The secret to being a brilliant blogger...

24 August 2016

Dear blogger,

I recently had a massive blogfidence crisis. I lost my blogging mojo after reading somewhere that blogger statistics were rubbish. To my dismay I found out that, unless you opt out, blogger records your page views and previews too. And seen as I rather obsessively look at my blog around a million times a day (joke, although probably not far off) my stats were certainly a bit skewed!

Focusing on the Analytics made Diary of an imperfect mum, feel and look like a totally different blog to the one I thought I had (although I was looking and comparing users to page views initially, which didn't help the matter.) It was a huge disappointment to say the least and got me thinking. What is the secret to being a brilliant blogger? Am I missing something? So I did some research...

The Secret to being a brilliant blogger...

1. Be Consistent: 
I have a schedule. I write about my family, parenting and autism and I hope my readers know what to expect and they will come back.
2. Build a loyal following: more often called find your tribe. 
I am massively grateful for all of the wonderful tribal chat ladies who have offered me so much support, are always there with a positive comment and who have been so instrumental in making #ablogginggoodtime such a success. 
3. Grow your social media channels.
I am definitely not a marketing/sales person. My social media is improving but I am by no means an overnight success.

4. Engage Your Audience.
I hope that this comes through my writing and the replies to comments made on the blog and through social media engagement too. I always put effort into my comments. But it is sometimes hard to find time to be as engaged as I'd like and I have had to leave some groups lately because I needed to focus more on my son's needs.
5. Network!
I guest blog, join linkies, join Twitter chats, comment on and share posts. 
6. Make your blog easy to navigate. 
I hope my blog is easy to navigate. Let me know if it isn't please! 
7. Find your voice.
I am unapologetically me! I write with passion and honesty. I am aware that my blog can be seen as niche as I often write about our experiences with autism. 
8. Concentrate on growth.
I know this is something I need to work on. (Why I downloaded Analytics in the first place.) But in all honesty I have no idea what any of this means or more importantly what I should do with this information anyway. 

Reflecting on my blog hadn't really helped so caught up in the middle of this crisis of confidence, what did I do? I contacted my blogging best buddy Katie and had a major meltdown! I think my behaviour could be likened to a toddler throwing all of his toys out of the crib. It wasn't pretty or funny or carefully considered and even included a threat to pack it all in. What I didn't expect was the response...
A brilliantly written, heart warming, loving post to tell me that I do matter... A post that showed me that yes my words do have an impact, that my writing has made a difference to her. (Yes it did make me cry!) The post got so many fabulous comments with many bloggers saying they also questioned their impact at times. So is this something most seasoned blogger's experience?  Perhaps this is why most blogs don't last beyond 2 years (a milestone my little space in the blogosphere is rapidly approaching).

Another brilliant blogging friend Lisa, who is a seasoned blogger and has seen many bloggers come and go since she started her brilliant blog mrssavagevangel. contacted me after reading Katie's post and made an excellent point. Was it my success/lack of it that was the problem or my expectations? She told me that we are writers not marketing people...perhaps it wasn't my content but the other stuff I needed to reasses.

I needed to get my mojo back but how? I went back to my own writing to  remind myself why I started fell in love with blogging...   

Blogging is like breathing out. For so long I feel like I have been holding my breathe, bottling up thoughts, feelings and ideas. Now through my blogging I am breathing out. 

Blogging is inspiring. One of the best things for me has been discovering a world that I never knew existed. A community of people who are willing to share their personal experiences, advice and expertise to help and support others. What a great community.

Blogging is social. Being an expat can be a really lonely experience. I have left behind my best friends and relocated to a place where language is a barrier and culture can be confusing. I have found a way to connect with like minded people. I am making new friends.

Blogging is therapy. It is my way of figuring out life's little difficulties and challenges. But it has grown from that original purpose and has become my own, small way, of raising acceptance of difference. The thing is, the more I write, the more I realise, it is my son who is teaching me.

Blogging is cathartic. On here I can say whatever I think and not feel judged. I can get everything out in the open and not worry about hurting people's feelings. I can be imperfect!

Somewhere along the line, in the hurry to be a big  blogger I lost my focus, I lost my way...I became too focused on the mechanics...the schedules, the tips and tricks to increase followers, the Klout scores, the back follows, the blogging charts etc Instead of seeing the amazing supportive friendships I've made, the beautiful, inspiring comments I receive and the feeling of peace that finding my voice has given me.

The secret to being a brilliant blogger is simple. Write the blog that you want to write and be the blogger that you want to be! 

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