Shirt and Trench: Target
Umbrella: Gift from best gal pal
It's no secret.
Blogging could quite literally make you lose your mind. Without the help of my friends and encouragement of my family, Kristina J. would have died a silent death mere months after it was born. People ask, How do you do it? How do you keep up with it all?
The truth is that some days, only the clear guidelines I have for myself and the blog keep my sane. Oh, and the fact that you come along to share the journey is a definite, definite plus.
Have a definite goal for your blog. Write some questions out on paper and answer them.
Why am I blogging?
What will I feature?
Will I have guest posts?
Do I want to grow a following or am I doing this for my personal benefit?
How you answer those questions will determine the look and feel of your blog.
True story. I started my blog a little over a year ago, then signed a book contract three weeks later. For a full year, Kristina J. wasn't what I wanted it to be. I always intended this space to be a DIY style blog where I could post tutorials, then feature those clothes or projects in outfit posts. But while I fulfilled my writing obligations, I never had the time necessary to put out great tutorial posts and the blog took a back seat. Now, though I'm still busy with the publicity of After Nathaniel, I finally have more time to commit to my original plan. Without having a clear goal through out that first year, I would have been too discouraged to continue.
2. Pace yourself
The funny thing about blogging...it takes some actual living to have anything worthwhile to blog about. You have to bring your life experiences to the blog or it will seem stale to those who visit. Decide how many days a week you want to post, then post on the same days every week. If you want to post three times a week, post Monday, Wednesday and Friday...or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Decide what works with your lifestyle then be consistent with it. Establishing a routine can be helpful in planning your projects and posts around other functions in your schedule.
Living is the event, not blogging about it.
3. Develop your skills
There's a huge learning curve when you begin blogging (especially for a girl who knew absolutely nothing about HTML coding or how to take a really great product picture). Tackle one thing at a time.
--Learn a bit of HTML code.
--Integrate social buttons to your sidebar.
--Host a giveaway.
--Be friendly. Comment on other blogs and engage in their posts.
4. Do something different.
Every once in a while, change it up. If you normally write a lot in your posts, take a break and make a list instead. Use a post to showcase your latest Instagram pictures. If you can't think of anything to write, post a quote from your favorite book or share the funny things your kids say. Obviously, this is the exception, but it can't hurt to surprise your readers every now and then.
5. Keep a notebook handy.
The best ideas will come to you when you least expect it. I carry a small journal in my bag, so whenever inspiration strikes, I'm ready to jot the idea down in a place where it can't be lost or forgotten. The greatest ideas come to me while I'm driving, so if you see a red minivan pulled over on the side of the road...it's just me jotting an idea.
6. Focus on what you love.
If you have a fashion blog, forget what everyone else is wearing and concentrate on the styles and colors that interest you the most. If you're a DIY blogger, fix your energy on working with the fabrics and materials you're most skilled and comfortable with. When others visit your blog, they aren't there to get someone else's idea. They come because they value your opinion about a topic or want to be taught from your point of view. Have the confidence to give them what they want--your specific ideas and process of doing things.
7. Take your strongest skill and roll with it.
Maybe your photos are astounding. Maybe you have DIY ideas that are always spot on. Maybe you have a way with words. Identify your strengths, then build the bulk of your posts around them. People will keep coming back for more.