*This post contains one affiliate link to a book that everyone should read.*
Blogging is fun, and I’ve learned a lot about it since starting Perfectly Samantha.
1. SEO does matter.
I’ve had the free Yoast plugin for the longest time, and for a while, I dismissed SEO. Google is always changing, and getting worse (If I type a search term, I want to include it. Don’t ask me if we “must include” it), so who cares about SEO? Well, Google still does and Yoast knows what Google is looking for. If there’s one blogging plug-in I’d recommend, it’s Yoast.
2. Share your life, but don’t share too much.
I’m a very honest person, but I’m honest with a filter. I don’t talk about everything. Aside from saying that I’m a career admin, I don’t talk about my job. It’s a great job and I love it, but I’ve never found blogging about one’s job to be very professional.
I also don’t blog about people I know, for the most part. I might say something like, “My sister got engaged last week!” because that’s a good thing, but unlike many bloggers who use everyone from strangers to their own children as characters in their online burn book, I have no interest in doing this. I like the people I spend time with, and I want my blog to be a positive place.
3. Instagram CAN be useful, if you use it as an extension of your blog.
I recently went through my Instagram and archived photos that don’t match my current brand…which is someone who actually knows how to take good photos. Part of me wondered if this would magically make my Instagram like every. other. instagrammer. in. the. world, but it didn’t. Instead, it’s me, and I’m happy with it. People who visit my Instgram can get an idea of what my blog is like.
I also unfollowed a lot of people. My general rule was if I didn’t know them and they were either exploiting their children (You know the ones. Anna Kendrick talked about them during her press tour for A Simple Favor) or not telling a unique story, I unfollowed them. I realized that Instagram only gets genuine visitors for my blog when I’m promoting it to my target audience.
4. Tell people you’re blogging.
I was super nervous to share my blog with my friends and family, but the response has been either positive, or they don’t read it, both of which I’m happy with. I think sometimes bloggers think that when they tell people about their blog that everyone they know will be reading it and judging them. Trust me, they’re not. And word-of-mouth can be a great promoter.
5. Blog about what you like.
I know I could be like every other lifestyle blogger (by the way, if anyone reading this knows of a lifestyle blogger who’s actually unique, can you comment with the link, please?), but I don’t want to be. I want to blog about what I like: Being a singleton, a writer, and a movie reviewer.
Blogging about what you love means that you’ll have more material than someone who just posts outfits for affiliate sales or, worse, uses their children for views (Mini-rant: Everyone with kids needs to understand that kids deserve to build their own online reputation).
Perfectly Samantha has lasted longer than my other blogs because I realized that if I”m not writing about what I like, I’ll get bored. I may not make as much money as someone who writes simply so she can post affiliate links (I’ve tried that; it doesn’t work well. Eventually the links expire), but I’m okay with that.
6. Everyone doesn’t need to be a critic.
Pop quiz: What do The Greatest Showman and Venom have in common? They’re both amazing movies that the critics hate and the audience loves. Critics hate The Greatest Showman because P.T. Barnum was a human being in the 1800s and not a time traveller with the ability to act like SOME people do in 2018. Critics hate Venom because it’s a comic-book movie and it acts like one. It’s more reminiscent of old school comic book movies, as opposed to the MCU, which is getting progressively worse.
In The Dark Knight, Aaron Eckhart said, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” The MCU version of this would be, “You either end on a high note with great characters, including well rounded female characters, or you make Captain Marvel.”
I review movies based on what the movie is trying to be; I don’t do what it seems most critics do with their odd three step process:
- Decide what every movie should be before I watch it.
- See that the movie accomplished what it was trying to, but it didn’t follow my personal narrative.
- Tell people it’s terrible and they shouldn’t watch it.
Maybe the tagline for my new YouTube channel should be: Perfectly Reviews:Because life is too short to hate everything.
7. Connect with other bloggers.
I’ve trying to get into a blogging schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with promotion every other day, which includes commenting on other blogs. Remember when I talked about the follow-unfollow method? Many bloggers don’t reply to comments because they don’t want community; they want money. That’s why I try to connect with smaller bloggers with whom I actually have something in common: Movie bloggers, singleton bloggers, thirties bloggers, etc.
I don’t want to be, and you shouldn’t be, someone who just comments, “Awesome!” and thinks that’ll will get to page views. It might, but the viewer won’t stick around.
8. Twitter and Tumblr are still the worst.
Twitter and Tumblr are okay for blog promotion if you avoid 99% of both sites.
I’m going to try to stay calm and explain this rationally: Twitter and Tumblr are two of the most toxic, evil places on the internet, and I don’t say that lightly. They are full of people who are either the worst, or people acting like the worst behind the anonymity of their screen. These are people who get offended and try to silence instead of debating ideas. These are people who criticise those who have died. These are people who want someone’s life to be ruined because of one mistake. These are people who don’t realize, or won’t accept, that if you want someone to vote your way, you need to find common ground, and that people aren’t likely to side with people who say, “You’re the worst, now agree with me.”
Tumblr is like Twitter, except it’s worse, because its main demographic is teen girls, and as someone who used to be a teenager, I am so glad my baseless opinions weren’t recorded permanently online.
9. Facebook is actually pretty good.
Unlike Twitter and Tumblr, Facebook, to its credit, is actually trying to become less toxic. Consequently, it’s a great place to promote your blog. I get most of my views from Facebook, and I expect this will be the case until I finally figure out how to use Pinterest.
10. Make sure you’re blogging consistently.
Sometimes I find a great blog, and I want to subscribe to it. Then, I see that it hasn’t been updated since January, so I don’t. This is why it’s important to blog about stuff you love. If you don’t, you’ll get bored and stop writing, and then your readers will stop reading.
Are you a singleton blogger or a new blogger? Drop a link! I’d love to promote your blog.