This post was written by Rebecca who blogs at Here Come the Girls.
So a new year has just begun. I love buying new diaries and note books at the start of the year to get that wonderful clean first page to write on. You don’t really get that in blogging – well unless you start a whole new blog of course. All your past blog posts, whether good or bad, are out there on the internet – forever and ever. Even so I guess the start of a new year is a good time to stop and reflect on what worked in blogging terms and what didn’t.
1. Find A Niche
This time last year I was blogging in circles. I wanted to write about everything which happened – all the time. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but it really was a bit directionless. Gradually over the year I found the things which were most successful and which I enjoyed the most were the kids activities posts. I guess now I write about anything which is family fun – it can be crafts, messy play or reviews. It’s kind of helpful. It does mean that I don’t take part in some of my favourite link ups and memes but I guess you can’t do everything. I think it’s made me a bit more confident too. I know what my blog is about and where it is going.
2. Do What You Want
My blog is the only place I have which is completely and utterly mine. With three young children I can’t even go to the bathroom on my own. I’m lucky if I have five minutes in the day without a squirming child on my lap. So no one else has any say over the content of my blog. The blogging world has lots of controversies which spring up from time to time, like whether you should do competitions or sponsored posts. For me it’s all just personal choice – whether I write it or whether I read it on someone else’s blog.
3. Plan Ahead
I don’t think this is true of all types of blogs. If you are writing a diary style blog then I think you go from what has happened and probably shouldn’t plan too ahead or it won’t feel real. In the world of kids activities blogs you need to be organised. There is really no point writing a post about making Christmas cards after Christmas as no one will be interested. At the start of the year I kept feeling like I was missing out. Now I take my cue from Pinterest and get a bit more organised. It also helps me to get things done in real life as well, rather than leave them to the last minute – well when it comes to crafts and cooking. Perhaps I need to start a laundry blog and then I won’t end up with a tottering pile of washing every week.
4. Be Brave
It took me a really long time to work out how I wanted my blog to look. In May I finally plucked up the courage to go self hosted and I have never looked back. I almost wish I had started completely fresh as it was really from that point that I worked out where I was going. I spent a long time choosing a template and tweaking it so that it did what I wanted. There are still things I want to do with it but for the most part I’m happy and can concentrate on the quality of the ideas and pictures.
5. Bloggers Are a Jolly Good Bunch
There have been a few things over the past year which have really restored my faith in people. When times are hard bloggers really help to support each other and have done some pretty wonderful things for complete strangers. I guess the fact its a small community can be a blessing and a curse. There can be factions and fighting but when it really matters everyone does get together and support each other. For me I know that I can ask for advice and there will be someone out there who will help me and I try to do the same thing for them.
So where does this leave me in 2013?
Well you know what I said about starting a new blog…..