This November, I participated in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), as I’ve done for the last two years. It’s quite an interesting discipline, especially for a sporadic blogger like myself. As someone who is primarily a knitblogger, I find it easy to fall into a habit of only blogging when I finish a project. But when I push myself to blog every day, I find there is no lack of things to write about.
For those of you interested in reinvigorating your own blogging rhythm, here are a few things I’ve learned by blogging every day.
1. The conventional wisdom about blogging seems to be true: consistency in creating content is key to building an audience. I have seen a roughly 40% jump in my readership without changing anything else but how frequently I post. I’ve always blogged simply because I wanted to and because I enjoyed the community, not in some quest to gain lots of readers; however, it’s helpful to be reminded that content is still the most important thing, and can actually help build readership.
2. Consistency is also key in maintaining any kind of blogging momentum. I’ve always found that the less frequently I blog, the less I feel like blogging. Inertia begets inertia. But blogging every day – even if it’s only a single photograph and a single sentence – creates its own momentum. It’s like exercise or any other discipline, I suppose – it is harder to start doing after a hiatus than it is to just keep doing it.
3. There is still a place out there for knit blogs. There have been times in the past when I have thought of shutting down this blog – Ravelry, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest fill so many gaps that blogs used to cover, at least for crafters. But I really enjoy having my own little space on the web, and it’s been invaluable for me to have my own photo-documentation of knitting, spinning, and all manner of making. One thing I’ve discovered during this NaBloPoMo is a lot of other knitters and knitbloggers (as well as bakers, cooks, foodies, and fashionistas) that I didn’t already know. I am using WordPress’s features now more than ever, especially on my phone, and it makes it very easy to connect with new community all the time. Also, all those other places – Ravelry, Pinterest, Facebook – often serve as gateways back to relevant blog posts. I think the relationship between blogs and these other venues will continue to morph, and I’m interested to see how things will change.
4. People will read on the weekends. I don’t know where I got the idea that they didn’t. I think I’ve read here and there that people do most of their leisure reading online during the workweek (!) and that on the weekends they are too busy to read. Maybe smartphones have changed that? I don’t know. But I am finding that there are readers out there on Saturdays and Sundays, so it’s worth making the effort to blog.
5. You guys love the fashion-related posts. This is a new feature on my blog this fall, and it’s been an interesting surprise to see how my reader count jumps on Fashion Fridays.
6. Especially the Stitch Fix posts. Seriously, y’all. For my last Stitch Fix review, my readership tripled from the previous day.
7. It’s easier than I thought it would be to blog from my iPhone or iPad. This is something I’ve only started doing in October, and now I do it regularly. The WordPress app for mobile devices is pretty great. I still find it much easier to link to other content when I blog on my laptop, though, so that is still my preferred mode of blogging.
8. It’s harder than I expected it would be to keep pimping my blog on Facebook. I have an earthchicknits Facebook page, but I also link to my posts on my personal Facebook page (and I have an automate update set up on Twitter as well). I do wonder how off-putting it is for my real-life friends to see daily status updates from me linking to my blog, and I have seen interaction with these Facebook updates go down during NaBloPoMo (even while blog readership has gone up). I may experiment with linking on my personal page less.
9. Having a blog plan helps, but its no guarantee that it will create a true and orderly map for blogging. In fact, most of the time, the blog plans I draw up from time-to-time end up bearing very little resemblance to what actually gets posted, and in what order, on my blog. I have posts I’ve been planning since September that I still haven’t managed to take pictures for or write. What’s more, despite my best efforts, I can’t seem to manage scheduling posts ahead of time. I have created little calendars for myself of content I would like to pre-post, and I never can seem to get ahead of the game.
Except this time! I wrote this post on Sunday night to post Monday morning, so maybe there is hope for me yet. It’s one of my blogging goals for this very busy month – to schedule some of my posts ahead of time. We’ll see how it goes.
So that’s it. My little list of a few things I’ve learned by posting every day. It’s fascinating to me to see how blogging has changed in the almost-eight years I’ve been doing it, and I’m so interested to see how it will continue to evolve.