A Year Of Better Blogging

Blogging has changed. I don’t know when you started, but when I started blogging I started because I thought it was a neat way to share pictures and stories.

Okay maybe a TINY part of me thought it would be cool to get famous and meet Ellen DeGeneres, but back then I spent hours commenting on other people’s websites and as the years have progressed and new social media platforms have emerged, I’ve found myself missing some of those fundamentals that were so important when I began blogging in the first place.

This year I challenge you to join me in a year of better blogging and incorporate some of the basics BACK into what it is we do everyday:

Goal #1: Be Responsive
When we started blogging it was ALL about the commenting. There was no Twitter or Facebook or “insert new up and coming social media platform here”…it was just you and me and our keyboards. As social media has changed, so has our time online. We spread ourselves thin, but the people you need to make a priority are the people who are taking time out of their day to comment on YOUR site. We can’t reply to everyone, everyday…but we CAN take five minutes and reply to just a few people. It’s important not to get so caught up in driving numbers that we lose sight of the people who read regularly. Fostering those friendships should be first on our list.

My girls set up mailboxes next to their doors. ($1 at Target)...I've been surprising them with little Valentines.

Goal #2: What Lists?
There are all kinds of lists released by all kinds of websites all year long. You might not ever make it on a list. Accept that and move on. You did not start blogging to make a list. Your husband and kids do not care if you are on a list. The people visiting your blog don’t care if you are on a list. Maybe the list just isn’t in your life plan…at the end of the day…does it really matter? Let go of the lists and continue making your own magic happen.

Flower

Goal #3 Stay focused
Every once in awhile remember why you started blogging in the first place. It is so easy to get caught up in the blog conferences and the stat trackers and the opportunities to work with brands. I challenge you to take some time and look through your archives. What do you enjoy about your old posts? Revive that.

Love

Goal #4 Be Productive
There are a million things I can do on the computer, but all too often I find myself in the endless Email–>Twitter–>Facebook–>Pinterest cycle. Who emailed me? No one? Any tweets? How about Facebook? Any fun pins? Did I get an email now?? What about Twitter?…you see where I’m going with this. While I think managing all of my social media accounts is important and necessary, it can also be VERY unproductive. My goal now is to think of a task to complete before I even approach the computer. The messages in those other accounts aren’t going anywhere and I know I feel best when I can walk away from the computer feeling like I completed something important to me…even if it’s simply an email to my daughter’s teacher. Besides, Twitter is much more enjoyable when you don’t have other responsibilities looming over your shoulder.

Coffee break.

Goal #5 Share Often
I can’t speak for everyone, but personally as years of blogging passed I felt myself becoming more and more prudish with the ‘like’ button. At blog conferences we learn about branding ourselves and ‘My God if I like this, does it mean I endorse it? Does it fit with who I am? Does it fit the BRAND?‘. I’ve even gotten caught in the catty “Why would I share her post with the world when she has never given me the time of day?” on occasion. My goal here is to stop that. If I like it…I want to share it. If it made me smile? I want to share it. I don’t care if it ‘fits’ or if the person who wrote it doesn’t like me, if they created something that made me smile or think or REACT than they deserve a pat on the back. I’m sharing.

Hot cocoa kind of day here today.

Goal #6 Blogging is FUN!:
There are so many hilarious, thoughtful, outgoing, WONDERFUL people out there. Isn’t it fun playing this game together and following everyone on their different journeys while we create our own? Let’s stop over thinking what’s happening with our sites at every minute of the day and just enjoy the luxury of technology shall we? Enjoy each other!

Robot love. It's real.

Who’s with me!?! :)

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About Kat

Member of the SITS Leadership Team. Hilariously funny. And tall. YouTube's next big superstar.

Where you can find Mama Kat:
Mama's Losin' It | Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Great post. I’m relatively new to blogging, but the gist of staying true to you and acknowling your readers is a good thing. Knowing when to step away and when to jump into social media is a challenge.

  2. I want to tell you this post is wonderful, and really, it is but all I can think about is ROBOTS IN LOVE.

    Why (OH WHY!?!?) has this not been made into a summer blockbuster?

    (Actually, I guess that’s what Wall-E’s about.)

    (Well, now this comment doesn’t have a point and I just feel silly.)

  3. I have to come to the computer with a list of things that need to get done, and do them before I go wander the universe, It’s just way to vast out there. Very easy to get lost. Wonderful reminders.

  4. And this is why you are awesome. You have spoken to my soul here… well where blogging is concerned.

  5. All very good tips. I’ve been reciting #4 to myself for a long time: must stop cycle of “checking,” get outta the chair and go do something else! Or else, make the “rounds” when I’ve finished what I started 15 minutes ago…and what was that anyway?? Thanks!

  6. i really enjoyed your post. thank you for your refreshing reminders.

    best-
    chach
    the third boob…and other adventures in mommyhood

  7. This was a refreshing read today as I’ve been feeling very bogged down with online stuff. To the point that I didn’t want to open my computer but felt obligated to. It IS supposed to be fun and I need to remember and recapture that.

  8. I love this! Very sage advice.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this! I will save it on my bookmark and will read it when I need encourage on blogging! I need to be more discipline!

  10. I remember when SITS first started, and I won your first contest, ‘Comment Junkie’ t-shirt, camera, voice recorder… it was when blogging was about sharing your story, making friends and finding out you weren’t the only crazy one out there.
    I often feel I’m a world behind, because it went from simple story telling to ad’s, and conferences, counters and comment’s.
    I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m all for comments, and at this point I’ll take the few that I get. But it’s overwhelming when you visit a blog and your the 80th commenter!
    This was a great list to remind us to remember WHY we started to blog in the first place <3
    JCat

  11. What an encouraging, wonderfully written article. I really appreciate your insight. I was devastated when I lost my WordPress blog that I had had since 2008. I had several followers, tons of posts, etc. etc. The hard lesson? backing up the blog. I recently migrated to Blogger and started all over again. It feels like a fresh start and it’s really helped me to regain my focus. Especially after losing my dad.. Suddenly, i dawned on me how important family and friends are. Especially my online friends.
    I find your words encouraging and exactly the kind of advice I’ve been already trying to apply to my new blog. Thank you and have a great day!

  12. Thanks for great tips. I’m with you!

  13. I love how you stress the importance of being true to yourself and what you like when you blog, no matter what. Great advice. ~Dee

  14. Love the advice!! I have been blogging since August and this is some of the best advice I have seen. I agree with everything you said.

  15. Well said, I am sooo with you. :))))

  16. You have so much good advice in this post. I always try to foster relationships with other bloggers and not get caught up in numbers. Thanks!

  17. Great post Kat

    I need to get into the habit of commenting more. I don’t get a huge amount of comments so I make it a point to reply to almost everyone. I feel if that person has taken the time to leave me a comment and I really do appreciate that I should be able to take the time to reply back.

    The commenting system on blogger does not play nice and my template does not like any of the commenting platforms I’ve tried to add. I’ll be moving over to WordPress soon and I can’t wait to have a better commenting system in place .

  18. Some great insight here. Thanks for sharing. Online relationships take longer to forge than offline. This is why one needs to adopt the above advice and be consistent with it.

  19. I’ve really tried to step up involvement in the community of blogging again. It’s important, and why I fell in love with blogging in the first place.

  20. I couldn’t agree with you more, Kat! Putting so much focus on site stats and lists usually causes the content to suffer. I can always tell when a blogger is writing a post just to get traffic about a “trending topic,” or to draw attention to the fact that we can now “vote everyday until…” so they make some silly list. Unless you’re on Oprah’s list of favorite things, I don’t need to know about it.

    And the sharing? I always make an effort to reply to comments and share those posts that I love from other bloggers who are just as cool as I am. Wait, is that not what you meant?

  21. I’m with you Mama Kat. Always and Forever!

  22. The social media cycle gets me every time! Great reminders, thanks for this post.

  23. Excellent post! I have been working on some of these for a few months. Readers are people, not numbers. I see so many bloggers lately stressed to the max because they are so busy chasing the next stat milestone, the next list, the next Alexa mark that they are stomping all over the people that have gotten them where they are right now. That’s a slippery slope.

  24. I’m with ya!!

  25. I love your points about reconnecting to the real purpose of blogging and putting connecting and honoring what you like and appreciate above all else. ~Dee

  26. Wonderful article! And I want you to know that I folded a whole bunch of laundry before I read it!

  27. what a great list!!! I wish more people had these goals as they blogged!!! I am totally sharing this on my facebook wall today:-)

  28. Me! Me! I am with you. Let’s put the fun back into blogging and push the competitive edge out!

  29. I used to blog several years ago when the eco boom hit. My blog wasn’t that popular and I didn’t meet Ellen either, but I had faithful readers and focused on developing my relationships with them. It was informative and fun and served its purpose. That is my hope as I launch and begin my new blog because things have definitely changed! Thanks for the post!

  30. I agree with you on all points. I’ve been suffering from a lack of focus. At the end of the day it’s about creating great content and writing. When I lose sight of that and get caught up in all the other things associated with blogging, I lose the plot.

  31. Love it! You are so right! Thank you!!!

  32. This post is great! I’ve commented above, but some reason I felt the need to re-iterate my point lol….having a weird day!

    http://www.accidentalmogul.blogspot.com

  33. Great list! I really need to work on productivity and sharing then maybe I will need to work on responding. It does seem like the past year less and less people do much responding or even commenting. I know I comment less since I use Google Reader to be able to keep up with the massive amount of blogs I attempt to follow.

  34. Great tips! Thank you…. And yep, I sat down with one task just now, but I couldn’t tell you what in the world it was!

  35. Thanks for the tips. It’s so easy to get lost and caught up in the blogging world and then it becomes a burden, when instead it should be something fun, that you enjoy.

  36. I LOVE this post. I’m new to blogging and started it as an outlet for myself. I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey and everything you mention has rung true for me in my 8 weeks of being a part of the blogging world! I love to comment on posts and for others to do likewise so I will definitely continue to use this practice, along with the others mentioned. It completely makes sense : )

  37. I’m with you!

  38. This is so true. Especially the procrastinating. I could write so many blog posts in the time it takes me to flit between Facebook, GMail, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms and all for the very tiny adrenalin rush of seeing a ‘like’ or a ‘follow’ or a ‘RT’. My goal for the year is to focus on writing fun blog posts that are Useful.

  39. Great tips! I still spend a couple of hours every night visiting my favorite blogs and connecting through comments. I am an encourager by nature so it’s weird if I ever don’t. I would feel like something was missing!

  40. I love your thoughts here and totally agree.

  41. Staying focused & being productive are the things I need to work on. When 3pm rolls around and I realized that I’ve done absolutely nothing is the pits.

  42. I’m still kind of stuck on the “walk away from the computer” part. My brain can’t really process that.

  43. I like your post – and your perspective. Having just jumped in with both feet within the last few months I feel… over productive. Just a comment here, a tweet there, must remember to stumbe this, better search on that before I forget. There are so many social outlets, all of which take mere moments. Sometimes I don’t know when to stop! (It is 2am and I am surfing and commenting… now would probably be a good time. Ha!) May your wisdom will take me to dreamland.

  44. I think this is an absolutely fantastic post and has got me really excited about blogging again. You’re absolutely right in all of your points and even though I wasn’t around at the very start of the blogging craze I can see how all of these things are important still today. Blogging is one of the best (and cheap!) ways of staying educated, socialising and having fun all whilst being at home and I intend on doing it for a very long time (keeping all of the above points firmly in mind!)

    Thanks again for a great post!

    Maria xx
    http://www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

  45. I am with you!

  46. Thank you for sharing. Yes it ‘s easy to get caught up in it all. Hate that non-productive computer cycle thanks for the reminder to get out of it!

  47. Great post! I’m pretty new to blogging, but decided to make it a focal point this year. I am having a blast and meeting a ton of cool bloggers through the SITS31DBBB challenge this year. I think everyone is stepping up their game! Being productive and taking action are two main things I am working on for 2012. Thanks for the perspective and advice!

  48. I love all of these. I’ve made a concerted effort over the last few months to get out of my own head (and away from my own jealousy) and just go with my love of the medium, my enjoyment of the relationships I’ve built on my blog (and, yes, on social media), and try and write for ME instead of for some specter of fame that probably won’t come.

    I’ve been so much happier since then. And I’ve found that it makes it easier to build what I can, grow when I can, and let the rest slide. And it makes me love coming to my blog every day.

    I do need to work on that whole be productive thing though. That’s a toughie.

  49. Being productive is one of my hopes for the year. It’s so easy to just get online but not have anything substantial to show for it.

  50. I love this!

Trackbacks

  1. […] A Year of Better Blogging – The SITS Girls I have thought about some of these things many times, like when I will share someone’s post here on the links or on Facebook, but not even bother to leave a comment on it.  Blogging has really changed (having been blogging now for over five years), and in some ways – it would be nice to go back to some of the old way. […]

  2. [...] A Year of Better Blogging – The SITS Girls I have thought about some of these things many times, like when I will share someone’s post here on the links or on Facebook, but not even bother to leave a comment on it.  Blogging has really changed (having been blogging now for over five years), and in some ways – it would be nice to go back to some of the old way. [...]

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