Six months ago, I started this little site with the intention of forming a writing network and improving my craft. While I totally flaked out until the end of May, I’ve found some serious joy and had some serious fun in the past month building my network and interacting with some seriously talented individuals.
To commemorate my six month anniversary with Annie Likes Words, I’m going to share some of the lessons I’ve learned on this little journey of mine.
- You get out what you put in. I started this blog in January and I posted some thoughts periodically, but I didn’t buckle down and put in the work until the beginning of June. Once I started posting frequently and reaching out to other bloggers, my stats boomed. I had about 200 views going into June and I’m leaving with about 1,700 views and counting. If you make the conscious choice to blog, you’ll see the results.
- Make a plan. I received a Big Weekly Planner from MochiThings for Christmas and I just started using it to plan out my posts. Let me say that it has been so helpful! I brainstorm as many topics as I can and write one in for each day. Allocating the work over seven days makes it seem less daunting and more manageable. Also, I write out my schedule next to my to-do list so I can look at the day and decide when is the best time to crank out a post based on my activities for the day. Here’s a pic of my weekly spread from the last two weeks:
- Don’t just write. Everyone wants to be heard… or in this community, read. Show some love to your fellow bloggers and they will return the favor. Read as much of your fellow bloggers’s posts as you can. Like their posts. If you have a thought or question, leave a comment. If someone comments on yours posts, respond. Be engaging and be engaged.
- Set your hyperlinks to open in a new tab. This is one of the first things I learned to do and it has been such a good tool! If you’re linking to your social media accounts or another blog post, check the box “Open link in a new window or tag” so that your post stays open and the reader can return to it when he’s done exploring your lovely little link.
- Stray from the norm. Write what speaks to you, even if that means doing things on your own terms. People value people who say what is real and genuine, so be true to yourself and your convictions. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but it’s okay to post a review like this even when everyone else seems to be posting reviews like that.
- Schedule your posts ahead of time. One of my favorite things about WordPress is the ability to schedule posts in advance–it’s truly a lifesaver when going on a trip with spotty Internet access (like the trip I’m about to take lol). WordPress also uses some analytics voodoo to come up with the most popular hour of the day for your posts so you can reach maximum engagement and get your message on as many screens as possible.
- Use GooglePhotos to sync pictures from your phone to your computer. In the spirit of full disclosure, I just learned this trick when I tried to upload the picture of my planner from my phone to my computer. It was stupidly simple! I already have the GooglePhotos app for iPhone and, after adding that picture to the app, all I had to do was pull it up on GooglePhotos and download it to my desktop. Like I said, stupid simple.