FOMO Bloggers: Why You’re Harming Your Own Blog

FOMO Bloggers: how the fear of missing out can actually be hurting you and your blog!

Ethel has written a post. It’s a great post and it’s receiving lots of positive feedback. Janey wants lots of positive feedback too. Janey copies the post, changes a few words around, adds in a few extra ideas and publishes it as her ‘brand new, completely original post’ in all of the 232 Facebook groups that she’s a member of. Nobody will notice, right?

In the last week I’ve read two articles that I immediately connected with. The first, a completely fabulous post by Kate Toon – 19 Things NOT to Do in a Facebook Group – which hilariously highlighted just some of the silliness that I witness daily, and the second by Elena Peters – What’s Up With the Fast Blogging? – a short set of thoughts on the misconceptions of overnight blogging success and the desperation of bloggers to achieve it. They’re both completely different posts, but they essentially focus on the same thing:

FOMO.

Fear Of Missing Out, an all-consuming desire to keep up with everyone else, to have what they have, to do what they’re doing. Continue reading

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How to Create a Successful About Page

About page

When I discover a blog for the first time, it’s rare that I will look at the posts on the home page. Instead, I will usually click straight onto the About page, as this will hopefully tell me about the author and the general theme of the blog itself. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll often make a quick decision based upon what I see there as to whether I wish to delve further. They are also a place where I will go if I want to ask a blogger a question that isn’t related to any of their posts.

Today I noticed that a number of people had clicked on my About page and came to the realisation that it is in need of some serious updating, particularly as the rest of my blog has undergone a huge transformation recently, and I have gained a number of new followers.

In order for me to do this, I had to think about what to include, and with the process came a whole list of ideas of things that I look for when snooping around other peoples efforts. So, before I update my own, I thought I would add to my ‘Blogging Advice’ series and discuss tips for creating a great About page… Continue reading

Blank Screens and Brain Mush: Overcoming Blogger’s Block

This morning was unusual – I got up and went to work, still feeling quite weak and generally ‘bleurgh’ after being ill all weekend. However, by the time I sat down at my desk it became quite evident that I wouldn’t be very productive today, so I was sent home for fear of infecting the rest of the school. I arrived back, changed out of my wet clothes (it’s been raining here constantly over the last week) and decided to update my blog. Unfortunately, I found that I’d been staring at the screen for the fifteen minutes and came to the realisation that I had nothing to write about. Zilch. Zero. Nil points.

In just over six months and almost 500 posts, this was the first time I had experienced the dreaded ‘Bloggers Block.’ If i’m being absolutely honest, it was quite an uncomfortable experience – I had the urge to write something, as I often do, but couldn’t think of a single subject that I found interesting enough to sink my teeth into, or even have a little nibble at.

I was just about to switch my laptop off and then something occured to me (I always think of Gavin and Stacey when I hear the word ‘occuring’ – those of you in the UK will understand this)… why don’t I create a list of ideas for those in a similar situation? So here we are: these are my hints and tips for overcoming Blogger’s Block. Continue reading

Blogging Tips: The Sequel

I was going to call this post ‘Empire Strikes Back‘ as it is the sequel to something that I wrote a while ago (Blogging Tips), but then realised that it made no sense whatsoever to do so.

I’ve recently been getting lots of writers who are new to blogging that are asking for tips and advice. I’ve only been doing this myself for about five months and therefore hope that you don’t feel patronised by this, but rather than writing the same thing repeatedly I thought I would add to my previous list and create a complete post that may assist others when starting out. Please note: this is not a definitive way to blog – these are just tried and tested ideas that have proven to be successful for me. As always, I’d love your comments, feedback and feel free to reblog if you feel it is at all useful to you.

1. Contrary to other’s opinions on blogging, it isn’t necessary to have a theme ie. you don’t have to focus on fashion, or food, or films. Write about what you’re genuinely interested in and don’t concern yourself with the possibility that some readers may not share similar interests. Your passion and enthusiasm for a subject will always be evident in your writing style.

2. Write as frequently as possible – the more you write, the more opportunities the blogging community will have to see your musings. I try to visit my blog daily, although this has been every few days as of late due to work, moving house and sick pets. It takes lots of time to build it up and at weekends I can easily spend HOURS writing. However, remember that quality is always better than quantity.

3. Make sure that what you write is presented in a way that will entice others in. Punchy titles, interesting pictures and well-written paragraphs will not only spark initial interest, it will encourage people to follow you. While i’m on this subject, make sure that you do your best to credit any images and text that you have used that isn’t your own – I’ve seen quite a few examples where bloggers have enraged a photographer by using their pictures without permission.

4. This may sound a little snobbish, but make sure that what you post is well – constructed and well – written. Proof read things before you post them. It doesn’t have to be the ‘Queen’s English’ or of Ph.D quality, but don’t write as though you would text or answer your own jokes with ‘lol’ mid sentence. I instantly switch off after the first few sentences if they are poorly written.

5. Follow various challenges. I participate in the Daily Posts  ‘Daily Prompts,’ every ‘Weekly Photo Challenge,’ and post examples of my writing on the weekly ‘Community Pool.’ It is a fantastic group to follow – they have wonderful writing and photography suggestions with over 50,000 members that are participating in the same challenges and I’ve found it a great place to read fellow bloggers ideas. I also like to particpate in ‘A Word A Week Challenge‘ hosted by Sue and Susie Lindau’s Travel Theme.

 

6. Take the time to visit other people’s blogs. Don’t go through every blog you find and ‘like’ something without reading it. If you genuinely are interested by what somebody has written, comment and let them know that you enjoyed it. Follow them if you feel that their blog is entertaining. Get to know them a little.

7. Share the work of others. Reblogging a post that you thought was well – written takes thirty seconds, but it provides the opportunity for others to view blogs that they may not necessarily see. I have a ‘Sunday Share’ where I highlight blogs that I enjoy reading and I host a monthly ‘blog party’ which allows people to share their favourite posts from their blog. This has also increased the traffic I’ve had both to my blog and others.

8. Don’t become obsessed with your stats. This may seem a case of ‘pot calling kettle’ as I check my stats daily, but you’ll find over time that they become less important. If you lose followers don’t allow yourself to be disheartened – I’ve lost quite a few, but I’ve gained several thousand and these are the people that matter.

9. Appreciate the people who take the time to comment and leave advice on your blog. While I haven’t been brilliant this over the last few days, I usually try to thank every person that has commented as it means a lot to me – they’ve made me laugh, cry (tears of joy I must add) and made feel much better about myself. I’ve been lucky to have met some wonderful people on here and now often receive e-mails and Twitter updates from some of them which is always lovely.

10. Use other social networking sites to promote your blog. I have opened a seperate Twitter and Tumblr account and although it is still in its early stages I have gradually started to include my posts and increase my following.

11. Invite Guest Bloggers to write a post for you. It’s a brilliant opportunity to allow talented writers to share their stories with others. I’ve done this many times and I still have quite a few lined up for the next few weeks…

12. Like any internet venture, protect yourself. Don’t put your personal information or photographs on your blog and don’t allow people to have access to your email address, your personal facebook and twitter or give out your home address unless you feel absolutely comfortable with it.

13. Be honest in your writing. Don’t be scared about telling your readers how you feel about something. I initially started my blog in an attempt to get rid of lots of issues that have been plaguing me for a long time and while I felt a little uncomfortable at first about sharing my true feelings and experiences, the feedback and support that I received was incredible. I call it my ‘WordPress Therapy’ and it has indeed been a truly therapuetic journey.

14. Most importantly, enjoy yourself! WordPress is a wonderful community that allows bloggers from all over the world to be able to meet, support, share, laugh and cry together.

Hope you find this useful! Happy Blogging! You can find me on Twitter @suzie81blog and Tumblr suzie81blog

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