What is this blog all about?

Most blogs have a niche right? This one goes against the grain and is a mixture of what is in my head at any given moment. Rightly or wrongly some would say but with this blog you’re going to get a mixture of posts discussing all manner of things rather than one set subject.

Niche?

I’ve often debated having one niche to write about. I’m a parent. Why not join the billion other dad blogs out there? Sadly I wish I had stumbled upon blogging in the mid 2000`s when my boys were young. Then I could have documented their lives and recorded all the funny things they did as they grew up. Having two boys aged 5 years apart had its moments I can tell you. I could have documented the good, bad and the funny on a blog and looked back on that over the years. 

To niche or not to niche? That is the question.

Timing was all out and those two worlds of blogging and children growing up never collided for me. Nowadays, my eldest is about to turn 21 and lives in his own place and my youngest has started his last year at high school. When kids get to those ages they become more private, distant and you have less to write about your interactions with them. Those years from around 3 to 11 are perfect for great stories, advice and documenting the children growing up. Once they hit high school children start to slowly rely on you less and less and find their feet in the world. 

Emotional blogger.

I would describe myself as an emotional blogger. What I mean by this is that when a burning subject is in my head I find it very easy to tap away on a keyboard and empty my head into a blog post about that said subject. 

I would find it harder to be given a topic and then told to write a piece on that subject. Don’t get me wrong I could do that just not with the same verve as when writing about something I have to get off my chest. 

The result.

This blog will be a mixture of thoughts, opinions and incidents in my life rather than one set subject. Whether that is right or wrong in the “blogging world” I’m not sure. Ultimately, this is my blog. My place on the internet where I can empty my head, detail my life. Surely this should be enough? 

Turning over a new leaf

Turning over a new leaf? What on earth could I mean with a title like that? Let me indulge you further. Back in January 2021 I embarked on a plan to lose weight, indeed I went from 15st 3lb to 13st 8lb by April and how did I manage this? By changing my eating habits for the better. 

Now this post is no weight loss sales pitch merely me documenting how and why my weight has fluctuated throughout the year. The idea of turning a new leaf is due to me putting some of that lost weight back on and how bloated I feel and annoyed I am with myself for allowing that to happen. 

Apparently weight loss is 70% food and 30% exercise so no matter how much you work out we all need to be careful how we refuel our bodies. 

For the first four months of this year I calorie counted when it came to food using an app from Nutracheck. Setting my daily calorie count 500 calories less than the recommended amount means I should lose 1 pound of weight per week which is a sensible way of dieting. 

As I exercised through running several times a week the weight loss sped up meaning some weeks I lost 2-3 pounds. 

When I hit my target and weighed the least I had done for years those old feelings of being bloated had gone. No more feelings of being full, uncomfortable and bloated. I felt lean and fit. Then I took my foot off the gas and slowly let bad habits return. Alcohol intake went up as did crisps and chocolate. As the summer arrived so did bbq`s and my calorie intake went up despite continuing to exercise.

Enough is enough. I’m sick of being bloated and clothes feeling tighter. It is time to get back to basics and start calorie counting again because for me it works.  

My food shop at the supermarket this afternoon represented a better diet. I was getting bored of the same foods so I did some research and found some healthier breakfast and snack ideas. I’ve started making overnight oats with fat free yogurt and fruit. Healthy homemade fruit bars to snack on containing almonds, mixed fruit and cranberries. Tonight I made honey, lemon and ginger tea which went down well with us all. One cup of that per day is now on the cards. 

I really needed to refocus and go back to basics to reverse the slump I was in. The hope is to lose 7 pounds which will take me back to where I felt so good. 

Wish me luck. 

My regrets over long lost blogs

Picture the scene. You are logging into WordPress and an old blog name comes up due to you previously saving the log in details and immediately you have regrets that you deleted that old blog. If only I had ignored the urges to walk away and logged out taking a break instead of deleting the site and running a mile.

Why the urge to delete my blog?

Good question and I will try my best to answer that one here. When I started blogging maybe I expected too much. Whilst never expecting hundreds or thousands of people to flock to my site, I have always wanted, liked and maybe expected some poor souls to come along and read my work from time to time.

After all my posts had all the popular tags attached, shared on social media with hashtags and I thought I was putting the posts right out there where they would be seen. Casting my net right in the middle of the school of fish so to speak. Sadly I only caught those marketing sites that plague you. You know the ones, liking your post without even reading them and following you purely for a follow back. No thanks mate. Is it too much to ask that after all that work you put into writing that some people come along and read it?

I’ve read so many articles on the dos and don’ts of blogging. One such advice is not to bother looking at your stats. I cannot help but look at mine even though many say not to. In fact WordPress loads them up on your dashboard for you to see which isn’t helpful when trying to avoid them.

Take statistics out of the equation and I often thought blogging was a place where people with a common goal interacted with each other? Don’t get me wrong there have been a few who conversed with me and vice versa but sadly it is difficult to find those people amongst the millions of blogs in WordPress. Here’s another top tip for blogging:

Blogging can be so frustrating for so many reasons.

Be patient

I have been guilty of lacking patience and when I say patience we are in reality talking about years not weeks or even months. To grow a blog and a following you have to consistently write for years. There are no quick fixes or easy wins. Unless you suddenly fall very lucky or spend a great deal of money and about 12 hours a day everyday on your site you will not gain a following and regular readership anytime soon.

In the beginning no one tells you how hard it can be to blog and grow a following, you learn that as you travel along the blogging road.

Write, Write and Write some more

Consistency is key here. You cannot be all over the place with publishing your work as your followers prefer to know when to expect another post . Many people will tell you to have a posting schedule which can help you regularly pump out your work. That’s fine if your that kind of person who likes working to a plan, a schedule and can turn on the tap and the writing juices flow easily. Sadly I struggle to do that.

You could say that I am more of a emotional blogger. Sometimes the urge to write is so strong the words come so easy for me and a post will be written in no time. Other times the creative juices dry up and I get writers block as the more I try and force the words to come, the less they want to. That’s why I can write for 5 days in a row then struggle to pen something for the next fortnight. But this is real life.

What we can all agree on is to keep writing. The more you write the better your work becomes as you develop and learn from any mistakes. By writing more people see your work and overtime you make some long lasting connections with fellow bloggers.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Why did I delete all those other blogs?

In a word, frustration. Whether that be due struggling to commit enough time to blogging whilst juggling a full time job and a family or due to a lack of confidence in my own ability to write anything people would want to read.

Add a lack of interaction from genuine people online and a feeling that I was “Pissing in the wind” when it came to my blog taking off. What I should have done was log out and come back to the blog when I had a more positive attitude.

Each blog I had did start to have a small and engaging following which I lost when I deleted the whole damn thing. Something I regret hugely. I often think had I kept the first blog I had some 7 or so years ago how much material I would have built up which would have been interesting to look back on. Also I would have built a decent loyal following too which in turn would have shown in my stats.

Speak to people

One of my biggest mistakes was not to ask for advice. I’m not even talking about other bloggers here although that is a good move to make. I never really asked my wife or friends for feedback. My own negative mindtalk convinced me to pack it all in. On the odd occasion I did ask for feedback from my nearest and dearest I received nothing but positive feedback which spurred me on.

You often need another set of eyes to read your work and pass comment. To put you back on the right track or to reaffirm to yourself that what your doing is great and to carry on. Any feedback will crush any negative mindtalk from your own brain that tells you your not good enough. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust who isn’t a blogger to cast their eyes over your work.

Take my advice

As a blogger of over 7 years I have made many mistakes overtime some of which have been terminal to my development as a writer. It can be difficult on your own and it’s not all wonderful being a blogger but here are a few tips coming from someone who knows what their talking about.

  • Keep asking for feedback from others
  • Do what YOU want to do and write what YOU want to, your passion will come through in your writing.
  • Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • Don’t expect loads of views or to make any money from the blog, in reality that will never happen.
  • Take a break if needed, just don’t give up so easily.
  • Enjoy it!

If any of my story resonates with you feel free to comment and share your experiences.

Its Saturyay!

Yes you read that right, Saturyay! The working week is over roll on the weekend, time to relax before we do it all again next week.

As I start this blog from the comfort of my bed with both dogs sat near me (never a moments peace with dogs). Now I know that sounds a cute thing with mans best friend following man around the house but in this house man never gets a moments peace not even when sat on the toilet!

My wife is in Ireland this weekend with a girlfriend enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Galway leaving me, my son and the dogs to have a “boys weekend”. You may roll your eyes but we plan to do very little apart from watch plenty of football and with the exception of a few chores like food shopping you will find us mostly sat in front of the television.

OK I do plan to go for a bike ride this weekend but generally it will be nice not to have a weekend where we rush about only to get to Sunday evening and wonder Where did our weekend go?

And so my blogging journey on Medium begins…

I dare say the laptop will be open and the keys being hit ferociously as my blogging juices continue to flow from the last week. After considering yesterday whether to join Medium, I took the plunge created an account followed a few people and so that journey has begun. Although I am yet to fully immerse myself on Medium, I will navigate my way around it over the following few days and weeks to fully get to grips with it. Feel free to give me a follow over there.

After being woken up by the bin men in their huge bin cart emptying the bins they failed to empty on Wednesday I decided to get up, sorts the pets out, fire up the coffee machine, return to bed with said coffee and laptop and read some blogs. With nothing too taxing planned today apart from hitting the supermarket and throwing the hoover around the house this morning will be rather chilled out. As I type one dog is already snoring next to me, its that kind of day.

Whatever your plans are I wish you a pleasant and relaxing Saturyay.

The week that was

As sure as night follows day we find ourselves at the end of another working week. A week for me with a difference where I have ditched the car for public transport and subsequently had more time to blog. As I look back on the last week, I find myself falling back in love with blogging again.

This post with be my fourth in as many days which is unheard of. The usual daily grind means I have very little to write about or my brain is all worn out leaving nothing left to contribute to this blog, or both.

What’s been different this week then?

Well for one my whole routine has been different. Instead of driving the usual route to work to then spend the next ten hours cracking on through my workload I have found myself getting the train into central Manchester and working in a different environment. Often when I sit down at home in the evening my thoughts lead toward the blog but I tend to find I have little to discuss. The days roll into one with very little exciting to write about, the harsh reality of middle aged life.

Travelling on the train has allowed me to have more thinking time and more time to people watch which is impossible when driving.

Each day I have been stood on the platform watching the commuters arrive moments before their scheduled train. The same people meet up and have a chat. From students heading to University to white collar workers heading to the city there are a whole range of people heading off from their local station. Today there were groups of men heading off to a day at the cricket watching the test match between England and India at Old Trafford. Watching all these individuals (and not in a creepy way) has given me ideas to write about.

In the city there’s hardly a person walking without a cup of coffee in their hand. How habits change over time. The coffee industry continues to go from strength to strength with no sign of it slowing down. From espressos to iced coffees it seems everyone is off to work with their morning caffeine hit in their hand.

Even I have taken part by stopping at a coffee shop to sit and pass the time with a morning coffee prior to starting work. Again looking out of the windows to watch peoples journeys and habits as they start their day. I wrote here how it would cost me a fortune if I regularly worked in the city just to afford the daily coffee hit.

Consider you bought 1 coffee per day at lets say £3. That would be £15 per week which equates to £60 a month just in coffee.

This week has seen me having plenty of time hanging around waiting for things to happen which has allowed me to conduct research into blogging, platforms, etc. It has wet my appetite for writing this journal again.

The two key factors that stop me from blogging are a lack of time and a lack of ideas.

I lose count of the time I fire up the laptop with the intention of detailing my day in a blog post only to have a complete lack of ideas of what to discuss. The laptop gets shutdown and another day goes by without any content being published.

One thing I have been mulling over has been whether to move the blog to Medium. Recently I have read some great posts at Medium.com and I like the clean, crisp look of the site. WordPress does frustrate me in respect of trying to find blogs I would want to follow. Maybe this is due to there being far too many blogs on that platform to wade through to find the ones I would regularly read?

Part of me thinks Medium would not only allow me to find good quality blogs but also make me develop and improve my writing. After all Medium does sell itself as a site where quality is rewarded. Food for thought.

So another week fly’s by at record pace. The nights are getting darker sooner as we move into Autumn a particular favourite season of mine. My hope going forward is that I will continue to write more regularly whether that is here on WordPress or Medium I’ve not made my mind up.

If you have experience of Medium please share your thoughts with me, I could do with some feedback.

Why we feel the urge to share our lives online

In my previous post, I discussed why I was taking a social media sabbatical. Today I want to touch on my social media detox and how I initially struggled with not sharing parts of my day online.

Yesterday evening my wife and I were sat in the garden enjoying the recent mini heatwave and the last blast of summer. The garden lights were on, it was still 20c at 8pm and we were enjoying a glass of red wine as we unwound from a busy day.

Whilst we were chatting we were also messing on our phones. I was texting some friends and took a picture of me holding up my glass of wine with the garden lights in the background. It was a very nice picture that captured our evening perfectly. I sent it to a couple of friends on WhatsApp in reply to their pictures showing what they were up to that evening. Then I wanted to scratch that itch and impulse to show off such a great picture with the world.

I have temporarily disabled both my Facebook and Instagram accounts yet I thought this particular picture would look great published on a story. It would no doubt have generated plenty of likes and comments. I came close to reactivating my accounts to share this picture. Why? It was only a picture of a glass of wine! Nothing special. Herein lies the issue. For a good decade now we have become so used to sharing our lives (specifically the good parts) online it has become second nature. We do it because that’s what we do now.

Said glass of Malbec

We seek peoples approval and want to be popular. Why cant we go about our lives privately and discuss the finer aspects of our lives around the dinner table or down the pub when we meet up with friends in person? Why do we have to let our online friends have an hour by hour or day by day running log of our lives?

The urge to share this image and let everyone know what a nice evening we were having was really tugging away at my mind. Thankfully I did not give in. My thoughts later turned to all the people I know who choose to have no social media presence and are perfectly happy with this and have no desire to join up. How can like minded and similar aged people go through life with no desire to inundate their friends with their daily lives?

Many of us love the attention. We love the amount of “likes” or the positive comments posted in reply to our posts. We seek approval, we need to feel popular. The problem is once that picture or story has had its five minutes in the sun, it falls way down peoples timelines due to the vast amount being shared online. So we have to repeat this behaviour hourly or daily to get that constant approval and warm feeling that you get from receiving notifications.

I lived happily for 37 years before social media arrived. We caught up with friends and family in the traditional ways and updated each other with our lives. Now we share our most intimate thoughts, feelings and actions with the world and his wife with no thought for keeping much of our lives private.

Ultimately people do this because of the reaction they receive and not to keep family updated. If no one commented or liked your posts, you would stop posting its as simple as that. I looked back on my day and there were countless times I could have posted pictures or status updates detailing my day but I chose not to, yet many millions I suspect did just that. I could have posted a picture of the fabulous looking (and tasting) morning coffee I bought in Café Nero in Manchester. I could have posted the great picture I took of the Beetham Tower on Deansgate in the sunshine but I didn’t. Then there was the glass of Malbec I was drinking in the garden showcasing the lighting in our garden.

Thankfully I didn’t post any of those images. Nobody would have criticised me had I done so. Today, I feel that I managed to go cold turkey on posting on social media. Today despite the glorious sunshine or the spectacular late thunderstorms I had no desire to capture those moments and catalogue my day on social media. I felt perfectly comfortable enjoying the moment without ramming it down other peoples throats and filling their timelines.

I still feel perfectly fine and balanced without all the gushing praise from friends replying to such posts. You can get on with your life, snapping away when the time is right to take a picture documenting a moment in time but keep it firmly in your gallery and nowhere near your Facebook or Insta story. After all I am 47 years old not 17. And you can still enjoy life without all the hullabaloo.

Why it’s good to have a social media sabbatical.

The title says it all really but I thought I would raise a couple of points and reasons why I am taking a sabbatical from social media.

Much has been talked about the positives and negatives around social media, there is no need for me to repeat all that as you all know it already.

For myself, every now and then social media irritates me. I go from diving in at the deep end and fully immerse myself in posting, sharing, communicating to shutting the door and walking away from all the noise. Maybe that is just me or does that sound familiar to you?

I have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. My general rule is whatever goes on Instagram goes on Facebook too as both are similar in that I post things about my life and family. I use twitter more as a one stop place for all my news, sport, weather information.

Recently I have posted quite regularly online but it’s always a fine line with me where I go from loving social media to hating it in a heartbeat.

Some of my friends have often taken my lead and also had a break by logging out or deactivating their accounts and reactivating when they feel ready to return.

I’ve found recently I’m spending too much time scrolling through my time lines when I could and should be doing something better with my time. How can I moan I have no time for things when I waste the valuable time that I have? Currently this is the main reason for taking a break.

Also, I don’t want to use an application that annoys me or irritates me it is no good for my mental health and wellbeing. Once something no longer is fun why carry on using it?

Because I’m getting a little irritated things I read online annoy me more than they would normally and that’s a good enough reason to take a break. All that will happen is the irritation will become much greater.

I’ve always been jealous of people who don’t use social media or only have one account. Those people seem happy enough and lose no sleep over the fear of missing out on all the gossip of people’s lives.

I often bang my head against a wall at missed opportunities to write blog posts because life is so busy. If I can cut down on the time I spend scrolling through social media then surely I will have the time to sit down and write more blogs?

That’s my hope today. If you feel the same or want to share your thoughts on this subject please do so in the comments section.

Observations from working in the city

Monday saw me start a week working in Manchester City centre on a case I’m dealing with. So I swapped the car for the train, the rolling Lancashire countryside for the hustle and bustle of a big city and feeling like a fish out of water working from a different site on my own and without any IT apart from my work phone. Deep breaths and be ready for every eventuality.

A few observations from my journey into the city. Not sure whether it’s due to the schools not fully returning after the summer break or people are still working from home but the trains and the car parks have been much quieter than normal. I’ve been able to park without issue when normally there’s not a parking space in sight. I’ve managed to take a seat when we are usually packed in like sardines. Although most people now don’t bother wearing face coverings on public transport.

So many people wear trainers when going to and from work carrying their smart work shoes in a bag for comfort.

If I worked in the city full time I would spend a fortune on coffee and food. Everyone is either walking around with coffee in hand or sat in a coffee shop having their morning caffeine hit. Then there’s lunch to buy, I would need a pay rise to pay for all that.

Apart from the cost I wouldn’t mind working in the city. I guess if the trains were packed daily and the service deteriorated as its been known to then things maybe different. I don’t mind the hustle and bustle of the city with workers, tourists, locals all going about their business. Maybe that’s my opinion now, if I did it regularly maybe I would pine for the scenic drive into Lancashire that I currently do? We are never happy are we?

Reminiscing

This time last week we were enjoying a boat trip on the Norfolk broads with family we had travelled down to see followed by a gorgeous meal in a local pub. Blink and we are a week further on. We have returned to work after our two week holiday and are rapidly heading out of a wet August and into Autumn. Four weeks from today it will be Christmas Day, WTF???

I guess I’ll get around to writing about our adventures during our staycation holiday in which we visited some lovely places but I just need to find some motivation to do so. I’ve often wanted to chronicle our days out, holidays, etc but strangely always talked myself out of it. Bloody mind talk!

Fortunately, I only worked Monday & Tuesday (Yey!) before having a couple of days off prior to returning into work at the weekend (Boo!). A quick dipping of my toes into work before running away again into some days off. 

Today gave me the opportunity to get out on my road bike after a three week hiatus due to the holidays. In around 10 days I will be taking part in the Manchester 100 mile bike ride through Manchester and Cheshire with a mate of mine. Although this will be my third time around the course, deep down I need to get my legs moving again before turning up at the start line. 

It was great to get out on the open roads in the sunshine and ride through some of my favourite villages in Lancashire clocking up 30 miles in the legs that are now reminding me that they were last used three weeks ago! Ouch. 

I have always found cycling to be as good for my brain and emotions than that for my physical health. Getting out clears my head of all the junk flying around it. The endorphins flow through my body giving me the natural high that peps me up nicely. With the weather forecast looking good again for tomorrow it’s another chance to get out and blow off the cobwebs and sharpen up for the 100 mile ride on the 5th September. 

My teenage son starts back at school two weeks today and enters his final year of high school. It’s going to feel very odd when he finally leaves school as the boys have been going to school since 2004. No more ironing uniforms and planning our family holidays during half term. Hell, we can book holidays next year whenever we want and avoid those price hikes during the school holidays! 

We have begun helping him to plan and prepare for his final exams that will come in this final year. With some guidance from my wifes cousin who is a teacher we have found some great websites and books to help him plan for examinations. So today he sat down and completed a 30 question mock exam in mathematics. Bless him, you would do well to get most teenagers out of bed by the afternoon, never mind taking on a mock exam. Yeah I know we are blessed for sure. Having said that his older brother was an absolute nightmare through high school and never wanted any of our help, advice and support so the younger son balances all that stress out. 

After completing the exam, our son offered to buy us a coffee at the local Starbucks which I instantly took him up on. We have been blessed with a well grounded teenage boy who is happy to be with his parents even in public and chat away. His older brother morphed into a caveman at 13 and has never come out of that grunting and anti-social faze. 

It was nice to chat away over an iced latte and a frappuccino (his choice, an excellent one by the way) and watch the world go by outside. 

With my wife away overnight with work, the chores already completed and nothing planned for the evening, it was a great chance to write something for this blog. One great frustration of mine is often being too damn busy to sit down, open the laptop and empty my head into the blog. If my blog was a school report it would say “Must concentrate more and do better”. There you go, I’ve tried and thanks for reading.  

Why negative mind talk kills my blog

Considering I have been blogging now for over seven years I have very little to show for it. That is all down to something many bloggers suffer from, negative mind talk. Add self doubt, procrastination and no one to talk ideas through with and you get a toxic mix that destroys your productivity and creative skills. Here’s my story:

My blogging journey:

Over the last seven years I have blogged about two common themes having two separate blogs running to cover those themes, football and a personal journal blog. You will read and hear bloggers talk of having a niche. Ultimately, if you write about what your passionate about stick to that subject as your passion will translate through into your blog posts.

I love football (soccer if your reading this in America) and I love emptying my head about my day to day activities and thoughts hence often running two very separate blogs. The single biggest issue for myself has been longevity. Due to self doubt, negative mind talk and not sharing my thoughts with others I have often found myself closing sites down for several reasons I will discuss. The regret I now feel is huge as I wish I had logged out rather than deleted sites and returned to the site when ready which would have meant I continued to build a following.

Starting up:

When you set up a blog you are full of good intentions and ideas. What and when to post, what social media sites you will use to spread your work and how you will engage with fellow bloggers. The world is your oyster and you cannot stop typing.

A number of things can halt you in your tracks. For me with the personal blog it was a lack of engagement as my football blogs did gain a following. I would spend so much time putting a post together only for very few people to read it or more annoyingly many affiliate sites on WordPress would hit the “like” button but my stats revealed those people didn’t even read the damn post. So how can you like something you never read? To get follows back that’s why. I would go “Ooh I have some likes, who liked my post?” to reveal sites that were trying to sell me something that I didn’t want. All I wanted was to engage with fellow likeminded bloggers yet my posts would never find their way onto those peoples reader.

Blogging community:

Whilst I never set out to blog for likes or views it was nice when I did start to get some engagement with other bloggers. A little community where we read each others work, commenting and helping, advising each other through writers block or other issues with blogging.

Negative mind talk:

The biggest problem for me was negative mind talk which affected any blog I had. My biggest piece of advice for anyone out there is to talk to friends, partners or followers about what is going on in your head. I didn’t and the negative thoughts killed my blogs and my love for blogging.

If I hit writers block, worried what people thought about my work or even when getting down about a lack of interaction if I had spoken to someone about those worries that would have made such a difference. Instead I beat myself up bigtime and took the easy way out and deleted my sites.

Occasionally I did seek feedback from others and the overwhelming advice was I was doing great work, to keep going and their advice really put things into perspective for me and put me back on track. I should have done this on a regular basis.

My mind would convince me no one was interested in what I had to say, what was the point in writing as there were so many other similar more established sites out there that got the attention and I felt I was “pissing in the wind” when it came to trying to tap into that arena. I struggled with the concept of promoting myself on social media.

Be genuine:

You really need to engage with fellow bloggers on social media. Share each others work, help each other and you can tap into their following and grow yours. Many people advise in commenting on other blog posts with genuine comments of course. That way people reading those comments will have a nosey at you and your site, if they like what they see they will give you a follow. The main thing is to be genuine with this. Don’t post “Great post, come and see mine here” because you are clearly not being genuine and only after getting people to land on your site, which no one will fall for.

Blogging takes time and energy:

All this takes an incredible amount of time and effort. Blogging is not easy. You may have a passion for writing and find what to write about comes very easy to you, well done if you can because not everyone can be like that. Once you have posted online and happy with the title, pictures, etc then comes the hard bit, getting others to read what you have written. Remember there are millions of websites & blogs out there at anyone time all fighting for attention.

You have to strike a balance with sharing on social media and not ramming things down peoples throats. I found on Twitter tagging other like minded sites into my blog posts worked well as they often re-shared my posts. Be careful though, sharing is a two way thing. Make sure you follow back and comment and share those sites work too. Build a community, its not all about you.

I have struggled with when to post, how to post, whether to schedule posts the list goes on. It is a minefield out there, thoughts and ideas flow around your head and in the end my head popped and the negative vibe won through. I got distracted away from why I blogged in the first place and became distracted with trying to grow a following. Remember longevity. If you stick around and write consistently then you will gain an organic following.

Numbers mean nothing:

Numbers are just that, they mean nothing. What was important for me was having genuine people read my posts and engage with me. I would rather have 50 genuine and engaging followers than 5000 who never read my work or communicate with me. Numbers look good don’t they when you see peoples stats but give me a smaller honest following any day.

There are so many pitfalls to blogging I could go on all day. The main things I would ask you to take away from this post are:

Final thoughts:

  • Avoid the negative mind talk by speaking to people about what you are thinking.
  • Set realistic targets. Don’t try to grow too quickly, be a slow burner and take your time. If you write good enough posts people will find them eventually.
  • Take breaks if necessary. That way you avoid deleting sites, log out instead!
  • Remember why you set out to blog in the first place and stay true to those values.
  • Don’t compare yourself with those big sites that have huge followings. They may have spent a fortune to get there, have several people working for them or just been very lucky at the right time.
  • Ultimately enjoy what you do. If you lose the love you will soon walk away.
  • All this advice is easier said than done, I accept that. Try not to make the mistakes I have over the years. Had I listened to my own advice I could be sat here now with a successful blog that over time had built a loyal following.

Thank you for reading & good luck in you’re blogging journey.