Monday, May 9

Why it’s important to blog like a racehorse (aka my advice to bloggers)


Last night was the launch and cocktail party for the Kidspot Top 50 bloggers. I was asked to give a speech as last years winner. I thought about what I might say - and although so many of the blogs represented are from established and wonderful bloggers, this year has a few new up and coming ones too - (which I love because I love reading and discovering new blogs and from last years' top 50 I discovered some I love so dearly today).

So what I thought I'd share is really what 'my secret' to my world of blogging is - not really a secret but when people ask me (readers, PR/Media, brands but mostly bloggers) how I can have such an eclectic mix of topics and still present it in a cohesive way, or how I got a 'scoop' or a 'fantastic giveaway' or 'what/who gave you that idea' most of all I don't know what to say because to me it seems like an odd question.... because I don't really have a formula - I just have a firm idea in my head what my blog represents to me and the readers - and I blog like a racehorse...

Since I started my blogging journey about two-and-a-half years ago I have learned so many things. I’ve learned a lot about myself. Acknowledged and nurtured my love of writing, photography, food and my need to preserve my past and present for me today, and my children tomorrow.

I’ve also learnt a lot about people. I’ve learned about how to engage readers, work with brands, and I’ve learned about how to run my race with blinkers on.

What does this mean? People in general and particularly bloggers are very quick to categorise. Personal blogger, money blogger, blogging blogger, mummy, food or travel blogger. They also size up how successful a blogger is – how many followers, how long have they blogged, how many widgets, hits, sponsored posts and advertisers they have.

Many bloggers find they are doubting themselves: Why don’t I have that many followers? How did they get that advertiser? Who does their design? Why wasn’t I asked to review/interview/write about XYZ?

Pretty soon blogs are imitating each other, editing within an inch of their life trying to attain that ‘magic formula’ which will bring them the followers, readers, hits and advertisers. What these bloggers are forgetting is the essential ingredient. They are forgetting who they are. They are forgetting who they are writing for and who actually reads their blogs (do they even know this?) They are forgetting why they are blogging.

So my advice is:

Run your own race
– Categorise yourself, or don’t. Have a direction but don’t base it on someone else’s blog – make it your own. Work out who your readers are, use your statistics, a survey, and comments to work out exactly what your readers respond to – be sure it’s something you can write about freely and know something about – make sure it’s something that is all your own. Remember, if you love blogging, it will show.

Put your blinkers on – You’ll find your confidence; content and readership will grow if you focus solely on what YOU can offer rather than what your perceived competition is offering.

Running your own race may see you at a much unexpected finish line – but one you’ll be happier with, and have much more to show for at the end.

Print this post in friendly format

25 lovely comments:

Cat on May 10, 2011 at 9:16 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

SO very true Liss and a great piece of advice. I think since "the" conference I've really struggled with my blogging voice. Maybe I'm more self conscious about things or don't feel adequate enough (ok so that's more than a maybe) but life just seems to be getting more crazy and the blog keeps getting put to the bottom of the list. I used to just post and now I think I want to make the content more worthwhile...when in reality it was set up to be my voice - a place where I could just well, be me, and I should stop pressuring myself to write fabulous posts all the time and just well, write. You have me thinking (again!), thanks for sharing your speech. I so wish I could have made it to the launch last night but alas, wasn't to be. xxxx

Brenda on May 10, 2011 at 9:19 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Love this!! Can I feature this one on DP too?

Love it like LuLu on May 10, 2011 at 9:30 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

So true, and something I try and remind myself of every day. I blogged to myself for three months with zero followers before I went 'live' to my facebook friends because I just loved it.

When I finally did, I had an overwhelming response, and the followers have started coming, but still, the posts are about things I love and what inspires me.

You really hit the nail on the head - and I am your newest follower by the way ;)

Sar xx

Penny on May 10, 2011 at 10:29 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

This is great. At the beginning I was categorising myself and now I've let the blood run free (so to speak!) and now my readership has spiked. Think it was because it truly is me. Thanks for the post. P

Amelia {Weddings, Babies... Everything} on May 10, 2011 at 10:32 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thanks so much for this advice Liss! Some real food for thought there. :)
Love your blog x

MultipleMum on May 10, 2011 at 11:06 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great advice! And it was so nice hearing it straight from your mouth last night. IRL. In the flesh!

Veggie Mama on May 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

You Can be surprised what will happen when you blog for love...

Diminishing Lucy on May 10, 2011 at 1:46 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

So so true. Love this Liss. ;-) xx

Jodie Ansted on May 10, 2011 at 2:29 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Agree, agree, agree, Liss. So very true.

I try just to do my own thing. I don't stress that I don't have set days/times for blogging. I just do it, and I mostly do it for me. If people read..then great!

Perfect. Would have loved to have heard it in person tho!

Congrats. You did good. ;) x

Suzi on May 10, 2011 at 3:20 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great advice Liss!Thank you.

Corrie on May 10, 2011 at 4:20 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

so true lovely lady! Once I decided to do my own thing and not care what other people thought my blog really grew! All that time people spend worryig about their traffic could have been spent writing a good blog post!


ourtinydancer on May 10, 2011 at 6:09 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great advice which applies to more than blogging :-)

Caz (The Truth About Mummy) on May 10, 2011 at 8:35 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

That is fabulous advice!! Thank you for sharing -I think I needed to hear just that right now. Hope you enjoyed your night out with the 50 top bloggers. Cazxx

Good Golly Miss Holly! on May 10, 2011 at 10:11 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Yes! Love it Liss, am retweeting now x

edenland on May 10, 2011 at 10:12 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Oh, bloody AWESOME wise words Liss! Just so true. I wear blinkers while I blog, and didn't even KNOW it until I read your post just then.

It was so great to see you again. xox

Life In A Pink Fibro on May 10, 2011 at 10:14 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Loved this!

Jane on May 10, 2011 at 10:21 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I love this analogy, Liss. If only I'd worked it out a little sooner ☺. Better late than never, though. You're spot-on about just running your own race and doing what is best for you. Once I stopped worrying about my stats, everything improved. Crazy, eh? J x

Casey on May 10, 2011 at 10:37 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thank you - I needed to read that xo

Nat Kringoudis Melbourne on May 10, 2011 at 10:38 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

YES. yes yes yes! Awesome advice and awesome reinforcement. It's so easy to get caught up in the who comparison (and let down) that us bloggers can expose ourselves to. Thank you - I agree completely with what you way and appreciate the advice. We all need a little reminding sometime.

PinkPatentMaryJanes on May 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Wonderful words from one very wonderful, wise woman. Thanks for sharing them x

Melissa on May 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

What a great post. And I say this as someone who has been very, very much second guessing myself lately and wondering where I'm going wrong.

happymumsathome on May 25, 2011 at 2:05 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Welcome advice to someone whose only been playing the blogging game for a few months. Thanks for sharing!

jenny on May 26, 2011 at 10:10 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I needed this advice Liss. I find myself trying to second guess myself lately - I compare the content I offer to other blogs - and I think I should be doing things differently. Or I hear talk of SEO etc and start thinking I should pay more attention to things like that. I need to put my blinkers on!

MyIdeaLife - Nicole on June 2, 2011 at 9:39 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thanks for this post - I've only been blogging since March and I'm in a big hurry as have dreams of writing for a living instead of continuing to sell my soul to the corporate world. In any case this desire means I get overwhelmed when I look at other people's successful blogs and I forget that the reason I'm writing is purely and simply that I love it. So you've inspired me to stop over-thinking and planning and just be and just write.


Adina on June 13, 2011 at 1:32 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Excellent post.


Frills in the Hills Copyright © 2009-2015