sponsorship opportunities on Mr. Thomas and Me. I talked about the difficulty it presented for me in writing, the way it made me busy with ads instead of post content, how I just wasn't enjoying the work it required of me. So, I did what all quitters do and stopped.
Then I shared five strategies I had to grow my blog sans ads. And, well, then I did them for five months and the blog grew. But then in the last thirty days I incorporated a few new things and seen success. And in our successes, we shall share, yes?
1. TWITTER CHATS
Seriously, I participate in two: #fireworkpeople (Tuesday at 9:00pm EST) and #TheWriteParty (Thursday at 7:00pm EST). Being active in these has made me plethora of new friends (and readers) while bonding over similar interests. I know there are dozens of chats that go down each evening, but look for ones that are specific to your interests (especially if you blog about it) and connect!
I know, simple right. But email other bloggers and tell them that their most recent post hit home for you, or how much you love their new puppy, or with an answer to a question they might have asked recently. Sending that simple email mentioning your favorite brand of leggings after they've mentioned needing a change, shows that you care, that you're paying attention to their content, and opens a new line of communication that often flourishes.
3. LOOSE CONTENT CALENDARS
Editorial schedules are cool and good. In fact, I love good organization. However, they can douse the creative spirit within your soul. Instead of making a strict schedule of what to write when, spend time realizing the posts that were your favorite to pull together. When you know what those are, be honest about how often you could create one. If it's once a week, then plug it in. If it's twice a month, schedule it. That way you have a loose pattern of post schedules for when life gets busy or when you're longing to get ahead of the game.
4. BE GENUINE.
Niches are cool and awesome and good, until you have to determine which one you fit in and you realize there's no one title that's just right for your blog. Instead of being set on a specific niche, focus on being genuine in your writing and your online interaction. Sometimes what you write isn't going to gather lots of attention, but you'll enjoy making it and isn't that why you started at this blogging thing?
5. LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
Don't start a series that you aren't truly passionate about. Don't continue a series that is stressing you out and blowing all the fun. Don't worry if your latest list of post ideas are outside of the realm of your labels. Write what you love, because that love and enjoyment will shine through and people are attracted to happiness and passion.
And, before I go, three blogs that are doing blogging right, that make me realize the beauty of this craft and the importance of our stories:
1. ALL THINGS E
Erika was one of those bloggers I randomly emailed to say, "I like you." And then it turned into more emails full of random conversations and sometimes bearing hearts to one another. Her blog radiates authenticity, something I genuinely devour.
2. AWASH WITH WONDER
Shannon writes beautifully. Like, no words can be more wonderfully composed than hers. And you'll get lost in the way her mind works because it too is beautiful. (Can you hear my woman crush seeping out of ears?)
3. BLOTS & PLOTS
I met Jenny through a #NaNoWriMo Twitter group where we'd sprint together. We quickly shared our intense love for flannel pajamas and wine. And then I started reading her blog and I just haven't stopped. Her lists and encouragements are divine and I just have a thing for the way her mind works. You will too, I promise.
The moral of the story: blogging is about authenticity. People want to see YOU there in your words, your recipes, your photos. They're invested in the YOU part of the blog. Don't underestimate the great story that is YOURS.
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