THERE are millions of blogs out there.
Millions of people sharing their stories, giving intimate glimpses of their lives and hoping to be noticed.
It’s hard to get your blog out there. It takes time, effort, resilience, creativity and bags of determination.
But if you’re not careful, a couple of bad moves (or one if you’re unlucky) and all that hard work of yours can go to pot.
Attracting people is easy. (Kinda).
But hanging onto readers, getting people to comment, share and love your stuff is far from it.
There’s so many reasons why I visit the blogs I love time and time again. But today, I want to talk about the other stuff. The other side of the coin.
The stuff that drives me nuts, puts me off and absolutely makes me stop visiting a blog.
Here are seven things that are a sure fire way to lose my interest. (And quite possibly other peoples too.)
I’m a stickler for manners in all aspects of life, but when it comes to blogging nothing turns me off a blog or blogger faster, than when someone is rude.
When someone asks you to RT a tweet with a link, even though they’ve never spoken to you before (or shared anything of yours). When someone spams a large group of people with the same message, asking for their time or attention, but gives little back. Bloggers who never ever respond to a tweet or comment that you’ve kindly sent them.
And the biggest one? Bloggers who are just plain rude in real life. (We’ve all met one of those.)
To care about your blog, I need to care about you. And that’s never going to happen if you’re rude or don’t give people the time of day.
LACK OF SPACE
When I’m reading copy, your copy, I need you to give me some space. Not a lot necessarily, but a little.
Enough for me to pause, take in your words and connect with you and your message.
As a trained journalist, the use of space was drilled into me from an early career age and with good reason too. Because too many words crammed together and too many long paragraphs just. puts. people. off.
You could have written the most magnificent blog post known to mankind, but trust me, if your copy looks crammed or doesn’t have space, then I will not get past the first sentence or two.
Space encourages engagement and lets your words shine. So use it wisely and use it often.
Behind each blog, is a person, which means… I need to see you. And I need to know your name.
Who are you? What do you look like? How do you sound?
Call me nosey but these are the things I need to know.
Logos are wonderful but when it comes to avatars, I want to see your beautiful rosy face. And when I pop on your blog, I want to know what you are called. Hell, I’d even love to hear your voice!
And if I can’t?
Well then you’re almost invisible to me. Why? Because I need a human being to connect to.
Yes, you can have an anonymous blog, yes, you’re entitled to share what you want to share, but for me, when I’m reading a blog or getting to know a blogger, I need to know who you are as a person.
Otherwise you just become another blog in a crammed blogging crowd.
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.
IT’S been an ambition of mine for a while.
And Monday, finally saw it happen!
Yes folks, a piece by yours truly, is only now on The Huffington Post! Wooo blinkin’ hoo! You can find it here if you fancy a read.
It was a wonderful and slightly surreal moment, seeing the piece up there and I’ll happily admit, I did a little dance around the kitchen and celebrated with a glass of plonk that evening. (You just have to, right?!)
I’m a huge Huffington Post fan and have been for quite some time.
Many of the greatest writers and sharpest minds in the world share their work on the site, as indeed, do many of my favourite bloggers! (Leigh from Headspace Perspective, Kiran from Mummy Says, Amy from Mr and Mrs T Plus Three and Aby from You Baby Me Mummy – I’m talking about you for starters!)
So, I’m not gonna lie, it feels brilliant.
Really brilliant and another lovely milestone in my crazy ol’ blogging journey.
I’ll be sharing some of my most popular posts on there over the next few months and also writing some content just for them too, so if you want to keep up to date, here’s where you can find me, my entries and my bio (which took me a ridiculously long time to write!).
BIG thank you, as always, has to go to you guys! For reading my many ramblings, sharing and commenting.
It is your support and encouragement that has kept me going through the darkest blogging patches and helped me achieve so many personal dreams – including this one – so thank you ever so much.
Here’s to more ‘Pouting In’ The Huffington Post soon!
(Or should that be ‘huffing’?! I dunno, but either way, whichever one it is, it feels really, really good.)
This post is linked to #SundayStars
WRITING is one of my favourite things to do.
It’s also how I make a living, so I like to think that when it comes to stringing a sentence or two together I know what I’m doing! ;-)
Not everyone finds it easy though. It is, after all, a craft and to be honest, even the best writers are always looking at how they can improve and make their work better.
Writing is all about progression and striving for perfection. Sometimes words come easily, other times, they do not and have to be drawn out of you gently or pulled from your brain kicking and screaming. It’s true, words don’t always play ball.
As with everything, practice does makes perfect, but there are some ridiculously simple things you can do and implement in your work right away that will radically improve your writing style and make you a better communicator.
How do I know? Because I have learnt them, through my career, working a journalist and then as a marketing manager, and trust me, they work WONDERS.
Here in this short-ish vlog are my top five simple tips to improve your writing. (And I know what you’re thinking…why a vlog when you’re talking about writing?! Well, what can I say, it’s always good to shake things up and keep you lovely lot on your toes! )
I promise if you put them all into practice, you WILL see improvements. Words, they’re beautiful things aren’t they?!
Have a truly marvellous weekend folks! See you on Monday!
With love (and pouts)
To keep it short and sweet, my name is Katie and I’m a freelancer. From the title you’ve probably already guessed that I love high heels (which is true) and pouting (which is kind of true, but not in a serious way I promise).
Like most ladies, I love stylish and beautiful things. I also love words and hearing people’s stories.
I’ve been doing some regular blogging for a while over at katieportman.com, starting way back in the Summer of 2010 when I joined the fabulous world of the self-employed.
However, what started as a pretty general blog naturally evolved into a place where I continued to share my thoughts about freelancing and professional stuff and it soon became clear that blogging about women’s issues or shoes no longer fitted in, which is why I’ve ended up here!
From fashion to feminism, relationship stuff to life’s dilemmas, I promise I’ll do my best to keep things entertaining and classy.
As a first time mum-to-be, I’ll also no doubt be sharing some of my pregnancy trials and tribulations and talking a little about impending motherhood, because a) It’s so exciting b) I’m terrified and c) nobody told me it could be so hard!
You may not like everything I write or share in the future – and why should you? we’re all different after all – but if you do fancy popping by every now and then to have a gander, that would be really rather lovely and much appreciated. Otherwise, I’ll just be writing for myself, which is fine but not quite the same ;-)
Till the next time.
Hello! I'm Kate - an award winning family & lifestyle blogger, freelance writer & mum.
1st book & 2nd baby both due in 2017. (Yep, I'm a little excited.)
Here I share my tales of how I try to strut my way - but often find myself hobbling (don't we all?!) - through life & parenting.
I do hope you'll enjoy what you read. Thanks so much for popping by. x