It’s nearly my 2 years WordPress-aversary! Wowsers…what if I’d never started this blog because I listened to the awful inner voice who said it was pointless and stupid. What if I’d given up on the WordPress setup because it was a little confusing? My inner-Mom told me a should! (I use the US spelling because inner-Mum just doesn’t have the same ring to it…inner-Mom sounds like a perfectionist stage-mom type who’d tell you winning isn’t the only thing – It’s Everything!)
I cannot for the life of me find the quote, but some very clever person (I think it was Glennon Doyle??) wrote something along the lines of ‘it’s okay that your blog/writing/art whatever isn’t great in the beginning because you are still finding your voice so your audience is small. As you find your voice, you’ll find your audience.
So here’s a run-down of some of the lessons I’ve learned in my 2 years blogging and creating my author website here on WordPress.
- Optimise the site and blog for iPhone and tablet. 80% of my readers are on phones. I learned this early on and design my blog and pages for easy reading on any device. Some of my early posts have artsy looking text-wrapped images. Nope. Bad idea for reading on a tablet or phone. Just good old text|image|text etc. rinse and repeat.
- A few weeks into blogging I learned to create my own memes and quotes with my website details for Pinterest. I use Canva . If you haven’t found Canva yet, use this link and we’ll both get a reward! Canva is the goods! I use the Pinterest account I started about 10 years ago. I now drive upwards of 2000 viewers per month to my site with my own content and credited images directing readers to those I find inspiring and helpful. 2K might not sound like a lot of people but those viewers are coming because they like my stuff. It’s cool.
- It’s an oldie but a GOLDIE – write what you know. I see people who started blogs around the same time as I did and they have 3-4K followers but they write about makeup and yoga pants. I couldn’t write about either of those things because I only wear one kind of yoga pants (Lululemon) and I don’t wear makeup! I love my 225 followers <3
- A follow up to #3 is – blog regularly – it you’re not blogging, update your pages often. The interwebs rewards new and novel content.
- Follow, share, read and comment on other WP sites – it’s a great community! But don’t do it just to get followers.
- Well meaning peeps will nominate you for an ‘award’ but it is really just marketing for their/someone else’s site. It’s a sweet way to meet other bloggers.
- Share, share, share – link your site to LinkedIn or Twitter if your following on those sites may be interested in your blog. Don’t auto-post to LinkedIn if your blog content may adversely effect your career.
- The posts you think will be great will get exactly 1 like. The posts you think are meh will get shared a dozen times.
- Be careful what you write; you don’t know who is reading! Be aware too that your content is out there and if it’s interesting or controversial enough, shameless click-baity sites will grab your shit and repackage it. Here’s what happened to Mark when his site was repurposed.
- Advertising is an interesting conundrum. I’ve been seeing serious amounts of traffic so I have decided to use Google Ads only on posts and only for those who are not logged in to WordPress. It seems like a happy compromise. We shall see.
This website and blog is greater to me than the sum of its parts. The nearly 300,000 words I have written on topics from indie publishing to psychology and from Paris to Bali and back, have helped pull me closer to being a ‘writer’… Seeing that number in black and white… 300,000 words… Can I accept that writing daily for nearly three years, publishing a novel, and writing first drafts for four more, qualifies me as a writer already? If it doesn’t then I don’t know what will!
The blog has been my anchor to writing when travel or work have stopped me from writing as much as I’d like each day. Although I think I might be a little addicted to blogging. Sometimes I choose to spend 30 minutes writing a post when I could be working on my fiction and then I complain about not having enough time to work on my fiction.
It has been an amazing two years and I’m so very grateful and proud of past me who had the sense and stickability to start writing again.