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Five Thoughts on Blogging

I am about six weeks into blogging now. Heck, I’m almost an expert! I jest, I still have a lot to learn. That said, I feel like I have learnt a lot already. It can be very daunting putting your own written word out there for everyone to read. Here’s a round-up of what I have learnt in the past few weeks

1. The Blogging World

It seems to me that everyone blogs, well that is how it appears!  I reckon if you need to find a blog about something, however bizarre, you can guarantee that there is someone writing about it.I have not yet searched out a blog on underwater basket weaving, but I bet it’s out there. And if there isn’t and this blog doesn’t work out,  you’ll find me at underwaterbasketweaving.com

Being a relative newbie to the blogging world, I feel very much like the wedding guest who only knows a couple of people at the event and is hiding in the corner studying the cocktail menu intently in an effort to appear entertained. Everyone seems to know everyone else, albeit in a virtual sense. I can remember this being the case when I started using forums back in 2002. It was very much a case of trying to get into conversations with people who didn’t know me and who I didn’t know. There is a part of it which feels like I’m gatecrashing someone else’s conversation. I’m like an apprentice who has to serve my time before being accepted in Blogland. I’m still only at the making tea stage, but I hope to progress soon.

love-pen-bed-drinking

2. The Blogging Industry

Until I started blogging this time around (many false starts over the years since about 2007), I never realised that there is a whole industry dedicated to the support and development of blogging. Gone are the days when a blog was just a place to write your own little journal or thoughts and opinions about certain subjects. There seems to be an art to blogging and there are plenty of people out there who are prepared to show you how to make the best of the experience. Obviously not all of this is free, although there are some really good freebies out there. I find it fascinating that there are a lot of successful bloggers making a living out of blogging about how to blog! As I have always thought, if there is a market out there, then why not tap into it? There are some savvy bloggers and for new bloggers like me they are providing a wealth of information, although it can sometimes be conflicting. I’m still trying to battle my way through the information overload and tend to just go my own way.

3. To niche or not?

I have made the decision not to niche. I may regret this in the future, I may change my mind, time will tell. Being a mother, I suppose that the natural niche to fall into would have been the parenting blog. Although I do write posts about my girls (my blog is even named after my youngest), I would find it hard to write everything about them, particularly as I am now on child number 2. The intense newness of being a first-time mother seems so long ago now and most of the time with the second child, like many, I’m just winging it.

Setting out to write a blog, I wanted to write the kind of posts that I would like to read and when I’m looking for posts to read myself I do enjoy parenting posts, but not all the time. I wanted my blog to have more of a magazine approach,  so I suppose if there were any niche I lean towards it would be more of a lifestyle blog than anything. A little bit of everything, I hope. Obviously some of the blog gurus (mentioned in point 2) might throw their laptops up in horror and tell me that without a niche I am nothing. I’m prepared to take that risk.

pexels-photo (1)

4. Twitter

I have been on Twitter for a long time as myself, but only as Siena Says since 2015. Being on Twitter as a person and being on as a blog are two very different things. When I joined Twitter as a person, the first thing I did was hunt out friends and colleagues and then my list of following and followers grew from there.I’m very interested in mental health issues and criminology so a large number of people who I follow (and vice versa) are from those fields. Coming to Twitter as a blogger I decided to start from scratch and try and find new people to follow and hope that new people followed me. I’m building up a small following and I’m following some interesting people back.

One thing I have noticed is that on my blog twitter feed so far is that I engage in far less personal banter. I find that on this feed people pass the time of day less and I did have to stop following one person who shared the same blog post 9 times in one day. It strikes me that there is less commentary on more controversial issues such as politics, crime and religion. And not much reference to day to day events. I may be being unfair here, but these are my observations so I’m allowed to generalise!

pexels-photo-58457

5. Planning

Like everyone I have a busy life and one thing I have learnt about fitting blogging into my life is that I need to plan. I find that ideas come to me at all times, whilst playing with the youngest or out for a walk with the husband. I don’t seem to have any kind of posting strategy at the moment and I think I need one. Currently I post when I have the time (which isn’t always easy with freelance content writing commitments coming at me from all angles!) and I don’t really have a pattern.

One of the main reasons my last 92,000 blogs tailed off into obscurity is because I would let a week go between posting which would extend to a fortnight,  and before I knew it I had an abandoned blog on my hands. I don’t want to do that this time as I’m enjoying it so far. I’m not sure which way to go yet whether to try and set myself a goal of 2-3 posts a week or to actually theme my posts and try to stick to a posting schedule. I guess I can go back to the blogging gurus in point 2 and see what they suggest!

So all in all,  it’s good to reflect and finally for those who have made it to the end,  here is a photo of some cats.

Our cats sienasays

Pink Pear Bear

 

 

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20 comments

  • wipingbuttsandtakingnames

    April 7, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Great post. I can’t say that I’m totally new to blogging but i just started a completely new blog in the hopes that I will remain consistent and you brought up some tips and ideas that I never even thought of. Awesome sauce.

    1. Siena Says

      April 11, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks for your comment! Love the name. Yes time will tell whether I stick at this one, but it’s looking good so far.

  • Sarah

    April 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Six weeks in and way past being an ‘expert’, love your posts ??

    1. Siena Says

      April 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks! Hmm definitely not expert yet, but am prepared to try ha hax

  • Franglaise Mummy

    April 10, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Congratulations on joining the world of blogging this time round and welcome 🙂 I’ve been blogging for 4 years now but I still remember how daunting it was stepping into that world. My advice – for what it’s worth – is to blog what/how works for you, if it’s forced it will feel it. I tend to blog once a week and that suits me fine, I know others however who blog several times a day! As for Twitter, I used to use it loads as my blog name and loved it, but then I went on a digital detox and just haven’t been able to get back into it properly since…. Good luck with everything and if you’re looking for advice I highly recommend checking out blogging posts from Vicki at HonestMum.com, she shares so much and is so helpful to everyone 🙂 xx

    1. Siena Says

      April 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      What a lovely post, it really touched me when I read it, thank you.
      I agree about blogging in my own way. I can’t blog all the time because of other commitments, not least the rather demanding nearly 3 year old who is currently having a nap!

      I have a bit of an on off thing with Twitter. I’d far rather just tweet when I have something to say rather than for the sake of it.
      Yes I have already been reading Vicki’s posts, very inspiring and she is very helpful!

      Ps. I just loved your post about making decisions, stayed with me for ages xx

  • islandliving365

    April 11, 2016 at 7:55 am

    This is a great post. I don’t think of you as a gatecrasher, or if you are then we are a pair of gatecrashers then 🙂 It is interesting what you say about not having a niche as I think that this is me too but then again I don’t think this is a bad thing. When I go to the shops I always pick the magazines that aren’t niche. I like ones that have a variety of magazines on a variety of issues. I also get what you say about twitter. I have recently started using a plug-in that tweets my old posts out during the day and I’m not sure how I feel about it. It mainly tweets them when I am asleep though! So I more using it to hopefully get people in another time zone reading my posts but I am still not sure about it and it makes me feel a little pushy. Thanks for the photo of the cats at the end I really appreciated that 😉

    1. Siena Says

      April 19, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Quite happy to be a gatecrasher with you! Yes that is what I’m aiming for, a mix of stuff. I guess that’s because it’s the kind of blog I like to read myself.

      No that kind of tweeting doesn’t bother me, just when it was the same tweet over and over. I’ve not got into plugins yet, one day!

      Glad you appreciated the cats ha ha!
      Thanks for your comment xx

  • Regina L. L. Wells

    April 11, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I like your wedding guest analogy and realize that that is the perfect description. (I am new to blogging.) I agree with all of your observations. I still do not think that I appreciate the necessity of the niche. I understand why some people may want to, especially depending on the topic(s) about which they want to post, but I do not think that success or satisfaction is dependent upon it. (That, from a newbie.) Thank you for sharing. #bigpinklink

    1. Siena Says

      April 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      Aw thanks for your comment and sorry I’m so late responding, I don’t know where this last week has gone. I totally agree with what you say about a niche, I find it very hard to just focus on one sole thing. I’m too flighty ha ha xx

  • Emma Jones

    April 11, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I’ve been a parent blogger since November & still feel I haven’t found my group. I do worry there’s too many of us & I was too late to the party but I enjoy it, it’s free and I’ve ‘meet’ some lovely people. Enjoy the process and see you around. #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

    1. Siena Says

      April 19, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I don’t think that there are too many parent bloggers and besides there will always be a new generation of parent bloggers as more people have kids and others move away from blogging due to other commitments. I’m really enjoying it too xx

  • pinkpearbear

    April 11, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Oh I love the cats!! I discovered all the same things as you. I didn’t want to follow too many accounts on my blog twitter eg celebs, so my timeline seems very niche and I get what you mean! It’s such a nice an welcoming place though, the blogging world, I had no idea you were a newbie to it, you are doing very well! I wouldn’t say you were on the edge at all! Thanks for linking up with us again! #bigpinklink

    1. Siena Says

      April 19, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      I love my little kitty cats and I just felt they needed some exposure ha ha! It is very welcoming and I am certainly grateful to you guys to inviting me to your link, which I’m really enjoying. Hey someone has to be on the edge or else we’d all be in the middle!! xx

  • justsayingmum

    April 12, 2016 at 7:02 am

    Hi Siena, will go check your blog out and twitter too of course. I’m relatively new to blogging (4 months) and have never blogged before so had no preconceptions but am thoroughly enjoying it so far – I think one of the biggest revelations for me was the warmth of the blogging community but also just how much you need to keep engaged with the community – twitter helps for that I find. I’ve got lots of posts but still unsure of how many to publish a week as don’t want everyone to think “oh another justsayingmum post” as opposed to “great, another justsayingmum post!” I’ve not quite grasped from other bloggers either the best amount per week but I do strongly feel quality over quantity should prevail! Right off to check your blog out! #bigpinklink

    1. Siena Says

      April 19, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I agree the community is very warm and welcoming. I’m aiming for two posts a week I think but I don’t always manage it. But, I think it’s up to each individual. I think just do what you are comfortable with and if people want to read they will and if they don’t, then that’s their loss! xx

  • babiesbiscuitsandbooze

    April 13, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    I really enjoyed this. I am a few months in but still feeling very much like a novice; not least because I haven’t put the time and effort into making my blog look good or promoting it much! I have been overwhelmed when I read the blogging tips posts so I often avoid them. I really think you have to post when you want to, about what you want to- otherwise you end up with dull posts! That’s my experience anyway. #bigpinklink

    1. Siena Says

      April 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I totally agree with that do what you want and when you want and try not to be overly guided by the ‘gurus’!! I haven’t been able to do much with my blog yet due to pennies, but I hope to get it sorted at some point! xx

  • bread

    April 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Welcome to the blogging world. I have one blog that’s me and everything, and a niche blog. I prefer being able to write about anything and everything though. #bigpinklink

    1. Siena Says

      April 19, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you for the welcome! Yes I think I prefer to write about whatever takes my fancy. Obviously if I had something I was specialised in or passionate about then I could have a niche, but I just flit from thing to thing ha ha xx

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