Sunday, 9 October 2011

How to be a successful blogger

Are you wondering about what makes a successful  blogger? Someone who's blog gets noticed and read, and who manages to write those kind of posts that people want to leave a comment on and to connect with others? Well, so am I. And I'm afraid I can't give you any answers to these questions, because I haven't go a clue, really.

It's almost a year now since I started this blog. I've now written almost 200 posts, an there's an average of about 30 visits each day according to the statistics. I don't really know who reads my posts. A lot of those visitors seem to come via a Google search.

It's all about connecting. I don't seem to be very good at that. Admittedly, I find it often difficult to find the time to spend a considerable amount of time with reading and commenting on other people's blog. But I do try, and I've also made an effort to try and connect with a few artist/painter bloggers from an e-course I took, whose styles appeal to me and with whom I find it would be interesting to connect. The result so far is not very encouraging. None of them seems to have any interest to connect, at least not with me.

So I've been thinking quite a bit about my blog and why I'm doing it (I must admit I'm still not quite so sure about the why). After all, it does take a lot of time to write a post and to take and process the pictures to go with it. I've been thinking about quitting once or twice, because after all, a blog is meant to be shared with whoever is out there and if no one's interested, well what's the point? I can just as well write all this stuff into my personal art journal or diary. Well, if it wasn't for my Flickr/blogger friend Nigel from Finnesse Fotografic, who keeps visiting my little corner of the blog universe and leaving kind, funny, encouraging and inspiring comments, I might well have quit. Thank you, Nigel, I really appreciate it!

So I've decided not to give up, yet. I'm willing to give it another chance, and to try to improve both my blog and my efforts to connect with others. I'll try to set some time apart during the week and/or the weekend to read and comment on blogs I like, and I've also decided to sign up for an e-course (I'm getting quite addicted to those) about blogging and how to improve one's blog and blogging skills, Blogging Your Way. Because apart from the frustrations it sometimes causes me, I'm actually quite enjoying it.

The class starts tomorrow, but we've already received some preliminary informations and instructions for accessing the forum etc., and I've spent some time today going through it all. There are two things especially I already liked a lot about this class: 1. there's a PDF-download button for every class blog post. I'm one of those people who like to print out all information and put it into folders, so that's perfect. 2. there's a class outline, complete with boxes to tick off, spaces for notes, lists to fill in with your own priorities, progress etc. and templates for notes for blogs to read and connect with. I love lists, and ticking items on them off. So, it looks like it's a class to my liking, and I'm really looking forward to when it will start tomorrow. There'll even be homework! Yay! ;). I hope to pick up some tips and tricks for improvement, and hopefully, there's soon be some noticeable changes to this blog :).


  1. So glad you are in BYW, too!
    Love the colors of your blog and look forward to learning much with you in the BYW e-course! :)

    All the best,
    Mary C. Nasser Art Blog

  2. Aww, bless you Katja, but the pleasure is all mine. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the effort v. reward of writing blogs - it explains very well why I haven't been able to keep up with my writing for very long, and I am in total admiration that you do.

    When I set out to write my blog I wanted to either write about the process of the photography and editing, or to just tell the stories that surround the photos. The problem I find is that I take so many photos - hundreds a week - that it takes me so long to look through them and edit them that I have little mental energy left to write about them.

    (Should I be writing this in my blog?)

    And then of course there is living a life and going to work and walking the dog and watching films or TV and eating and sleeping and....well, you get the idea. I'm amazed you fit it all in considering all the travelling you do too!

    Anyway, I'm glad you do what you do. I find it inspirational and motivating, I enjoy the stories behind your creativity and love seeing the wonderful things you create, especially when you combine so many media together - I am so immature in my creative development in comparison. But, I am as happy to watch or listen to other people's journeys and experiences as I am with exploring my own (I even like looking at other people's holiday photos!) But I completely understand the frustrations of not getting much/any feedback - we need that as much as the process of creating art to keep us going. So I understand if you decide to stop, but assure you that you always have at least one person out of those 30-a-day who will try to respond!

    Right, I better think about cooking dinner now. Or should I photograph some food? Or write about it? Aaaaaghhhh!!!!!

  3. ...and another thing....!

    I'm looking forward to hearing how the new "blogging your way" course goes. Maybe I should be doing it myself but I've just started another training course for work which has tons of homework apparently (eek!)

    I'm sure, before long, you will be able to create your own internet workshops or creative classes. Maybe you are thinking about that already...?

  4. Hi Again,
    We were in Flying Lessons together and, hey, I've been following you all along. Now we're in BYW together. So nice for us to be together again in another class. My blog is having a total overall right now, but, hopefully, the new design will be up within days for the world to see. Same name and same address, just a different look.

  5. ....And one more thing....

    I love those new link badges (or whatever you call them) to your Flickr stuff and Pinterest (no idea what that is - will take a look later.) I bet you could make some absolutely fantastic background textures with watercolour! you've got about 5 comments just on this blog (and some of them are not me!) but I bet there are loads more people who read it but don't bother to give feedback!

  6. How exiting with the new e-course. Unfortunately I don´t have the time for it, but maybe I can learn from the changes you make on your blog ;)

    I am bad att connecting too I think. I think too much before I write a comment, but I´m trying to get better at it.

  7. Oh, I totally understand your feelings. Some days I just want to soak up all the internet/blog world has to offer, without adding to it. Meaning, I don't always feel I have much of interest to post on my blog, and I don't feel like I have the time to network with other bloggers. I truly enjoy the connections I've made through blogging, but it can be difficult to maintain it all. Especially when you add in Flickr and Instagram. Don't even get me started with FB. *sigh* I do what I can, and try not to feel guilty about it. Best of luck with your class, it sounds great. And I thoroughly enjoy Nigel's comments here.

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments! I wish there was an option for replying to each individual comment, but somehow this does not seem possible with this template, so I'll have to pack it all into one here

    @Nigel: Oh I know what you mean, the day just never seems to have enough hours to do everything. And with all the editing your doing, I'm not surprised you haven't much time for writing blog posts. I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures over at Flickr every day, I'm afraid I'm just not keeping up with uploading or commenting anything there at the moment. But next week, when I'm back from my short holiday and full of energy again :). As for the blog buttons - I was actually just writing a little tutorial on how to make them when I saw your comment. Will post it tonight or tomorrow :)

    @Elin: So nice to hear from you, Elin! I tend to think too much too sometimes, wanting to write something meaningful, and then ending up with nothing at all. But I'll keep trying too :)

    @Maureen: Yes, sometimes it's nice to just read, and get new ideas and inspiration, without commenting. It probably also takes a lot of time to make, and maintain connections. I'm struggling to keep it all up, luckily, Facebook still doesn't really appeal to me so I'm not "wasting" too much time there at least :)

  9. glad you plan to stick with it!
    Found you at BYW + loved browsing through your art !