blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Re-Use Published Posts

Now, before you get all…

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Take a second to hear me out.

It is completely OKAY to re-use old content. You might have noticed lately that I have been re-sharing writing and blogging advice that I posted in the past.

Here’s why:

  • My Blog is Growing! (Which is awesome by the way) And that means that I have new followers.
  • New followers means that I have people currently following my blog and reading my posts who have not seen the old posts.
  • So, I share the old posts for two primary reasons:
    • So that my new followers will have access to writing and blogging tips previously published
    • And that my old followers will be reminded of writing and blogging tips they have previously read.

Not only is this beneficial for my followers, new or vintage, but it is helpful for me as well because it helps fill up my blogging schedule.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You should not, definitely not, spam your blog with old content. Do not repost the same blogs every week or every month in a never ending cycle. Your blog should consist primarily of new content with some old content thrown in.

Here is what I consider the golden ration when I post 10 times every two weeks:

8 new vs. 2 old

(In every two week span I normally re-share 1-2 posts per 10 blogs)

80% of my blogs are new, fresh, and exciting content while 20% is re-sharing previously published content for those who have not seen it or need the reminder.

Also, I hardly ever re-share movie reviews, contest results, etc. because no one needs to hear that twice. I only ever re-share writing tips, blogging tips, and maybe the occasional short story or poem.

What do you think about re-sharing previously posted content?

What is your golden ratio?

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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blogging tips, College Writing Tips, Writing Tips

Life Tip: Stop Limiting Yourself

Today’s tip really can apply to just about any of my normal categories. Whether you’re a writer or a blogger, listen, stop limiting yourself.

Do you realize that our own expectations and beliefs in ourselves can ultimately limit us more than the world can?

Let me put this into perspective for you. This past semester, I had a conference with a student who did not believe that he could get an A in any English class class and so his goal was to get a B.

During our conference I discussed his current standing, how I believed he could get an A, determined by his effort and his own expectations in himself. At the end of our meeting, this student decided that he was going to shoot for an A instead of a B. Guess what he got in my class?

The point is this: why do we set these restrictions on our own goals and dreams? The obvious reason is self-doubt or a lack of faith in ourselves, which ultimately travels back to the idea of fear. We are afraid of being wrong, we are afraid on disappointing ourselves and others. We are afraid that if we aim too high, we have no choice but to fall.

Well let me tell you, I’d rather aim high and fall lower every time rather than never reach my full potential.

When we put our own limits on our goals, we will never see just how far we can go or what we can actually accomplish. So please, stop limiting yourself in your writing, in your dreams, in your blogging, in your relationships.

Think kindly of yourself and shoot for the stars!

Happy Writing!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Challenge Yourself

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about blog scheduling, more specifically, how often you should post a week.

I know, I know, I’ve already freaked out half of you and the other half of you are staring at the screen like this:

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Blog scheduling, meaning how often you post on your blog (not to be confused with scheduling your posts ahead of time–which you should do), is going to be different for every individual. Some bloggers post every single day. *Hats off to them*

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Some bloggers only post on the week days, taking weekends off. Other bloggers, like me, only post 3 times a week, some only post once and so on and so forth. Like I said before, blog scheduling is different for every blogger. However, there are some consistencies that every blogger should keep in mind.

  1. If you want to grow your blog, you need to be posting at least once a week. If we only see you once a month, odds are, we won’t remember you all that well. (This may not be true for all circumstances but it’s a general rule).
  2. If you want to maintain followers, you need to be reading and commenting on other blogs the same amount (if not more) than when you are posting your own content.
  3. Lastly, (and what today’s blog is really about), you need to challenge yourself with your scheduling goals.

Blogging is hard, I know, trust me, I completely understand that. I have been blogging for about a year and a half now and some days I feel burnt out, not just in blogging but in everything. However, if you don’t push passed your walls, you will always find yourself blocked by something.

While it is wise to set realistic blogging goals, it is unwise to “settle” in your goals. For instance, if you work two jobs and you’re in school or a parent, it might be a tad unrealistic to say that you are going to blog every single day. So I would suggest that you to set a realistic goal, but not a “settling” goal. What do I mean by a “settling” goal?

Story Time! At the beginning of Fall 2018, I was heading back into the busiest season of the year for me and I had thought long and hard about my blogging schedule in the next coming months. I considered reducing my weekly posts. I knew that every day, or even 5 times a week was unrealistic for my schedule, but I also knew that I did not want to settle and simply pop in once a week. So, I decided that with a little extra effort, I could make 3 posts a week work. (Now, I’ve been about 90% successful in this, which ultimately shows me that I chose the right number. It’s enough posts a week that I am challenged to complete it, but not so challenged that I continuously fail).

So today, I encourage you to take a look at your blogging schedule. Are you being unrealistic, realistic/challenging, or are you just settling?

What do you think? Should we challenge ourselves in our weekly blogging schedule?

Happy Blogging Everyone!

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©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: STOP Writing

“Stop writing?!”

“But Kayla,” you may ask me, “how can you tell me to stop writing? Shouldn’t we keep writing? After all, we are writers! How can we be writers if we are not writing? How does stopping our writing actually help our writing? Isn’t that contradictory?”

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Now before you turn away from me and shake your head in disgust, hear me out.

I’m not saying that we should stop all writing. I am saying that you should stop working on the project you’re currently working on once you have finished it. For writers there is this huge urge that once we finally finish a project we automatically want to go back through, edit, and send it to a publisher. It’s just not realistic guys. In order for a work to be good you need to utilize the power of distance.

Now some of you may be wondering what the power of distances and others of you might have already heard of it. For those of you who are unfamiliar or need the refresher: The power of distance is, as it sounds, distancing yourself from your work after you have finished it.

Once you have finished a project you set it aside. If it’s on your computer, exit out of the file for a while (I know it’s scary but don’t worry it’ll still be there when you get back to it). If you’re writing in a notebook (hey kudos to you not a lot of people do that anymore),  close the notebook, put in a drawer and leave it alone. Give your work at least a couple of days if not weeks to rest and work on other projects in the meantime. Heck, go outside and see the sun once in a while (you know us writers are vitamin D deficient).

After a few days or a few weeks whatever you can manage, although longer is better, take your work out. The distance that you have given yourself and your writing will now do several things for you:

  • You will no longer be wrapped in the euphoria of finishing your project. As such, you will be able to remove your rose-colored glasses and look at your work for what it is: beautiful, but in serious need of some editing.
  • Due to the above, you will also be more willing to do what needs to be done, even if this means cutting out whole sections or chapters of your work.
  • You will gain a new and fresh perspective. I’m sure many of you college students out there know the feeling of turning in a paper, believing it to be 100% free of errors only to have it returned to you with red marks and think to yourself, “How did I miss that?” Do you know that when we read the same thing over and over, our brain will automatically fill in the gaps because it knows where we are going? That is why students often miss entire words in their essays, because their brain automatically assumes the words are there. By placing distance between your work and yourself, you give your brain a chance to restart and give your eyes a fresh chance to look at your material (making it easier to spot mistakes).

Try for yourself guys and let me know how it goes! Once you do finish a project and utilize the power of distance I encourage you to NOT EDIT, but rather, to Rewrite Instead.

Happy Writing Everyone!

 

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: When to Follow/(Un)follow?

Hello Bloggers!

Recently, one of my blogging friends reached out to me and asked about the rules of following. Should we follow every blogger we come into contact with? Should we follow any blogger who follows us? Do we unfollow bloggers after a time?

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First off, let me just state: there are no official rules. For the most part, this is based on your individual preference as a blogger.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me get down to what I believe about following.

If Someone Follows My Blog:

  • I will click on theirs and look around. I’ll probably even read a post or two.
  • Now, just because they followed my blog does not mean that I will follow theirs back. I will only follow a blog back if I like the content (for instance, I probably will not follow back a traveling blog while I will follow back fellow authors). So, I already have a limited amount of people who I follow.
    • There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. For instance, I follow a couple of travel blogs and make-up blogs, not necessarily for the content, but because I enjoy the blogger’s writing style.
  • In my opinion, you should not follow someone just so heighten your follower count or theirs. I prefer bloggers to follow my blog only if they are genuinely interested in what I have to say.

When to Unfollow a Blog:

  • I never unfollow anyone (even if I haven’t commented on their posts for awhile) unless they post something that I find repulsive or antagonistic.
  • For instance, if a blogger I choose to follow is a fellow author and all the sudden their whole blog turns aggressively political, I will probably unfollow because I don’t want that on my feed. Otherwise, I don’t really unfollow anyone.

What do you think? Are your “rules” different from mine?

Let me know in the comments!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Engaging in Reciprocation One Reply at a Time

Hello Bloggers!

I keep talking and talking (and talking) about this word “reciprocation.” According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, reciprocation means:

reciprocate (v.)

“to return, requite,” 1610s, back-formation from reciprocation, or else from Latin reciprocatus, past participle of reciprocare “rise and fall, move back and forth; reverse the motion of,” from reciprocus (see reciprocal). Related: Reciprocatedreciprocating.

 

Let’s focus on this idea of “to return.” Reciprocation means to give back what has been given, or to reflect in equal measures. Now sometimes, we can reciprocate above and beyond what we have been given, but for now, let’s just look at the prospect of equal reciprocation.

What does this look like in blogging? In some ways, it is extremely simple:

If someone visits your blog, visit theirs.

Of course, we can take this even further with a like for a like or a comment for a comment. 99% of the time, I do my very best to engage in this method of reciprocation. For instance, if someone visits my blog and leaves a comment, I open their blog in a new tab before I respond to them and so on and so forth. If you examine the photo below, you’ll notice that I have 17+ tabs open.

Reciprocation

The first tab is my site, this is where I open my notifications and check my likes, read comments, and respond. As I am going through my notifications, every time I come across a comment on my blog, I do my best to open a new tab with that bloggers blog. After I have finished my responses to comments, I then spend about an hour or so going through the blogs and reciprocate!

When I go to their blogs, I often read the latest post or find a post (if they have many) that stands out to me. Sometimes, if I have nothing to say (which happens rarely), I’ll simply “like” their post because I hate leaving empty, meaningless comments. For the most part however, I usually leave at least one comment on one blog post before moving on to the next blog.

“Now Kayla Ann,” you might be asking, “Does that mean I have to follow everyone who follows me?”

Goodness no! Following should be a response of genuine interest, but I’ll discuss this further in an upcoming blog post!

So what do you think of my rules of reciprocation? Do you have a similar system? How do you engage in reciprocation?

Happy Blogging!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: When You Miss a Day… Or Two…

A couple days go by and without warning you realize that you have gone several days without posting, you have not created scheduled posts, you have not checked or replied to any of your WordPress notifications, in short, you have abandoned your blog. You want to race to your computer, but the unforeseeable distractions that first kept you from your blog are still there, still demanding your time, you cannot blog, you don’t have the time, and so you go another day without posting, commenting, liking, or replying.

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If this has happened to you, don’t lose hope or feel that your blog is now destined to fail. I believe that every blogger has experienced something similar to the above scenario. I know I did this past week.

For anyone who has noticed by absence (I apologize if that sounds arrogant), you may have wondered why I missed two posts last week and why it took me so much longer than normal to reply to your comments.

First, let me apologize for not responding.

I believe that blogging manners require reciprocal communication and as such, my manners slipped.

Second, let me explain.

As some of you may know from the blog post before this one, “Invisible Illness,” April is IBS awareness month. This is ironic as I had a flare-up last week that landed me in the hospital. Thankfully, I did not remain long and within a  couple of days I was feeling back to myself. However, due to what I missed on my bad days, I spent the next several days playing catch-up. Without my pre-scheduled posts to float me through, as a result, my blog became neglected. However, I am back and I plan to be more on top of my work. Thank you for your understanding.

Third, let me offer you some free blogging advice for what to do when you miss a day . . . or two . . .

  • First, breathe, it is not the end of the world. Yes, it does kind of suck, and yes, you do feel like you have let down your followers, but odds are, they do not feel the same way. In my experience, my followers (my friends) are always understanding and, most likely, yours will be too.
  • Second, get back on the horse. Don’t give up! It may seem like you’ve neglected your blog for too long and you should just let it die a silent death. If you enjoy blogging, in any way, shape, or form, you owe it to yourself to jump back online and give it another go.
  • Third, work harder on creating and maintaining scheduled posts. These scheduled posts have been a life-saver for me in the past and when I miss a day or two, I am reminded how important they are for me when I am simply overwhelmed by life.
  • Fourth, take advantage of whatever time you can get to blog. This advice is why I am currently sitting in a hallway of my college, laptop sitting on my knees and plugged into the wall, desperately trying to get in some blogging time before I need to go and teach. Do the best with what time you have.

Well there you have it guys! Blogging, especially good blogging, is hard work most of the time, but in my experience, it’s most often worth it! I hope this post helps encourage you in your own blogging schedules.

Happy Blogging!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Plan Ahead

One of the biggest obstacles to blogging (I think) is consistently pushing through posts on a regular basis that contain great content. What I mean by this is it is hard to post every day, or even every other day, and on top of that, it is harder to post great blogs every time.

Let’s be honest, some days we just don’t feel very creative. We’re tired either physically or mentally or both and we just don’t have anything to contribute. We sit down at this blank screen and think, “wow I literally have nothing to say.”

Or worse, you sit down and write something up but then that evil villain known as Self-Doubt crawls into your ear and commands that you erase the entire post because he doesn’t think its good.

First off, tell Self-Doubt to take a hike. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life! And so what if you post one blog that isn’t up to your regular standards? Be honest about it at the end of your post and maybe ask for feedback. Ask your followers to help you out, there’s nothing wrong with being human!

Yet, there will be days when you simply cannot write, you can’t think, and you definitely can’t create a blog post. That will happen, so prepare for it and plan ahead!

Part of blogging is spontaneous creativity, the other part is being prepared with planned posts.

You heard me, Planned Posts.

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When you have great days where creativity is flowing, don’t stop after one post and don’t post multiple times a day. Instead keep creating and scheduling them in advance. For instance, this is the third tip I have planned ahead today on March 6. 

Write in advance on your good days so that you don’t need to worry on your bad days.

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone!

What about you? Do you plan ahead with your blog posts? Do you find it helpful?

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Don’t Feel Like Writing? Visit Your Reader

Do you ever open WordPress, look at that blank screen and think, “This is it. This is the moment when I run out of topics to blog about.”

And in that moment, you begin to panic. Will you ever blog again? Will you be reduced to merely someone who used to blog instead of someone who blogs? What will your followers think? Will they even notice? Should you just shut down your blog?

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Seriously, calm down and stop freaking out.

Yes, you have run out of topics to write about and things to blog about (for now). Just because you are currently stumped does not mean that you will continue to be. However, you cannot stare at a blank screen and force yourself to write (most likely nothing will happen and if you do produce anything, it probably won’t be any good.) So calm down, and allow yourself to accept that you won’t be writing today.

However, do NOT sign off!

Do you want to grow a successful blog? Writing blog posts is only a part of blogging. Another large part of blogging is building your community and engaging with fellow bloggers. Go visit those other blog sites (that you should be following) and maybe even find new blog sites to follow. Click on your “Reader” and type in something that you are interested in. When you can’t write or blog, you should be reading! Reading other blogs:

  • Encourages community.
  • Helps you get to know other bloggers
  • Helps other bloggers get to know you
  • Creates a society of reciprocation

So, get out there and start reading!

Happy Blogging Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: 4 Ways to Attract More Followers

Hello fellow bloggers! Today we’re going to talk about followers, because as much as we all enjoy writing, sometimes blogging can feel like shouting into the void when we receive no response to our latest post. The best part of blogging is the community that comes with gaining and becoming a follower(s).

QUICK HINT: It is just as important to be a good follower as it is to find followers.

Here’s the thing. I do not have an astounding number of followers. I am still a relatively small blog compared to the people who do this for a living. I began this blog on October 8th, 2017 and since then I have gained 2,237 followers (and some really great friends among those numbers). What I have going for me is consistency.

In the past, I was asked, “How did you gain so many followers so quickly?”

Even now as I garner followers at a slower pace, I stick by my four ways to attract followers:

  • Hard work. No seriously, if you really want followers you are going to have to work hard. You cannot just come at it from one angle. Which leads to the next three points.

 

  • Post often. I do not think it is necessary to post every single day, although I applaud those of you who can. However, you should be blogging at least 3 times per week and not only should you be posting something, but it should be something of importance. Your content needs to be clear, interesting, helpful, engaging, etc. When creating a post consider what your intent is. Are you trying to entertain? Be encouraging? Give advice? Call for action? What will your reader gain from reading your post?

 

  • Engage OTHER blogs. This does not mean visiting random blogs and leaving a link to your blog. Do NOT go and spam someone’s blog with “support” and then comment “support back” or “follow back.” It becomes very clear that you are not actually interested in their site at all, you just want followers. Seriously, it’s frustrating and really, just rude. Instead, find blogs that are like yours or that interest you. I search for other blogs that relate to authors, books, writing, etc. Then I engage on the post and comment directly about what the other blogger has posted. I even ask questions. I engage in dialogue about THEIR blog, not mine. Now of course you can eventually bring up your blog if you think the other party would be interested, but don’t go into the conversation solely for your benefit. Go in to learn more about other blogs. Seriously, being a good follower is a key part to gaining followers yourself.

 

  • Engage with your FOLLOWERS. You’ve got followers! Great! Now, if their blogs interest you in the slightest, follow them back! You don’t need to subscribe to instant emails, but maybe just weekly emails or even just follow, but you should be engaging with them still. Just because you reached your goal and achieved your follower doesn’t mean that you move on from them. Be RECIPROCAL. When their posts come up in your “Reader” take some time to go through and like/comment on at least a few. When someone takes the time to comment on your latest post, click their name and check out what they have been up to.

 

  • HARD WORK. Are you understanding the hard part now? Maintaining a blog is hard enough, posting often is difficult, and engaging with new/old blogs is time-consuming. However, in my experience, this is a successful strategy that not only results in more followers, but also helps me to gain new insights from other blogs!

 

What about you? What are your blogging strategies?

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone! 

Get out there and start engaging!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.