Despite my recent accolade, I’m not sure I feel qualified to write blog posts about blogging. I’ve dedicated a lot of time to it and I definitely know more than I did when I started almost 5 years ago, so surely I know something worth sharing?
I’ve seen and read a lot of blog posts about the content side of blogging, how to find inspiration, and ideas for blog posts but I think this post will focus on the practical and technical side. If you have any tips to share on any aspect of blogging, please leave them in the comments!
Google Drive and Google Photos have recently become my go-to blogging tools. Google Docs enables you to write and pick up your posts wherever you have the app using your email address. It automatically saves your writing every few seconds and has a fairly decent spelling grammar and punctuation checker. You can write just as you would on your blogging platform or Microsoft Word using bold, italics and bullet points. I’m actually writing this blog post on the tube on my iPhone, and when I get home I can continue editing it from my laptop. If you set your documents to “available offline” you can even continue working on them without Wi-fi.
“Google photos? Yeah we’ve been using it for years!” I hear all you Android users saying. Well for us iPhone users, it might be a revelation. Like all the Google Drive products, you can sync all your photos from all your devices in one place safe forever. Step aside Dropbox, this is my new favourite tool for freeing up space on my phone.
Wunderlist is the to-do list application I didn’t know I needed. I was introduced to Wunderlist at work, but I didn’t find it that useful in the office as I’ve always got a pen and paper handy. For pretty much everything else in my life, I use it daily. Again, I can fly between lists on all my devices.
I theme my lists for different sections of my life and blog, and create tasks within those – you can now create folders and subtasks within your tasks!
You can attach images and files to tasks, invite your friends or colleagues to collaborate on your lists, or email a list to anyone without the app. I have the app on my phone and laptop, so just like Google Drive I can work via mobile and pick everything back up on desktop later.
My first two tips have been quite techy, but sometimes only analogue instruments will do.
Sometimes Wi-Fi is down, and devices die. Pen and paper is forever.
Read books and magazines
Study your craft.
A must read for food bloggers and aspiring food writers is Dianne Jacob’s ‘Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More‘.
I haven’t managed to get into Lonely Planet’s ‘How to be a Travel Writer‘ yet, but it’s sitting in my book pile ready to read!
Read other bloggers posts about blogging
When I was writing my dissertation I was advised to not read previous dissertations from my discipline, and especially not on my topic. Another person’s opinion can sometimes stifle your own. However, when it comes to blogging and this wide world of the Internet, it’s wonderful to see what other people think works. Check out some of these…
- ‘Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning The Future of Your Blog‘ by Melissa at Media Marmalade
- ‘Why I Love Being a Micro-Blogger‘ by Victoria at Apartment No. 4
- ‘How to Make Time For Your Side Hustle, Without Sacrificing Your Life‘ by Melissa at Media Marmalade
- Minimalist Baker has a whole section on their blog for Blogger Resources
Talk to people
Ask your friends and family for their opinions on your ideas for posts, and most crucially to check over your writing itself.
A1. My writing is important to me and is something I can tell has really developed over my years of blogging. All thanks to my mums proof reading no doubt! #Bloghour
— Harleigh ~ TheSmallSlice??? (@TheHarlsz) May 8, 2018
Join chats like #BlogHour, or spectate and learn. UK Blog Awards hosts it on Twitter every Tuesday at 9pm and you can connect with so many great bloggers at the same time too!
Two things that came to mind on the topic of sharing: metadata and appropriate platforms.
I’m guilty of sharing a post when I write it and then never thinking about it ever again. I don’t really remember how many lemon cake recipes I’ve blogged about as I usually use the same one from the book itself when I need it. But in January when citrus season was upon us, I could easily search ‘lemon’ on the blog and pull all the blog posts I’ve tagged as lemon and share them!
Sharing your blog content on the appropriate platform in the appropriate form is important. If you have a lot of images from one post, spread them out on Instagram over a few days and hold a few back from an ‘ICYMI’ or ‘TBT’ a few weeks after its initial release. Stick relevant hashtags on when recycling old posts on Twitter.
— The Small Slice (@_thesmallslice) May 16, 2018
Keep your pictures shared on Facebook vertical or square. 80% of Facebook users are on mobile so square or vertical posts will take up more space on their phone screen and grab their attention. Try to share your highest resolution pictures to Pinterest too, with a short description pinned from your blog to drive traffic there.
You might not enjoy every aspect of putting together a really great blog post, but find the aspect that you love and focus on that. I think mine has always really been the food photography, and as I use the motivation from the UK Blog Awards to amp up my blogging again I’m starting there by shooting the recipes and the things I’m enjoying most first and building the blog post with the (more tedious writing) tasks after the fun stuff.
I hope there’s something new to take from this blog post, for established bloggers or newbies to the game. Drop me a comment below if you’d like a more content specific tips and tricks post, or food photography hacks maybe?