Tuesday, 30 January 2018

How I've changed my approach to blogging


I've been changing my approach to blogging recently, and it's not only having a positive affect on my blog itself, but on how I feel about my blog too. I'm so much happier and way more motivated than I was before. It was hard at first, I kept going back into old habits, but after some persistence it's really paid off. My stats are better than they were, (I think) I'm putting out better content and more often, and I feel more confident engaging with others too. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you how I changed my approach to blogging.

Comparison

I used to compare myself to other bloggers quite a lot. Bigger bloggers, smaller bloggers, blogs that are entirely different to my blog. You name it, I compared myself to them all. That made me feel crap about my blog, especially when I'd find blogs half the age of mine but had caught up and passed my blogs numbers. Instead of putting in more hours or changing how I was using social media, it made me less motivated to do anything with my blog and so I'd not blog for weeks, making my stats worse.
It was a vicious cycle I got myself into. I've seen a lot of people say "don't compare yourself or you stats as it'll make you feel bad" but for some reason I liked torturing myself. I should have listened the first time! 

Stats & Promotion

I was putting way too much value on my pageviews and other stats. It's great to hit your goals and milestones, and I do still check my stats, but rather than checking on a daily basis I try to keep it to once a week. I still promote my posts but rather than checking how many views a post has gotten only hours after posting it I wait a few days to a week before I look at any stats or views.
I wasn't promoting my posts or other social media nearly enough either, so my stats were often disappointing. I still find it hard to know how much is too much or too little, I don't want to be spammy but I also don't want to get lost in the crowd on Twitter, but with a little help I'm getting better at it and I've changed my view on self-promotion entirely. Jade really helped me out with knowing more of what to do with which social media account, and she's turned it into a blog post which you can read here.

Content & Niche

I did write a post about this not so long ago, which you can read here, but I felt it needed mentioning again. I used to force myself to post about things I thought others wanted to read, rather that what I wanted to post. I did this thinking it's what was going to grow my blog, as I mentioned earlier stats were a big thing to me, but really all it did was set me back.
I've started writing what I want to write about, or what I would find helpful. It cuts my audience down by quite a bit, but it means the people who do read and follow my content are truly interested and like-minded people. I mean, I have 3 chicks in my pantry right now and piglets running around outside my front door. One of the "must-haves" of my engagement ring was that it was easy to get gloves on and off with, and not be something that will catch when I'm on the farm. That's my lifestyle, and that's what I write about.

Middle ground

I was either too organized or not organized enough. Too hard on myself, or completely undisciplined. Reading every single post on Pinterest about every blogging tip ever, or completely ignoring valuable advice. 
It obviously didn't work very well, and I could have saved myself a lot of hassle, anxiety, and just feeling down about my blog in general had I found a middle ground.
I still have to consciously stop myself from going to either extreme, but it's well worth it. I'm much happier both in general and with my blog.

How have you changed your approach to blogging over time? Do you think you have any "bad habits" when it comes to your blog?