1) Once you have the design down and before you open up your first draft post, you will need IDEAS. I’ve currently posted almost 960 posts here over the past four almost five-ish years and I am completely astounded that I haven’t really run out of ideas of things to write about. Depending on what you blog is about (style/fitness/lifestyle/parenting/food/etc), you will want to do some research into what is new and happening in that niche. Read magazines and other blogs, stay current and keep your eyes open, always. My blog is mostly a style related blog, but I also write about parenting and life as well, because I don’t like to write just style related posts. I find ideas everywhere! Usually I am reading something or having a conversation and an idea will pop into my head, so I write it down. I have a notebook that I write down these ideas in, and when I sit down to write a post I look to see which one pops out at me the most and inspires me to write.
I’d like to think of myself as a writer, first and foremost, that happens to have a blog that features style and trends as well. I love coming up with ideas and writing about things that inspire me. I tend to write my posts a bit at a time, editing them and adding to them throughout the week before I publish them. Every once in awhile I write them as the idea strikes me, but sometimes I write frantically late at night as the idea strikes me. I try to write from the heart and share things that are important to me, and I think will be important to you.
2) Once you have you notebook full of ideas, you will need to write those posts! I post five days a week, and I schedule them to go live at midnight, and pre-write a lot of them over the week. I rarely write more than a couple of days ahead. I prefer non centered text that is clean and neat looking. No weird fonts, please! I write and edit them as the days go by, check for errors a zillion times while previewing it, and then schedule them to be posted on the day I want it to go live. Write from your heart, and I suggest writing as if you only will read it. If I think too much about how others are reading my personal thought I get freaked out! I write for me and over the years I have trusted my gut instinct on what to publish and what not to publish. I don’t usually swear in my posts or write things that would be too offensive, but I also read blogs that do all this and I enjoy it a lot. It is up to you! Remember, your first posts will never be amazing (mine were HORRIBLE!), but keep writing, it will come.
More on Creating Quality Content
3) Funny enough, more than the writing in a post, the pictures you add make all the difference. Bad quality, too small, too many, weirdly centered, etc photos can make the difference between someone staying to read what you write and leaving immediately. I use PicMOnkey to edit all of my photos, and size them so that they are all the same size, and fit within my post width. I hate seeing blogs with too small pictures, or pictures that are all different sizes! You can take your own or use stock photos (Helene made a great list of places to get clean looking and professional stock photos, it is a GREAT resource!) The most successful blogs have one thing in common, their photography is amazing and makes all the difference. You can take awesome photos with an iPhone and some great editing. Take the time to find ways to create beautiful photographs, and your blog posts will be on their way to being amazing.
4) After you press publish and the post is live your work is just beginning! I spoke last time about having social media accounts for your blog, this helps your readers keep up with what you are up to, and is the best place to post your newly published posts. You want people to read those post you write, right?! When I get up on the morning I use Bit.ly to shorten all my links and to make it easy to share them. I copy and paste my blog link into bit.ly and then share it via Twitter, and my personal and public Facebook pages. Quick tip: when posting on social media try to switch up the title and come up with something that will make people WANT to click that link on Twitter or Facebook. Clever titles and phrases do intrigue people, so switch it up a bit when sharing! I then pin all my posts onto Pinterest onto several different pages, and lastly I try to get something up on Instagram. Sometimes I am lazy and do this once a day, but a lot of bloggers repost their links multiple times a day (with different titles), and this works well, too. There are sites out there that automatically share your stuff and you can have it automatically repost for you, but I’m not fancy like that and just do it myself;)
Something I also like to do if I can is to retweet/repost a post from another blogger that I loved and share that as much as I can. I don’t this this so they can do it back, I do it because I loved what they wrote and I want others to see it, too. One of the best things about blogging is the friendships and connections you make. We are all struggling along here creating fresh content day in and day out, and there are so many amazing writers out there! I love sharing content when I can via my social media accounts or on my own blog, and I think it makes the blogging world a happier place.
5) One of the things you will have to face when blogging is how to face criticism. Luckily I have found that I have only had two negative experiences. I’ve posted once about sleep training my kids and got a response that I clearly hated my kids and loved blogging more (which was obviously coming from a very angry person who missed the point of my entire post), and another one about how I was pathetic for copying another blogger (in her opinion, HA.) They were written by anonymous posters who left a comment and ran, so to speak. These comments hurt at first, but I find that if I think about the mindset of the people who leave these comments (bitter, angry, mean, etc…), I really can’t be bothered. I know who I am and know I do my best, so being attacked by a faceless commenter is not what concerns me.
You WILL be unfairly attacked sometimes, and it is okay. Trust yourself and know that what you are putting out there is true to you. I can’t take the opinions of strangers into account when I am writing and publishing here. I will never change their mind and I know they don’t want their minds changed, and that is just the way it is. I won’t live in fear of those that blindly attack over the internet, and you shouldn’t either. I personally block comments from anonymous people and also delete really mean things. It has no place here.