As I’m writing this, I finally feel somewhat qualified to actually do this. Give advice on blogging of all things. During my time in this hobby, three years now jeez the time has gone by, I’ve come to realize a few things. Some small and obvious, some are bigger picture items, but I always got intimidated by the idea of advice posts. There’s always someone whose been ‘doing the thing’ longer then you have, better then you have, has more followers then you have, etc. So little ol’ me always felt somewhat intimidated to offer advice for some reason.
Not today! It’s my third anniversary and I’ll blog if I want to! And that’s what I’m here to do today!
I’m going to be honest, none of these tips are going to be revolutionary by any means. I hope my eplainations add something to the conversation, and that’s about all I’m hoping to do here. So let’s go ahead and get started.
To schedule or not, that is the never ending question. It completely depends on you, which sounds trite but true. There are bloggers that, without fail for going on years now have a blog post out every single day. I salute them, because that’s a lot of content to think of, type, spell check, add media to, tag, and either hit post or get scheduled for the next day. There are others who do all that, but only post once a month, if that. Even more still who only post once in a blue moon and get several thousand views in an hour, etc. There’s bloggers of every type.
I highly recommend trying out a few different schedules for a set period of time to see what fits you best. Try having a series like a music Monday, whatever floats your boat that has you posting at least once a week. Doing a daily challenge that gives you prompts for every day can show you what it’s like to daily blog. Heck, deciding you’re going to post on the second Wednesday of every month can be a schedule if you stick with it. The point is, play around with scheduling and see how it all goes.
Personally for me, I always wanted to be an every other day sort of blogger. Covering such a wide net of content as I do, there’s plenty of things for me to talk about, always. A thing I noticed earlier on is that most of the bloggers that have a schedule of some sort, tend to stick around. You don’t have to disclose your’s publicly, although there are bloggers who do that, but it can be helpful. Schedule can mean whatever you want it to, but I recommend having one so that way I can see all your amazing ideas.
The first point, absolutely take them. I’ve seen so many bloggers hesitantly admit things like lost passion, personal life events, etc happening but they never stop blogging because they don’t want to lose their audience. While I understand that fear, blogging isn’t like Instagram or Youtube where when you suddenly stop uploading everything just disappears and your audience with it. People will stumble upon your content even if it’s been years. Other bloggers tend to be kind and get it that stuff happens. Most of us would rather you take a break, re-evaluate, and comeback then just burn out completely and we no longer hear from you.
Second point to breaks is that when you are able schedule them, and let your audience know. There are a lot of bloggers who have school, a demanding job with workload patterns that they can anticipate, so taking a break around events you know are coming (exams, weddings, company projects, etc) is an easy way to alleviate stress while blogging. It also helps recharge your mental batteries by unplugging a bit, even temporarily.
Third point, which isn’t always possible; is let your audience know. I’ve been lucky enough, and I’m the type of person who can usually get out a post saying I’ll be gone and for approximately how long before taking a break. Every blogger I’ve seen react to these posts are usually very kind and polite to send well wishes. Everyone likes a head’s up, big or small when content changes.
Of course, real life comes at you fast. It’s not always possible nor is it a priority to put a message on your blog saying ‘hey I’m going on hiatus’. Put yourself first, always. Most of the time, your audience will hang around long enough to welcome you back with open arms.
And an aside; even if you randomly update with a ‘it’s been awhile, I’m on hiatus, will explain later’ is more then enough. You don’t have divulge personal details unless you want to.
On your Blog Content: you don’t have to just review things!
This one took me awhile to wrap my head around. Originally my blog was going to be centered around reviews, and that was about it. If you take a look at my blog now, well… there’s still a lot of reviews. I follow a lot of blogs whose core content does center around reviews of some sort. Don’t get me wrong, reviews are pretty damn cool and I wouldn’t write so many and read just as many, if I didn’t get some sort of satisfaction from doing so. Some things never change, but I learned there’s a lot of other stuff you can talk about if you want.
Like, I never thought about doing a character study until I watched Ahiru no Sora, and realized how much I wanted to talk about why I liked Tobi so much. (That post will come, eventually like all things on my blog) The idea of ‘character analysis’ sounds so academic, and trust me there are a lot of neat ass blogs who do pretty academic stuff on their blogs minus the grade (I think?…). I use to think Top 10 or list style blogs were a quick cop out, until I tried writing one myself. I quickly realized how much I had to say most of the time. Same thing with tag posts, they seem like they’d be easy but I always end up writing so much more…
So don’t be afraid to take a peek, inspiration, or even flat out borrow an idea if you can put your own spin on it. I’ve done it. Your other favorites have done it. It’s okay to do it from time to time. Blogging is a community based activity, so it’s always appreciated to shine a little light back on those who tagged, or inspired you to write a particular post.
So that’s about all the real advice I have at the moment. Blogging is such a flexible hobby that you can do just about anything and no one can really tell you that you’re doing it wrong. Unless you’re stealing content. That’s wrong, and illegal. But that aside, this is what I’ve decided with suffice for a third anniversary of my own blog celebrate. As always, with that being said, I’ll see you next post!