It’s the First Anniversary | Unpacking my learnings! [5 tips for bloggers! ]

Written by Swati Joshi

June 20, 2019

Swati’s Journal has been 01 year old today. I thank you all for making it a success. Today, gathered from this time, I wish to unpack my learnings and share a few tips for bloggers!

A year ago, I decided to build a home for my creative writing, so that I can reach more readers and build a bigger community!  On 21st June 2018, with little perplexity ( being honest is my well known trait! ) I hit the ‘Publish’ button for this first romantic short story – The 12th Letter

I wasn’t so sure about how was that gonna work? 

With only faith in my heart about the quality of the publication, I was damn sure that whatever the response will be; I will undoubtedly deliver the content that would bring me n my readers a definite sense of contentment!

How many visitors do the website receive in a Year?  Did the blog do well?

Well, let me put it this way!

Internet, friends from social media –  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many other wonderful people have joined me in this fantastic adventure and have helped me a great deal in making Swati’s Journal what it has been today!

As Google analytics reports, “Swati’s Journal – a web publication from an Indian Writer” got 77,000 page views from 33,000 readers. ( Amazing! Isn’t it? – All thanks to you! )

It’s just the first step taken thus,  I am still working on it and learning a bit everyday.

As any new blogger asks, I had to decide Why do I need to start a blog? Is it for PASSION or it’s all about MONEY?

Writing for me is a way to share what I have accumulated through experiences or the stories I have to tell you. And publishing it from one place allows me to reach the right traffic.

Here, for me the traffic stands for the quality readers as mine is purely a literature blog. ( English, Hindi and Gujarati literature – to be precise! )

For other bloggers that might be the right crowd that can consume whatever they have to offer. So, no matter whether you want to start a book review blog, travel blog, food blog or something else –  the objective stays unchanged!

Reaching the right consumers!

After I found why to start a blog, I had to jump to How to start a blog?

I started with the easiest steps. One step at a time!

01. Purchase a domain + hosting plan that suits your estimated budget per year! ( I chose Godaddy)

02. Choose a platform to build your website! ( I chose WordPress, it’s easy to learn!)

03. Learn to build the blog or hire talented and affordable team of developers and designers! ( I was keen about good design, so I built a team! )

This much technical knack will do for anyone who wants to start a new site.

But what I believe it takes to keep it from falling and to make it pay off in the future is little more than this.

Here are 5 well earned tips for bloggers –  extracted from my one year’s experience for the aspiring bloggers…    

# Tip 01 for bloggers –  Patience is the key to everything! 

Like every other blogger, I was scared ( literally! ) just because of the realisation that I’d have to learn a lot and I’d never be able to cope. But now, at the end of the first year, I know that it was so silly of me!

No no… don’t misinterpret it, if you’re starting a new web publication; you’ll have to learn many things, but the relief is you need not to do it all at once.

You got to know basic principles and dig deeper. I began with resources like this article about Blogging principles .  [Great tools, articles and tips for bloggers, SEO…]

I’ve never liked computers in my life. So, you can imagine how difficult it had been for me! laughinglaughing

There were some days when I felt that it’s almost impossible for me to get by the schedules, there were days when I’d cursed myself like ‘Swati, why on earth you want to do this while there are many other easy ways of being a writer!!’

In such conditions, only patience works. And being a mother, I had had it in abundance. So, without giving up on my ‘baby’ I decided to give it the time it required.

# Tip 02 for bloggers –  Reaching the target audience! 

After struggling for a few months ( Yes, you read it right- a few months!! ) I got my rhythm and could manage to cope with the schedules. ( Thanks to my team! )

Now, being a content creator what do you want? (प्यार चाहिए या पैसा चाहिए, यार दिलदार तुझे…?? laughing )

First, one needs a community who understands what exactly you’re trying to convey.

Here in my case, family or friends weren’t able to understand what I was doing then how could I expect someone else to do it?

Even today people ask me –

‘Are you a writer? [first question]

Me: “Yes”,

‘What exactly do you do?’ [immediate question]

Me: #???

So, people not getting the kind of work you do will definitely not understand how much time and hard work it takes. Many of you who are creative content writers would agree with me.

This gets even better! laughing

My neighbours know that I do something with my laptop the whole day and they keep guessing that I might be printing currency bills on it!

(In fact, a couple of them believe that I’ve accumulated a good load of wealth just by writing!)  

Well, nothing happens so fast, it takes the basic three things one has to follow…

  • Regularity/consistency in posting
  • Clarity about the objectives
  • Quality of the content

You’ll have to work quite hard by offering your target audience something helpful, informative, new, unique, engaging and persuasive. Doing this will help you develop a relationship with them.

I also met new people sharing the same passion whether they’re the other content creators or the readers.

Meeting the other writers from the fraternity makes learning faster and easier for us just like I found some amazing Indian blog directories like Matrubharti, Indibloghub and Indiblogger.

I even built a page to keep a track of important milestones, I call it Timeline.

 

#Tip 03 for bloggers –  Be open and be yourself!

Blogging is just not think, write, review, publish and sit on your armchair sipping a cup of coffee!

It is as demanding as any other businesses. It includes serious planning, research, quality control, designing and promotion. It’s better to have a skilled team when you want to become a successful blogger!
I used to write about things I felt, observed or just confronted. After starting this web publication, I learnt about keeping a close check on the trends and started addressing my readers’ interests. Being open to learn anything and everything has unshut many more directions for my writings.

I’ve flourished as a writer in the past year just because of sticking to this principle of  “Observe,  learn and adapt!”

#Tip 04 for bloggers – Good performance is about your capacity to focus!

Focusing on the following things help you move in the right direction.

Whom are you writing to?

Firstly, before writing anything, I do focus on to whom am I writing?

Believing that I know the person I’m writing, keeps my head clean about what to include n what to omit.
Second, developing a relationship with the reader.

My writings must make my reader feel that I’m not a stranger behind a computer screen influencing his/her thoughts.

They must enjoy my company as me being a real person.

Mailing the readers regularly and replying to their comments have helped me immensely to develop this affable relationship.

The other things that needs to pay attention towards are,

  • Being regular.
  • Creating the editorial calendar (and following it without fail!:))
  • Writing and publishing the post without any error.
  • Communicating with the subscribers.

#Tip 05 for bloggers –  Define your own success!

I’ve observed the community and found that success not only means earning here. And also learnt that success is a relative term.

You can’t compare your work with the others; instead you’ve to keep upgrading by constantly examining your own work.

Persistent efforts with determination definitely pays off.

To become a successful creative content writer ( or a blogger ), one has to

  • Decide for one’s self
  • Set sail in the right direction
  • Keep moving forward a little everyday

One must keep in mind that writing takes a lot of effort and guts with a habit of discipline. It’s all about constant practice, reading and learning from the mistakes.

It’s your resolute vision about where and when do you want to take it will decide the real Success of your website.

Now, for the upcoming 365 days; I do have future plans and I promise to put all my efforts to keep you entertained, to provide something valuable and I’m most eagerly looking forward to interacting with you, exchange ideas and share the stories. Post a comment below! laughing

Happy reading to all of you!

Lots of love,

Swati

 

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I’ve just completed a year of creative writing. Thanking all my readers, guest writers and friends who have been a part of this web publication! Do you have a blog or have you thought about starting one? Read about my journey and tips for bloggers in this article!

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