2 things your blog might be missing

So, I’ve recently been reflecting on how I can make this site better. The things that came up were adding categories and adding a search bar.

Categories give the reader a good idea of what they can can expect. Catergories also give the blogger structure as if you have to ensure what you write fits within your chosen areas. I think what stopped me creating categories was my worry that the structure may be limiting.

Also, even though there are clear recurring themes in my blog posts they might not be able to be fit into 3-5 catergories and having more than that might look messy.

But despite all that I’m now realising that there are benefits to having structure.

Having a search bar is simple and gives the reader the option to specify what they’re looking for and that could in turn help me to improve my site.

So, expect to see these 2 changes on the blog soon. Use this as a reminder to do a little audit of your own site and figure out if there’s something missing.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.

You don’t need more information

You buy more books, attend more events and enroll on more courses.

You think these things will give you the necessary knowledge and tools to pursue the thing you’re interested in.

But how much is too much?

When will you stop gathering information and just start?

We’re often relunctant to accept that we’re ready to jump in and really do the work. Instead we hide behind this great online course that will teach us what we need to know. You probably tell yourself, you’ll start once the course is done.

But then you just end up finding something else to distract yourself.

Of course, there’s no point starting something if you have no knowledge of what you’re trying to purse. But it gets to a point where you’re better off starting with some knowledge and learning along the way than simply consuming more information.

Learning from mistakes

In the moment missing a day of daily blogging feels like failure but in the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that bad.

If you look at it one way missing 8/365 days isn’t much at all.

But on the other hand can you really call yourself a daily blogger if you don’t post every single day.

When I first started daily blogging it really bothered me when I missed a day, mainly because it was never intentional. It frustrated me that I could forgot to post and not realise until the next day and by then it was too late.

Luckily, I’ve now realised that when you make a mistake if you focus on learning from it instead of getting mad at yourself it’s much less likely to happen again.

And of course this applies to so much more than just blogging

How the pandemic has influenced what I write about?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reflecting on how what I write about has changed.

Firstly, I’ve found that a lot of my posts have been about the pandemic whether it is about working from home or the way our day to day lives have changed. Secondly, there is much less playfulness in the way I write because everything going on in the world is quite serious.

Overall I’ve been quite current, writing about things happening now. But at the same time I also want my posts to be evergreen so that they’ll still be useful to the person reading them 6 months from now.

However, the posts I’ve written about this pandemic are something I’ll probably be glad to look back on as a reflection on this current time. To know not necessarily how I was feeling but instead what I thought mattered at the time. That’s what I’ve been writing about.

3 simple tips for successful daily blogging

Shortcuts might be enticing but you can’t escape doing the work.

Write more than a post a day
You’ll have days when its easier to write so take advantage. I’ve had days where I’ve written a weeks worth of posts which is a stark contrast to the days where writing a single post feels as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree.

Dedicate a set time in your day to write
If you make it part of your routine it’ll find it’s way into your subconscious and then you’re set. My writing time is the journey to and from work. It’s around 90 minutes daily and I find it easier to use that time than make time before or after work to write. Granted I can and often do write at other times in the day but never as consistent as I do on my journey to and from work.

Don’t aim for perfection
You have to put more importance on having something to publish instead of it being perfect. I often refer to this blog as a writing practice because that’s what it is a place for me to practice writing. It isn’t a place for me to be perfect. I understand that perfection is a falsehood. Focusing on trying to make every piece perfect is a waste of time when you can just write something better tomorrow.

That’s all you need to successfully daily blog. There’s no trick to it. Sure, it might he hard to come up with ideas sometimes but the more you do it the easier it gets.

It might not be great for the environment but…

… I’m still going to do it.

I find it easier to write down my words by hand, perhaps because I write quicker than I can type. I can never manage to keep up with myself when I’m writing from my laptop.

The keyboard and screen of a phone, computer or laptop is no comparison to a Biro in hand scrawling away on a sheet of paper in a notebook.

At times the words are barely legible but that signifies the urgency to pour out all the words within.

That feeling is a beautiful thing, it’s one of the things I love most about writing, seeing my handwriting and the words I’ve written.

But I’m also aware of the very present environmental crisis on planet earth, so perhaps I should be more willing to go paperless.

Try something new

I’m a blogger/writer and even though I consider that to be creative, I do it so often that it doesn’t always feel that way. That is the reason that I see great significance in experimenting with my writing.

Outside of my 2 blogs I write poetry, occasionally journal and have a notebook dedicated to writing from writing prompts. Most recently I’ve been coming up with ideas for more journalistic style pieces about life and society. They’ll require research on the topics and also time spent learning about journalism but I’m looking forward to trying something new.

Outside of writing I love arts and crafts, basically just making things with my hands. And what I find incredibly significant to my all around growth is that I’m willing to try new things.

Not to be an expert in them but more to broaden and stretch new muscles because my writing mode is different to my arts and craft mode.