Apparently I just celebrated my third year anniversary with my blog. I didn’t remember, but LinkedIn told my husband to wish me and No Holding Back a happy three year anniversary. So there you go.
What it means to me is that three years ago I decided I needed an outlet to express my sadness, grief, anger, confusion and so forth about the loss of my baby Kathryn. Three years and a tiny lifetime ago. Some days it feels like thirty years ago, and others, just moments. That’s how life goes isn’t it?
I hope that those of you who have been with me from the start have seen not only a change in me, as I’ve grown, moved forward, and tried to not let her death stop my life. I hope you’ve also seen the growth and development in my writing and my blog. After flailing around like the lost soul that I was in the beginning, I have finally found my groove. I’m an advocate, an activist, a mother, a grieving mother, and a woman who is passionate about health, wellness, and being educated on the issues that impact me as an American woman and my children. I hope that is the message received.
For the newer bloggers (like three years is so ancient!), I have a few blogging tips I’d like to share.
Blogging Tips for Newbies
Content is truly king. If you stick to blogging, you will hear it over and over and over again. If your goal is to attract readers and sponsors, you have to have something that brings them to your page. I learned quickly to utilize SEO and capitalize on the keywords that my readers were searching. It probably won’t surprise you that I get the most visitors for advice on words to say to someone who has lost a baby, gluten free recipes, TTTS, and Couch to 5K!
“If you build it, they will come.” To me, this is by far the most important tip. And I’ve taken a lot of crap from some bloggers for saying this. They argue that you can’t just build it, you have to promote it and so forth. And they aren’t wrong. There is a good deal of promoting. But I refer to point number one. If you have good content and a good quality blog, people will come. Niche blogging can be difficult at times when it comes to growing an audience. Some people have a super talent and will grow their blog and followers to hundreds and thousands within months. For others (especially those of us focused on a topic that may not be as popular) it will take more time.
But to Get the to Come, you have to get your name out. So guest post everywhere you can! Right now, I’ve got a post up about preschool and fashion over at BonBon Break. I submit my writing to many different places, and have landed on Scary Mommy, BonBon Break, BlogHer, and lots of other fun places. I’m still aiming for Huffington Post! 🙂
No matter what, doing something against your values is not worth it. I made some mistakes along the way, that hurt some relationships I have. It was NOT worth it. Don’t sell your soul to the devil. Be genuine. Be you. Be good to your loved ones.
“It Takes a Village.” Oh Lordy, I had no idea when I entered the world of blogging, I was also entering a new world of popularity contests! But as we have all come to find, we cannot do this alone. I’m thankful to groups like the SITS girls and other groups for writers and bloggers where we can all unite to support each other, even though our blogging interests vary all the way across the spectrum.
Showing the Love Gets you Everywhere! If you visit and comment on blogs, tweet out posts you love, comment on the Facebook comments, you will leave your mark.
Comment Luv is good. If I am on another blog and I see a recent post title of another visitor that looks interesting, I am very likely to follow that link.
CAPTCHA is the devil. I hate entering those stupid words. Especially from my phone. Please, please, please turn them off. You are probably just lowering your amount of comments, and it’s not really necessary since there are great spam control filters like Akismet that you can apply to do the work for you.
Be true to yourself. When I first started blogging, I wanted to immediately be one of those blogs with 5,000,000 followers. I am not. But I really enjoy writing, and I know for a fact that I have made a difference in at least three people’s lives. I will never get rich from blogging, but I am healing my soul and I like to think that I am honoring the life of my lost daughter, so I am ok with that.
Consider having multiple blogs. I started blogging less about grief and TTTS as time passed, but I still wanted to be able to cover those topics exclusively. So I started a second blog (Fight TTTS) where I can continue sharing information about TTTS to a more specific audience. The same with grief. Once we finished the book Sunshine After the Storm, A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother, I launched a companion website. It’s a lot more work, but it allows me to focus my content a little better.
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