The year began by creating my first Word Press blog.  At the time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I’ve really enjoyed my crash course in learning to use the site.

Making 2018 even better.png

Here is what I learnt:

Blogging

  • Schedule posts/tweets: You can schedule posts so can write ahead of time and space posts out.  Use LoCalendar to schedule tweets (but make sure you set an end date so you don’t spam people).
  • Make it visual: 
    • Canva is a great site to create images for blog titles and other social media sites.
    • Google Drive Photos is an app you can download onto you phone and it  backs up images you have taken. You can then access these online from wherever  you are working to use them.
    • Instagram links can be added into articles and enables you to share pics from your own account and other users images.  I’ve used this to share professional brand images when I forgot to take a pic of the product I’m reviewing before it got all grubby.
  • Support others: 
    • You can share other people’s blogs on Word Press via the reader.  This helps support them and improves your content.  Follow people who write on similar subjects.  Can help when you are busy and hit a dry spell to keep your blog current.
    • As mentioned before, you can share pics by others posted to Instagram.  The image will have a link to their account so if a reader likes their pic they can choose to follow them.
  • Categorise posts:  It puts posts into collection of subjects and helps readers navigate your site or enables you to create pages.  I still have more to learn on this but I think I will be utilizing this in the new year.
  • Brands:  
    • Review brands you love to demonstrate the market you are interested in and to gain support.  Follow their social media accounts to be aware of blogger offers.
    • Offer to review brands you are interested in and you may strike lucky.  This year I got a free photobook from Saal Digital in return for my honest review.  I love the product and will cherish it forever – so happy!

Writing

  • Do courses:  If you can find time to do a writing course they are really good.  I did the Curtis Brown – Starting to Write your novel course.  This covered a lot of stuff I already knew but made me think about it again.  I really improved the start of two of my novels using what I learnt. See my review from earlier in the year here.
  • Enter competitions and query:  Take time to put your stories, poems or manuscripts out there.  Even if it is just a friendly competition – I won a few awards on Wattpad and it got me more readers and valuable feedback. I managed to enter one national competition but I am annoyed I missed the deadline for the one I really wanted to enter because I was taking too long editing – I edit too much!
  • Don’t over edit:  Guilty!  I am so guilty of this. I am my worst critique.  Every time, I think I am done editing… I start again.  I don’t even enjoy editing.  I must stop myself.  I wish I could afford an editor to do it for me.
  • Make time to be creative:  living a busy life can make it hard to find time to write but if you make time and do a little a day (even if it’s just plotting or researching), then you will keep making progress towards your goals.  I try to make sure I sit down at my PC/Laptop at least once a week to actually write.
  • Don’t force it:  If you force yourself to write you can cause yourself to burn out.   I think this was a side effect from NaNoWriMo.  I feel the writing bug coming back – phew!

Ally plus text

4 thoughts on “Reflection on 2017

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