I’ve been blogging at mindescapes.net for a bit over a year now and I had never blogged prior to that nor did I engage much in other types of social media. If you were to look at my dismal stats you would realize I am definitely doing things wrong and have a lot of work ahead to steer this in a successful direction.
This post is all about helping others avoid some of the same mistakes I have made over the past year.
So where do I feel I went wrong? Let me count the ways:
1: Quantity over quality – There are times that I have posted something rather thrown together just to get a post out there. Posts that aren’t properly proofread and not very engaging for readers are not useful to anyone. It is definitely better to spend more time on a single post and do a great job than rush out mediocre posts just for the sake of popping up in feeds. It might be re-iteration of a point Cristian Mihai has talked about but it is very true and something I have not been good about.
2: Unexpected Hiatus – Several times throughout the year I would not post for weeks at a time. People forgot the blog even existed. It was during the winter months, and if you leaf through my posts you will see I post many pictures of flowers and outdoor scenes. In the bleak winter months here in northern Ohio that type of inspiration was hard to come by and I didn’t adequately find other sources. It would have been better had I spent that time searching for the right inspiration to keep active.
3: Stoic and Impersonal – One of the things I have failed to do is create a welcoming blog bursting with personality. Instead I presented poems and pictures at arms length. Often without any backstory of where the inspiration might have come from, the subject of the post, or any of my personality poured into it. I have read time and time again, most people read your blog for YOU and the perspective you bring and instead I posted at arms length and that also accounts for less engagement with the audience.
4: Failure to Engage Audience – Speaking of audience, one of the things I have struggled with is engaging mine. Sure I will often respond with a thank you to nice compliments left under my posts but then I fail to reciprocate. It is very important to engage your audience at their own blogs as many of your followers will be blogging themselves. Reading what they have to share and commenting with genuine interest when it suits. Also presenting information that your audience will find useful and thanking them in posts for accompanying you on the journey is often a good practice.
5: Unrealistic Expectations – I admit it, like many bloggers I get caught up in stats and expectations. Watching the view counts, like counts, etc. Trying to gauge if something I posted at all resonates with readers or disappoints them. Expecting tens if not hundreds of views on particular posts. Hoping for the follower count to increase daily. Well, it hasn’t happened. Which is fine really, it will grow as it grows. Yet I would get quite caught up in the numbers which takes the focus away from the content itself. Focus on creating interesting and engaging content and the numbers will take care of themselves. Just for reference sake, I have 235 prior posts at mindescapes.net which resulted in a whopping 4723 views. That’s a year folks, not a day, week, or even month. A prime example of not blogging successfully. I do want to thank the multiple faithful followers who have been with me so far. You’ve helped me see a positive side here 🙂
There are others, of course, but that’s enough beating for one post.
“Wow, Jim! With all of that fail, do you think you’re doing anything right?”
Yes actually! First and foremost I am still here and trying. That alone is the single most important value in being successful, at anything, eventually. Actively working to improve and grow is what led to this post and hopefully will lead me to more successful blogging in the future.
Also, I have enjoyed the creative processes. Artwork, photography, poetry, and story telling are all things I find enjoyable and have been glad to share some of that with everyone here. Some of those creations I believe I did right, and will continue to do right, with failures sprinkled in I imagine.
So to wrap it up, I hope you’ve found these revelations to be helpful in assessing your own blogging adventures and will help you side step some of the obstacles I still struggle to tackle.
For all of my long time followers, do you have anything to add that may help me and other aspiring bloggers find more success that I didn’t cover here? Comments and tips are always welcome. KaylaAnn Author offered this tip in her post today: Challenge Yourself Thank you, KaylaAnn! Challenge Accepted!
Special thanks to CharuTyagi for the journal image.
Jim Sponseller – mindescapes.net – 2018
5 thoughts on “Confessions of This First Time Blogger”
It looks like you have done a thorough self-analysis. I’m no expert or guru but I think consistency is key and engagement is essential. Take part in lots of challenges, that’s something I both enjoy but also I notice that I get a wider readership on posts connected to challenges than I do if i just post a story or a poem that isn’t connected. Just keep posting about what you love to do and enjoy it. I wish you all the best. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi James, I looked for a contact page, but since you don’t have that I’ll say hello here.
Hello, you found the blog where I write about photography. If photography is what you are interested in then I’ll assure you that photos are the only topic I write about.
Now that I know about you I will wonder your site to see what you have to say.
Nice to be in contact.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for contacting me. Yes I like reading posts about photography. Mostly I just snap photos but still try to think about the final image composition, lens positioning, perspective. I also enjoy viewing others’ photos, especially nature photos, I had bought a standard 35mm Nikon several years back intending to get into nature photography but that never materialized. Reading about the attempt to capture the eagle pictures with the lens in your possession at the time was enjoyable. Looking forward to more photos and stories.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ahoy matey, you be speaking me lingo. I be consoling meself with they idea that ‘it only takes one’ to get yer blog rolling down the hill into Big Time Land.
LikeLiked by 1 person