How I do Blogging Completely Wrong

The other day I tweeted that I have been doing this blogging thing for almost six years.  Six years is a long time to stick with anything, especially when you tend to be a quitter like I am.  I tend to start things all gung ho and then after a strong start it pitters away due to lack of time and interest.

But not my blog.  Nope. I started Sluiter Nation in 2007 and I’m still going strong.

Except, I’m not really doing it right.  In fact, according to most of the blog tips I’ve read in 6 years and all the tip-type posts I’ve pinned (and even written myself), I’m doing it COMPLETELY wrong.

Oh I’ve learned a lot about how to do it “right” over the past six years…and sometimes I’ve even tried, but well, I just can’t stick with all these rules.

I compiled a list of rules and how I fail at them.  This way you will be able to judge me accordingly…heh.

Comment, Comment, Comment! – The first rule of blog club is to talk all about blog club.  Everyone knows that reading other blogs and actually commenting when you visit is what helps your visibility in the blog world and builds relationships.  Those things make people want to come to your space.

I used to be SO good at this, but somewhere in the last year of having TWO children and a full-time job, not only do I struggle with trying to read the blogs I love, but I almost certainly don’t have time to comment.  People are going to forget Sluiter Nation exists if I don’t get out of this spot and wander out and say something in other spaces, but right now, I just don’t have time.

Be Social! – Speaking of being all over and visible, I have definitely neglected The Twitter, The G+, even The Facebook (not my personal one, but my blog one). I try to share my stuff and other people’s stuff and interact, but oh my goodness!  Most days I am either teaching and don’t have time, and most evenings I fall asleep while putting Eddie to bed.

Be Consistent! – I used to have a fairly solid posting schedule.  I would write in the evenings, schedule for midnight, and promote as I could throughout the day.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I post two, maybe three times a week lately.  I write when I can, and save often instead of pounding out a post in one sitting.  I usually hit publish when I am done writing instead of scheduling.  I am not even a little bit consistent lately.

Offer Partial Feeds in Readers! – Theoretically this drives traffic to your site because people HAVE to click through.  I’ve never done that because it annoys me.  I like to read posts in my reader…especially if I am on my phone.  So to all of you who read me in a reader, I get it. I’m not going to change to partial feeds.

Learn SEO! – What? Oh Search Engine Optimasomething?  Yeah, keywords, meta somethings, and making yourself come up in searches and having Google “read” your site.  Um, I installed All In One SEO Pack over a year ago. I still don’t know what I am doing.  (and I sort of don’t care).

Make Your Posts “Pinnable”! – I have a hard enough time coming up with a picture for every post (as of typing this, I don’t have one for this post.  Unless caffeine is pumped into my veins or I do speed in the next 20 minutes, it’s probably not going to happen).  And when I do manage to get a photo up and pin it to mah boards, it goes nowhere.  Nobody repins it.  I mean, I don’t blog about fashion or food or quick tips or anything.  I’ve had others tell me that you just have to be on the right “community boards”. I don’t even know what that means.

Comment on YOUR Comments! – Oh sweet readers…how I wish I had more time for this.  I definitely choose commenting on your comments here over commenting on other blogs, but you see…time is a poop-face.  Mostly because I don’t have any. I know people like to see interaction. I do.  And I know it helps people want to come back, but if I have to sit and think of a response, I feel like I am doing it just to do it.  I also want to give genuine responses, not something canned and there only for the sake of doing it because I “should”.

Almost six years of blogging…I feel like I should be doing this thing better.

Or maybe not.

I started this blog to avoid mass emails updating family and friends about us.  And then I learned I loved to write.  Then you guys found your way here and it was more than just a little journal, it was something people read RIGHT NOW, not only something my children will read SOMEDAY.

So maybe I am actually doing it just right.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. If it makes you happy, Kate, then I would say you’re doing it right. 🙂

  2. i think we should all make our own rules! 🙂

  3. You’re an amazing writer, and I’ll always come here.

    In my eyes, that’s doing something right.

    All the other stuff – sure, that makes “good blogger”, if that’s what one wants to be. But your heart is in a different place for your blog, and it’s where you want it to be. And that’s all that matters.

  4. In my almost 2 years of blogging (yeah, a little behind you there) I think, one of the underlying things I’ve learned is that blogging, like many other things in life are not one size fits all. You have to do what feels right to you. I’m still trying to figure out what I really want to do and where I want to go with it. And I’ve been in the same boat with reading other blogs and being consistent… it’s hard, especially when you have children that want your time and attention. And honestly, I’d much rather spend my time putting a smile on their face than worrying about if I’m doing this blog thing the right way! Keep doing what you are doing… I will continue to read! 🙂

  5. You are def doing something right! I haven’t launched my blog yet but I feel 2-3 posts a week is great. I think more than that might get too crazy even for your readers.

    And as Allison says, you can tell your heart is fully invested in each post. They are raw and honest and to me that makes a good blogger!

  6. Being totally honest, I am glad you have slowed down because man you made me feel like crap being able to post every day! 🙂 I am totally with you. I am a terrible member of blog club. I barely have time to read a few minutes a day. I stopped judging blogging choices by people because we do what works for us. I know that sometimes a post with just a picture might be lame but i want to remember that picture. and then sometimes that post is a huge success (yesterday…had 30 minutes with a folder of IG photos and photoshop…boom!). I can’t keep up anymore and my soulful writing has flown away somewhere…i can only write how tos and snark because FEEELINGS are drained from me by the end of the day. We love you, girl. You are still an inspiration….even if I can’t read every post 🙂

  7. Look at me! Commenting! On a blog!

    DUDE. I feel you. I so do. I was all “I AM A BLAHGER!! LOOKITME!” and then I got pregnant with Emma and things went to poop. And you know what?

    I’m okay with that. Just as you’ve probably learned, the people who read you way back in 2007, well, they’re probably still reading you now. Those who come here looking for reciprocity (which, don’t get me wrong, is definitely a nice thing) are looking for just that and little more. In short, I don’t think you can ever do it wrong as long as you’re doing YOU. And you are. So rock on, Mama.

  8. Girl I hear ya loud and clear. I do comment and reply to comments and still have had no change in readership that I can tell. So guess what you keep doing you and I will keep doing me because apparently that is what draws people.. because here we are .

  9. You’re not doing it wrong, you’re just doing what you can and what you want. The way I see it, I’m just too lazy or don’t want to do a lot of the things you mentioned above.

    I could make images pinnable, but I don’t want to take the extra time. I could comment a ton, but again I’m often uninspired and don’t want to come up with something witty to say.

    I could blog on my own personal blog more, but at night I often just rather read a book or watch a movie. Or you know, sleep.

    To me, I’m not blogging wrong, I’m blogging the right way for my lifestyle.

  10. Hmmm…YES, EXACTLY!!! I am 110% with you on all of it. Working full time, two kids, one on the way…just doesn’t leave time for the blog. I love my blog, but it often takes a back seat to everyone and everything else. I used to read so many blogs and comment on all of them and comment on my comments and etc, etc, etc. But not anymore. I read you and maybe 3 or 4 others when I have time. And I rarely comment on my comments. I think my biggest fanbase these days is on facebook…who are all people I already know.

  11. You’re not alone. I’m failing at blogging lately, too… and I just don’t even care. I feel like blogging is a little like high school. You start out eager to do it up right and figure that if you play by the rules, you’ll eventually sit at the cool kids’ table. But by your senior year, you’re comfortable ensconced in your own group of friends, set in your ways, and you just don’t give a crap about playing by the rules anymore (and you look at those incoming wide-eyed freshman and thank, “Oh, how precious!).

    Suffice to say, I’m suffering from a massive case of senioritis these days. 😉

  12. I went down your list and nodded my head the entire time. I only comment when I feel compelled to – not in an attempt for reciprocity. And I don’t do the partial posts for people to click through because I’m mostly writing for me and it feels kinda icky to drive traffic to my blog which has no ads. There’s really no point for me. And pinnable posts? I’m lucky if I just get words on the screen these days.

    I stressed so much a few months back about how I wasn’t fitting into the blogging club. I tried to fit in and it felt so inauthentic to me. So I decided just to write when I need to write and reach whoever happens to read it…and to not judge my blog by its outward success. Instead, I’m trying to remember to judge it by the happiness it brings me to create it.

    I really loved this post. I admire you so much and it’s nice to hear someone else feels the same way about the blogging rules.

  13. I’m SO right there with ya, sister. Try not to guilt yourself about it. I think what @prettyswell did taking a blog break and then coming back when she felt called to, at her own pace, and with her own rules, on a different site was brilliant (and brave). Not saying we should all do that, but frankly, we don’t write out of obligation (or we shouldn’t). We write because it fills our buckets and hopefully bring a little joy and awareness to the readers. I am trying so hard to remember that.

  14. I nodded along with your entire list. I’ve been blogging for a long time – almost 12 years, though I’m pretty sure nobody but my mother and I read it for the first 4-5 years – and I know the “right way” to do it, but still choose to just do it my way. I write because I want to, because I have to, and occasionally because it pays a bill or two. That’s good enough for me… and in that sense, I think you and I are actually doing it right. 🙂

  15. I don’t know your stats, but clearly hundreds of people love you, your style, and your blogging. Over the years, I can think of 5 blogs I’ve done, starting back in probably 2006. They never caught on. My interactions on blogs vs social sites ebbs and flows, just because I feel it’s so much easier to do it socially whereas it’s more important to blogger that you comment on the actual blog itself.

    What’s different this time? I’m writing to write. I’m no longer trying to build friendships and community. It would be awesome if that happens, but I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be “cool” or “popular”. I want to talk about the journey of adoption and some of the chronic health problems I have. If no one else reads besides the Google spiders, I’ll keep writing.

  16. Dude, when I try to pin something from my blog, it tells me it can’t fetch a photo. What?! I don’t have time for that shiz. Or as everyone is saying now “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” I just wanna write.

    And I know EXACTLY what SEO optimization is, that’s what I do as my 2nd job for freelance writing. Doing that? Would pretty much ruin your blog content cause some of the stuff that I write is nonsense and basically me repeating the same word or words ‘x’ amount of times so that it gets picked up by Google. That’s dumb.

    Be consistent? What is this consistency you speak of? I ain’t got time for that either. The 2 humans that I’m responsible are the only people that I’m actually consistent with because they need my help to survive.

    Girl, please. You do what you can when you can and I think you’re doing blogging GREAT.

    Boom. There. I commented. Now. Maybe I can be more consistent with commenting. (P.S. I read your blog when it pops up in my email at work, I just don’t always have time to comment)

  17. I completely understand you an all of that, in fact I have failed at almost all of them too and wtf are you talking about community boards?!?! they ahve those?

  18. Nah. As far as I’m concerned, you seem to be doing it “right.”

    As a total aside, I have this little piece of *something* that’s stuck to my monitor. Every time I go to your blog it’s positioned right on your picture where your beautiful smile is and makes it look like you’re missing teeth. It makes me giggle.

    I expect a response. (Just kidding, I really don’t).

  19. Yours is a blog I always read. I read it because you’re a good writer and what you have to say rings true and resonates with me. Doesn’t matter to me if you comment on other blogs or have some sort of set blogging schedule. When you force yourself to do these things, it becomes more like “work” and less like “fun” and makes you more likely to up and quit it. At least in my experience.

  20. Wow, I’m apparently doing something right since I do a lot of those things. Well, at least I try to. Except I do not use pinterest for blogging at all. Can we not leverage everything for stats? Can’t pinterest just be about pretty things I want to eat or can’t afford?

    PS Hate the partial feed thing.

  21. Who cares about all the rules. What counts is interesting content, and you’ve got that in spades. I’m with you on the SEO and partial feeds. I’m also pretty inconsistent.

  22. I think you are wrong… you ABSOLUTELY are going blogging right.

  23. I have been blogging since…2009?
    At first I was all about um, blogging. Now I don’t have time for that stuff, for reasons similar to yours. I feel bad, my readership has declined since I quit caring so much, but frankly I will only blog as long as I find it enjoyable, and I can’t enjoy it with all the PRESSURE! It feels good to write my words and not worry if everyone likes them. It would be nice though, if everyone did 😉
    I feel ya.

  24. I’ve crossed those rules myself, girl!
    Trying to pick up the pace in blogging now.
    And you lady has been doing it right, look at all the love here. You are an excellent writer and most importantly an awesome, lady 😀

  25. Loyal, faithful readers who don’t have any damns left to give about whether you tweet, pin, or Facebook a Google + anything are proof that you’re doing it right.

  26. I’m so inconsistent with blogging and I’ve been doing it over various websites for over 20 years (way before WordPress & Blogger when I just updated my HTML every day). You do an amazing job. You post just enough. You are social just enough. What you do works for you, so don’t ever change. 🙂

  27. Yup I gave up on all this about the time my second bundle entered our lives. Hahah. Not that I was ever a stellar blogger to begin with! I say as long as it still makes you happy then that’s all that matters.
    Besos!