It has been nearly eight months since I first launched Novelty Revisions, and when I wrote my first post on this “new” website, my life was undergoing a lot of changes. Which is the main reason why NR came to be. I was starting graduate school. Just starting to adjust to my first full-time job. Just barely three months out of college, struggling to figure out what my next steps and goals were.
It was the perfect time to start something new, or, more accurately, take something that needed a makeover and putting all my heart and soul into making it the best it could be.
When my temporary job ended at the end of April (we finished the project and, you know, big companies have budgets and it’s expensive to hire new people with only four months of experience), my priorities got all mixed up. Some days school was my main focus, while others it was my internship. Some days I was able to make this my priority, and eventually in June I was able to start a cycle I have yet to break – daily posting, because that was what I knew this thing needed in its early days.
Honestly, now that October is coming to an end, I’ve been thinking about making a lot more changes. That’s just how my mind works: I always like to keep moving forward. But I’ve realized in the past week that even though I’ve been posting every day for this long, it hasn’t gotten easier or better or anything like that. Before this website became what it is now, it was a personal blog. I’ve been blogging for a long time, and somehow, I’ve realized, I am still really struggling.
Because I like to be transparent with my readers (that’s important, in the writing world, I think), I wanted to share some of my biggest blogging struggles. Things I’m slowly figuring out, but that are still keeping me from giving you the best content possible. I know some of you appreciate it, but I promise, it’s not my best writing. I know I can do so much better than this.
Can you relate to any of these?
Expanding on a seemingly narrow writing niche
Writing about writing is not an uncommon thing, and I knew that coming into this. So far, thanks to Problogger and even a few entrepreneurial podcasts, I’ve been able to take some pretty broad ideas and squeeze a few hundred posts out of them. I still write about myself more often than I like (exhibit A) but some days that’s all I can manage. As much writing experience as I have, I’m no expert, so a lot of times I have to go off of only what I know, and not everyone cares to read that stuff too often.
Knowing what your audience wants to read
The most important thing I’ve learned from this is that, if you want your blog or website to grow, you have to be okay with writing about what you want to write about and what you find interesting. Those who enjoy your writing style and topics will follow/subscribe or come back for more. Some won’t, and you can’t force people to stick around. I avoid that kind of marketing as much as possible. I just want my readers to be happy, but my happiness as a writer is important, too. I don’t always know what other writers want to read about that’s writing-related, but I do what I can and run with it.
Balancing quantity with quality
As I mentioned above, posting every day has its pros as well as its cons. The main downside is that I know I’m not giving my readers the best possible content I could. I’m not putting as much effort into finding writers to interview as I used to. Sometimes my tips are too vague or I don’t give enough examples. Some of our most popular posts obviously take more time to do, and some days I just have so much on my plate I need to wake up, get a post published and move on with my day.
These are all struggles I’m trying my best to overcome little by little. Change doesn’t have to be drastic: it can be gradual. The last half of December and the first half of January I will be on break from school (dance dance dance) and should be able to dedicate a lot of that extra time to making some nice improvements to Novelty Revisions. As always, if you have any suggestions for posts or anything else, I’m open to feedback. I like to think of this site, as small as its readership is, as a community. We’re here to help each other. I just happen to be the one with the admin privileges.
Share your major blogging, or writing in general, struggles below in the comments. Everyone wrestles with different ones, but maybe you have a few in common with someone else and didn’t even know it.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and health. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist, Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.