Reconnecting

2018 has been quite a mixed year for blogging, so I took a little break for a little while. However, I’ve started to develop my posting schedule, have suddenly found myself with a whole list of content ideas and was quickly reminded of the sheer joy it brings and just how much I missed it. I also miss the connections that I have with some of my online friends and their posts… 

During October a number of my writer friends start to plan for National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with the goal being to write 50,000 words. To coincide with this, I’ve set myself the challenge of participating in my own little National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) but on my own terms and will be posting every single day for the entirety of November.  Continue reading

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How to Create Blog Posts That Remain Relevant Over Time

imageOf my Top Ten most viewed posts in 2015, six of them were posted in the eighteen months before.

This could mean that a large amount of what I created last year was rubbish. Or, (as I like to put a positive slant on things), it could be because these six particular posts remain relevant to an audience regardless of time.

Suzie Speaks has never had a niche – I write about what I feel like, whenever the urge takes hold, and over the last two-and-a-half years I have amassed hundreds of posts that range from my daily experiences, reviews and thoughts, to listicles, ‘How To’s’ and photography.

It is generally the listicles – a list of things on one particular topic – personal stories and How To’s that have proven to be the most popular as time has progressed, and I regularly see posts on Pinterest (my new favourite place on social media) that have been published several years ago that are still being repinned because of their continuing relevance.

For example:

23 Things You Should Do Before You’re 23 was written in 2014 in response to an infuriating article that went viral. At the time of publishing I received a good response, but over several months I noticed that, while the number of views were lower than they were initially, the post would frequently appear in my daily stats without any promotion. Sometimes there would is a spike, where someone has obviously recently read it and shared it on their social media, but as you can see from the stats table it generally remains at a constant of ten to twenty views a day. Continue reading

Brain Freeze and Post Recycling

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I haven’t had much opportunity to be able to post much over the last few weeks and so I took the chance to revisit articles from the last year. After twenty months of blogging and hundreds of posts I have reached a point where I am running out of ideas and was hoping to find inspiration in my old stuff.

I have done this at various points throughout the year and this has often resulted in the deletion of numerous posts that I didn’t feel were quite up to scratch, particularly as my following has grown and my writing style has developed. However, this time I found quite a few that hadn’t been viewed as much as some of my more recent ramblings, and so I have decided to edit them and share them again throughout the week. It has given me a chance to tidy up the blog and it’s content.

What about you guys? Do you look back on your previous articles and cringe, or do you want to share them again?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

If I Knew Then: What I’ve Learned About Blogging

imageJust over a year ago I started Suzie81 Speaks as an online journal. I had been experiencing a difficult time and as writing has always been therapeutic it was the perfect solution. I had no goals – the act of writing was simply enough. However, over a short space of time, this little space of the Internet grew beyond any expectations that I had ever imagined and I found that as I began to recover, my writing style and goals changed.

I’ve learned a lot, and if I could go back and do it again these are the things that I would do differently.

1. I would decide on a name that I was happy with at the very beginning. In my excitement about the prospect of starting the blog, I hastily chose the name ‘Suzie81’ – my name and the year that I was born. After a while I became really dissatisfied with my choice – it had no real reference to any of the content in the blog – but by this point everybody knew me as this name. When I later purchased my domain name, there were very few options that I could use and I ended up changing it to ‘Suzie81 Speaks’ so as not to confuse my followers.

2. I would create a set of profiles on other social media networks from the beginning. It took me about eight months to establish a Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest account, and I’ve always regretted not doing this sooner as these are now responsible for the majority of my views on my site. An important thing to know here is that none of them are linked to my personal pages on the same sites – I created a completely separate account for each, along with a new email address.

3. I would participate in link ups earlier. I participate in regular link ups on Twitter, particularly at the Sits Girls #sitssharefest on Saturdays and Rachel in the OC’s #MondayBlogs on Mondays. I’ve been able to meet hundreds of lovely people and it’s a great opportunity to share and read new posts.

4. I wouldn’t share the fact that I have a blog with many people in my personal life. I have lots of lovely friends who have been very supportive, but as the blog became more popular it has been used against me, which caused some issues. I have also found that as lots of people in my life now read my ramblings it prevents me from writing about certain issues that are very personal, which defeats the point of the blog in the first place.

5. I wouldn’t be as hasty to post something just for the sake of posting it. In my early blogging madness I posted everything I could think of. Looking back, I’ve had to revisit lots of things and delete them, simply because they have no meaning with what I thought I was trying to create.

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Here are some simple ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ that may be useful if you are starting your blog.

1. Don’t expect too much. There are MILLIONS of blogs out there. You are not going to gain thousands of followers (unless your post goes viral) simply by pressing the publish button. Blogging takes LOTS of time and effort.

2. Don’t feel that your blog should have a niche. I follow lots of great blogs that do, but I prefer to cover lots of topics within my own.

3. Do take the time to visit lots of other blogs and follow them.

4. Don’t automatically expect (or even worse, request and plead for) a follow back. This is one of my biggest annoyances – I follow about 250, but I often receive messages saying ‘I’ve followed you, now you need to follow me.’ Why? Others shouldn’t be made to feel obliged or bullied into following you simply to return the favour.

5. Do leave comments on other blogs to let them know that you have enjoyed what you have read.

6. Don’t spam comment sections with links to your own posts. This happens to me a lot, and while I always try and share, tweet and reblog posts I get irritated when others end their comment with a link to their latest post, demanding that we ‘check it out.’

7. Do make the effort to reply to comments that have been left on your posts. I read and appreciate every single comment that is ever written, but until recently I have been poor at replying to some of them. This was because work became a priority and took over life somewhat, but I always make the effort to reply when I can.

8. Do remember that content is key. I love inspirational posters, but there are only so many that you can post before your audience may start to get bored. Make sure that your content is your own – if you have used somebody else’s and images, be sure to credit them.

9. Do be respectful at all times. One of the best things about the WordPress community is that the majority of people are unbelievably friendly and supportive.

10. Don’t expect everyone to agree with you. If you choose to write about a controversial subject, it is highly unlikely that all of your audience will support you in your arguments. Listen, respond and be respectful about it.

What about you guys? Any hints and tips that you have learned in your blogging endeavours?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

 

Image credits:

guardianlv.com

http://www.petitemom.com