Tag Archives: blogging

The Only Way I Can Keep Blogging.

I remember coming out of a deep pit of depression, a breakdown, really, in high school, after my parent’s divorce. I was fortunate that through therapy and medicine I was pulled back from the darkness. God also practically shot a lightening bolt at my feet as well but that is another story for another day. The point is, I was coming out of it and feeling lighter by the day. Finally, I felt like myself but a much more fragile version, as if I was made of glass.

I knew I had to take special care with myself.

It’s one of the first and only times in my entire life where giving myself grace became my sole (and soul) focus. I was so desperate not to return to that dark hole that I heaped grace on myself. I lived it. Eventually, I began to thrive.

What did protecting myself look like? I did not do things that caused me even the slightest bit of anxiety or pressure (physical or emotional).  Because I felt so fragile, the boundary was clear and strong. I told people “no” for the first time. My focus was not on being “the best,” in competition with myself, a competition I am bound to lose before I begin.

For the record, I am nowhere near feeling as if I am made of glass or anything like that (although there are probably a few lessons I could take away from the story I’ve told when it comes to self care). But what made me think of that time was how I have been feeling about blogging lately. It’s come to the point where I need to protect my creative drive.badblogger1

Inherently, I love blogging. I love writing. I love being creative. I love growing in my photography skills and playing with graphic design. And so, why is it that I feel a bit like Eeyore when it comes to the whole thing?

I think it’s because blogging has become more than the things I just listed. It now also includes sponsorships here and on other blogs, giveaways, guest posts here and on other blogs, SEO, branding, an extremely long bloglovin’ feed to get through, and those blogs to comment on. It also means staying on top of pinterest, instagram, twitter, and more. I manage sponsored posts for companies and networks. I have to come up with “pinnable topics.” I am not complaining about these things. Some I love more than others. The point is these are all additions to the why I love blogging in the first place. If one allows them to be, they can be distractions. It’s different for everyone.

Now though, out of protection for my creativity, I have to examine some of these extras. It’s a process. In a way, the timing is good because I can ask a lot of questions now and answer them for 2016.

Once identify I things that are pressuring my creativity, I need to remove them. It’s become this sludge so thick I don’t even want to try to walk through it anymore, even the parts I love. This sludge has me wanting to throw in the towel on this creative venture (something I know would be a mistake).

There are things that are actually killing the fragile amount of creativity I am holding on to now.

I guess you could say I am starting to treat this blog as if it is made of glass.

I guess you could say I have to be protective over my creativity.

I want to surround myself with likeminded bloggers and blogs, who let their creativity take them on a trip of wild abandonment.*** I don’t want to read about how pinterest works when I can find the same info in a million other places, especially when I could be reading about you, about your passions, books you love, artists you admire, things you create (and are not recycled from pinterest). If you can infuse creativity and passion and your own point of view into teaching me about pinterest then that’s a different cup of tea.

So with this fragile, glass-like creativity, I am going to be honest and truthful about things I’ve only talked with certain bloggers with one-on-one. The thing is: we are all in agreement. The blogging world, as a whole, is currently not conducive to creativity. The majority of bloggers are concerned with writing content that will get them re-pins and page views.

Is there anything wrong with that?

No.

But it means my bloglovin’ feed is filled with titles like these, all on the same day: How to Make the Best Blogging Binder, Learn How to Quit Your Job to Blog Full Time, 5 Ways You Can Improve Your Instagram, and more. And that’s just the blogging related titles. It does not include the recycled DIYs I’ve already seen on pinterest by other bloggers or the recycled recipes or the bloggers who include sponsored content four out of five days a week.

This is crap.

I don’t use that word here often. I can’t think of a time when I have used it in fact. But it’s the best one to describe 80% of my bloglovin’ feed. It’s discouraging to see all this crap. It’s even more discouraging to feel as if you must produce crap in order to “make it” in the blogging world. On a less superficial level, this crap doesn’t push me to be my most creative self. Disclaimer: I define this crap as any of the idea I’ve mentioned here without the injection of point of view, creativity, and authenticity. Nothing is new under the sun, so of course, there will be overlap. But I need that infusion of creativity.

Instead, this community of crap encourages me to write on “pinnable” topics that don’t mean anything to me. (Remember, I never claimed to be innocent in all this). At first, producing this crap doesn’t affect me. But soon, my creative heart starts to wither up like a prune; it’s got no juice left to give this blog or other creative outlets.badblogger

I don’t want to point the fingers at everyone for producing crap. We’ve all been complicit. I also don’t think it’s wrong to make money from blogging (in some cases, it is a necessity).

Posts are recycled over and over again, as if bloggers pass them on to one another. I don’t want to read about it anymore and I don’t want to pretend to enjoy it anymore either. It is to the point, no exaggeration, that some days I want to scream, even as I read certain posts and comment on some blogs only out of loyalty*. Bloggers I love as people can’t seem to post anything other than this pinnable crap. I cannot take another tutorial I can find a million other places. My one-on-one relationship with them is great so I know they could infuse the “crap” with themselves and it would be magic!

(For the record, I adore pinterest. What I am referring to here are topics that are written because one thinks they will be popular: how to make a gallery wall, be more productive in five easy steps, why your blog will never be popular or why I hate your blog or why I won’t read your blog or 10 blogging mistakes you are making. Personally those are the worst for me).

I know there are bloggers who have been extremely successful writing this type of stuff. As bloggers we see that and we want it. But I am going to go out on a limb and suppose something: I don’t think blogs that are about blogging are going to be around years and years from now. Not unless they are offering something different.

What happened to authenticity? I miss it badly.

Who are you? Why are you doing this thing called blogging? That’s what I want to know.Does the “pinnability” of a post drive your editorial calendar? In essence, does page views drive your content? If so, and you are cool with it, then do you. I need to grow up and just remove blogs from my feed.*(Addendum: a friend commented to say that she feels like her calling is teaching and helping others and that made me so happy on so many levels because: she is doing her (yes!); she is living/writing/blogging out her calling; we are all different with different callings and gifts so if we all live them out there will be diversity in blogging community!)

The thing I is: I just can’t take it, especially when I’ve gotten to know you, and seen how lovely you are and how much you have to offer the world. So it’s just my personal opinion, but offer the world something other than crap because I have seen with my own eyes that you have so very much to offer! Crap is like eating a piece of chocolate cake, ingesting the calories, and being able to taste nothing. If your posts are authentic–whatever that means to you–and have a point of view then they are not crap. Offer the world this and it will thank you for it!

I know what you’re going to say because I’ve said it myself. But Nina, I need to do these things so I can get those coveted sponsored posts (no hate there…in moderation…we all need to cover the costs of our blogs and in some cases, make a living). Nina, I need to create “pinnable” content so my blog gets more views and comments and my social media grows so eventually my blog can be my job and enough money will come from it.

Nina, if I make allowances now, it will pay off in the end.

Do I think people can make a living from blogging? Absolutely. But I also think there is going to be a glass ceiling and I don’t know when we are going to hit it. When we do, I want to be unique. I want to be able to say this is what makes me different because I am Nina and brands who like the way I do things will continue to want to work with me. That doesn’t necessarily mean I am writing about completely new things (remember, there is nothing new under the sun) but it just means that I am writing them from a place of my calling and gifts, injecting them with my personality, and using my creativity.

Ask yourself, what makes you different than the next blogger? Really. I’m asking. Because I am looking at my bloglovin’ feed and I am not seeing it and seeing the same thing over and over again. My answer to that question (on your behalf HA and with much encouragement) is that YOU make yourself different than the next blogger. Write and blog from that place.

Hey, listen. I have done it too. I have fallen into the trap and lost all inspiration and creativity once there. I clawed my way out only to look around and see everyone is doing the same thing, feeling like we all have the same personality. And let me tell you, that does not inspire me to climb higher, to reach for true creativity. It makes me feel like this is all there is: double your instagram following, grow your email list, make this DIY, try this recipe with sponsored content inside of it. Again, I’m not innocent. And again, these things can be done in a way that can feel fresh.

Even graphics are starting to look similar. If this was fashion instead of blogging, I would tell you that a fad is a fad (and also all fads are not for everyone). I think jumpers are adorable but they look a bit strange on me. If this was fashion instead of blogging, I feel like 80% of people would be wearing the same exact thing.

I can’t do that anymore, not if I want this blog to last. Because the way things were going, if I don’t make a change, I can see myself throwing the towel in. Goodbye, Flowers in my Hair.

I don’t want to read the same thing blog after blog and I don’t want to write the same thing either. I want to do me. I want to be authentic. I want to protect the fledging creativity I have left.

When I am writing, I like to start my session by reading some of my favorite authors. My style is completely different from most of them and yet I read them because they pull creativity out of me. Sometimes writers will type F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway just to see what it feels like to type those words. It all circles back to their own work and creativity.

So, that’s why I have a problem with the crap. Even if I stop doing it, everyone else is and I can’t take it.
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And so, the thing is: I cannot continue to commit creative suicide by partaking in this. If something I want to write about happens to be considered pinnable, like the hostess gifts yesterday, fine. But that cannot and will not be my primary thought. I can only control myself and so that’s what I will be doing. But I also am not holding back what may be an unpopular opinion.

I wouldn’t say a word about any of this except I am inspired by great bloggers who are just doing what they do (they do exist!). I am inspired by their creative approach to whatever it is they blog about. Their creativity pushes my own. I think a lot of these other cookie cutters once fell into that category once. They can be unique again.**

Just because this is my opinion does not mean I am right. It doesn’t mean you have to change. It doesn’t mean you have to agree. I hope it does have you asking questions like: what is the purpose of my blog and how do I live out that purpose in a way that is unique from other bloggers around the web? Maybe you are just in it solely to make money. Okay. I have my own theories on that because I don’t think it is truly sustainable but I won’t judge you.

Creativity breeds creativity. And right now, for many of the blogs I read with bloggers I adore as women, the ground seems pretty infertile. So I’m going to go where creativity leads me and I am going to try and seek out other likeminded people.** We’ll see.

*The hardest thing for me to stop doing is going to be to stop commenting on the blogs written by the loveliest of ladies who, for whatever reason, are recycling old tutorials or not sharing any parts of themselves with the world. I feel such loyalty and respect  for them as people.  And yet…it’s like a dementor is sucking the creativity out of me when I comment and read just to be a good friend. And I have known for months (!) that just going and reading and commenting was depressing me on the state of blogging and yet I have not managed to cut the chain. I don’t know when I will manage it. I can tell you even as I write this that I couldn’t do it today and I don’t think I will be able to do it tomorrow.

**If you believe your blog falls into the category where you are offering the world something in a unique way OR you have a list of blogs that fall into that category, can you please, please, please share them? I am in dire need of creative spirits in the blogging community. Don’t feel funny leaving your own along with a list.

***A very wise person commented and to tell me that her purpose is teaching and helping others. She feels this is her calling. I love that so much. And so I do think there is a place for tutorials and how-tos and all that (how could I not? I love pinterest). But write them because you truly have a passion for them and a unique point of view.

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What I’ve Learned After Two Years of Blogging.

What I've Learned After Two Years of BloggingTwo years ago, I pressed publish on my very first blog post. I had been living in San Francisco for a year, just been promoted at a job I loved, and was living an adventure away from everything and everyone I knew. Now, two years later, I am living in Chicago, starting a new business venture, and have no idea what kind of adventure God has planned for any of this. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

When I realized it was going to be my blogiversary, I planned to write a post like this. As in, I wrote on my editorial calendar “2 year post.” Then I talked to a blogging friend and said this: “This is what I have to offer people after two years. Just get better.” She laughed because it is kind of true. It is also the reason I am not linking to my very first blog post.

So here is what I’ve learned after two years of blogging with a laugh or two thrown in:

Be organized but organic

Yeah, editorial calendars are great and I do keep one. I think I would go insane without it. I also keep a bullet journal which includes blog, business, and personal life. But guess what? Yesterday, I was supposed to post about a recipe (an updated healthy version of Nonna’s Icebox Cake). Guess what I wrote about instead? My Favorite Fall Nail Polishes. The point is, the longer I blog, the more organized I become, the more planners and spreadsheets I have. But I have to keep it loose. I have to do me. Because that’s why I started blogging in the first place. I want to love this place. I want to love coming here and writing here. And you guys want me to be authentic and real. Believe me, you can tell when I am not being that way (which hopefully never happens here). So, yeah, find that sweet spot between loosey goosey and right and tight.

The People are Great

It’s a documented fact that 98.8% of the people I have met through blogging (whether in real life or just online) are amazing. Let’s face it: blogging attracts open, authentic, creative, funny people. And those are the types of people I like to be friends with. I never expected this to be such a perk but man, it is. I have friends from blogging. Like friends I facetime and text and even visit. I’m going to Influence next week (a blogging conference) and I am going to meet more of you and I am going to like you. And yeah, some people are difficult. But I feel like the blogging ratio of cool people is slightly (slightly) higher than if you just walked down the street. But what do you think?

Look How Far You’ve Come (and don’t wince too hard)

You get better. It just happens. You learn new skills (photography). You buy fonts and make friends who teach you things. Your graphics have watermarks on them. So when you look back, be proud of how far you’ve come and don’t wince too hard because the fact is, you probably are going to go a lot further and in another year, this very post may make you want to throw up.

The More You Learn…

Those watermarks? They add time to my blogging life. Getting the better picture? Same thing. I like getting better and improving both myself and this space but also I cannot go crazy. Because if you leave me alone with these Faux Kate Spade DIY Storage Boxes I will obsess over straight lines. I mean, focus on it with an intensity that is probably not good. Once, I was with a blogging friend and she told me: you do not need need a second graphic for this series. And I spent an hour making the second graphic. Even though I didn’t listen to her (I still don’t know if I regret that or not), it has made me question where and what I put my time in here on the blog. So yeah, I deal with the watermark time but there are things I let go of too (or am trying to let go of).

I’m So Glad I Never Posted About That

Yes, that’s right. If you happen to know me on a deeper level, you may know I am the type to put it all on the table. The fact is, it is a bit hard for me to hold back. I would love to share all the details of my life with you. But it would’t be wise. Or fair to the other people in my life. And it wouldn’t be good in the long run. Not really. I learned this from a small blog I had in college. All that to say, here is the rule I run with: if there is any part of me that questions whether I should share something, I don’t. At least not yet. Now, there could be stupid reasons like: I don’t want to share this because people may not agree with me. Then I text one of my blogging peeps and they say: you’re posting it. But when it comes to my health? I still question it because of future employers. Or stories about my family (like where is Bravo because we have a show people would watch…let alone the entertaining and sometimes difficult stories that could seriously run this blog like you would not even believe). That doesn’t mean I won’t ever share about my health. But there is still a question in my mind so not now.

Sometimes You Have to Remember Why You Started

How many blogs have I stopped reading because they jumped the shark? A lot. When you lose your voice, when you stop sounding like you, when it’s only about blogging income reports and how to make money and promoting your own stuff, I tune out. I need you to be you, whoever that is, because that’s why I started reading. I try to remember that here so I very much try to balance (hence the organizing) beauty and books, blogging tips with Italian cooking, writing about my faith and making you laugh (but don’t forget that whole organic thing).

Check out my Blogging Tips and Tricks Pinterest Board (with blogging wisdom from all over the place…not just here) or just follow all my boards.

Follow Flowers in my Hair | NB Creative Inc.’s board Blogging Tips and Tricks on Pinterest.

 

So that’s what I’ve learned. I’ve probably learned a lot more but you know, organized but organic, right? What has blogging taught you? Do you agree with any of this wisdom? Ha. Signature

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How to Empty Your Inbox When it’s Overwhelming.

How to Empty Your Inbox When it's OverwhelmingI was recently with a friend who cannot stand notifications on her phone. When she saw that I had over 50,000 emails, she flipped. I’ve known for awhile that my (three) inbox(es) were out of control. But when an inbox is so out of control? It can be so intimidating. How long is this going to take me? Where do I even star? My eyes are bleeding staring at this screen.

I finally put my foot down (also my friend threatened an intervention) and I truly believe that even the worst inboxes can be conquered in under an hour if you follow these steps. I was strategic and it paid off. Just before this post, I was down to 6k in a single inbox and was down to 0 in 20 minutes following these steps.

I’d heard that if your inbox is as bad as mine, you really have to start from scratch. I took that to heart and so “mark as read” and “archive” became my bosom buddies.

But if you need proof to take my word for it:IMG_6601

Here is how to empty your inbox when it’s overwhelming:

1. Goodbye Social and Promo Tabs (for Gmail)

If you’re using Gmail, delete (or if it makes you feel better, “mark as read” and “archive”) everything in the Promo and Social Tab. You don’t need it. You definitely don’t need to read that so-and-so liked something you tweeted a year ago. Like I said, it you don’t want to delete, just mark as read and archive. In Gmail after you select all on a single page, it will ask in small letters: do you want to select all 4,000 emails in this section? (as opposed to what you have selected on a single page). Use this. Love it. It is your best friend.

2. Look for emails you don’t care about but may have a lot of in terms of keywords. Divide your email by keywords. Find the biggest chunks in your inbox.

If your inbox was a pie chart, what would the biggest piece of pie be? Who from? What company? Is there something in the subject line in each of those emails that is the same and universal? Get rid of as many as these pieces of pie as possible.

So for example, I searched all the emails that contained the word “bloglovin'” and I marked as read and archived them in batches. The same is true with any email with the word “amazon” in the subject line. I looked for as many of these batches as possible before I got into the nitty gritty. I tried to decrease the number of emails I had to go through one by one in any way possible. As a blogger, or someone who comments on blogs, I had so many emails with “new comment” in the subject line, which was a bloggers response to my comment on their blog. Marked as read and archived because some of these are months and months and possibly years old.

3. Sign up for Unroll.me

You know all those emails you’ve subscribed to over the years? Let’s roll ’em up into one email a day. Unroll.me is a great service for this. Get on it.

4. Consider the emails you actually need to respond to or require action.

Everything else should be “marked as read” and “archived.” Remember, you aren’t deleting these and they are easy to search for. They are just out of your face. Do it. Your inbox is too out of control to be emotionally attached to this stuff. This is email. It’s hard enough to purge your actual belongings.

5. Finally, when I got down to about 1,000 emails, I had to delete or archive one by one.

All in all this took an hour and was well worth it. Get rid of the biggest chunks like those emails from Amazon or Bloglovin’ or here is a great one for bloggers “Disqus.” Are you really going to go back weeks or even days and read these? No. But from now on, with your inbox at zero, you can read it and discard it or decide to reply.

You now have a clean slate. After this, delete and archive your emails as you get them. That’s what I am doing now. And you know what? I feel like a grown up. Did I miss any tips?
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P.S. I’m really trying to practice a more organized life. I’ve always pinned a ton of cool things on a board called “Organized Chaos” and I am finally in a place where I can put these into action. The title may be in the running for my memoir (totally kidding!).

Follow Nina Bee’s board organized chaos. on Pinterest.

Go forth and prosper! Signature      

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Anyway.

anyway mother teresaMother Teresa hung this in her room in Calcutta. It is based on something Kent M. Keith wrote.

A huge part of me wishes that I was sitting across from you, warming our hands with coffee or tea, on a small rickety table that leaned one way or the other, depending on whose elbow leaned where. Because I want to tell you the story about what happened a few days ago. I want you to be able to look you in the eyes and see my earnestness.

None of these things are possible and if they were, in the end, I would probably decide not to tell you anyway.

Here is why.

My first true experience with girl drama at the age when it really hurts, when we believe this is the worst pain we will ever feel was ongoing and difficult. Whatever the details, it was the first time I remember my mother telling me, “Be the bigger person.”

She said it to me everyday. Because everyday I wanted to shout it to the other girls, how this girl had hurt me. I needed to hear my mom say it everyday. When someone in the neighborhood spoke kindly of this girl or her parents (who were involved), I wanted to say: “But you don’t know the truth.” Instead, I heard my mother’s voice: be the bigger person, be the bigger person. I wanted to close up. I didn’t want to open myself to more pain, even then. Everyday as I readied for school, I heard my mother’s voice in my head. If I came and cried to her, she comforted me. But she always ended the conversation with: remember to be the bigger person. 

Now I know that this was my mother’s version of what Mother Teresa hung on her wall. This past year, the biggest thing I’ve learned has come from watching people and it has been illuminating.

I come from a very passionate and reactionary family. We argue a lot but then we have a high need to resolve the things we said in anger quickly. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just explaining it because for a long time this is how I operated in life–not just with my family (I thought everyone was like us…wrong).

In the past year, first because of the nature of my job, and then because it became of interest to me, I started to notice what happened when people reacted in emotion, in anger, in heat. For the first time, I was able to sit back and let emotions wash over me if I felt attacked or if there was an argument or if I was confronted. Before I would immediately defend and argue back.  For the first time, this past year, and especially the last six months, there were personal problems put on ice for twenty four hours because I knew my words would be kinder and truer then.

Once I had a counselor explain that when we are confronted, our adrenal glands start sending chemicals to our brains. It takes a minimum of 45 minutes for those chemical to dissipate, and that’s only if one were to take a walk, let’s say, for 45 minutes while thinking calmly about something else. If we seethe about that argument during our walk or as we read a book, those chemicals don’t dissipate.

I’m imperfect but if there is one thing I have learned this year it’s that most people react incredibly poorly when they are reactionary, acting out of sadness or anger or any emotion.

When this thing happened, that I can’t talk to you about, or the thing I am choosing not to talk about, even though it has to do with blogging, I told my close friend: This is how I feel right now but I know that I will feel differently in an hour and differently again in an another hour.

I was right.

I heard my mother’s voice: be the bigger person.

And then I remembered Mother Teresa’s prayer. I read it over and over again. In reality, what happened was a blip when I consider it now. At least for me. In the moment, it felt like this person was attacking my character, my integrity, my very insides.

The thing is blogging sometimes means sharing your soul and your heart and sometimes people will attack your words and therefore you soul and your heart. As long as you are being smart about it, share them anyway.

Back to the table where we share coffee, I would want to tell you about what someone in the blogging world did to me. But I wouldn’t. Because of my mother’s words. I would want to defend the words this person attacked. But if you gave me a second, or 45 minutes, I wouldn’t.

The thing is, anytime I post anything where I want to be positive I am writing exactly what I want to communicate, I have at least two people read it (except for one time when I pressed publish on accident but that was not the most recent time). Depending on the topic, I ask certain people. Most of the time, it’s two women I respect and admire. We have a lot and common but we are also different. They tell me when I have not communicated well. They tell me when my words don’t match my true feelings and intentions. They call me on my stuff, in essence, and that is so incredibly important.

So it’s not like I ever come on here and spew my feelings all over you. Forty five minutes have passed (figuratively speaking). It’s been proofed by people I trust and I don’t mean grammatically.

Anyway. Anyway. Anyway. It’s the word that been on my mind for days, since the incident. Knowing the ways I cope, a part of me wanted to withdraw, delete, and not share my point of view with you any longer.

But I’m continuing anyway.

People can be hateful and mean. They can choose unkindness over kindness. They can let their own unhappiness dictate their every word and action.

I will continue to conduct myself the way I was raised anyway. In being the bigger person, and someone my mom is proud of, I’ve learned that when that hate like this is aimed at me, it typically has very little to do with me.

It was never about me and them anyway.

I don’t answer to anyone but Him anyway. And when I read Mother Teresa’s words, I know that I reacted to this person with “an anyway” spirit. I know that I honored Him. That’s enough for me.

You wouldn’t want to read about the whole story anyway.

Love (for real),

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5 Ways to Use Your Current Content to Grow Your Blog.

5 Ways to Use Your Current Content to Grow Your BlogWhether you’ve been blogging for a couple of months or a couple of years, you’ve probably realized this simple truth: blogging ain’t no joke. It isn’t easy by any means (so much so that I felt the need to use the grammatically incorrect ain’t in a sentence). What I want to talk about today is getting the most out of the content you work so hard to create.

Here are 5 ways to use your current content to grow your blog:
1. You May Also Like…

Have you ever read a blog post that includes other posts you may enjoy based on the post you are currently reading? A few months ago, I installed a plugin to help with this (there are plenty out there). I realized I was missing a huge opportunity to use all the posts I’ve worked so hard on to increase traffic and your time on my blog. If you click on this post and scroll down, you’ll see four posts that relate to the one you’re reading. Chances are that some people are going to find something to click on there. I really recommend doing this if you haven’t already.

2. Syndicate Your Content with CoSchedule

(just so you know that is a referral link) What I love about CoSchedule is I can easily schedule posts to be promoted the day after a post is published: a day later, a week later, and a month later (or on a custom date). It’s so simple (and there is a trial) to syndicate your content when you schedule the post the first time so that it will be promoted throughout the next month. I was a bit skeptical but I did see an increase in page views during my trial so now CoSchedule and I are going steady.

3. Popular Posts

This is still a work in progress on my blog. But at the top of my blog menu, you will see something called Popular SeriesAs I said, it is a work in progress but it’s a place that readers–both new and old–can click on and find more posts. A lot of times when I go to a new blog, I want to find the heart of the blog and this is great place to go. I recommend creating an obvious place for your most popular posts or the posts that mean the most to you to live.

4. Posts Within Posts

This may be obvious but link to other posts within the post you are writing. Of course, I only link to something when it makes sense but remembering to do this is key. A new reader may want to know more about the story. An old reader may be just as curious. Recently, I wrote a post about my entryway reveal (see what I did there?) I mentioned my papa so I linked to a post about him. I also linked to a tutorial about how I made the deer–one of the things hanging in my entryway.

5. Easy Categories

I will be the first person to tell you that my blog does not have this right now. I am working on decreasing my number of categories. If you have super obvious categories about topics you are passionate about, I am likely to click on them to learn more about you and your blog. Whenever I redesign my blog (this is something I am only beginning to think about; it will be at least a year) this is something I want to work on.
contentDo you have more ideas? I am always open. Let’s share the knowledge. Also, just because I am feeling so much love for my fellow bloggers today, let’s do a sale on sponsorships. Use the code SPRINGSPRANG for 20% off any sponsorship. If you’re on the fence, read the testimonials or check out this post.

Xo,
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