Lessons I Learned From Blogging Every Weekday For A Month

Hey readers! It’s been a while (compared to blogging every weekend)! I hope you are doing as well as can be given everything going on. As I’ve mentioned many times (here, here, and here), last month I participated in Mattie James’ Consistency Challenge for blogging. We had to blog every Mon-Fri and I talked about how hard it was on my last post. However, I did say that I learned a lot about blogging on that post as well and I figured I might as well share these things with my readers.

Before I tell you the lessons I learned, I want to l talk a little bit more about the challenge (just a little, I promise). The grand prize was $1,000 and while I didn’t win the money, I did have some other personal wins! My analytics improved across the board and it really helped me re-discover myself as a blogger. Here are some before and after of my analytics.

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Isn’t that wild? My monthly views went from 397 to 598. My visitors went from 234 to 397 (also kinda strange that number appears twice). My likes went from 9 all the way to 65 and my comments went from 4 a month to 17! Now, I would like to increase these numbers, but I also know where I fell short as well. I’m going to talk about that on the next part of the blog.

I know many of you are have started your own blogs or are interested in starting one. The rest of this post will have some lessons I learned along the way during my 4-week blogging challenge. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and improve your own blog as well!

Lesson #1: Writing a blog post every day is not sustainable (not for me, at least)

I love writing blogs. I actually enjoy writing blogs more than I enjoy writing most things these days. Even though they’re longer writing blogs is even easier than writing Instagram captions for me. All of that being said, writing a blog every day because I failed to plan a head was draining! This was especially true when I had a particularly busy week at work that was loaded with dense legal research. I definitely do not recommend trying to write a blog every day. I knew this already and even talked about “batch work” in a previous post, but this challenge really hammered in on that point for me. NEVER AGAIN!

Lesson #2: Promoting your blog posts is just as important as writing it!

This sound so obvious but there was a point towards the end of the challenge when I was barely finishing the posts at 11:50pm and promoting my posts on Instagram just fell to the wayside. What was the point? It was already midnight and by the next day I had a different post to write. I honestly slacked on my entire Instagram the entire month of July but that’s a whole different blog post for another day (actually no, but you get my point). I also realized that I should have been promoting on ALL of my social media platforms, not just Instagram. My blog posts actually started to get quite a few RTs on Twitter which really helped me reach a wider audience. I definitely want to start incorporating Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram when I promote my blog posts. More things I have to learn, yay!

Lesson #3: I learned what type of posts I enjoy writing

You probably raised your eyebrow when you read this but surprise surprise, prior to this challenge I had a rough idea about the type of content I thought I should make (it hasn’t really changed) but this challenge helped me realize which content is actually the easiest for me to write/which content I enjoy writing about the most. The content I had the easiest time writing was all related to helping other bloggers, law students, and wellness related topics (most of the time). Now that I know this, I can plan these posts super in advance and get as many of them written as possible when I’m feeling inspired or on a roll. It certainly doesn’t hurt to know what kind of content you enjoy writing for your blog.

Lesson #4: I also learned which content I struggle with writing (even though I enjoy it)

During the challenge, I decided to make each day a different theme and kept those post on those days just so I wouldn’t get too overwhelmed. Mondays were blogging/content creation, Tuesdays were law school posts, Wednesday were wellness posts, Thursday were fitness posts, and Friday were personal development posts. It never failed….every Thursday and Friday I struggled on deciding what freaking fitness and personal development topics I wanted to blog about. It was actually so annoying. However, now that I know that sometimes I struggle with this type of content, I can be sure to brainstorm for those specific posts way in advance so that I’m not stuck when it comes time to write about them. I just have to work harder if I want to keep writing about those topics, which is fine! I actually have some ideas already planned for the next few weeks. Win!

Blogging every week day was a little too much for me but I DO want to start blogging 3x a week. I feel that doing this will help me grow my audience and ultimately help me reach more people and thus help more people! While the challenge did kick my ass, I’m so glad I participated in it! I recommend any aspiring blogger try it and see what you learn about yourself and your blogging style at the end of 4 weeks. Try it!\

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with an aspiring blogger you know!

 

3 Tips for Getting Out of a Creative Funk

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I can’t remember the last time I left my house or what but the last few weeks I have been struggling with deciding what content to put out on both my blog and my Instagram. My podcast has been a tad bit easier just because I usually do interviews and for my solo episodes, I always have something that’s easier to talk about than to write about for a blog or put in an Instagram caption. Whatever the case may be, I have definitely been going through my own version of writer’s block…taken a step further and an overall creatives block. As I mentioned on the most recent episode of my podcast (listen here), I started Mattie James’ #ConsistencyChallenge for my Instagram feed. Long story short the challenge consists of posting a picture on your Instagram feed every day, preferably ones that represent your brand and such. I have actually enjoyed it and will probably write more about it at some point in the future. However, after a few perfectly planned pictures and captions, I started to draw a blank. That carried over into my blog and finals season being in full effect didn’t help me. This led to me not having much to blog about and having to figure that out and how the hell I was going to post for the rest of the month. I would like to say I somewhat figured it out and decided that I should share this process with all of you.

Do a Brain Dump

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The first thing I do when I’m not sure what I want to create is to have a brain dump session. A brain dump session consists of me getting a blank piece of paper, setting a timer (usually for 5 mins or so), and just dumping all of my thought onto the page. The fact that I already know what the purpose for the brain dump is probably helps my mind focus on thinking about content, my assignment, or whatever it is I’m trying to garner creativity from. I feel that 5 mins in the perfect amount of time to force yourself to just get everything out and then figure out what to do with it later. After I brain dump, I sift through the words on the page and see if anything sounds like something I can expand on and usually I have at least 1 or 2 good ideas to run with.

Research What Other People in Your Niche are Creating

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I’m not saying that it’s entirely impossible to create never before thought of content or posts or whatever it is you need to create but let’s be real, many things have been talked about before and THAT IS OKAY. As a lifestyle blogger the topics aren’t necessarily what make me unique. What makes me unique is my perspective and experience with a topic. When I’m particularly stumped on what to create or write, I google “lifestyle blog ideas” or whatever topic I’m interested in writing about, whether that be “fitness blog posts”, “law school blog posts”, you get the idea. It’s okay to get inspo from other content creators. If the topic is entirely too specific, be sure to give that person credit and link back to their blog. The same goes for Instagram content as well. Creatives deserve credit, which I’ve made my thoughts on such known on my podcast as well (listen here).

Ask Your Audience What They Want to See

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Don’t get me wrong, this may not be the best approach depending on your audience and/or your relationship with them but it doesn’t hurt to try. I remember when I was not entirely new to blogging but also still figuring it out I used to come up with ideas and conduct polls on my Instagram stories to see what kind of content my audience wanted to see. After all, they are going to be the ones reading and/or engaging with it. You might as well see if they have any suggestions for topics they’d like your opinion or help with. Definitely don’t do this one too often or your audience will wonder why the hell are you a content creator if you can’t think of any content. I would say this is good to do once every few months or so. When done properly, it can be extremely help. The reason I even thought to write this blog was due to a suggestion from one of my mutuals on twitter. Thanks Della girl!

These are some of the ways that I deal when I can’t for the life of me think of what kind of content I want to create. Usually if I do one or all of these 3 things, I can get out of my creative funk and figure out what it is I want to write about or create. Hopefully these tips can help you if you are having a similar block.

Did I forget a suggestion that has helped you? How do you deal with writer’s block or get out of creative funk? Let me know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please share it on your social media or with a fellow creative!

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

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Ever since I started blogging, many of my friends have come to me for advice about starting their own blog. I love this because it means they notice that I’m doing things and as a blogger, recognition is good. However, having to give advice over Snapchat or Instagram messages is harder and time consuming than I have time for so I decided to write this post. These tips can also apply to anyone in an online creative type of work such as podcasting or running a specialized Instagram page. From one amateur blogger to the next, these are the things I wish I knew when I started blogging.

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  • Put aside a few consecutive hours a week to focus on blog related things. (Really focus!)

Honestly, if you can master this and make it a habit, the rest of these things will come pretty easily to you. My biggest struggle over the last year and half or so has been finding the time to just sit down and work on my blog for extended periods of time, without distractions. I read a post from Mattie James (mattiejames.com) that discusses the concept of batch work. Batch work is basically creating a bunch of content all at once. My effectiveness in this comes and goes but as of lately it’s been something I am aiming to make routine.

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  • Figure out your main topics/focus aka niche (Keep this list small)

When I first started blogging I wanted to talk about everything under the sun: health and fitness, pop culture, social justice issues, self-growth and development, mental health, anything and everything. It wasn’t until after I tried writing about all of these topics and realized that I was headed nowhere fast that I decide to dial back on the topics I was going to focus on for my blog. Now I focus on self-reflection, self-growth/self-development, and goal-setting with a sprinkle of health and fitness and travel thrown in every so often. Keeping your list of topics small is key to avoiding being overwhelmed as a blogger. Even the person who loves writing more than life CAN’T write about everything. I know that once I establish myself as a blogger with a brand, other opportunities to talk about my various interests will present themselves.

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  • Consistently creating content (and posting it) is the hardest thing to master.

It’s so funny because whenever people ask me what advice I have about blogging I tell them “don’t underestimate how hard it is to consistently write and create content.” Many of the time they tell me they’re not worried about that because they have so many things to write about that creating content won’t be hard for them. Fast forward a few weeks later and either 1. They haven’t started their blog because they’re busy or 2. They have started it but only post once in a blue moon (like myself, guilty as charged haha). The thing people don’t understand is that writing a blog post isn’t hard (per say) but what is hard is writing a blog post worth reading. There have been many times I have written a post, read it back, tried to edit it, and just realized it wasn’t even worth reading for me, much less to put out. Creating consistent and worthy content is hard. Don’t underestimate it.

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  • Friends =/= Supporters and that’s okay! (Don’t take it personal)

Just because you are friends with someone does not mean they are obligated to support your blog. I know. That sounds insane. Why wouldn’t your friends support you? They’re your friends! That’s what friends do for each other. I know that’s what we’re taught to believe but the fact of the matter is that friends =/= supporters and that doesn’t make them bad people. Maybe your niche is just not FOR THEM. When I first started blogging I was sad that all of my friends weren’t reading my blog (the clicks don’t lie!) but then I realized that doesn’t matter. I love all of my friends and our differences in interests and hobbies. That being said if one of my friends started a horseback riding podcast I can’t necessarily say I would be tuning in every week to hear about life at the stables. I probably would retweet all of their new episodes but that’s as far as that would go. That doesn’t make me a bad person. Some people won’t even retweet you, and that’s fine too. We are all inclined to support things that interest us. I know my content isn’t for everybody, I focus on writing for the people who it’s intended for.

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  • Reading other bloggers, watching blogging webinars, and whatever else is useless if you don’t apply the knowledge! (Seriously, don’t waste your time)

I tried to read every blog post and watch every webinar I could about blogging when I first started. There where countless Google searches for content about blogging from my phone and laptop. If it was free, it was for me! After reading and watching all of this stuff I can say I have maybe applied 1 or 2 things out of the 25 I’ve learned. That’s because I was more focused on indulging in information to try to imitate the greats instead of reading/learning some and then applying it, reading/learning something else and applying, and so on and so on. I’m sure I would have gotten way farther in a quicker time if I took it one step at time. This whole blogger life is a learning process though and Mara went through it so you don’t have to!

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  • This shit is not cheap/free (If you want to be next level)

Okay so I never knew that I was going to have to spend so much money JUST to make blog appear legit. Between having my own domain, needing a PO Box for my newsletter, paying for stock photos, and eventually attending blogging conventions, this blogging life gets REAL costly REAL quick! If blogging is just a hobby for you it’s not something you have to worry about but I eventually want to take my blog to another level as a source of income like many of the women I admire. If you have similar ambitions as me, it’s going to cost you before it pays you. Don’t get discouraged and make sure you can finance your dreams.

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  • Engagement is a major key.

Okay so something I’ve recently learned is blogging doesn’t stop at the blog posts. In order to have people actually give a damn about what you have to say, you have to engage with your social media followers. I know that is so obvious…how didn’t realize it before? I don’t know, honestly. Even after reading it from many people who blog it never clicked until recently.

This is just a little bit of what I wosh I knew when I started blogging. Even with utilizing these tips there are still so many things left for bloggers to learn. The best thing is to do your research! Here are some of my favorite blogging resources where I read up on blogging tips and sometimes even score a free webinar or two.

  • MattieJames.com
  • Bloguettes.com
  • LostGenYGirl.com

If you are fellow blogger or have a postcast/website, I wish you luck and success! It’s not an easy task to be successful on these e-streets.

Are you a blogger? What is one thing you wish you knew when you started blogging? Let me know in the comments! 

How I Chose My Word of the Year for 2019

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We are almost a week into the NEW Year and it has been interesting already! While the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions is common, that doesn’t mean that it is the most effective method of achieving your New Year’s goals. I personally haven’t really been in the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions for the last two years. When I have made New Year’s resolutions in the past, it often discourages me from trying at all if I don’t move towards them quickly enough. In the last few years I have chose a word of the year that guides all of actions towards reaching the goals I hope to accomplish in the New Year.

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My word for last year was DISCIPLINE. I chose the word Discipline because that is what was lacking from my reaching some of my goals in 2017, especially in regards to weight loss. I hired a trainer, I meal prepped more, I went to the gym more often, even when I didn’t feel like going. I also was more disciplined in putting out content for my blog (before my Nana passed away, and I started law school). After a few a set-backs, I stopped really embracing the word discipline because I was really just trying to…get over the sadness from different things that happened earlier in the year. I realized that at times I was disciplined but at other times I wasn’t. That led to me choosing my word for 2019.

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My word for 2019 is CONSISTENCY. This is what was lacking from my life last year in many areas from health + fitness to blogging to even studying for school. Similar to the reason I chose the word discipline last year, I need to consistently do things (even when I’d rather not) in order to reach the goals I’ve set out for this year. The times I did manage to remained disciplined, I lost a decent amount of weight, I got into law school, and I posted some quality content. (Read my favorite posts from last year HERE). By being consistent this year, I know I will be better off when the countdown for 2020 happens.

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This doesn’t have to be the way you choose your word. What’s important is that YOUR WORD is chosen by YOU after reflecting on your principles, values, and goals for this year. Once you do this you can take out the sense of overwhelm with long lists and just ask yourself “does this action align with my guiding word for this year or bring me closer to my goals?” If it doesn’t, you know you might need to make a better decision. It won’t be easy at first, but it might be easier for you than keeping a laundry list of resolutions.

So get out there, reflect, and choose your guiding word for 2018!

Did you have a word or two in mind when you read this? Leave your word(s) in the comments and tell me why you chose it!