Now that you know all the prep before starting a blog ready to read about the trials and tribulations of running a blog? 😉 I tell ya it is tough and fun at the same time. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Novice Blogger Cliches
- Check the stats every other minute (I even had a spread sheet to track my stats at various times of the day. Can’t help it, analyzing data is in my blood. That is all I do in my day job.)
- Freak out when you learn about Alexa, Google Page Rank, and every other stat metric out there and realize that you need to track these too apart from your WordPress/Blogger stats.
- Once you realize how dismal your numbers are, go on a frenzied Google search to see how to increase them.
- Try to benchmark your blog against others in similar fields and feel elated/disappointed at how you are doing.
- Fret over the quality of pics on your blog vs. others (I do this even today).
- And the list goes on…………
I wouldn’t say doing all of the above are bad and you shouldn’t do it. I know even if I say you shouldn’t a new blogger will do almost all of the above coz that is human nature. I see it as more of a ‘coming of age’ thing. As time goes by the novelty wears off or you get too busy with your regular blog running. So if you are still doing it and feeling guilty don’t worry, it’ll wear off soon. 🙂
By the way, my stats as mid December….. 😉
The #1 issue that I struggled with in the beginning (still do sometimes) was trying to identify which set of bloggers and corresponding readers do I belong to. I believe the personal home decor blogs can be split into 4 (again from my point of reference).
- Non US bloggers out of which I’m separating the Indian blogger out as a different section coz I feel, with my Indian roots WUHS will appeal to a lot of their readers too.
- US Bloggers (mainly Southern and or Country) where they share everything from family, food, home decor projects, faith. Basically family blogs. A very tight knit group of bloggers.
- The Other US Bloggers…….focusing primarily on home decor.
- The Indian Home Decor Bloggers, another close knit community.
I feel that I have bits and pieces from all of them but don’t fully belong to one group or the other. Most often it is the #3 or #4 that I can closely identify with but sometimes the differences are so glaring that I get frustrated.
With #3, I think my Indian background and decorating style that pull on our roots every so often is not a common agreeing point. With #4, the blogging style is more laid back where a majority do not emphasize on regular frequent posts. I think the readers of these blogs mainly like to see inspirational pictures and simple crafts or projects. DIY is rarely the buzz word there. I know in India the DIY culture is very very new and has yet to pick up steam. So may be that is why. I guess it also means there is hope for me.
No, I’m not criticizing anyone, the least other hardworking bloggers like me. I’m merely trying to read the minds of their audience and to see if my blog will appeal to them. Every time I look back I come up with only one explanation, maybe those are not the type of readers that would like to stop by at WUHS. The biggest Don’t is exactly this. You cannot help trying to find where you fit in but do not let that frustrate you. Be patient, you do not get readers in a matter of months (if you do then you are super lucky). It takes time. Every successful blogger out there has given their fair share and is now seeing the fruits of their labor.
You ask, Why all this fuss about finding your readers? Aren’t you supposed to blog for yourself? Yes, you cannot blog for others. You can do it only if you like what you do. If you start a blog trying to cater it to a set of folks, you have to be one of them first. But a blog is a venture. It is your product. When I’m launching a new product in the market it should be useful to someone out there, right? Even if you strongly believe in your product what does it matter if others don’t believe in it too? That’s where attracting readers to your blogs come in.
And I’m extremely grateful that I’ve found so many like minded folks, my lovely readers in such a short time.
The amount of encouragement that you all give with your time, comments, shares, tweets, and pins = Priceless!
Wow! Another long post and we haven’t even touched the marketing angle yet! See ya tomorrow.