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.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Leave the Stats Alone

Fun fact: Blogging statistics can drive you crazy!

Today I am addressing new bloggers and veteran bloggers alike. A blog is a lot like a person and just like us, blogs go through their own hills and valleys and these are often physically represented by your statistics (Stats).

Have you ever noticed how your stats seem to climb crazy high some days and other days, there is barely a distinguishable stump? The other day, I received the below notification: my blog was getting more views than normal! Yay! (Right?)

Well, actually, I may have received more views on that day, but I received far less comments than I do on an “average” day. The stats (although positive) revealed nothing about my own personal goals which do not center on visibility, but, rather, on community and interacting with fellow bloggers.

Here is my advice to bloggers (and you can take it or leave it):

Don’t Obsess Over Your Stats.

A lot of bloggers measure their success based on how many people viewed, liked, commented on, or reblogged their posts. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is awesome and encouraging, but if you base the success of your blog on the success of your stats you are going to fail.

Yes, good stats often reflect a good blog, but over-analyzing them can lead to self-doubt, a sense of never being good enough, and inability to post due to a fear that it will not garner enough of a reaction.

Stats are good for information but not as a goal.

Instead, use realistic goals for your blog and determine your purpose. Ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of my blog?
  • What do I want to achieve through my blog?
  • What part about blogging do I enjoy the most?

Instead of focusing on stats, focus on these three things instead for a healthier blogging experience!

Happy Writing 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: Reposting Content

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 resharing 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.

blogging tips, Blogs / Life

Blogging Tip: Decide for Yourself

“Do you want 1,000 followers in one week? Then you need to do exactly as I say!”

“NO, you need to do exactly as I say!”

“If you really want to succeed you should listen to me!”

Blogging advice can be great (I must think so since this is titled “Blogging Tip”) but sometimes the advice and tips can become a little overwhelming and sound a lot like the conversation above. There are hundreds of thousands of opinions out there on how you should blog, how to gain followers, how to be successful, how to, how to, how to, how to, how to….

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Let’s be honest, it is EXHAUSTING trying to keep up with all of these different “tricks.”

While these tips and tricks are not necessarily bad or wrong, if you are listening to too many outside influences, they can become detrimental to your blog. Here is my advice (I know, I can hear the irony):

Accept that there are different opinions on every “how to” and decide for yourself.

Do you know what advice is? Advice is “guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative.”

Do you know what advice is not? Advice is not a command. You do not ever have to listen or follow to anyone’s advice. You don’t even have to listen to my advice about not listening to advice. (Moving forward from that rabbit hole…)

This came up for me the other day when I posted “Blogging Tip: Stop the Hate; Moderate” and I had some other bloggers who disagreed with my tactics (no offense here guys, blogging is an individual journey). One follower, at my request, sent me a blog post that was the exact opposite of mine, arguing why you should not moderate your comments. You can find that post here: Your Comment is Awaiting Moderation

Check it out. Read my opinions on the subject, read their opinions on the subject, and at the end of the day, come up with your own opinions.

Everyone is going to have different advice on the exact same topic. Use this advice to learn and grow but don’t let it dictate your actions.

Decide for yourself.

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: 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, like me, only post on the week days. Other bloggers 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’m getting close to approaching my one year blogging anniversary and some days, I feel burnt out too. However, if you don’t push through it, your blog will suffer for it.

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! I am heading back into the busiest season of the year for me and I have thought long and hard about my blogging schedule in the next coming months. I considered reducing my weekly posts to only 3 times a week so that I could lighten my load here on WordPress. However, if I was being honest with myself, I knew that I could do the 5 weekly posts, it would just require a little extra effort. For me, my unrealistic goal for a blogging schedule would be 7 weekly posts, my realistic/challenging goal would be 5 weekly posts, and my “settling” goal would be 3- weekly posts.

So, instead of settling, I am going to challenge myself to keep writing and publishing 5 weekly posts. In the successful world of blogging, we have to be realistic yes, but I think we also need to challenge ourselves and see what we are made of.

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.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Stop the Hate; Moderate

If you’ve been blogging for over a couple of months, odds are you’ve had your fair share of less-than-appreciated comments left on your posts. These odd comments most likely consist of either spam or hateful messages. I have been blogging for about 10 months now and I have received both.

  • For three weeks straight, I received over 200 spam messages from fake accounts with the same repeat comment.
  • At least once a week, a blogger will simply drop a link back to their blog in my comments without anything else. (Please don’t do this, guys, it really does not make anyone want to follow you.)
  • Occasionally, I receive comments from other bloggers who are less than happy with my personal views or blogging posts.

Whenever you are online, it is inevitable that you will run into a spam monster, a troll, or a hater. So, how should you deal with it?

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Manually Approve Your Comments Each and Every Time

Ever since I began my blog, I have set up my account so that I had to approve each and every comment that gets posted on my blog. While WordPress does their best to filter out obvious spam, they cannot grab every nasty comment. Therefore, by insuring that I have to view and approve every comment, I become my own filter. Yes, it is extra work, but in my experience, it is completely worth it.

If you are interested in protecting your blog from spammers, trolls, and haters, set up your blog to manually approve your comments:

  • On the left side menu bar, go all the way down to settings.
  • Once that page pops up, click on the third option on the top bar called discussion.
  • Scroll down until you see the section that says “Before a comment appears”
  • Make sure that both of those options are clicked to on.

 

So, how about it? Do you manually approve your comments? How have you dealt with spam or hate in the past? Leave a comment below.

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, Blogs / Life, Contests

Going Live! You Won’t Want to Miss This!

 

Hey Everyone!

I am really excited to announce that on September 3rd, I will be going LIVE on Facebook to talk “All About Blogging” AND to announce the winner of the End of Summer Poetry Contest.

And all of you are invited to join me!

Invitations

During this LiveVideo, I will be accepting any question from any viewer about blogging or writing or publishing. However, to help make this run smoother, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below between now and then so that I have a base to start with. I’m actually a little nervous/excited about going live again (the first time I was completely inexperienced) and I would appreciate your support on that day.

In the hopes that this video will not be unavailable to those in school, I will be hosting the video on September 3rd @4pm PST.

At the end of my LiveStream, I will announce the winner of our End of Summer Poetry Contest (which, let me tell you, it is really heating up! We have got some amazing competitors.)

Don’t forget to follow my facebook page so that you are able to watch on September 3rd:

https://www.facebook.com/KaylaAnnAuthor/

Be sure to leave your questions about blogging, writing, or publishing in the comments below!

Happy Writing Everyone!