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.
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.
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!
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.