This month marks six months since I’ve committed myself to this blog.
I’ve blogged on and off for years. I’ve bought domain names and shut them down.
But six months ago I decided to really commit to building something here at Socially Awkward Mom.
To celebrate, I’d like to share 6 things I’ve learned the past six months:
Consistency is key. I’ve started my fair share of blogs in the past. Typically, I’d be excited and writing for the first few weeks. Then consistent posts would become more sporadic. But I’ve learned to think of my readers’ needs like my own. People like to know when they can expect new content, and like seeing new stuff on a regular basis. What has worked best for me is to pick a publishing schedule and (try) to stick to it. I also think about things like the target number of posts I was to get up each week and posting on Instagram or Facebook at least daily.
Network. Network. Network. You cannot build much a blog community alone. There are things I do know, but there are also plenty of things I don’t know. Having people I can meet up with, bounce ideas off of, and trade knowledge with has been crucial. You can find your network by attending events. But the easiest way is at your fingertips – literally. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are a great way to find other bloggers.
Let your niche find you. The thing I’ve always struggled with most when it comes to blogging is what I should write about. I think fashion blogs are cool, but I’m more comfortable in pajamas and flat shoes. Food blogs always catch my eye, but a lot of my meals come from fast food restaurants or freezer sections. Writing about things I know well – like motherhood and mental health – has allowed me to write engaging content, I’m actually interested and invested in what I’m posting, and I never run out of ideas for posts.
Engage your audience. How does it feel when you comment on your favorite blog and the blogger you admire actually replies? Pretty great, right? Most people, myself included, will typically read content and move on without commenting. So, I’ve learned to really appreciate when a reader comments on something I’ve written. I try to make sure I always reply. It doesn’t have to be a full blown conversation. But something as quick and painless as replying to a comment can be the difference between having a one-time reader and gaining a follower.
Be patient. I haven’t exacted gained the acclaim I thought I’d have by this point in my blogging journey. I guess I was kinda looking for instant gratification. But I recently decided to stop torturing myself by obsessing over things like statistics, views, comments and likes. I’ve thrown out unrealistic expectations and comparisons to other bloggers. I’m just staying true to myself. And all that stuff I just mentioned will come.
Have fun. This is probably one of the most important things I’ve needed to remember. I started this blog as an outlet from the things I HAVE to do, like going to work. So, I don’t want my blog to feel like another job (especially since I don’t get paid to do it…yet). The times I’ve felt overwhelmed with writing goals or writer’s block, I’ve allowed myself to stay away until I’m feeling better. If I’m not having fun, I’m not going to want to do it.
I’ve learned so much in the six months I’ve been blogging consistently. Not just about blogging, but about myself as well. I’m looking forward to what the next six months will bring and having you all along for the ride.