. Sometimes I am excited about a post I have just written and share it a few times within a couple of hours. Sometimes I don’t have anything to say for a couple of days and so I don’t put anything on any social media platform until I do and sometimes I choose to turn my phone off and enjoy family life without technology. I’m a real person, not a robot and so my social media mirrors that.
Get Pinterest savvy
- Make the first photo on your blog post ‘pinable’
- Pin at least 15 times a day
- Join a group board
Firstly, my ‘pins´ look just fine without me messing about with the sizing of them. Fair enough it may be more professional to resize them and make them ‘pinable’ images, but quite honestly I’d rather build train tracks with my son. Secondly, I’m not always attached to my phone, all of these rules are starting to make my laptop and my phone become more and more like a modern day prison. Okay, the last one is something I need to do. I’ll make sure I schedule to join a group board on pinterest during my next solo toilet trip.
- Make a plan of what you want to use your Instagram account for
- Keep with the same style and colour theme as your blog
- Keep track of who you follow and who follows you
- Always reply to comments
My Instagram account is where I post photos of my children, the odd quote and occasionally a link to my blog. I can’t say I have a themed Instagram account, I don’t really have a plan or a branding that coincides with my blog, I have absolutely no idea if I’m following the people that follow me and I sometimes forget to reply to comments. Ah well, at least my children take cute pictures.
Make sure your blog’s images are good.
- Only use high quality images (nothing in the image should be blurred)
- Invest in a ‘good’ camera as iphone cameras just won’t do
I write a parenting blog about a toddler and a newborn. They don’t always sit still and sometimes a blurry image will have to do. If it is okay for my dining room wall, then it is okay for my blog. Also ‘good cameras’ are expensive and so my trusty iphone will have to do.
Perhaps I’m doing this whole blogging thing wrong by not following the rules, but I’m enjoying myself and I’ve got a good balance between spending time with my family and writing about my family. People are engaging with my blog, my following grows every day and my traffic increases every month. So in all honestly, I don’t really think I need to follow the ‘blogging rules’ after all. I’m doing just fine without them.