Friday, November 18, 2016

New Blog, New Style, Again?

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Blog Prep  (c) 2016 Adobe Stock Photo
It has been a while since I last post anything on this blog.  I had a number of personal things I needed to take care of, and I had no time to write.  This is the only time I am mentioning this.
Today, I want to go back to a topic that I covered in the past.  I did not do a very good job of this topic because this blog at the time was all over the place.  I did not have any clear direction for it.  I was torn.  I wanted to write inspirational stuff, trending stuff, controversial stuff, and wrap it up in a neat little bow. 

Tip # 1:  Have some clarity in your blog posts.  You will gain the right followers with this tip.

The topic I want to cover for the next few months is Blogging 101: Patricia Style.  This is not necessary a series, and I am not going to cover it like a series.  I am also not going to give it a specific day either.  I have learned from myself that I am not disciplined enough to be committed to, say “every Monday afternoon, posting it by Tuesday morning so you can read it by Tuesday afternoon” type of a blog post schedule.  It will be consistent, at least once a week.

Tip #2:  Consistency is the key to gaining and keeping new followers.  Your followers will know what to expect and when to expect it.  If it isn’t there, they will turn away, and move on.

I have learned some things during my time off.  I learned that I was killing my blog, all of my blogs.  As you may or may not know, I have had at one time or another been working on 5 blogs.  You can read my past posts to find out that I boasted on that continuously, and was very proud of it too.  They were a lifestyle blog, a writing blog, a Disney blog, a crafting blog, and a Direct Selling blog.  I was on my way to creating the 6th blog when I became overwhelmed, and I was not keeping on schedule.  Here are some truths about why it was overwhelming.

With my lifestyle blog (Simply Organized Crafts), I felt like I had to cover everything from home to family to home decorating to travel to coupons and reviews.  It was too much and I was not focused on what I was doing.  Hey, after all, each subject worked so well together.  I will explain why in a moment why they did not.  With the writing blog (this blog), I explained earlier what I wanted.  You will have to read to the end to find out why it is not working either.  My crafting blog (P. Lynne Designs) is the most put together blog other than this one.  It is being moved to a WordPress format (as this one will be moved to in the new year).  It not only covers what projects I am working on, but it also covers products I have for sale on the website and in my Etsy shop.  Lastly, my direct selling blog (Tricia’s baskets) is all things Longaberger and how to decorate with their products and any items up for sale.  It has been my most disappointing blog because I list my sales, where to find them (which is on my website), and I have not gotten anything.  I think because Goggle stopped ranking it about two years ago (along with Simply Organized Crafts), and when you do not have a good ranking, people stop coming.  Now for the tip that leads me to stop being so overwhelmed:

Tip #3: stick to one or two subjects in your blog.  You know what to focus on, and keep from being distracted.  When you are distracted, so are your followers

Let’s look at my lifestyles and Disney blogs for a moment (they are both closed).  I mentioned that I covered everything from home to family, and everything in between.  This is one of the reasons for me to create the Disney Blog.  It was born from my love of Disney to traveling to Disney.  The problem with the Disney blog was I do not have money like that, meaning I could not travel to Disney World (the main Disney parks that I was covering) like I wanted too.  Where did I get all my coverage for Disney World?  The same as everyone else who travel every other year to the parks, through the internet.  I thought to myself, anyone who wanted to find out what was going at Disney World could look online or ask a travel agent.  I used to be a Disney Vacation Club member until 2006, but had to quit for financial reasons.  I may have to join again to cover my trip for next year.  I am in a better position to cover the expenses.

The second problem with the lifestyles blog was every time I would look at someone else’s well put together blog, I had to have it too.  The problem with that is you cannot go into a “me too” attitude when creating a blog.  The blog you want to create has to be a reflection of yourself, not others. When you see something that you absolutely think you need to make your blog spectacular, ask yourself this question, “is this a need or a want?”  It is the same question that organizers like Peter Walsh ask their clients in order to teach them how to declutter and not clutter the space again.  The blog technique you want, may look all nice and pretty and wrapped up like a present, but will it work for you?   Will you like your new blog at the end of designing it?

Tip #4: a blog does not need all the bells and whistles to bring in traffic.

In fact, you may be attracting the wrong traffic.  You may not like this audience.  You may be inviting trolls (people who write mean and nasty comments just to pump up their own ego or self-worth).  Starting off with a simple blog is just the ticket to gaining followers.
Also, ask yourself this question, “what are the top 5 things that attracted you to x blog?” (x meaning the blog you are looking at).  This will help you make a decision on what will drive your followers and keep them there.  You want engagement and you want comments.  Comments mean that someone is listening, even if it is just to say “hello, you gave me just what I needed to hear.”  This is not about you, but about attracting readership.  Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time, but you are also there to enlighten them and give food for thought, even if it is your grandmother’s 50-year-old recipe for homemade sweet potato pie.  Someone may write in the comments that it was the best sweet potato pie recipe they ever tasted and their family loved it.  

While you are at it, make it mobile friendly.  Not everyone  will be glued to a desktop computer.  They are on cell phones, tablets, and laptops.  These devices come in the form of Android, Windows, and iOS.  Your blog needs to be accessible to these devices.

Well, that is it for now and my updates.   One more note about how this is will benefit you:  I would love it if you take a look at all my posts pertaining to the subject of blogging.  Read other articles, watch videos, even go to the library and look it up.  Research before you start.  Do not just dive in, and find it a failure if does not work out.  It does not matter if you have a blog, want to start a blog, a seasoned pro at this, or dare I say it, scare to death about the thought of having one.  My mentor Renae Christine of Rich Mom University always reminds those of us, who takes her courses, and I am studying three of them right now (Rich Mom University, Ultimate Architect, and Pinterest Academy), that it does not hurt to try, what is the worst thing that could happen.  I urge you that if you have not taken the plunge to write a blog, but you have a desire to do so, just do it.  That’s an order, just do it.  You never know where this blogging thing may take you, and you may find it very relaxing and enjoyable.

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