What I Learnt By Blogging Once A Week For A Year

On April 20th 2022, I decided I would post weekly content instead of what was, at the time, a monthly schedule (if you were lucky). I have officially stuck to that commitment for a full year (WHOO!), so I’m officially naming this my blog’s rebirthday! Everyone sing Happy Rebirthday.

This past year of blogging once a week taught me a few lessons that I hope will be helpful for writers who are looking for inspiration and motivation to continue blogging. I am by no means a blogging pro. Or even average. Or even… Okay, let’s stop before I kill the vibe. My point is, there’s a lot I’ve still got to learn but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learnt anything this past year. I have made plenty of blogging mistakes. That is, after all, how we learn.

So, to commemorate the occasion, let me break it down.

to blog or not to blog written on a typewriter
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood

Lesson One: Laziness Never Pays Off; it Only Creates More Work

I’ll admit there are times I have gotten a little lazy with this blog. One thing I have especially slacked off on is SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is what helps people find your blog. It’s all about improving your search engine ranking. This is something I used to focus on when I was first starting out, but when I switched from a monthly update to a weekly one, I forgot that I needed to keep up with SEO if I wanted to see my blog grow. As a result, my blog growth ground to a halt.

So yeah. That’s my bad.

To fix this, I spent a week in Feburary going through all my content, optimizing my categories, and optimizing my photos. What does that mean, exactly?

  • It meant deleting any photos with filesnames like ‘image 1’ and replacing them with photos with keywords in the filename, such as ‘book review’ ‘fiction’ etc.
  • It meant changing the name of my categories to be more specific and engaging. My ‘Behind The Scenes’ category was renamed to ‘Secret Life Of The Author‘ making it clear that this category is where you can find out what I’ve been up to.
  • It meant updating my homepage.
  • It meant deleting irrevelant or repeated tags.
  • It meant deleting old posts or moving them to drafts where they can be recycled for later use.
  • It meant thinking about my site structure.

There was a lot to clean up. A lot. I’m talking eight months of content here. I think it took seven hours just to sort the photos out. Consider my hand slapped.

It is much easier to make sure your posts are at their best before publishing rather than going back and trying to fix months of content.

Lesson Two: Variety Is Your Friend

General blogging advice states that you should pick a niche and stick to it. A niche is the topic you blog about. It’s tough because it has to be specific enough to target an audience, but broad enough to give you plenty of ideas for content.

While sticking to a niche is important, I feel it is also important to bring a little variety.

Not every post has to be two thousand words. When I started my blog, I wanted to write essays on my favourite shows, movies, and books, and give writing advice, and write short stories, and all that good stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I do all of that. But doing that once a week while keeping up with my other responsiblites isn’t possible. I had to give myself permission to write lighter content. Bitesize content, if you will.

Not every post needs to be long and detailed; depending on the topic or the desired impact, short posts can be just as impactful as longer posts, while often taking less time to write.

My aim was to free up time to do other things. What ended up happening is that I got more creative with my posts.

In the world of blogging, mixed media posts outperform words-only posts.

Blogging For Beginners: 20 + Tips To Jumpstart Your Blog

Because I eased up on the two thousand word rant essays, it gave me the opportunity to branch out to other content ideas. I’m shouting out book cover artists. I’m recording audio fiction. I’m sharing excerpts from my WIPs.

This is content I would have ever thought about publishing a year ago.

Granted, not all of it hit the mark. But that’s okay!

Experimentation is important. The variety not only prevented me from stagnating on ideas, but it also gives you guys, my lovely followers, something different too.

Lesson Three: Content Planning Goes a Long Way

Learning how to plan my blog content helped me make sure that I had enough posts scheduled to meet any deadlines and pushed me to be more organised, which ultimately prevented me from feeling overwhelmed by the thought of creating content. Whether you choose to write every day or once a week, have a plan in place to ensure you are producing content regularly. This also helps to eliminate excuses such as writers block or lack of ideas.

On top of that, it’s much easier to keep to a weekly schedule when you stagger your posts. The only way to stagger posts is to have them planned and written in advance. While I have managed to stick to a weekly schedule by writing one post a week, it doesn’t lead to great quality.

However, by planning posts ahead and writing them in bulk, means it’s possible to schedule a whole month’s worth of content in a day or two.

It’s also been hugely beneficial for me to assign a post to a specific date. This post, for example, was planned for this date because it’s my blog’s ‘rebirthday.’

There are other ways to make sure you have a post for a certain time of year. October is a good month for talking about all things scary, for example. This helps to create content ideas to fill any gaps between your blog posts. Brainstorming topics, researching content on the Internet, and tracking relevant news stories can provide a wealth of ideas for content.

There are also national days for pretty much everything, so if one fits with your blog’s niche, you can schedule a relevant post for that time. Any gaps can be filled with other content ideas.

Writing about topics that are timely and relevant will help content perform better in search engine rankings and bring an engaged audience to your blog.

If you want to know all the National Days, I highly recommend this national day calendar.

Doing something every single week isn’t easy, but I’m proud that I have stuck with it this past year. There is still a lot of work I need to do to get this blog in tip-top shape.

I’m not going to give up. Here’s to year two!


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