Things to Consider Before Starting A Second Blog

Are you really ready for this?

Some people find they love blogging so much that they want to do more of it. And sometimes, the urge to start and manage a second blog becomes too tempting to resist. That’s why many blogs fail — because people aren’t prepared for them. You’d think, already having one blog, you’d know better. But we’re writers, we’re not perfect — sometimes we make bad decisions that can hurt one or both of your blogs.

In this post, I’ll mostly be talking about starting a second blog on top of one you plan to continue keeping up with — not starting another blog to replace one you’re leaving behind. Most people assume they can keep up with more than one blog simultaneously, underestimating the amount of work that goes into each — causing both to fall apart. I don’t want that to happen to you. So here’s what you should think about before adding more blogging responsibilities onto your plate.

What’s the real reason you want to do this?

Are you starting a second blog because you’re bored with the first one — or because you’re bored in general? Because you need a place to dump your thoughts? To snag a domain name while it’s available? Because it just sounds like a good idea? Your main priority, in considering any blog, should be how it can serve an audience. Sure, there’s probably something in it for you, too. But if it’s not something that will interest, assist, or inform someone else, you’re not doing a great job of building a solid foundation for a blog you want to grow and develop over a span of years. A blog is a big commitment. If you’re serious about a second, ask yourself why you really want to do it.

Are you willing/able to dedicate enough time to your new blog?

A blog takes more effort in the beginning, though it might seem otherwise. You’re ideally supposed to prepare posts ahead of time to give your archives a boost before an official launch. You typically need to do more promotion and outreach to attract first-time audience members. You’re not quite as free to make mistakes or fail to keep promises. In other words, it’s going to take a lot — a LOT — more time than the blog you likely already have, whether it’s small or a bit larger in size. Are you prepared and willing to put in the time and effort necessary to grow a new blog, on top of the work you’re already putting into the first one? If not — and be honest with yourself here — you might want to hold off, or decide against the idea altogether, at least for now.

Do you have a consistent schedule gap that needs filling?

If you’re anything like me, you start looking to fill scheduling gaps as soon as they appear. This approach won’t work if you don’t have a consistent schedule in place already. I held off on the urge to start a second blog earlier this year because my freelancing schedule became too unpredictable. You don’t want to commit to something one week and then realize three weeks later you no longer have room to fit it in. Scheduling, as a blogger, is everything. One of the easiest ways a second blog can fail is if you’re unsure whether or not you can keep up with it over the coming weeks, months, and years. Just because you can’t do it now, doesn’t mean you can’t in the future.

Could you afford to hire someone to help you?

Sometimes, multiple blogs are more than possible — with help. But do NOT expect to find someone who will help manage one or multiple of your blogs without offering something in return. If you can’t afford to pay someone, at least offer them control over half of your posting schedule (ideally with credit, not ghostwritten) in exchange for helping you moderate comments, source photos, keep up with social media accounts — if you both agree that’s a fair deal. Understand that often, growing a business, even a blog, means dedicating some of your income and/or resources to hiring people who will help you make the best use of your time. If you can’t, or aren’t willing to do that, maybe stick to just one blog until that status changes.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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My Biggest Blogging Mistakes (and How You Can Avoid Making Them)

I didn’t know blogging had rules.

This blog technically celebrated its eighth birthday at the beginning of 2017, though it would go through at least three name changes and a major style upgrade before it became the blog you now know and hopefully like a little bit today.

Eight years is a lot of time to make mistakes — many mistakes. But I wouldn’t be where I am today without my baby. Starting a blog today is much different than it was in 2009. It’s a lot harder to discover and commit to reading new blogs because LITERALLY EVERYONE has a blog. But if you do want to stand out, I’ve shared my biggest blogging mistakes below, in hopes you won’t make the same ones as you start to grow your own thought storage units.

Writing bad headlines

When I first started publishing my thoughts on the internet, headlines weren’t my main concern. Sometimes they’re still not, to be completely honest, if I think it’s clever and don’t care about views. I’m not even sure how much they mattered back then in general. Now, your headline is everything. If you have a bad or unspecific headline, people aren’t going to click on it. If you’re not concerned about that, well, keep on keeping on. But SEO won’t pick up on it, people likely won’t take the time to click on it, and for the love of god, if it’s a false or misleading headline, stop blogging now.

Writing badly in general

I’ve never been a “bad” writer. But I remember at least a dozen posts I published for some reason that were just a sentence or two long. I didn’t link to anything or post a picture, it was just those two sentences. As if I expected someone to read what was essentially a Twitter post on a blog page. That’s not interesting and it doesn’t belong on a blog. I read a lot of blogs (I like seeing what you guys are up to!). Every once in awhile I’ll stumble upon a random one (not one of yours) that’s just … bad. It’s written badly, it’s not grammatically sound, it doesn’t really have much to say … that’s not impressive. Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Post well-written content that has a purpose for being on the internet.

Not posting consistently

I’d go weeks at a time without posting in the early days. I was a “post when I have something to say” kind of blogger, and especially now, that doesn’t cut it. If you keep disappearing and reappearing at random intervals, people aren’t going to keep coming back to your blog. They will forget about you. Posting every day is NOT necessary — do not do as I do unless you’re EXTREMELY committed to what you’re doing or you’ll hurt yourself. But stick to some kind of schedule, for your sake more than your readers’. If you can’t keep up with a blog consistently, it’s not going to grow.

Talking about myself too much

When I started blogging, I treated my blog like a public diary. Any commentary I had on my life or anything happening in the world around me, I put it on my blog. Back then, I wasn’t trying to be useful to anyone or say anything significant. I just wanted a place to dump my weird, disoriented brain thoughts. If that’s all you’re blogging for, keep doing what you’re doing. But don’t expect to gain much of a following outside your friend circle (if even that). These days, even blogs focused on one person have a purpose other than “let me spend a few hundred words talking about myself.”

Not bringing myself into the conversation enough

As my blog started transitioning from a personal space to a more professional “hub,” for awhile I stopped talking about myself completely. That really wasn’t good for the blog. Something only written by you, about something you’re (basically) an expert in, needs a little personality. You shouldn’t spend the whole post talking only about you — you always have to relate it back to something a reader will benefit from. But telling stories, sharing personal experiences and memories related to the topic of your post — that’s what makes your blog posts unique.

Not knowing my niche (or that you had to have one)

I wrote about everything. My focus has always been on writing, since the whole reason I started a blog in the first place was because my favorite author had a blog AND I WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR TOO. But most of my posts were random (I think there’s a SCANNED IMAGE of my high school algebra notes still on the internet somewhere….). People were not interested in that, and I pretty much knew that. But only when I decided I wanted to write about writing did I realize I needed everything I posted to belong specifically in that niche. Do not write about random topics. Always bring it back to your blog’s focus somehow even if you do.

Honestly, I still make plenty of mistakes. You never stop learning, as a writer. I embrace those. I do my best to learn from them. I hope my dedication to continuing to do this whole blogging thing, despite not always doing it well, will inspire you to keep publishing your own thoughts, too.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Why a Slow-Growing Blog or Website Is a Good Thing After All

Slow growth is good growth.

I pay very close attention to what newbies are worried about. It’s basically my job. When it comes to publishing content, the most common anxiety I hear about from new writers is not having enough followers.

They’ve been blogging for a month, maybe two, and are surprised to have only a dozen subscribers — most of which are family or close friends.

What I want to say to them is this: what’s so wrong with having less than 15 followers after only two months?

When I re-launched this blog at the beginning of March 2015, I probably had somewhere between 30 to 50 followers. Keep in mind that I first started blogging at this same address in 2009. It took me over six years to gain 50 followers, max.

I’ve increased those numbers a bit since then, thanks to consistent posting and working in an industry that teaches you how to figure out what people like and don’t, but not quickly. If you’re worried about how quickly your blog is growing, I’d like you to keep reading this post. There are benefits to having a small audience, and downsides to focusing solely on numbers. Appreciate a blog or website’s slow growth. It might actually make you a better writer in the long-term.

Here’s why slow growth means you’re doing something right.

You’re not letting an obsession with numbers ruin your content

I am, despite my inability to add and subtract without a calculator, a data junkie. I love graphs and charts and, yes, even numbers. I keep track of the (very gradual) growth of my blog using spreadsheets. But numbers aren’t what drive me to create. They’re useful in figuring out whether or not what you’re doing is working, but if you start obsessing over them, things can get ugly.

It’s very tempting to convince yourself that a certain number of followers/likes/views means you’re doing your best. But numbers don’t tell the whole story. Above all else, you should strive to create content that is relatable, helpful, and intriguing. You could have a large number of subscribers and get a lot of daily traffic, but if your content is trash, it’s all prety much pointless. If you’re growing slowly, it means several things. Your content is probably improving. You’re probably doing a better job of helping strangers find you, though it’s sometimes hard to figure out what you’re doing right all the time. Generally, websites and blogs that update with new content consistently just tend to grow more and more as time goes on — as long as what they’re posting is worth reading.

You’re going organic — and it’s worth it

Once, I paid about $20 to boost a Facebook post. I also shared that post in a Facebook group the same day. I got more traction organically from sharing the post in a Facebook group than I did from the exposure I spent money on. It wasn’t worth the cash — especially because boosting a post doesn’t guarantee people will actually click through to it. Especially when your blog is still new, and you haven’t mastered everything that goes into a good headline, featured image, etc.

Paying for views has always felt like cheating to me. Really, there’s nothing wrong with it. But I’ve found that any organic traffic I get to my blog — all of it — I feel like I’ve earned it. And I can guess you’ll probably feel the same way. As I’m writing this, about half the daily views I get come from those of you who follow me on WordPress. I gained those followers in a number of ways, but I also earned them through publishing quality content. I would much rather grow slowly and organically than quickly through promotions. I don’t care how many people view my writing. I care how many people take something away from that — whether there’s proof through a new blog subscription or not. Slow growth means you’re reaching people who genuinely care about what you have to say. That should feel extremely worthwhile to you.

You’re getting to know your blog (and your audience) while it’s small

One of the most valuable things I’ve gained in the past two years is a loyal audience. I’m not talking about a million people who read my blog daily, either — hah, like that’s ever going to happen. I’ve attracted a small group of people who like to read my words and write some words in response every now and then. To me, that is much more important in the early days of blogging than a large number of followers. Because no matter what happens, I know at least a few people are paying attention. When I’m feeling down about my blog’s performance, that’s enough to keep me grounded.

Even more important than getting to know an audience as it grows is getting to know your blog or website itself. Before this blog became Novelty Revisions, it went through at least three rebrands. And even since the final rebrand, I’ve shifted the focus from fiction writing to a more broad spectrum of writing topics. I’m still figuring out what all that entails, but I’m allowed to do that because there aren’t a million people spying on me (that I know of). I have the time to completely solidify what my blog is all about as it grows. I also have the time to gain confidence in what I do here before things start to pick up. My confidence shakes when there are too many people. The more solid of a foundation I have, the easier it is for me.

The takeaways
  • Use numbers to measure growth over time, but don’t assume they mean you’re doing your best. Numbers grow as content consistently improves.
  • People will find, like, and share your content as long as it’s worth their time. There’s nothing wrong with outreach, but if you’re going to tell people to visit your blog or website, always make sure there’s something good for them to read when they show up.
  • Appreciate your blog/website, and your audience, while they’re small. With growth comes a shocking lack of intimacy when you’re used to a very small audience. Above all, focus on improving your blog’s mission and editorial principles. Always treat your readers with kindness and respect — these are things they notice and pass on to others when making reading recommendations.

If you want to start publishing content on a blog or website, but don’t know what to write about. check out my tips for creating a blog people want to follow.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Tips for Creating a Blog People Want to Follow

Starting a blog is hard. Getting people to read and follow your blog consistently? Pretty much impossible, right?

blog tips

This January will be my eighth blogging anniversary. I’m not technically considered a professional blogger, because – for good reasons – Novelty Revisions is a blog that aims to help people, and it wouldn’t feel right to me to advertise in any capacity for a blog I host because I truly want to make your lives better. In short: I don’t get paid. I DON’T WANT YOUR MONEY! I want to make your writing life more rewarding. That includes new aspiring bloggers like my 16-year-old self.

Starting a blog is hard. Getting people to read and follow your blog consistently? Pretty much impossible, right? No. Not impossible. Not if you’re really willing to work at it.

Here’s my advice for creating a blog people want to follow. I could have made this post 2,000 words long, but we’ll start with the most important elements for now.

Have an obvious purpose for posting

I think what’s hardest for new bloggers is figuring out why they want to post on a blog. Pretty much everyone who wants to write for one purpose or another has one. Even I started blogging in 2009 because Meg Cabot was doing it, and I wanted to be like Meg Cabot (we already had the same first name, why not?). You can’t just blog because you want to have a blog, though. For one thing, people won’t know what your blog is about or why they should visit again if you don’t make it clear enough. For another, if you don’t know why you want to keep writing, it’s likely you won’t continue.

It took me probably too long to figure out what this blog was supposed to be. Once I figured out my purpose for posting regularly – to help writers be more awesome, basically – things got so much easier. Readers come here because they know what they’re going to find. It’s not me posting about writing a novel one day and a random rant about school or my personal life the next. I write about writing, and anything that doesn’t fit into that editorial guideline, doesn’t belong here. People need to know why they’re on your blog, and if they come back, they should feel comforted seeing something familiar – because what they expect to find the second time around should be right where they expect it to be.

Don’t talk about yourself too much

I mean this as nicely as it can be interpreted: your readers really don’t care about you that much. Especially not in the beginning of your blogging experience. They don’t know you, and they aren’t really looking for a reason to get to know you. What they want is a good read – something that talks about them. Something that helps them live better, or speaks to them as personally as possible. People care about themselves more than anyone else; that’s just how all of us are. Use that to your advantage. Give people a reason to come back, and know that reason probably isn’t you, but rather, what you have to offer.

This doesn’t mean you can’t address the audience as yourself or bring in your real-world experiences to support a point you’re making; I do it all the time. But I only use that kind of reference to back up what I’m saying, to give my posts a little credibility. I’ve stopped addressing irrelivant personal experience for a reason. As soon as you shift the focus away from yourself, you learn how to tailor each post to the audience who may or may not come to read it. And that’s how you convince people it’s worth sticking around.

Seek to assist as well as inform/entertain

People are busy and stressed. If they’re going to take the time to visit your blog, it’s either because they need your help or they need to know something. In some cases, you might write to entertain – but even then, that’s a way of helping people wind down, maybe laugh a little. There’s still a purpose there. Steam of consciousness rants with no true start or finish just don’t work anymore unless you already have an audience who will read anything you post (and if that’s you, well, I’m surprised you’re here reading this – hi!). People want tips, and advice. Or they want to be told something new, and how they should respond to it. Many people read blogs because they like to think and be presented with new ideas. Offer something unique, even if it’s your perspective on a current event that people care about.

And if it’s not the kind of subject where giving actionable tips makes sense, at least include a call to action at the end of your posts. Give your readers something to think about, something to go away and do or something to respond with. Something that challenges their beliefs and behaviors, as good writing should. People aren’t going to remember a blog post that talks at them and then ends. They’re going to click away from your site and, honestly, they probably won’t ever feel the need to come back.

Writing a blog you want people to subscribe to is like selling a product. You can’t just put it out there and expect people to flock to it with interest and excitement. And it still goes beyond promoting it and sharing it with friends.

Make your purpose clear. Put yourself in the background – as the writer, not as the person the blog focuses on (in most cases). If you’re going to hand out information, offer something valuable along with it. Give people a reason to come back again. And as always, remember what I’ve said in the past about growth. It’s slow. Painfully slow. But once you create something worth following, that slow growth’s worth becomes as clear as it needs to be.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Why I Cherish My ‘Secret’ Abandoned Blog

Unfinished projects still matter.


Did you know Novelty Revisions isn’t my only blog? It’s now my primary focus and what I spend the majority of my blogging time on, but it isn’t the only one I’ve ever tried to start. There’s a ‘secret’ second blog out there somewhere from a few years ago that has since been abandoned.

Do I feel bad about leaving it behind? Sometimes. I am a starter and a finisher; admitting there are projects I’ve walked away from isn’t easy. But we all have them, and I don’t want you to ever feel like a failure because of those side projects that never took off.

You learn something from every single writing project that doesn’t come to form. These lessons are worth it – I promise.

You’ll regret the ideas you never try to bring to life

I am a healthy cross between an idea hoarder and a spontaneous creator. I have 15 titles for future blog posts sitting in a folder at any given point in time but have started two new projects on the fly already this year. Often writers fall into either one extreme or the other, especially in the beginning. Their downfall is usually the follow-through for both extremes: you either try to start too many things and can never settle on finishing one, or you keep trying to start something and just never get around to it.

My philosophy is that ideas are meant to be worked out. Either you start developing the details – writing, logistics, pricing, whatever you need to figure out before you can actually turn it into something – and realize it’s something you can actually run with, or you realize it isn’t going to work and have at least some closure after you put it to rest. But ideas that just sit in your head or in your drafts folder aren’t doing you any good. I sat with my blog idea for a few weeks, rushed into making it happen and realized I couldn’t give it the time and effort it needed to work. But for the most part, I was just glad I’d started it at all.

The only way to fail is to never give your ideas a chance

I never thought my blog would “fail.” On the days I actually bothered to post, my site got decent traffic. People liked it and wanted more. I just couldn’t give them what they wanted. The failure came not from the content but from the creator. I couldn’t deliver and so I stopped stressing myself out trying to make it happen when I really couldn’t. Sometimes these are decisions you have to make. I decided that mediocre, infrequent content wasn’t fair to the audience. I chose to stop – and I still consider it a successful learning experience more so than I think of it as a failure.

A tried and failed idea is better than an idea that never gets the chance to grow. If you only knew how many abandoned blogs, novels, TV pilots, etc. were out there in the world unfinished or dropped for a multitude of reasons. You’re going to start things you realize halfway through aren’t worth finishing. You’re going to finish things and realize you don’t want to polish enough to move them on to the next step. What matters is that you give your ideas life. Not every idea is going to turn out. That’s just part of the creative process.

Sometimes you need to figure out whether you really want to write about something or not

I’m never going to make a career out of creating recipes. Not because I can’t do it, but because I don’t really want to. I wouldn’t have come to that conclusion if I hadn’t tried to create and keep up with a recipe blog. The idea was fun and it made me excited. In the earliest stages of building something tangible out of an idea, one of the strongest driving forces for your productivity is enthusiasm. You want to create this thing so much that you do whatever you have to do to make it happen.

Sometimes the result of that enthusiasm, that initial effort, is that you realize your idea isn’t actually something you can or want to spend all your time and energy on. And that’s okay. I would love to bring that blog back to life. I would love to recruit people to help me make that happen. I would even settle for passing it along to someone who I know would take care of it. But I’ve never officially made that promise to myself. If the desire isn’t there, does the idea in its full form really need to be? That’s why we have to try. Those answers don’t come until we’re able to find them ourselves, through experience.

Every once in awhile, I’ll feel guilty about leaving my second blog to fend for itself. That’s not something I usually do with projects. But I would have been much more upset if I had never tried. I have a much clearer picture of which direction I do and don’t want to go with a potential new blog (coming 2017? I can’t say for sure). But I have one attempt behind me. I’m better off having had that experience. You learn so much from the projects that don’t make it. That’s why you need to take a chance. Just try. It might not work out, it might not be the right time or you might not be the right person for that specific thing. But you could be. How else will you ever find out which?

Do you have any ‘secret’ abandoned projects floating around out there? Are you glad you moved on? What did you learn?

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

What I’ve Learned So Far | Happy 1st Birthday, Novelty Revisions!

Blogging is not a solitary activity.


Has it really been a year? A whole year? Really? Already?

A year ago, I did something I secretly wondered if I would immediately regret. A week away from starting graduate school, barely two months into my first post-grad full-time job, I made the choice to rebrand and reform my blog, which I had pretty much been neglecting.

I did this for two reasons: one, because I had less than 25 people visiting monthly and wanted that to change, and two, because I wanted my blog to mean something. I didn’t want to write about me or my life anymore. I wanted to write about something I thought mattered.

So I rebranded my personal blog and turned it into an inspirational, how-to blog about writing, the only thing I had enough experience, expertise and interest blogging about.

If you know anything about the writing blog niche, you already know this was, at first, a pretty careless move. There are more blogs out there about writing than we can easily count. EVERYONE likes to think they know more about good writing than the next person (no shame; it’s true).

In many ways, this blog will always just be part of that niche, excessively muted by the noise. But that’s okay. That doesn’t bother me (anymore).

I spend a few hours every day coming up with new ways to help you figure out how to put your ideas into words. Simultaneously, I’m constantly learning my own lessons on the way. Like how important it is to write the truth, even if not everyone agrees. How to put certain things before others, to make sure the quality of my content is the best it can be. When it’s okay to complain (infrequently) and how to make those posts as constructive and positive as possible.

Probably the most valuable lesson I have learned since launching this blog last year is that, while it might seem like it on the surface, blogging is not a solitary activity. You cannot run a blog by yourself. Half of what makes a blog valuable is the conversations it starts between readers and writers. You can post as much content on a blog as you want to, but if you make it one-sided and don’t offer potential readers a good reason to follow you, they won’t.

You’re just as much a part of this as me. That is so, so amazing to me. I don’t even know most of you. Hi!

I cannot thank you enough for all your support and positive feedback over the past year. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that, in just 12 months, I have created something that makes me and other people happy and still has plenty of room to grow.

My goal in starting Novelty was never to have a “popular” blog. We will probably always have a relatively small audience, but in some ways, it’s better that way. At least I hope so. I hope this is a place you feel comfortable asking questions, sharing stories and starting conversations. I hope that when you come here, you are able to find something that helps you in some way.

Over the next year I am going to get a lot better at responding to comments (I approve them, I forget to respond to them, I want my responses to be worth a read – it’s a little tough to manage right now but I’m working on it). I want to grow our email newsletter and figure out new ways to use it to benefit subscribers. Once I graduate and can afford better equipment, I want to bring videos back into the mix more regularly. I want to continue posting content daily. And of course, seeing our audience grow, even little by little, is always something I try my hardest to persuade.

And then there are those secret things I keep mentioning … but you won’t have to wait too much longer to hear more about those.

You are all awesome. I could not have made it through this first year, which is always the hardest, without you. Keep writing. Keep asking questions. You’re the best. You make this fun. You make this worth it.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Jessica Diamond/

Solution Saturday: My Blog Isn’t Getting Any Traffic


You published four posts this week, which have gotten a total of three hits between them. You’ve worked hard lately to try and create content you hope others will want to read, but no one seems to be reading. What do you do?

This dilemma might not have anything to do with your content or your theme or the way you write, or it could be a combination of a few different roadblocks. Here are a few solutions to help your blog get noticed. 

Solution 1: Define a clear “mission” 

If you’re looking to gain a decent following on your blog, you first need to figure out your blog’s identity. Novelty Revisions has gone through many transitions in the past six (almost seven!) years, but in 2015 we finally settled on our mission: to address common struggles aspiring writers face and offer strategies and solutions to help them make a name for themselves in the publishing industry. Since then, our following has doubled (statistically speaking).

A blog filled with random posts about your daily life probably won’t gain a huge following, not because you’re not awesome, but because, unless you’re someone pretty important, people aren’t going to hop on the Internet just to read about you. People search for articles, blogs and websites that will help them solve a problem or connect with a community, generally.

Weave a common thread through your posts, sort of like I do when I blog about running. Know why you’re blogging and make that clear on your front page or in your about section. Even if you do want to write about your life, don’t make it all about you. Teach your readers something similar each time you post. 

Solution 2: Post consistently

While there are a few minor downsides to posting frequently, the benefits are going to, more often than not, outweigh the risks. Posting consistently doesn’t mean you have to post every day, but if you can build an editorial timeline that helps potential readers know when to expect new content from you, they’re much more likely to keep an eye out for it.

If you’re first starting out, posting often gives you more content to work with and build off of, and even if random web searchers happen to stumble upon older posts, at least they’re finding you. Keeping a consistent posting schedule, which is also what we’ve been doing over the past few months, shows potential readers you are reliable, and makes them more likely to want to stick around. 

Solution 3: Promote your posts

Honestly? Your posts aren’t going to be found at random just by posting, even if you post frequently. A lot of bloggers wrongfully assume that just because they’re active, they don’t have to do anything outside of posting. In reality, there are millions of blog posts going up on different platforms as you’re publishing yours. You will get lost in the mix.

Even if you’re not usually active on social media (which you should be, and we’re going to get someone on here pretty soon to talk about that), you need to promote your posts on multiple social networks if you want to be found. If you’re not okay with broadcasting your posts, you’re just going to have to learn to be okay with no one reading them.

Sorry to break it to you like this, but social media isn’t something you can ignore anymore, especially if you want to get your name out there. You don’t have to create separate pages or accounts for your blog right away, or even at all—just promote links on your personal profiles for now and see what happens. 

Remember that these things take time. Novelty Revisions is growing slowly, but it’s still growing, which it hadn’t really been doing for the first five years of its life. You’re not going to rise to the top the minute you start. Be patient. But most importantly, keep writing. Don’t let low page views stop you from enjoying it.

If you have any other tips to organically, strategically boost blog traffic, you’re more than welcome to discuss them in the comments. Let’s help each other out today. What works for you might work for someone else, too. 

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Should You Mention Your Blog on Your Resume?


More often than not, skills and experience summaries are the most important focal points on a resume. Education matters, but recruiters and hiring managers are much more interested in what you’ve done in addition to your studies than they are in what your major and minors were in college.

This brings up an important question for aspiring writers: if a good portion of your writing experience comes from hosting your own blog—regardless of the subject—is it okay to put it on your resume?

Well, that depends on a few factors. If you’re already asking yourself this question, here are three more you can work through to help you find the answer that’s right for your particular circumstances.

What is your blog’s goal or mission?

Before you go any further, it’s a good idea to know exactly what your blog really stands for. Even a personal site with seemingly aimless post topics will usually have a general underlying theme tying them together. If you don’t know what that is, don’t panic. It’s not something every blogger thinks about right away.

Make it simple. Ask yourself why you bother to sit down and write new posts for your followers. Do you just enjoy writing? Do you feel you have important things to say? If so, what’s the message you hope to get across to your followers (even if you only have 2.5 of them)?

Imagine you’re pitching your blog to someone. What would you tell them it’s about? Sum it up in a few short sentences. It doesn’t have to be fancy. “I am a writer and my blog exists to encourage other writers to pursue their own goals.” Easy. Ish.

Which skills have you developed in hosting your blog? 

Once you have a good handle on why you blog, start thinking about how it benefits you. This might seem a bit contradictory—after all, the purpose of your blog is to help others and focus on your audience, isn’t it? But keep in mind that a resume—and if you’re lucky, a physical job interview—isn’t about anyone else. It’s all about you.

Yes, you want to highlight how you have helped other organizations accomplish their own goals. But even in doing this you’re summarizing how your skills benefited someone else. Blogging can do wonders for your audience if you know what you’re doing, but it helps you, too. Over time blogging might help you improve your writing style, teach you a little about web development and design or even introduce you to the analytical side of social networking.

Believe it or not, these are all skills some hiring managers will love to see. This also depends on your intended field of expertise, or, if you’re updating your resume in search of a new job, the kinds of jobs you’re applying for. That brings us to the third question you can ask yourself along this professional journey of yours. 

How do your above answers relate to the job(s) you’re applying for?

In answering the questions above, you might find that your blog is a great platform for you to develop your skills, but doesn’t relate directly to what you want to do. You might really enjoy blogging about food and recipes as a hobby, for example, but you’re more qualified for a job in public relations. You may discover your blog could make or break your next career change (or it’s launch, depending on your life stage).

If you’re a food blogger, and you’re applying for a position in the culinary, food service or health communications field, your blog can act as an entire portfolio of writing samples for recruiters and managers to sift through. They might or might not—but even mentioning you’ve wedged your way into the industry on your own time can be enough to spark their curiosity and prod them to look more into the results that come up when they Google you.

If you think your blog reflects the skills and experience recruiters in your field are looking for, go for it—add that link. But include the actual link text, instead of hyper-linking.

Finally, here are some helpful tips if your resume grants you access to a nerve-wracking “get-together” with an HR rep:

  • Include a link to your blog at the top of your resume, underneath your contact information and links to professional social networking profiles (LinkedIn and sometimes Twitter, if you use it professionally).
  • Always have a few sample post topics in mind for when you do get an interview and they ask you about what you post about (they will ask).
  • Be confident. You don’t have to talk about your blog like it’s the greatest one out there, but don’t write it off as “no big deal,” either. Working on a new project or campaign? Talk about it. But always connect these experiences back to you and what you’ve learned, relative to the job in question.

Who knows? Even if you never get paid for blogging, your blog might still earn you a job that’s at least a few steps closer to your dream career.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Three Reasons All Aspiring Writers Should Host Their Own Blog(s)


To significantly up your writing game, you need to write. Constantly. No matter your outlet (journaling, songwriting, haikus in the margins of your chemistry notebook) you need to give your creativity constant attention. Like a pet, or a plant. You can’t leave it alone too long or you’ll end up with shredded furniture (or a dead plant).

When life gets busy, it can suddenly become harder to keep yourself in a constant creative mindset. Hosting a blog is one way you can continuously stimulate your brain, with added benefits you may never have considered until now.

Yesterday we showed you how to run a successful blog. Now we want to emphasize why blogging, for writers, is 100 percent worth the time and effort it takes to do it well.

Blogging gets a bad rep, especially bloggers who post “facts” without doing their research first. But when you’re trying to get a job or an agent or a byline or what have you, it’s a free and personalized way to bulk up your portfolio and solidify your credibility (please do your research. Please.)

Here are three reasons you should start a blog, if you haven’t already.

To Prove You Actually Write (a Lot)

There are aspiring writers out there who (obviously) aspire to write, but don’t take the most important action necessary to make their dreams come true: write. Well, and often. If you struggle with this, blogging is an effective turnaround.

Using the tips we covered yesterday, maintaining a steady flow of content can give you something to show off—in the professional sense. Any potential buyer of a product wants to see that product in use. If you eventually want to be able to promote yourself as a writer, give that some background. Put in the time and effort to show off your best work. 

To Build Up Your Readership (from None to Some)

As an author, your readers are your biggest support system. In this age of social media saturation, they’re literally and figuratively your followers. When you’re not quite there yet (read: struggling to finish a book and constantly wondering if you ever will) it can start to feel like you don’t have much support, or readership, or hope.

A blog, regardless of the central theme, can help connect you with other bloggers and aspiring writers (in the professional world we call this “networking”). These folks might follow your posts, give suggestions and comments and keep up with your writing regularly. In a way, they’re your first real readers, and they’re going to support you if you end up publishing in bigger arenas, so to speak.

To Refine Your Voice

We address this a lot, this refining your voice business. We have yet to really explain it in detail. “Novelty Revisions” comes from the idea that every writer has a novelty (unique, original) voice to start with. No matter how hard you try, you can never write exactly like someone else.

The difference between an aspiring writer and an accomplished writer is their willingness to refine that voice—touch it up, practice it, polish it and make it pretty so it’s not just unique, but extraordinary. Hosting your own blog gives you free space to become more comfortable with that voice, and then, progressively, improve it.

No matter what you blog about, seriously consider keeping up with your own personal blog if you eventually want to write professionally.

True, anyone can blog, no matter their age, writing style, ability to fact-check their own content. But you can make your blog stand out by writing with a few end goals in mind: to produce quality content, build an audience and let that audience familiarize themselves with your work.

And of course, if you need a few tips to get started, we’re here for you. Always.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Three Success Tips for New Bloggers


Thinking of starting a blog? Great! So is everyone else with Internet access and a free WordPress account. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t: creativity needs an outlet, and if writing is your go-to release, blogging is a great place for it.

There are plenty of good reasons why writers are especially encouraged to host their own blogs. (Hey, we should probably post about that. How about tomorrow? Okay!) If you just need a place to expel your word vomit, get to it.

If you’re looking to bulk up your portfolio and give potential partners/employers/agents a place to see some of your more personal work, you’ll need to pay just a little more attention to why you’re posting, how often and what your posts, and blog in general, look like to those who visit.

Need some success tips to get you motivated? We have tips. So many tips. We love tips.

Tip #1: Start with (and Stick to) One Theme

One mistake new bloggers often make is starting a blog about their life and writing posts about their daily, weekly, monthly life events. Now you’re probably frowning at this point. Isn’t that what a blog is supposed to be?

Well, yes. We’re not saying you can’t write about your life. However, one post about your dog, another about the weather, today I did this and tomorrow I’m going to sleep in, bye—there needs to be a common thread to tie all your posts together, even if you do post about your dog, the weather and sleeping in.

Some bloggers tack on their life stages—my life in a small town; this is what it’s like as a college student with four majors. Instead of saying, “Hey, here’s my blog, I blog about my life,” be more specific. What message do you want to get across to your 2.5 readers (wow, that’s an old inside joke)?

You don’t have to write about yourself: you can blog about gardening, trees, giraffes, whatever the heck you want to. Tie your theme, your message (“giraffes are AWESOME”) into each of your posts. An effective way to do this is to post often, to keep that theme going—see tip two.

Tip #2: Post Regularly 

Another mistake common with new blogs: post frequency, or lack thereof. Once you’ve made the commitment to host a blog, even as a side hobby, it’s important to post regularly, even if that’s only once or twice per month. Posting once every six months isn’t going to do much for you or for the people who do stumble upon your site.

Get yourself on a schedule. If you’re a “blog when I feel like it” kind of writer, set specific days your audience can expect new posts from you—for example, commit to posting on the first and 15th of every month—and if you write a post between that time, or multiple, schedule them out in advance. Even if you’re not blogging to get more people to visit your page, consistency is a strategy you’ll find useful in many other projects you work on, even in The Real World.

Tip #3: Take Yourself Seriously

Blogging is an effective way to refine your writing style and find your novelty (unique) voice, but just because it’s a blog doesn’t mean you should leave out proper grammar and spelling. The nitpick police will find you, and then they will make it a point not to return to your pages, all because of small errors. It happens. For real.

Try your best not to treat your blog like an online diary, writing-wise (if you want to blog about your personal life, content-wise, well, that’s completely up to you). Your credibility becomes questionable when your posts don’t look clean, and even if that’s not your priority, again—practice makes better. Always.

Despite the above advice, the most important thing to remember about starting a blog is this: don’t write about a topic just because it’s popular. To have a successful blog (even if that means only ten people follow you, and 2.5 visit on a semi-regular basis), your readers need to feel like you’re completely engaged in every post.

You have to write about something you like, love, can’t live without, even if your biggest fear is that no one else will like it. If you don’t, you’ll lose interest before your readers do. Don’t let your blog fizzle out before it even gets a chance to grow. Be brave. Write about what you love. Those who love your work will keep coming back, and well, 2.5 readers are obviously better than none.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.