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:

Image result for dun dun dunn gif

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*

Image result for hats off gif

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!

Image result for blogging gif

©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: 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?

Image result for woah calm down gif

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: Mental Health & Blogging Statistics

A blog is a lot like a person and just like us, blogs go through their own hills and valleys. That’s right, I’m talking about your stats.

Have you ever noticed how your stats seem to climb crazy high some days and other days, there is barely a distinguishable stump? Here is my advice to bloggers:

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: Responding to Followers

Gaining Followers is not the only thing that matters. Building relationships and dialogue with said followers is what really matters.

I’ve given this advice before: When blogging, be reciprocal. In other words, if you want more followers, it cannot just be all about YOU. It is about others, it is about your followers. So, if you want more followers, here is what I suggest:

Image result for respond gif

It does not matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000 followers, you should be responding to your followers.

When your followers leave a comment on your blog post, you should be thrilled! Someone has taken the time to read YOUR work! Isn’t that great? So let them know! Say thanks for stopping by and even ask questions, keep the conversation going.

Now that’s the easy way to be reciprocal. The harder way is visiting other blogs and leaving comments, but it is still so important! Why should people continue to visit your blog, sacrifice their time, and encourage you if you are not willing to do the same for them? Plus, it’s just so dang enjoyable exploring other blogs!

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it can be crazy hard to visit everyone’s blogs. It is hard for me. So here are a few different ways to address this issue:

  • Visit your reader daily and select at least 5 blog posts to open, read, and leave a comment. You will probably follow more than 5 blogs, so obviously you won’t hit all of the blogs you follow in one day. The next day choose 5 more blog posts to open but try to make sure that you are hitting blog sites that you did not visit the day before. Keep cycling and doing your best to hit different blogs every day and cycle them, that way you are visiting often without burning yourself out on the reader.

 

  • Next, when someone leaves comment on your post, you can respond to it and then click on their site. Go check out their latest post and leave a comment. Or if that post doesn’t strike your fancy, take a minute to find a post that you feel you can really respond to.

These are just two suggestions on how to make sure that you are engaging in other blogs. I try my best to do both. Those who comment on my blog posts are more likely to receive a like, comment, or both on their posts because I appreciate the time they have spent on mine.

Now, what if you have hundreds of comments on your posts? How are you supposed to respond to them all? Well, first off, that’s awesome to have so many comments! Congratulations, that must have been a killer post. Do your best to spread the love. Go through the comments, respond to them all there, and be sure to hit up as many sites in return as you can.

Reciprocation is key!

Image result for reciprocation gif
Yeaaaa, this gif doesn’t exactly fit our topic but I just love Luke and Jess!

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone!

How do you manage your Reader?

 

©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

Blogging Tip: Plan Ahead

Today’s writing tip is a little different as I am directing it solely to bloggers and blogging.

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: 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 say. 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 planned posts.

You heard me, Planned Posts.

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 schedule them for in advance. For instance, this is the third tip I have come up with today on November 12th. 

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

*If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip be sure to check out additional tips under the “Writing Tips” category on my home menu!

Happy Writing & 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.