One of my resolutions, which admittedly I never wrote down or actually finalised, even in my head, was to continue blogging and, more importantly, enjoying blogging. When I look at blogs all day long for work, quite often write blog posts for work too, then come home and run this blog, a lingerie blog and the Thomas the Baker blog for my dad, it can sometimes seem like a chore to get content written up for all of them. I’ve made a concerted effort at the start of this year though to put more into blogging, so you may have noticed a few more posts around here than usual.
So how am I working on being more active on the blog?
1. Use social media to interact and not just read
I’m definitely guilty of just scrolling through social media at random and not interacting much. I find Twitter to be quite intimidating at times due to the huge amount of stuff on there, and Facebook can be hard to get real interaction on due to their algorithms, so sometimes it’s only too easy to look at what others are doing and not do much yourself. Try to make an effort to comment on what others are sharing, start up real conversations, share things that you love – it’ll all help get you into the mindset of being more active.
2. Have a schedule to keep up with (blogging, social media etc.)
One thing I’ve done this month for both my blogs is to set up a proper content calendar outlining what I plan to post each day, where I’m currently at with each (whether photos have been taken, notes have been made, content written, scheduled, or if it’s simply just an idea), and any future ideas I come up with on the spot. I’ve currently got this all colour coded with a traffic light system, and even further colour coded for Big Cup Little Cup to show which posts I’m doing and which Charley is doing – helps to keep us organised!
If it helps you, start a regular series of posts so that every Monday you post about make up, every Wednesday it’s an outfit, for example. Personally, I’ve found I don’t stick very well to these, but they work for a lot of people.
3. Download an editorial calendar
If you don’t have time or energy to create your own content calendar or schedule – use someone else’s! There’s no shortage of free downloadable calendars out there, so have a look around and find one that works for you. Here you can find an example of yearly and monthly ones, or check out this list for more. You’ll find you hold yourself more accountable for what you’re doing if you keep track of it all too.
4. Visit other blogs, know what’s going on around you in the “Blogosphere”, and comment
Everywhere you go, you’re told to comment on others’ blog, so it’s got to be good advice! While it’s good to help you increase your traffic, make sure these are real comments on posts you actually really enjoy. Find blogs that are similar to you, people you get on with, and strike up some relationships. You’ll often find they’ll comment back, and receiving those spurs you on to write more.
5. Take a notebook/phone with you everywhere to note down ideas
This is the typical thing you’ll read on all these lists, but keep something handy to note down any ideas that occur to you throughout the day. As I said before, I’m very guilty of forgetting ideas I’ve had or not getting round to writing them up. Having them noted down means that whenever you get a spare minute to blog, you’re not floundering for ideas.
6. Take pictures everywhere you go
Have a camera or phone with you at all times to be able to snap a quick picture – you never know when they might come in handy to blog, so you’re ready to go with an image for a post at the drop of a hat. I got my new photography lights for Christmas which mean that I’m managing to stay motivated to get pictures, even though it’s dark on an evening, but this isn’t an absolute necessity (we just have terrible lighting in our house!).
7. Go self-hosted & get your own domain
One of the best things I’ve done for my blog was to get my own domain. I was originally on .blogpost.com, but moved over to RebelAngel.co.uk when I started working at Bronco as they advised me to. So when I set up BCLC, we bought the domain straight away for that. I’m also self hosted on both of these now too. A lot of people think it’s confusing and difficult to sort both these things out, but I purchased through 1&1 and didn’t have any difficulties. They just renew annually automatically now, and I haven’t yet had a problem. I find being self hosted and having my own domain make me feel more “professional”, which means I should act more professionally and make sure that I’ve posting consistently, if that makes sense?! It also helps to find more brands to work with you if you have your own domain too by the way – we find that’s mostly what our clients are looking for at work.
8. Return to social media at various times of the day
Yes okay, you can plug your own blog (guilty!), but also speak to others, post about things you like, share other people’s posts and content. You’ll see different people there at different times of day who you can interact with, and being friendly and sharing relevant posts to your audience will increase your engagement.
9. But finally, you don’t need to be super organised!
I have drafts for posts from months and months ago which I’m constantly adding to whenever I feel like it – one day they’ll finally get finished and go up – it means I have “almost done” things ready to be finished if I only have half an hour for blogging for example. Just like having ideas written down and photos already taken, you’ll be much more motivated to post if you’ve got something already started.