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My Blogging Journey

blogging tips

My Blogging Journey, 12 Months On

12 months ago I published my very first blog post; yikes reading it still makes me cringe but it marked the start of creative process that I have (for most of the time) enjoyed.  So after 12 months of blogging I think it’s a good time to reflect, don’t you think?  Am I still passionate about the reasons why I started this blog in the first place?  So I guess these are the blogging tips I have picked up along the way.

 What’s worked?

Linking back to older posts has allowed me to share older content that new visitors would not have seen as not all visitors will dig down to older posts previously published.  I’ve also discovered a great plugin called Revive Old Post, fab for retweeting old posts and I can set my own parameters for what gets re-tweeted.

Revamped my site by changing the theme.  My new theme, Kerli, is more me, easy to customise, easy to navigate and it’s design is responsive so easy to read on tablet, desktop or smartphone.  I recommend you read this great article, whether a newbie blogger or looking to change your blog theme.

Appreciating the importance of Blog maintenance, it’s also a great way of updating content and source of inspiration if you get a touch of bloggers block.  Read my blog post on Blog Maintenance for tips and advice.

Upgraded my Canva account to Canva Work; this has helped me to organise my designs more efficiency and the ‘magic resize, option saves time as well as providing design consistency when adapting blog designs across the different social media platforms.

Engaged more with Pinterest; I absolutely love this social media platform and found that I have got more visitors coming to my blog via Pinterest than Twitter, Facebook or via online search.

Following other bloggers has inspired me to present my content differently, take a different approach to how I design my graphics but most importantly to ALWAYS be myself when I write!  Some of my favourite bloggers include White Oak Creative, Wonderlass, byRegina.com, Carly Rowena and Kayla Itsines.

What do I need to work on?

My photography skills still need major room for improvement but I’ve not quite thrown on the towel.  It’s all about getting as much practice as possible and being more organised.  Pinterest, as always has been a great source of inspiration and advice.

I’ve taken onboard  advice from some fab bloggers, these articles have been particulary useful:

5 Time Saving Tips for Blog Photography – great tips from itspinkpot.com

10 Photography Tips for (not only) Bloggers – practical advice and source of inspiration from Thirteen Thoughts

Using different blog post formats; I think I tend to be very samey with the format of my blog posts so I need to work on publishing content in different formats especially those that potentially attract more readers.  These include Lists, How To Guides, Curated content, Tips and Advice.  This blog post from A Girl Obsessed offers fab ideas for different types of Blog Posts that gets loads of views.

Engaging more with fellow bloggers.  I guess I’m a bit shy when it comes to commenting on other bloggers blog posts but I know from having read the advice from other blogs that commenting on posts can help to grow readership on your own blog posts.  So I guess I need to overcome the shyness and engage more!

What are my blogging goals for the future?

I suppose it’s really to keep blogging and not worry about the frequency of publishing posts.  I know most blog advice recommends consistency and a regular schedule when you post which I do agree with if you want to engage and grow readership but I’m not going to beat myself up if I still fall short on this.

Do I still have that passion to continue to blog?

Honestly?  The passion for my blog has at times dwindled.  Partly because there has been a lot this year to contend with on a personal basis but I have enjoyed the paths that  blogging has taken me down.  I’ve discovered new interests, read more, flexed my brain in different ways and have totally loved the whole process of being creative.  The original goals of why I started this blog still remain but I’ve struggled to committing the time I’ve needed to grow readership.  But you know what?  I’m perfectly happy with that.  I will continue to blog but I’m not stressing over how often I will try and publish or obsess over stats. I intend to enjoy the blogging process and see where this blog takes me in the next 12 months!

Thank you for reading this.  Do you blog?  What are the positives you have taken from blogging?  Have you any blogging tips or advice for the newbie blogger?

 

My Blogging Tips when it comes to Blog Maintenance

Blogging tips

Blog Maintenance; don’t think of it as a chore as there are benefits to doing it!

Blog Maintenance is something that I have learnt is an absolute must when it comes to running a blog. When I started Busyfitmama I had the rose tinted view that I would write a blog post, add some images and throw it out there.  How lovely eh?  My blogging skills are evolving all the time so it makes perfect sense to revisit not only my old blog posts but also my blog in general to make sure it still represents the direction of my blog.  By refreshing and updating my  blog I’m not only increasing the likelihood of more traffic but I’m also improving the look of images, refreshing the content of posts and perhaps removing irrelevant, out-dated items.  It can also inspire me to write a new post as a new idea might pop into my head as I read through an old post.  So here are my own blogging tips when it comes to blog maintenance.

Update old images and graphics

My photography and design skills are evolving all the time, still not great but definitely an improvement on my early attempts to create images and graphics for my articles. I’m trying to develop a more cohesive look to the my images and graphics so I tend to periodically review each article to make sure it fits with what I am trying to achieve visually with my blog in general.  I might want to change the font on my blog headers or change a colour scheme.  I love Canva and I have recently upgraded to Canva for Work so I can develop a more cohesive look with colours, fonts and layout for my graphics. I am also starting to add my own images and replacing some of the stock photography but that’s a very slow process!

Review the content of old blog posts; update or delete

Can I add or delete any of the information? Are the links working?  Can I link an older post to one of my more recent posts? Can I refine the title in any way, perhaps make it more SEO friendly?  If a post is completely outdated or now irrelevant to you blog then remove it completely.

Check how SEO friendly blog posts really are

I use the Yoast plug-in to help make my blog more SEO friendly. I will review keywords and post titles.  Do I need to change anything?  Shorten a title or maybe change a keyword?  I’ll also review any links I have in the blog so check they still work; if not they are removed and maybe replaced.

Re-schedule an older blog post on Social Media Platforms

The hope is readers will arrive at a blog post you’ve just published, love it and want to read your other articles? Yes that happens but not always.  I tend to take an older post, update if necessary and then re-post onto social media.  I will use Hootsuite as a scheduling platform to help me plan ahead and target times when I’m likely to get more traffic.

Blog maintenance needn’t be a chore. It’s a must for me and instead of finding it a tedious task I see it as a way to re-focus and ensure that what I publish fits with what I want the direction of my blog to go in!  I find it’s great when I am short on inspiration; reading an old blog will often give me idea for a new post!  Don’t think of it as a drag and something you put off.  Do it as a means of reflecting on your past blogging journey and provide focus for what you want to do next!

Don't regard #blog maintenance as a chore think of it as a way to re-focus your blogging goals! Click To Tweet

Do you carry out blog maintenance? Do you find it a chore or something that can be quite positive?  Have you got any blogging tips when it comes to maintaining your own blog?

Happy 6 Months Blog Anniversary to me!

It's only been 6 months for Busyfitmama.com so here's my Blog Life so far! What I've learnt, what mistakes I've made, what next? http://www.busyfitmama.com/happy-6-months-blog-anniversary-to-me/

Happy 6 Months Blog Anniversary to me!

I still can’t bring myself to look at my first blog; Time to Start Blogging. OK I do occasionally glance at it when I open up WordPress for a bit of a Blog Housekeeping session (meaning when I have bloggers block) but I need a little more time to prepare myself for the toenail curling experience I’ll have when I do eventually look at it again.

So 6 months isn’t a long time in the great scheme of things, well it is when you are 5 and waiting for your birthday or Christmas day to arrive but when you are a grown-up it really isn’t. It’s also not a lot of time in the blogging world either but for me it’s probably an opportunity to reflect on how it’s all been going and maybe focus on what I’m going to do blog-wise for the next 6 months.

So I've been blogging for 6 months, what have I learnt and what do I need to focus on next? #blogshare Click To Tweet

The Story so far in the world of me and busyfitmama?

What have I learnt?

You probably won’t become an overnight success, be able to hand your notice in and earn millions! Blogging is hard work!

Looking at how others Blog and reading their blogging journeys has not only motivated me to carry on but I don’t feel that I’m the only one that isn’t getting the supposed success or engagement that we all perhaps want when we take the plunge and create a blog.

I prefer to take my own images and not rely on stock photography. Ok my images aren’t great, still very much work in progress but they are mine.  Yes I do use some stock photography and love Pixabay but adding my own images has been a means of injecting my own personality into my blog. Having a mix of my own images and stock photography has worked for me.

Using Apps/software to automate the admin side of my blog or help improve my graphic design and photography skills (although that is debatable at times).  I now can’t do without Canva, Hootsuite.

Discovering the world of infographics. Wow!  I love them!  I’ve actually started creating some myself.  Check this one out; http://www.busyfitmama.com/how-to-establish-a-morning-gym-routine-infographic/

What have I enjoyed?

The whole creative process in creating a blog and getting it out there.

The learning curve that I’ve experienced and am still experiencing. From registering a domain name, getting to grips with WordPress, editing images and trying to develop a social media strategy (of sorts).  The list goes on.  Basically I think it’s made me use the grey matter again and at times push me out of my comfort zone.

Falling back in love with Twitter and discovering Pinterest. Both amazing when it’s come to finding other bloggers, providing help when stuck on something technical and helping to motivate and inspire me to get a post published.

What’s not been so enjoyable?

Spam! Grrrrr.  Still fighting the battle on that one, I can only liken it to fighting Zombies in a post-apocalyptic world; relentless, never ending with the odd victory along the way!

Editing and using my own images only to find they look rubbish when I look at one of my published blogs.

What mistakes have I made?

Becoming obsessed with statistics. Number of hits, number of twitter impressions, number of comments ……….  Yes I do get a buzz when one of my blogs gets a load of hits but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all if a blog doesn’t get many views or no retweets when I throw it out there.  I need to get over it, perhaps look more strategically at how I can get more engagement.

Not always writing it in my own style. I’m busy, I’m a mum, I’m passionate about fitness and being healthy, my life is chaotic.  So why at times do I write like a robot?  I believe it’s important to inject your own personality into your blogs and this is something I need to keep focused on when I am writing.

Writing to please SEO requirements. Yes it is important and gives your blog a potential to be ranked higher but I’ve got to write first then look at ways to improve SEO; not the other way round which I’ve been guilty of doing!

What do I need to improve on?

Being more disciplined about getting blogs written, organised and published. I’m still all over the place when it comes to the frequency of publishing. It is a time thing, I’m busy and life just gets in the way.  I’ve overcome barriers when it comes to my fitness, perhaps I need to apply this to my blogging.  Sitting in a coffee shop writing dream-inspiring blogs would be lovely but at the end of the day I’ve still got to get the kid’s packed lunches sorted, still have to go to work and occasionally address the pile of ironing, which like zombies and spam, simply won’t go away if I ignore it!

So what happens next?

OK it’s only been 6 months. I’m still a newbie.  I need to look at establishing a more regular pattern for blogging.  Be mindful of not losing sight of why I started to blog and most importantly for me write as me!  This a been a great opportunity to reflect on my blogging experience.  Here’s hoping I still feel passionate about why I blog when I look back at this post in 6 months time!

6 Months Blog Anniversary

Are you new to blogging? Have you taken time out to reflect on how it’s all going?  Are you a blog veteran?  Are there any tips that you have for the newbie blogger?

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