Last January, I reached 1,000 followers on Bloglovin' and felt like I had some good momentum going. I decided I wanted to dedicate this year to treating my blog like it was my job...I really hope to be able to write full-time one day, and I see blogging as a huge step towards that.
I'm not even close to being an expert here, but I always love to read about the progress of others and how they push themselves, especially when it comes to writing, so I thought it would be fun to share five things I did to grow my blog this year.
1. I decided to write about what makes me the happiest. For two months at the beginning of the year, Chris was working in Tampa, so I would commute up there and stay with him for half of the week. It gave me a ton of alone time in a new location, and I starting writing poems. I'd never shared creative writing on my blog before, but I decided that for a few months, I would share poems on my blog, even if no one was reading them, because it gave me a reason to write creatively.
Sometimes, my "just write" posts are the least viewed and interacted-on posts of the month, but you know what? It has provided such a passion for my writing, and it has made me so much more excited to blog. Sometimes, you have to ignore the numbers and just write about what you need to write about, just for the simple sake of writing.
2. I had regular brainstorming sessions. In my favorite writing classes, my professor would come in on any given day and say that the entire class was going to be a private brainstorming session for upcoming projects. This meant that you were forced to sit alone in silence and just. keep. writing. It was the best because really, when was I ever going to do that by choice?
I started doing that for blog posts this year. I would set the timer for an hour and just write down every idea that came to mind. Sometimes I would get whole posts done this way, and sometimes I'd end my little session with only a few topics. But it kept my creativity flowing either way. Spoiler alert: It's way easier to write a post when I have a list of ideas to choose from.
3. I wrote posts ahead of time. I have Fridays off of work, so I made Fridays my write-like-it's-my-job-so-maybe-one-day-it-can-be days. Pre-writing and scheduling posts ahead of time has made blogging so much easier for me. It's funny, but not being pressured to write/edit/post an entire blog post every morning has actually made me write more.
4. I started posting every weekday. I tried a few different schedules, but having a post Monday-Friday was what I liked the best. It encouraged me to write more, and I really liked the idea of knowing that anyone who follows my blog can come here on any given day and find some new content.
5. I followed Helene's blog. This may sound gimmicky, but I promise it's not-this isn't a sponsored post, and she doesn't know I'm writing this. But seriously, I attribute much of the growth of my blog this year to the fact that I follow Helene. I've always followed her, but this year she became the blogging guru of all things and began sharing all of her secrets.
I took her first webinar (that she offered for free...she's always giving away free information on how to be successful), and she started out the night by saying, "There's room for everyone at the top. Why wouldn't we want to see each other succeed?" I just loved that. I've since taken paid courses from her, and let me tell you, they have been worth every penny.
So happy three years to the girl who loved to write. I have loved every second of writing on this space, and I hope to be around here for quite a bit longer. Cheers to year three being the best one yet! Thanks for hanging around and reading my words...it means more than I could ever say. xoxo