It’s that time again – time to talk about the things I’ve learned while blogging. But this time I’ve been blogging for two whole months! Can you believe it? I wouldn’t say that I know twice as much now, but I’m learning things every day. Here are a few of the important things I’ve learned in the past month.
Four Things I Learned About Blogging This Month
Blogging Conferences Rock
It just happened that the 2013 BlogHer Conference was going to be in my current city of Chicago. I figured that although I had only been blogging for a month, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I was luckily able to score a ticket at the early bird price thanks to Aeryn at Geek With Style. I went with a few questions, a lot of excitement, and comfy shoes.
What I got was more than I had hoped for. I met so many bloggers who had been in the game much longer and had tons of tips and stories. I met some brands who actually wanted to work with little ol’ me. And I met a couple of bloggers who I actually knew from the blogging world. Mostly everyone was incredibly friendly, and it was great to talk about things like Google Analytics and SEO without the smiles and nods I get from non-bloggers.
But the best part for me was the classes. I became inspired to not only continue blogging, but to do it better. I found a little more direction for my blog, and came away with a notebook full of new ideas to incorporate. The experience was invaluable. I can’t wait until the next one!
Organization Is Key
For a while when a posting day would arrive, I would blindly try to find a topic that would work. I would scour Google, science sites, and even Facebook with the hopes that something would jump out at me. It was a little stressful to try to find a topic, write a post, keep up with social media, and take care of my two little ones, all at the same time.
Then I read about this amazing thing called an Editorial Calendar. Sure, I had heard of them relating to the magazine industry, but I had never thought of incorporating it into my blogging. I wrote out a basic one, giving me a better general direction. I don’t always stick to it, but at least I’m not searching for a topic at the last minute.
Register with Technorati
In my copious reading about blogging, I had come upon an article early on that strongly suggested registering my site with Technorati, a site that curates interesting blogs. So, with a little difficulty at first, I registered. Then I totally forgot about it.
A few weeks later, I awoke to a ton of new traffic to my site. It turned out that I had been listed in the top 10 of their Family Blogs, and they had written an article all about my blog and me! I was thrilled and awed (which you may have noticed if you’re connected to me on social media. I may have gushed about it a bit.).
That article and my ranking continue to bring in lots of traffic. It was definitely one of the better decisions that I made in my newbie blogging career.
I Really Love Blogging and Social Media
The first month was too busy to evaluate if this was something that I really enjoyed doing. But this month, as I got a little more into my groove, I found that I really love it! I don’t feel especially good at everything yet, but I like it enough to continue, learn, and improve.
I read voraciously every bit of blogging and social media advice that I can. I write many posts that never see the Publish button, but I consider it good practice. I love planning each tweet and pin, and was delighted when I hit 750 Facebook fans. This is something that I could see myself doing for quite a while.
I still have lots that I need to learn too…
Three Things I Learned I Still Need To Learn
Finding A Direction
I write something that I think will bring in tons of readers, and not much happens. I throw together an article that I think will be mostly ignored, and it gets shared hundreds of times on social media. Huh?
Every day I’m working on what Myth Busting Mommy is really all about and trying to hone in on what my readers really want. I kind of posted about some random parenting things in the beginning, but I’m now trying to focus on just debunking myths and posting helpful information.
But will this plan be a better direction? I don’t know. But if I keep re-evaluating it, I think I’ll figure it out. (Anyone want to weigh in? What do articles you like on my site? What would you like to read? I’m all ears!)
How Others Monetize
Yup, this was on last month’s post as well, but I’m still working on it. I’ve gotten a few products to review (reviews are coming soon, so keep an eye out) and even brought in a few dollars. But I’m realizing that a monetizing strategy is much more complicated than what I’ve been doing. Sponsored posts? Reviews? Working with a media company? Selling my own ads? I have a lot to consider.
How To Keep Up With It All
Just keeping up with my own blogging, my ghost blogging, social media, and, oh yeah, my kids takes about all of the brain power that I have these days. Add in brands contacting me, media companies wanting to work with me, bloggers wanting to guest post or wanting me to guest post, blogs I want to keep up with, and everything else, and I’m overwhelmed.
Alisha from Makeovers and Motherhood asked me to guest post A MONTH AGO, and I’m finally pulling myself together to do it (check it out next week!). Thank goodness that she is such an understanding person, but I feel behind with almost all of my communication. I’d love to do more guest posting (hint, hint), but I think I can only do so once every two weeks or so, or I may end up sitting balled up, rocking and chanting, “Must optimize images. Does that have good SEO? Twitter, twitter, twitter…”
So, that’s what I’ve learned this month! I’m excited to see what this next month brings. My goal is to find a clearer direction, more organization, and a better way to keep up with communication. We’ll see how that goes!