5 Blogging Tips To Help You To Love Your Blog

5 Blogging Tips To Help You To Love Your Blog

A few days ago, one of my students said that she was giving up her blog — it was taking too much time, for too little return. Many more people give up their blogs than commit to them for the long term, so maybe you feel the same way. If you do, here are some blogging tips to help you to fall in love with your blog, perhaps for the first time.

Before we get started, think about your reasons for blogging. WHY are you blogging? Maybe you want to become a full-time blogger, or you’re marketing your business, or a book.

Grab a notebook, or open a new computer file, and write three paragraphs about why you’re blogging. Start with: “I’m blogging because…”

Here’s a secret. When I started blogging some 16 years ago, I had no clue why I was doing it. It seem stupid… but my intuition kept nudging me to blog. I tried to ignore the impulse. I couldn’t. It kept coming back.

Finally I was exasperated. I wrote a list of “why blogging?” thoughts in my journal. It boiled down to: “Because I love writing and it’ll be fun.” Silly ideas, since writing is the way I make a living, and I should have spent the time wooing magazine editors, or writing a book proposal. (That was long before Amazon launched the Kindle, so you sold books by writing proposals and sent them to editors and agents.)

My point: you may not be able to articulate your ideas about blogging any better than I could. Maybe you just feel that blogging is for you. Go with your feelings. Blogging’s done more for me than I could ever have imagined, so trust yourself.

These tips will help you to love your blog.

1. Spend time on your blog…. read your posts

Remember what it felt like to be in love? You wanted to spend all your time with the person you love. Perhaps you once felt like that about your blog.

Whether you did or not, commit to spending ten minutes a day with your blog. You don’t have to write anything, or do anything. Just read over the material you have. Imagine yourself a year from now. You have many more blog posts, and loyal readers who visit your blog.

When you spend time with your blog, and think about your dreams, you’re giving yourself a chance to fall in love.

2. Talk positively about your blog: share your hopes and dreams for it

Abraham Lincoln supposedly said: “folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Whoever said it, it’s true. You decide how you’ll feel. If you talk lovingly about something, you’ll feel positive towards it. Similarly, if you denigrate something, you will start to dislike it.

This has nothing to do with positive thinking. It has everything to do with how your mind and body work.

Talk positively about your blog. Find bloggers who love blogging, and talk to them. Their ideas and positive emotions will inspire you.

3. Make a list of blogging adventures you can try

There are no rules for blogging. No one forces you to blog their way. You can blog any way you choose. Think about things which sound like fun. Maybe you can snap an image a day, and post that.

Tumblr blogging

If you’re blogging on Tumblr, you can choose the kind of post you want to create from your dashboard. It’s a handy reminder that you don’t need to write 1,000 words — you can just post a link, a quote, or an image.

Neil Patel, in How to Generate $100,000 a Month from a Brand New Blog, is on an adventure:

“… you told me you wanted me to create a new company in a space that I had no ties to. So I’m now starting a nutrition blog.

“The official start date will be April 1, 2015. And within 12 months, I have to get the blog to generate $100,000 in monthly revenue.”

Brave, right? Yes, but also clever. Neil will become inspired, because he’s trying something new, and inspiring himself, as well as his readers.

Make your list, then choose your own blogging adventure.

4. Dress up your blog: change your blog’s look and feel

No matter which platform you’re blogging on, you can change the look of your blog with a few clicks. Over the years, I’ve tried all the popular blogging platforms, and I found that when a blog started to bore me, I could get inspired when I changed the blog’s look.

Try it. Choose a new theme for your blog. Create some images, or pay someone to create them for you.

5. Interview people who love blogging to get new ideas

Make a list of bloggers who blog in your area. Interview them, either live, or via email. Post the interviews on your blog.

Their enthusiasm will be catching. Too often, when we lose heart in blogging, we spend time thinking about how disheartening blogging is. We talk to others who validate our feelings.

Change that. Talk to people who LOVE blogging, and it will rekindle your own passion for your blog.

So, there you have it. Five tips to help you to love your blog. Put them into action, starting today.

Free blogging report: “Quit Your Day Job And Follow Your Dreams — 28 Hot Blogging Tips To Make It Happen”

Want to fall in love with blogging? Download your free report now.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Writing Journal 36: Journals and Story Journals

Writing Journal 36: Journals and Story Journals

My writing journal for Wednesday, September 17, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Another slow start this morning. Late yesterday a copywriting client called and asked for a rush job. He needs some marketing materials by the end of his week. He’s bought out another company’s inventory. The new stock is a change of direction for him.

So before I could get on with the novella, and the nonfiction book edit, I needed to rearrange some of this week’s projects to make room for this new copywriting project. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of wiggle room, which means that I’ll be working late.

With that done, it’s onward with the novella. Yesterday’s brainstorming means that I’ve got a firm grasp of the story and the characters, so things should go more smoothly. They do; I manage 2,700 words.

A couple of readers have asked me about journals.

Journals and story journals

I have two kinds of journals, this journal, which is an expurgated version of my daily journal (a work diary, if you like), and project journals.

Journals are invaluable because they keep you writing. I handwrite my daily journal, three times a day. Always before I start writing, then after lunch (sometimes before lunch) and again after the writing day is done.

People keep journals for many different reasons. My reasons:

  • My journals clear my mind; they keep me focused on my writing tasks;
  • They help me to both capture and work out ideas;
  • They get any emotional stuff out of the way so I can focus on words.

Focus is especially vital when you’re writing fiction; a novel, or as I’m writing currently, a series of novellas.

Over the years, I’ve ditched several novels because I lost their emotional thread. Anytime you take time off from fiction, you take a risk that you’ll lose your inspiration.

Keeping a story journal helps: you can talk to yourself on the page. Mystery author Sue Grafton often talks about her book journals.

Journaling is a form of pre-writing, and it helps my productivity. Whenever I get “too busy” to journal, I end up writing less.

I don’t have time for the nonfiction ebook edits this morning; I’ve slated them for tonight.

Time for Honey’s breakfast. Then I eat my own, while dealing with email.

Next, some phone calls, and then onward with the company history. I manage to write 2,400 words; it’s going well.

I’m tempted to eat at my computer, but that would be stupid. I didn’t go for a walk this morning, and I need a break. It’s a lovely day, so I go for a quick walk, then come back and have lunch.

The two presentations are almost done. It takes another two timer sessions, then they’re ready for Julia to check.

More email and phone calls, and then it’s back to the company history book, so that I can read over what I have, and make some notes for tomorrow.

Research for the rush copywriting job

I called the client, to get some phone numbers. I need to do a couple of quick research interviews. I manage to catch both people in their office, with time to chat. That’s wonderful; it means that I can get most of the material I need.

My Livescribe Echo is perfect for these kinds of interviews, because I don’t need to record the entire conversation, just important parts.

The time slips away. Before know it, the day’s done. I do my daily review, and total my word counts. I’ll need to work on the nonfiction book edits later tonight.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 35: Harvesting Inspiration

Writing Journal 35: Harvesting Inspiration

My writing journal for Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

A slow start this morning. I spent most of my novella-writing time developing a HUGE cluster diagram of character and plot ideas.

Although this is good, I wanted to get on with the writing. I’ve learned to go with the flow, so if this is what my inner writer feels is necessary, more power to the muse.

You’ve got to harvest your inspirations when you can. I used the Inspiration app (the name suits the app perfectly) to develop the cluster, because you can just keep going. It’s got an endless canvas, so your diagrams can be as large as you like.

I’ve used Inspiration for years, going way back to the time I was a Windows person. I made the switch to Macs in 2005, so I’ve been using it for well over a decade. Wonderful app. It’s got an iPad version, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Consequently, with all the brainstorming, I managed just 300 words of the novella.

It must just be a morning for my muse to go overboard. As soon as I started editing the nonfiction book for my ghostwriting client; I got an idea for a new writers’ program. Sigh — as if I need anything more on my plate. I clustered on that for a while, then got myself back into editing.

Honey was restless, so I gave her her breakfast and made my own, while scanning social media. Although I know I should avoid it, I read more about the Hachette/ Amazon dispute.

Email was heavy this morning, with lots of student material. I’ve scheduled handling that for tonight, because I won’t have time during the day.

The weather’s warming up. We’ve got rain and thunderstorms this morning, so walking is out. If the weather clears, I need to go for a walk this afternoon.

Interview for the company history

Julia managed to schedule some interviews for the company history, which is great. Wonderful client, very easy to work with. I made some notes, and we chatted for 40 minutes. I wrote up my notes, and spent a couple of hours working on the project.

Then, lunch at my computer, while reading news websites. I tend to be a news junkie, although I’m trying to wean myself away from it.

Presentations: thank you, Haiku Deck

I’ve got two presentations to do for my retainer client. Julia scheduled an interview, so we have a little chat. It only takes 20 minutes to get the information I need.

The presentations are already outlined, so I brainstorm a couple of taglines, and spend a couple of timer sessions working on them.

Thanks to Haiku Deck, presentations take much less time than they used to. I create a draft presentation in Haiku Deck, then export it to PowerPoint.

I got an idea for the company history, so I went back to work on it. I started out just making notes, but I ended up writing 1,500 words.

Whitelines Magic: Two new Leuchtturm1917/ Whitelines notebooks

Leuchtturm1917 medium and the Leuchtturm1917 pocket hard covers

Happy days. I’m a huge fan of Whitelines paper. I ordered two new notebooks, and they arrived today — they’re Link notebooks, so I can scan pages directly into Evernote.

When I bought several Whitelines notebooks last year, their Whitelines Link notebooks weren’t available in Australia. I thought about ordering them from Sweden, then gave myself a slap in the head, because I couldn’t justify that.

Time rolls on. I used the notebooks and now Whitelines Link notebooks are available in Australia — thank you larryPost.

My notebooks arrived this morning. I ordered the Leuchtturm1917 medium and the Leuchtturm1917 pocket hard covers. I LOVE Leuchtturm1917, because the pages are numbered, there’s a table of contents, AND they have nifty pockets in the back.

Both Leuchtturm1917 and Whitelines paper is very fountain pen friendly. Currently my favorite “everything” pen is a medium steel nib Waterman, with J.Herbin Larmes de Cassis ink.

Larmes de Cassis is a dusty rose color, but it’s very readable on Whitelines, and scanned into Evernote. It’s also a very restful ink. I bought it last year, and hated it at first, but it’s grown on me. I use it for almost everything now.

I use paper all day, every day, and either recycle it, or scan it into Evernote. As soon as I unpacked the notebooks, I downloaded the Whitelines Link app to my phone. The app will scan my notes directly into Evernote. Yes! I’m a very happy person. :-)

Rolling along with the nonfiction book freebie

I manage to do another 1,500 words on it. It’s going very well. I just need to source some graphics for it.

Client proposals

I send out client proposals frequently, but over the past few weeks I’ve been too busy trying to get everything done. We’re culling many of our writing programs, which means that there’s been a huge amount of student material to go through. So, I’ve been slacking off on proposals, time to get moving on the backlog.

A few phone calls, my daily review and word count totals, and the day is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Content Marketing Done Cleverly and Well

Content Marketing Done Cleverly and Well

Bored with content marketing? Me too. Then something comes along and gives you fresh inspiration, not only because it’s done so well, but also because it’s so clever.

Mind you, it probably helps that I’m such a big fan of Alice in Wonderland. :-)

In her article, What’s the Formula for E-book Success? Ann Handley says:

One of the tenets of my new book is this: Good writing is like good teaching.

That’s so true. If you want to make anything you’re writing better, ask yourself whether readers are learning anything. And yes, it applies to fiction too. The best fiction takes you on an emotional experience, and you learn from it. In the 1980s, Arthur Hailey wrote blockbuster novels which took readers behind the scenes of an airport, a hotel, and other places they knew, but didn’t understand – and didn’t want to understand. Hailey made them fascinating, and writers have continued that “learning” tradition.

Consider Dan Brown’s books. Or check out the bestseller lists today. THE MAGICIAN’S LAND, by Lev Grossman tops the hardcover fiction list. I’ve no idea what it’s all about, but reading the description, it sounds like Harry Potter-like.

Consider too, the 50 Shades trilogy: erotica for people who don’t read erotica. It’s introduced erotica to a completely new audience, by teaching. At least I think it informs readers on mild BDSM. I haven’t read it, although I do read erotica occasionally.

Content marketing: all teaching, all the time is boring

If you’re bored with your content marketing, your readers will be too. Don’t stop teaching in your content, but do consider teaching in new ways. I’m sharing my writing journals for example.

Ann interviews Lee Odden in the article I’ve linked to above, and here’s Lee’s amazingly clever slide deck on building an audience strategy for content marketing.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.