blogging, Books

12 things I’ve learned in 12 years of blogging

Last week I blogged about the 12th anniversary of my very first blog post. I’m by no means a professional blogger but I’ve picked up a few tips over the last decade that I thought I’d share.

creative pep talk by andy j. miller

1. Be inspired. I’m inspired as a writer, and to produce content, by magazines, podcasts, other blogs, TV shows, books…

Creative Pep Talk* by Andy J. Miller is a fantastic resource. It’s made up of tips and words of encouragement from various people working in the creative industries, including Oliver Jeffers and Helen Dardik. Each page is beautifully designed and it smells incredible too! Gotta love fancy paper!

Creative Pep Talk is also a podcast, so I’ll certainly be checking that out.

2. It’s ok to adapt and evolve over time. As you grow up and your interests change over time, so will your content – and your readers. I was worried about throwing parenting into the mix but by balancing my subjects my readers get a bit of everything rather than getting swamped by too much of one area.

3. Content ideas are everywhere. As a lifestyle blogger anything and everything can be content so I’m never short of ideas. If you’re stuck in a blogging rut or have writer’s block, head out for a walk, take some photos and see where your thoughts take you.

creative pep talk by andy j. miller

4. Don’t upload for the sake of it. It’s ok to go a day, week or month without posting. If you feel uninspired or don’t like what you’re producing, take a step back and reevaluate.

5. Track your stats – and not for the reason you might think. Of course I like to see my views increase each month but I also track my most popular posts, where my visitors come from and click-throughs. It’s good to see what content readers like most, even though I’ll continue to post things that interest me regardless.

6. It’s better to do a few things well than everything half-arsed. I prefer to focus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I’m not on Snapchat, I don’t use Instagram Stories and I’m not interested in producing video content. Don’t spread yourself too thinly.

creative pep talk by andy j. miller

7. Do what you can to optimise your time. Have a mass photography session, schedule your social media posts, dedicate some time to get on top of your emails or reach out to brands. I find I’m most productive when I focus on one thing at a time rather than try to do it all.

8. Branding is a great way to stand out. Get yo’self a custom header and nice profile shot and use these across your social media. Followers will then recognise you as soon as they land on your page.

9. Be your own proofreader. Some of the best posts are simply a stream of consciousness but it’s so important to read it back through afterwards. I understand that some people have dyslexia but there are plenty of spell check tools available and reading your post aloud to yourself will help you pick up errors.

creative pep talk by andy j. miller

10. Basic HTML. I did a coding course at work just before going on maternity leave and I’m able to recognise and fix errors in formatting.

11. A good picture can go a long way. When potential new readers stumble across your blog on social media the featured image is likely to be a deal-breaker.

12. Twitter chats are essential – for engagement, growth, learning and building friendships. Finding the time for just one a week can make all the difference.

creative pep talk by andy j. miller

Have you got any additional tips? Leave a comment below :)

*Thanks to Abrams + Chronicle for sending me a copy of Creative Pep Talk.

blogging inspiration and creative pep talk - pinterest

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