I’m not a very disciplined person. I make resolutions to exercise three times a week and end up doing it three times a year. I don’t meet up with deadlines. I’m late for everything. My attention never stays put. I set diet plans that I never start, constantly pushing it till tomorrow. A thousand tomorrows later, my arms still jiggle when I walk and my stomach is still several inches fuller than it should be. And don’t even get me started on money.
So how can someone like me, whose longest project lasted only two months, ever hope to maintain something as long term as a blog?
I can’t pretend to know the answer but right now, I’m starting by doing something I never do. I’m setting goals. And not just any goals (this will not be like my 2017 resolutions which I quit after a week). Nope. This time, I’m setting goals that I’m actually going to work at. I’m hoping that putting them here will help me keep them in mind and keep me in check. And I’m hoping that you all will hold me accountable. Here goes:
I know! A 100 seems too ambitious. I can hear you think to yourself that I’m already setting myself up to fail. But do the math. A 100 posts is around 2 posts a week. Less than that even. And since I intend to post 2 – 3 times each week, I can definitely meet up and surpass this deadline easy-peasy. I actually put it there so that I would have at least one goal that I know I would surely meet. Is this cheating? Oh well.
Of course you don’t have to post up to 2 times a week but studies show that the more times you post, the more readers you attract.
Because it’s not just about quantity but quality. Content creation is very important. Usually for me, it takes only about 10 minutes for me to belt out an initial draft. This is my draft zero or vomit draft because it is basically a brain dump and generally unreadable, filled with lots of TKs (to-come) and bad grammar. The process after this is what takes a while. The research, re-writes, creating graphics and so on. This process should not be rushed because it will show.
I figure that if you take the time to lovingly create each post then it translates to a greater reading experience.
Traffic. The single scariest thing to a new blogger. It know it gives me nightmares.
It can be disappointing to check your stats and see only 3 views, two of which are probably yours (story of my first post). We try to play it off, telling ourselves that the stats don’t matter because we know that our content is good. But still we obsess over it constantly because deep down, we know that it does matter. And it’s not going to increase just because our content is good. Sometimes, some active steps need to be taken to drive people to our blogs to even read that amazing content. You know, drastic measures and all that.
There are over a 100 strategies to build traffic but the most feasible ones for me right now are
-> Social medial sharing
-> Email list
-> Featuring on a main blog
-> Commenting on other blogs
I plan to use these methods to the extent of my ability.
The danger here is getting so obsessed with traffic that we fail to concentrate on the content. At the end, we need to accept that it’s okay if traffic to our blogs are a bit slow right now. The fact that it is a little more every day means we’re on the right track. All good things take time after all. For now, let’s continue to work on writing great posts for the readers we do have and then work hard to get our content out so other people might benefit from them.
The gurus tell us over and over that a growing email list and an engaging email newsletter is a sure way to boost traffic from returning visitors.
Spending time to plan the content of the newsletter, making it easy for readers to sign up, and offering freebies, coupons and other incentives to subscribers can go a long way in maintaining traffic already reached.
And so I’ve put up sign up forms for my monthly newsletter in the sidebar of each post and on every single page. But just in case you missed it, you can sign up here.
I’m what one might call social media shy (except maybe Pinterest).
It took me forever to get on the gram and even longer to post pictures. My Facebook and twitter accounts were basically dead before I started this blog and even now, it’s still hovering in that space between dead and alive. I have a feeling that skype will always be a mystery to me.
It’s weird, I know. But my personal aversion aside, I’ve learnt that you just cannot gain substantial traffic without making use of these platforms.
So I’m going to study them, get the hang of them so I can begin to use them to drive traffic to my blog. That said, please start up this process and follow me on social media.
I can’t describe what it would mean to me to have the comment section of one of my posts blow up, to have writers respond to my experiences with theirs. We would all gain so much insight into how different and yet similar we all are. And this is, of course, the whole point of this blog. So please join the conversation.
Because networking is everything.
In whatever industry you work in, it’s necessary to get to know the established gurus in that field and also the quickly upcoming people as well. It can be extremely useful too for things like guest posts, links to your site from theirs etc.
Because at the end, this blog is for you, yes you that is reading right now. It’s supposed to help in some way in your journey as a creative. And if I can create some resources that can help make that journey a little easier then I’ll definitely work hard to do it.
That being said, only email subscribes will have access to these resources so if you haven’t signed up yet, hurry up and do so.
This may not be easy because well, what do I know? But I’m enthusiastic and willing to work hard at what I’m do. I’m gathering a list of top blogs and soon, I’ll start pitching my ideas. Fingers crossed.
This one is more personal than any of the others. I think every writer deep down has doubts about his/her writing. We worry we’re not good enough. I think that’s normal so I don’t hope to get rid of that insecurity any time soon. However it would be nice to not have a mini panic attack every time I hit publish.
I know what you’re thinking. So many goals! I’m a little winded myself just thinking about them. In just a few weeks, I’ve realized that if you don’t keep things organized, it’s easy to lose track of everything. Things tend to spiral out of control. So if you’re like me and thus have a problem meeting goals and staying organized, there’s only one thing to do:
Because think about it. You’ll probably forget you have a blog post due until two days before (already flunking goal #2). Now imagine if you have no clue what topic you want to write on, much less ideas on the topic. Things can fast become overwhelming. And then you burn out and quit.
So save yourself a whole lot of stress. Get a fresh notebook and start setting up plans for your blog or better yet, download this blog planner. It’s just a few pages with a simple design based off the plans I had to make at the beginning of this blog. It’s got everything you need if you’re just starting and it’s totally free.
Or if you’re looking for something more detailed, you can purchase a planner from amazon:
So what do you guys think of my goals for the year? Are there any you think I should add? What goals did you set for your blog this year? I’d really love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Alright, it’s the end of the post which means:
So at the end of each post on this blog, there will be writing prompts created from something within the post to stimulate your writing muscles and mine. You can make short stories, poems, whatever from them.
If you like, you can send a copy of any work you write from any of the prompts on this site to firstname.lastname@example.org as long as it’s not too long. I’ll return with honest feedback. The most interesting works would also get published on the blog (with permission and giving due credit) so yay for free publicity!!!
SO today’s prompts: