29 May, 2015 How To: Blog Without Stress
There seems to be a misconception about bloggers – a stereotype that suggests we’re work-from-home sloths, and we spend our days brain-dumping from bed in our PJ’s. The actual truth of the matter is that the majority of the bloggers I know work full-time, and their blogs are side projects to earn an additional income, or simply to express their love of a particular topic. With these extra responsibilities and commitments comes stress, and stress can breed resentment and depression. This is most certainly not enjoyable for anyone.
This post is more than just ways to keep clutter-free and organised – it’s about being happy with your content, keeping up to date with the blogosphere (absolutely hate that word), and taking action when things go wrong. Stress can easily creep up when we lose inspiration, slack on the scheduling front or our ‘real-life’ commitments get in the way of our ideal routines, so here are some tips to make your blog a stress-free zone and bring the joy back into blogging:
1) It’s always good to have a checklist. Whether it’s ‘pick up that concealer I want to try for a review’ or ‘finally write that sponsored post’, having things written down solidifies that you HAVE to do it, and it gives you a nice tick-box to complete.
2) Keep a list of your ideas (however vague/stupid/insane). A recent post idea was ‘talk about how podcasts are articles for your ears’. Whilst this sounds ridiculous, it made sense to me at the time, and it became this blog post.
3) Read for inspiration – Bloglovin’ is an incredible resource for brand new content, a way to follow your peers, and a great beauty fix when you’re on public transport! You can follow my blog here for thrice-weekly updates. If you work in social media or marketing (as I currently do) then it’s a great place to find bloggers and writers you want to start brand relationships with.
4) Think about what you’d like to see – whenever I’m struggling to find a topic to write about, I often look back on the posts I’ve enjoyed writing the most, or the kind of content I feel is missing on the blogs I admire. Usually this is a lipstick haul or swatch, so nothing too exciting, but you get the picture.
5) Schedule, schedule, schedule – deciding to schedule my tweets and Facebook uploads up to a week in advance is the best blog-related decision I’ve ever made. I pay a few pounds a month for a premium Buffer account, and with that I can schedule unlimited social media alerts on multiple platforms. I usually top mine up with seven day’s worth of content, and add a post or two a day. This means when I’m busy at work or out for the evening I’m still sharing my work with others. Recently I’ve started sharing interesting articles and posts, along with archives posts from 2014 and earlier this year. It’s a great way to get people reading your ‘older’ content!
6) Don’t compare yourself – everyone says this, but the truth is that bloggers and social media ‘influencers’ (another word I detest) present the best version of themselves online. You might be intimidated by someone’s 40K followers on Twitter, but they might equally be envious of your blog design. We always think the grass will be greener, but if we stopped and looked at the things we’ve accomplished independently, we might be a little more thankful and appreciative, instead of feeling crap about our small Twitter following or slightly wonky logo!
7) Create a blogger circle – this is something I’ve learnt recently. One of the hardest things I noticed when I first started my blog was that not many people understood what I was doing, why I was doing it, or what the challenges I faced were, and what they meant. Meeting like-minded bloggers means there’s a support network available when I need it, and it’s a great way to meet girls (or boys) with similar interest and passions. Plus, you get to go to events together, which is beyond fun.
8) My last point is this – don’t let people freak you out about SEO. It’s not going to kill you, ruin your life or make you cry, so get a hold of yourself and start tweaking. SEO is essentially about optimising your content to be visible on Google (the mother of all search engines), and it comes down to this – have a keyword for each post, and make sure it’s mentioned in your URL, title, body of your post and your meta description, and make sure to link to your blog (from other blogs and social media) and from your blog (to archived posts and fellow blogger’s sites where you have a presence). Rich linking means a higher profile, which means good SEO. Simples! For more help, check out Jasmin Charlotte’s series on SEO here (ooh look, I’ve just linked to a friend’s blog which will increase her SEO just a smidge).
I find that maintaining a positive attitude, constantly reminding yourself of WHY you started blogging, and taking things at your own pace are essential for a healthy and competent blogging mind.
What are your tips for stress-free blogging? Let me know in the comments below!
PS: I’m looking forward to comments saying ‘ooh love your review of these goodies’ – I felt like taking a picture of my most beautiful products that all seem to come from Space NK or Selfridges, so maybe that will be my next post idea!
Have a lovely weekend!