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Blog TipsInspirationWriting Tips

A Year Of Better Blogging

By Feb 1, 2012 July 7th, 2014 132 Comments

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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!?! πŸ™‚

132 Comments

  • melissa says:

    Thank so so much for that! I’m a newbie to blogging since November and I don’t have any interest in numbers or stats for my blog, ha I don’t know how to find them anyways! It makes me happy to write them and it makes my mom happy to read them, what more does a girl need?! It was a really fantastic post and made me feel less lonely:)

  • I really needed this today. Although I work hard on creating good content and keep up with new trends in blogging–often spending hours creating the “look”, I rarely get any comments. I actually have it on my “list” to explore WHY. I do leave comments, but I suppose not enough.

    Your written sentiments are a reminder WHY I am putting so much time, energy, and resources into this. I am so grateful that I do not need to make a living writing, posting, and designing, simply share a little corner of my world.

  • XLMIC says:

    You’ve nailed it… as usual! … WOOT!!!! πŸ˜‰

  • Kristen says:

    Kat – you know I love you. And… great article. As always. I’m not writing anything today – just spending the day reading blogs and commenting πŸ™‚

  • I love this. I needed this this morning. With blogging, like with most things in life, it’s so good to come back to where you started and why. Thanks for the positivity here.

  • Thanks Kat for writing such a thoughtful postβ€”reminding us all how to be better bloggers. I loved it, and the timing couldn’t have been better.

  • These were great reminders! I think I had forgotten what it was like before Facebook and Twitter took over the blogging world. πŸ™‚

  • Adrienne says:

    Great advice, Mama!

  • Jamie H says:

    Commenting…a lost art in the blogging world. Guilty of no longer doing it like I should. Also guilty of spreading too thin–one of the reasons I’m holding out on Google+.

  • Yes!!! I love this and I want to do it all! Bloggy words to live by. I’ve been working on commenting more, now I just need to work on everything else. πŸ˜›

  • This is really fun, I like the share idea but I don’t know how to share things on my blog so I just tweet great reads that I find. I am kind a new so I don’t understand about the list. What list? Can’t say I don’t want to be on a list because I am not aware of a list.

  • Randi says:

    Kathy, I love this! All you hear about right now is SEO and blog conferences and stuff. Some of us can’t make that stuff happen right now, some of us don’t want to. I love blogging, but more than blogging are the friendships I’ve made. I mean, I’ve been reading your blog almost since the start and I love reading about your family since it’s close to mine (you know, minus one boy and plus two girls). πŸ˜€

  • Robbie says:

    i LOVE this! I am new to the blogging world and this is EXACTLY what I needed to read right now!

  • Emily says:

    LIKE! Yay. Thanks for sharing. I’m relatively new to the blogging game so haven’t reached this stage yet, but will be sticking to these like glue.

  • I’m SO with you! I love this! In fact, I have a post scheduled to publish TOMORROW that is along these lines. So cool!

  • What a great reminder! Maybe you could republish this every few months to keep me on track?

  • I LIKE this! Thanks πŸ™‚

  • This was an amazing post! Since my blog went from private to public, I struggle with this on a daily basis. I really want to make my blog an interactive experience so that I can meet new people (I’m a SAHM so I don’t get out much), but it’s hard to not get caught up in the ads, tickers, etc. Thanks for the awesome reminder!

  • This post was so needed. Lately I have found myself in a bit of a “blog funk” caught up with the day to day, legal drama and I need to go back to what made me happy – writing. Thank you for writing this – it was the stiletto to the behind kick that I needed!

  • My blog motto for commenting is and always will be…if I took the time to visit you” I will leave you a comment. I rarely get comments back~but am so okay with this. I don’t havetime to worry about if this person commented back or not. I wish I could reply to my comments, but squarespace does not have embedded comment reply

    • Kat says:

      Have you tried replying to your comments through your email account? When they come in you can click reply and connect to commenters that way if they have enabled email on their accounts!

  • Jen says:

    I love this post! I have been thinking a lot about this very subject lately, and you have put it into words beautifully. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica says:

    I so needed to read this. Ive been stressed out on making sure Im tweeting and facebooking enough, and repinning, and checking emails. I need to remember why I began this blog. Its because I wanted to put my story out there, to preserve it for my kids. Its not about numbers, and when they are old enough to read it they wont care how many page views I had. And? I want to make friends in the blog world. I want to have my own tribe of Mama’s I can count on to lift me up when I need it. Thanks for this!

  • Kristen says:

    Thanks for the kick in the pants. I began blogging because I loved reading blogs. Now I tend to stress myself out if I don’t read and comment constantly. Or I don’t have anything to write about because I stress myself out if anyone will want to read it. My blog started for me…it should always be for me. I want to go back to enjoying it and making friends. I want to put the fun back into it.

  • I love EVERY single word of this post. Thank you for helping to bring in my focus a little bit. My biggest takeaway? Deciding what to accomplish BEFORE sitting down in front of the computer. I need that to be Priority Numero Uno while I’m working on blog stuff! Thanks for sharing your wisdom! πŸ™‚

  • Patricia says:

    I’m in! It’s not even a year yet since I started my blog and I hear you loud and clear. I love reading other people’s posts ~ the majority of them touch my heart and make me smile.

  • I love everything about this post!

  • Angela says:

    Great post! And great reminders about what blogging is all about.
    Just what I needed to read today. Now going to write a post on my blog, for fun! πŸ™‚

  • Gayletrini says:

    Exactly what I have been saying and telling myself! You are the best! Thanks for putting this out there and I shared it before I read all LOL it is that good.

  • Cindee says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I always feel lost when I read all the bigger blogs. My blogs are just starting slowly only maybe 26. But heartfelt totally to me. I so enjoy small chats on #commenthour so important. Those guys ooxx you are there for me. I am shy out in this blogsphere. Slowly getting out there so thanks MamaKat for inspiring me. And my Sits girls you are my lifeline thanks.

  • You never disappoint! I especially identify with the section on social media. This very morning I made myself clean the kitchen and then WRITE A POST before checking any other accounts. No email, no Twitter. Just writing! Because what happens is that once I get online, there are just too many fun things to read and one takes you to another and another and another… I have to get off of the computer now and do some laundry!

  • I love this post. What you wrote is so true. I get so caught up in the cycle of email, facebook, twitter, etc and then five hours later I’ve realized nothing has been accomplished. My husband comes home from work and asks “What did you do today?” and my mind goes blank. Where I wanted to write and schedule at least two articles, comment on blogs, and research freelancing opportunities, I find myself in the la la land that is social media. : /

  • Debra says:

    so basic, but we forget to do it. So it’s totally great advice. I’m definitely reading AND commenting more on blogs I like. It’s supposed to be fun and that’s what I’m doing!

  • Such good advice! Thank you!

  • Agree! We shouldn’t have to think twice if we “like” something. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing! I will too!

  • Luci says:

    So true! I loved this post. I especially agree with getting serious about ignoring FB, twitter, email, pinterest (I’m still lost with that one) and focusing on what you got on the computer to do in the first place! It’s hard, but worth it.

    Getting back to the basics, remembering why we’re blogging. All very good advice.

  • Cheers to a more fulfilling year in blogging! I started my new Meme – Listable Life and I LOVE it because I go to each and every linker and take a look at what they’ve shared that day. And it really has gotten be back to the basics of blogging. Sure, it takes time to read 20+ linkers, but once a week, I have carved out time to do just that. Read, comment and connect.

    LOVE this post Kat. Well written!

  • Lorna says:

    I am so with you on this. I’ve been thinking recently how I’d like to get back to blogging as a connection tool, and not a showcase. You’re right, people get caught up with having stuff out there and forget about communication and sharing ideas.

    Thank you!

  • I am totally with you! Thanks for the motivation and the inspiration, it’s just what I needed! I keep getting lost in all of the online social chaos, I really need the structure of a routine. Your words of wisdom are exactly what I needed to hear to get me to focus on that, and what I need to do next. And I AM going to share this!! πŸ˜‰

  • I SO get caught up in the cycle of non-productivity when I’m online. I’ve started writing lists out on paper, like I would for chores, groceries, etc., of things I want to get done online each day, to help keep me on track.

  • I loved this!! It was exactly what I needed to hear. As a newish blogger, I’ve been feeling so much pressure and competition lately. I need to stop and remind myself that I am not blogging to compete with anyone else. Thank you!!
    xo,
    Laurie @ Gallamore West πŸ™‚

  • Aubrey Anne says:

    I am so with you! Since I joined Twitter a couple months ago, I’ve almost completely quit reading blogs unless they pop up in my Twitter stream and sound interesting. That’s not how it’s supposed to be! Thanks for the reminder, hun!

  • Daisy says:

    I am not on ANY lists… anywhere. I blog because I love it and it is a way to keep people informed about what I am up to. My blog posts may be boring to some but I love doing it anyways! Go take a look at what CuriousDaisy is up to!

  • Stefanie says:

    I am so with you. Thank you for the motivation. I needed it. I was feeling burnt out and not sure why. Back to basics. Now that is motivating. Thanks girl. And those photos are gorgeous. I stared at every single one of them and am inspired to get my camera back out. You rock as always!

    • Kat says:

      Thanks Stefanie!! I totally get into those same ruts where I’m just feeling…uninspired. Sometimes we just need to step back and remind ourselves why we love what we do so much. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah says:

    I am relatively new to the blogging world, but I agree with all your points! Thanks for taking the time to give us all good reminders. πŸ™‚

  • Tonya says:

    I found this link on twitter and I am so glad that I did. This is a great post about keeping it real and keeping it wilh love…even in cyberworld.

    Thanks for sharing this!!

    Click! that was the “like” button for this!! πŸ™‚

  • Lisa says:

    This is very timely…I just wrote a blog post about connecting and trying to be a better blogger.

  • molly says:

    Thanks for this, Kat. I need to read this pretty much every day to remind me that it doesn’t matter that I’m not a famous blogger. That’s not why I started. Not at all. I started because I’m a writer and I wanted to write.

    • Kat says:

      Yes!! I have this chat with myself frequently and it really does help me stay motivated to write without worrying about what the rest of the blogosphere is doing or how I’m ranking.

  • Megan says:

    Me too. And I agere with the spreading thin part- everyone has a way to do things, and to do everything people say is just too much!
    So I pick and choose my battles.
    And ‘branding’? Sure, money would be nice, but my brand is me, so what I want to say usually comes out. My path may be a little twisty but I’m still on my own road.
    This is an awesome list for the experienced or the beginner…. or me!

  • Rachel says:

    I LOVE this post. And I like it so god damn it I am going to share it!!!!!