Every once in awhile, a cool lady emails me to ask for some advice about blogging. This is sort of funny to me, because I do not think of myself as an expert. I don’t have an insane amount of readers, I don’t do advertisements, and I don’t make any money from blogging. But I have had this blog for almost 3 years (whoa) and I’ve posted almost every weekday ever since my first post, so I guess I do know some things. And since I’ve already posted my advice on writing and submitting to websites (take all my advice at your own risk, guys), I figured I could share my advice on blogging. Some of this advice is general, and some of it directly contradicts advice I’ve heard before. These are just my personal thoughts, so feel free to disregard them or disagree with them or print them out and set them on fire. I can’t control you.
1. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr…it doesn’t matter.
People ask me a lot if they should use Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, or whatever. I honestly don’t really think it matters. I like WordPress because it seems cleaner and more professional, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Just as long as you’re not, like, trying to promote a Xanga page (does that even exist anymore?) I think you’ll be fine. The actual content or your blog is way, way more important than the URL. I like being a .com, but I used to be a .wordpress.com and it was fine! People still read the site!
2. Brands are for products. You are a person.
Obviously, this one depends on what you’re using your blog for. Are you actually trying to promote a product or a business? Then yes, you need to consider “branding.” But nothing makes me cringe more than personal bloggers talking about their “personal brand.” Does your blog go along with your photography business or your Etsy company? Brand away! Is your blog a place to put your pictures or write about your life? THAT IS NOT A BRAND. I don’t think about this blog in terms of a brand, and that may be to my detriment! But I’m not selling anything here. The point of Welcome to Ladyville is twofold: to connect with you wonderful ladies, and to practice my own writing. Neither of those things require a slogan. You aren’t a product.
3. Be consistent.
It’s important to blog regularly. If you update your blog once every few weeks, you might as well not have one. What’s the point? I update every Monday through Thursday and some Fridays. Wednesday is always links. Thursday is always Creative Ladies. That consistency is important, not just for your readers, but for you! If you don’t take it seriously, no one else will.
4. But it’s okay to take a break.
I’ve taken breaks from the blog when I got married, over the holidays, and various other times when I’ve just had a lot of work to do. That’s okay. As long as you make a post saying that you won’t be around as much as usual, there is no problem at all with taking a short break! After all, I’m not getting paid for this. The blog is a big priority for me, but mama needs to make some coin, you know? Of course, if you are making money from your blog, you probably shouldn’t really take a break. But if you’re making money from your blog, you’re probably not reading my advice.
5. Just keep going.
This is basic advice for anyone trying to do anything new. You’re going to feel like no one cares at first, and that’s because no one does. No one read Welcome to Ladyville when I first started it. Like, no one. But my annoying, bullheaded stubbornness made me keep going, and now a few people read it! SUCCESS! The internet is just a graveyard full of sites that people started and abandoned. You’ll never get anywhere if you give up immediately. People might not respond for months…or even years. You should still keep going.
6. Remember that likes and pageviews are ultimately not that important.
Does it make me really happy when a “real” website links to Welcome to Ladyville, or when someone shares a post on Facebook or Twitter? Totally! And I check my stats and get excited when they go up. But that stuff, while fun, is ultimately not the point. I feel good about the blog when I know I wrote something funny or created a post that expresses what’s going on in my head. I feel good if I made a connection with a reader. And when I get an email from a lady who says that something on the blog really spoke to her? That’s the best. There’s no better feeling than when my writing connects with someone. That’s the point of blogging for me.
So that’s my advice. It’s based on my experience and my blogging philosophy, but maybe it will help you, too! If you ever have any questions about blogging, writing, or anything else (seriously, I love pretending to be a therapist) that you’d like me to answer on the blog, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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