Today’s post is written with love, for the bloggers.
So if it’s that’s not you, you may want to turn away now. I won’t hold it against you promise, although saying that I do think many of the principles here you could probably apply to any job or act, so feel free to stick around if you fancy.
Anyway blogger pals, I have a confession.
The other day I went right back into the Pouting In Heels archives, like right back in time and what I found, horrified me.
Because I realised that many – not all thankfully, but many – of my early posts had been utter garbage. Rubbish posts that did nothing and served no-one.
(Readers who have been with me from the beginning, I am truly sorry. And I hope to goodness, I’ve made it up to you since!)
I looked at some of them in utter horror at first and then finally, after getting over the shock, I did give myself a little pat on the back for improving so much. Because, trust me, I really have.
And I also took stock. I sat and thought about why my blog posts did improve and coincidentally (duh!) my readership.
So before you start trawling through my old horrors (I know you want to! And it’s ok, really it is, trawl away, just don’t say I didn’t warn you!) here are some words of wisdom for you.
Here’s what I try to think about, every time, before I hit that publish button. (And why you should do the same.)
What’s in it for YOU?
I’m a writer, that’s what I do and a huge part of who I am, but I forgot this right at the beginning of my blogging journey. I was too eager to please, I believed the myth that you have to blog every day (or at least a lot!) and because of that my blog suffered. As did my self respect.
I wrote stuff that I didn’t care a tuppence about. I wrote stuff because I felt under pressure. I wrote stuff that was dire.
And now? Well, now I only write what I want to write, when I’m compelled to write it and it always, truthfully, comes straight from the heart.
If YOU are not excited about writing something or sharing it, you’re doing it all wrong my friend.
If you haven’t got butterflies in your stomach about a post, ask yourself – should you really be bothering? Should you really be wasting your time?
Always write and share because you have just have to! Never because you feel you ought to. That kind of posting will only shrink your soul.
What’s in it for others?
This should always be secondary – in my opinion – to what’s in it for you, as I have always found that if you write with passion, people always respond, whatever the subject.
However, it’s true, you have to think about your readers also. So ask yourself, why should someone read your post? And why should they even care?
You may think you’re the best thing to happen to the blogging world in years, but that doesn’t mean people will necessarily agree with you, sadly.
So don’t waste people’s precious time by serving them a post that is cold, lukewarm or nondescript. It is unfair to them and to you.
Always think first – will this entertain? Will it help someone? Will it make someone laugh or cry? Will it empower? Will people relate to this?
If you want anyone to read and (hopefully) share your ramblings, you need to give them a good reason for them to care about it first.
If it’s the last thing you ever published, would you be proud?
Would you know that it’s the best that you could offer? Could you sleep happily at night, knowing that you gave that post your best shot? Do you really love that outfit you are posting?
Does it come from the heart? Is it honest, soulful, passionate or engaging?! Would it inspire, make people giggle or make them feel less alone?
Whether it’s a personal story, a helpful list or even a brand review, always write well and always write with passion. (If you’re unsure, passion to me as a blogger, is when you can’t get a post typed up quick enough because you’re just so into it.)
Be creative, entice your reader and if you’re going to post about anything, make sure you do it well.
Trust me, you’re far better posting less but serving up quality posts that beg to be devoured than posting any old meaningless crap. That for sure I absolutely know.
If someone you loved read it, would they be proud?
There have been many times on my blog when I’ve been incredibly personal, (like here) sharing things that even those closest to me did not know about.
And there have been other times, when I’ve thought of a perfect post, but then realised that publishing it may hurt someone’s feelings or upset a person that I love and so I’ve deleted the idea from my brain.
Don’t ever forget that what you write, people DO read. Especially those nearest and dearest to you.
So please be careful and respectful of others, and yourself! Whenever and wherever possible.
I’m all for bloggers being honest, genuine and personal but we should never put ourselves or those whom we love (or even those that we hate) in the firing line.
How do you feel?
Whenever you’re about to hit that ol’ publish button, tune in to your feelings for a moment.
If you’re nervous, excited, confident, happy or even anxious but proud, go for it. All of these are great signs that you’re on the right track.
But if you don’t really care either way, if you don’t feel anything or you’re unsure, don’t bother. Save it in your drafts and revisit on a different day or get ruthless and bin it.
Sometimes as bloggers, the most powerful thing we can do for our readers and blogs, is learning when to say NO to our own work and ideas.
Wanna be a proud blogger? Then learn and figure out what is YOUR blogging wheat and take the time to sort it from the chaff.