Thoughts on blogging: one month in

October 31, 2014


Happy one month anniversary to us! Wow, it feels like it’s been so much longer than that! I think that’s because this blogging business is hard work. I started my food blog about six years ago when this gig was a completely different beast. I had no real ambition for my blog other than for it to look nice and allow me to share recipes. I posted about once a week and that was that – and there was no social media to contend with. The concept of blogging for a job did not exist, and for most people I think it was just a fun hobby. Fast-forward to today and blogging is a serious business – which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. Here at Everyday30, we’re definitely blogging ‘professionally’, not in the sense that we make money from it, but in the sense that we can add the blog to our CV and hope it will open up new doors. Our aim of being professional is also reflected in the amount of effort we’ve put into how the blog looks and the fact that we post regularly – things plenty of other bloggers do, but it’s helped us to take it seriously from the beginning.

The main thing I’ve take away from this first month, both from my own learning and from what I’ve read on the topic elsewhere, is that content is king. This advice comes up time and time again: be authentic, write about what you love, and just keep writing. Successful bloggers are people who consistently publish content that others want to read, and while it looks effortless (all part of the skill!), this takes a lot of work. Content has certainly been our focus during this first month (and will continue to be) – to write posts that we’re not only proud of, but the sorts of things we’d like to read ourselves. As we said when we started the blog, we felt like there was a lack of lifestyle blogs that we could relate as normal thirty-ish women.

For any other bloggers out there – or even if you’re just curious – here are a few things that have worked for us this month.

1. Be organised

Having three of us run the blog has made things so much easier (seriously, I don’t know how the people who post every day do it), but there have still been days where I’ve felt super-stressed about what I needed to do for the blog. Having an editorial calendar where we plan out posts for the month ahead has really helped, and we’ve stuck to a schedule of four posts each week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun). I also use Twuffer to schedule tweets so that I can write a load in one go when I have time, but spread out when they are published.

2. Don’t forget family and friends

This is a funny one, as I totally understand how weird it can feel to shout about your blog – it is, after all, such a personal thing. But the way I see it is that if we’ve worked hard to make something we’re proud of, we shouldn’t be ashamed to promote it – and family and firends can often be your biggest advocates. We’ve seen our highest peaks in traffic when we’ve posted about the blog on our personal Facebook accounts, and some of our best successes on Twitter have actually come from tweets other people (with more followers than us) have written, so contact any friends you know on Twitter and get them to tweet about your blog!

3. Analytics

This was what I used to do for a living, so I was always going to put something about it in here 🙂 I really love Twitter Analytics because it’s helped me to get a good idea of how many people are actually seeing our tweets and what sorts of tweets they interact with. For example, people tend to click on Instagram links more than anything, which I never would have guessed. Also, if you set up Twitter Cards, you’ll be able to see which tweets are driving traffic to your blog. Obviously, I use Google Analytics too; this helps us to see where traffic is coming from and which posts are the most popular.

4. Read other blogs with caution

I love reading other blogs – that’s the main reason I wanted to start this one – and I’m not going to stop reading them any time soon. However, it can be really hard not to compare yourself unfavourably with more established blogs and wish that your blog was that successful or that you were that stylish/beautiful. Blogs are great for inspiration too, but sometimes that line becomes blurred and you end up subconsciously trying to recreate what you read. That’s why it’s so important to define what is unique about your blog and stick to it. Sure, take inspiration from other blogs – but give it your own twist. For us, it’s about being accessible, honest, everyday people.

For any of you budding bloggers out there, this e-course from A Beautiful Mess is a-mazing and totally worth the money.

Do you have a blog? What has been key to its success? And what content would you like to see more of here?

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    Reply Joanna November 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Love this post (I’ve always wondered what it’s like ‘behind the scenes’ of a blog, as someone who has never had one!) and the blog more generally – you’ve struck a really lovely balance in your content, and the writing’s great. I found my way here via Nicky’s Facebook account, so I’d definitely advocate more self-promotion!

    • Reply Rachel November 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks Joanna, what a lovely comment!

    Reply John Adams November 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I’ve just celebrated my second blog anniversary and I’ve come to the conclusion two things are key: content (as you rightly say) and diversification. Oh, and keeping on top of social media which can be incredibly time consuming! #brilliantblogposts

    • Reply Rachel November 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks for this John. You’re right, social media takes us so much time and there’s three of us doing it!

    Reply Katie / Pouting In Heels November 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Congratulations on your first month! You’re right, there’s so much more to blogging than meets the eye but what a wonderful thing it is and to do!

    I’ve been blogging for over 2 years now and I’m still here loving it. It takes time and as you say content is key but I would also add, don’t forget your own PR.

    You can write the most fabulous posts in the world but if no one can find you or them, no one will read them and you won’t get the stats that you deserve.

    It may help you to read these top blogging tips I shared here: (number 1 and number 5 are my absolute favourites) >

    Best of luck with your new blog! I predict good things for your future 😉 X

    • Reply Rachel November 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Katie, thanks for that link it was really useful. I totally agree, it probably needs to be close to 50% of your time creating content and 50% telling people about it!

    Reply Maria (notyouraveragebaby) November 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I’ve only been blogging little over a month but I really do love it. I started primarily as a way to get in some much-needed writing practice. Anything else is a bonus. I think that’s the key really; you need to blog for the right reasons. If you’re only interested in PR opportunities, your readership will soon desert you. You need to believe in what you’re blogging about. Saying all that, it is nice to receive *some* recognition. I was positively giddy with excitement when I got my first comment! Really helpful post. Good luck with the blog! x #brilliantblogposts

    • Reply Rachel November 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks Maria. Yes, I think if you’re after easy money/freebies, blogging is definitely not the right way to go about it. Those bloggers that do get lots of free stuff have worked really hard for a long time!

      Comments are the best too 🙂

    Reply Potty Mouthed Mummy November 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Some fab tips for one month in!!! I think remaining authentic and holding on to the reason you started blogging to begin with is key! xx

    Reply Honest Mum November 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Your blog is beautiful and congrats on one month in-I’m nearly 4 (well my blog is, I’m not clever!) and it doesn’t matter how old and experienced you are, there is something to learn. Also what is so wonderful about blogging is big or small, your audience is so targeted you can make it a successful career if you choose to irrespective of time spent live! I love, love, love what I do. I’ve written lots of Blogging Tips post so do check my blog if you fancy having a read! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • Reply Rachel November 11, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂 I have already trawled your blog for blogging tips and they were very helpful!

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