As the internet and online careers expand and increase, I thought it would be a good idea to briefly run through how I manage to run a blog whilst doing my everyday things like university. It might be helpful to those who are considering running their own blog or it might just be interesting to those of you who read Hannah’s Happy.
Running and Publishing
The first thing you need to do when running a blog is to decide how regularly you are going to post and what kind of blog you’d like to have. I knew that I wanted to do a lifestyle blog and not entirely commit to one specific theme that boxed me into something I might not want in the future. I chose a blogging schedule of twice a week because three posts a week were getting too much for me at university yet I wanted the blog to be updated regularly enough to keep people coming. Telling your readers the days that they can expect posts is also important because then they know what days to check. My stats increase every Tuesday and Friday. I chose Tuesday and Friday because Mondays are always busy but Tuesdays people have a little more time to check online and Friday posts have all weekend to gather views.
Writing and Scheduling
I do not write the blog posts the night before or even the day before a post is due online. Every post is scheduled for a Tuesday or a Friday at 9am and I cannot rely upon my inspiration to deliver me a new idea the night before a post is due. What usually happens is an ebb and flow of ideas. On a good day, I shall sit and write multiple blog posts. On a bad day, I will think of and write none. Having a backlog of posts means that I can photograph and edit images relevant to the posts in plenty of time and that I can schedule my posts to continue running my blog even at times of little motivation.
Bloggers can have holidays and keep a blog running. I say this with a touch of embarrassment on my face as I haven’t managed to successfully do this on this particular leave of study. However, it can be done and I have done it plenty of times. Some posts are time-sensitive and some posts aren’t. What I mean by this is that some posts are about current trends and these ideas will need to be written up, edited and published ASAP whereas other posts don’t have an expiry date. These are the posts that can be scheduled to run a blog when the blogger isn’t looking. Sometimes I blog a few weeks in advance and sometimes I blog months in advance! Organisation is key if you want to take holidays.
The online world is changing. I started a blog years ago and back then, a poorly lit background and a decent photo was enough. Nowadays, you need to be a skilled photographer as well as a blogger to get by. The photos for my blog posts are sometimes my absolute least favourite thing about blogging. If I have good lighting and a good photo premise, I can have fun with a blog photo and get creative. If there is bad lighting then I have to work harder and edit for longer and my post will still get less attention due to its dull header. Photos attract attention most of the time, not your words.
Your blog theme is super important. It has to say something about you, express what you’re about in a matter of a few glances but also present your content in a creative, eye catching way that makes sense and compliments your posts, giving them the best chance. If you present or layout your content badly, it won’t be effective. I have an archive because I post regularly, I have a stream of posts in one column because it is simple and I recently changed from an already expanded stream of posts to a photo and a few lines. I wanted my blog to be more visually enjoyable and it is always interesting to see which posts a reader chooses to expand for more information.
I hope this was either helpful or interesting to you. If it wasn’t then don’t forget that I take requests of topics at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org!