Summer spoils us with great choices of fresh flowers -…
There are some encouraging signs for the first time in the blog’s history and I can feel perhaps I got to a different level which makes me feel great. A lot happened in the past three months, which I am going to try to sum up, although I might struggle with the extent of this post.
Again, I realised a few things which helped me a lot.
I have always known I wanted to create value, therefore, what I am aiming for is not publicity, but acknowledgement. In other words, I am aiming to provide quality and not quantity and what matters is returning visitors/readers/followers, whatever you want to call it, who appreciate what I am doing. I have always been aware of this but it is good to think it over again and state it.
It is still difficult to do so many things at the same time, no matter how much I love doing it. However, I managed to stop panicking if I can not work ahead and don’t have 2-3-4 posts scheduled. I had to realise that it is indeed true: the more you write, the better you become at it. I now seem to have enough routine to be able to cope with the situation, where I have a few days to write a post and I am able to keep the balance between blogging and private life and even have time to read books which is great!
To get there, I had to make some decisions:
- Based on my observations, Hungarian readers use more Facebook, while English readers prefer Instagram. By now, I manage to post daily on Instagram without major problems and although I agree with bloggers, who believe you should have different content on Facebook and Instagram, because if you have the same, that’s boring! I decided to link my accounts and publish the Instagram posts on Facebook. In this way followers on Facebook will not miss good content and I can save time and energy. As soon as I have enough time and energy to create different content for different social media, I will do it, but for the time being, I am not able to. As there are only a few followers who follow me both on Instagram and facebook, I don’t think this is going to be a major issue.
- I have to rework my categories and subcategories. After almost 1,5 years it is starting to become obvious which categories are doing better and which ones aren’t. Unfortunately, I have to reduce the number of posts about Home Cooking. I am not a foodie and I am far behind the quality of food-photography that you can find on Instagram or Pinterest, but this will improve with time and practice.
- Instead, I should focus on categories that are doing well. I made a chart about it and it is interesting to see what the Hungarian and the English speaking audience prefers. One thing is clear though: posts having a personal touch or experience seem to interest more people. In other words: if I give more of me, that post is doing better – in theory. 🙂 It is also interesting to see which posts the audience visited the most in this quarter. Ironically, not those which were my favourites that I loved writing. 🙂
It is unbelievable, but I realised in July that subconsciously I managed to follow my business plan that I prepared in January. Basically, I am making progress every day, step by step. OK, steps may not be carried out 100%, but I am progressing in my own pace. On top of this, I had a great conversation with a Hungarian IT guy, which put things into a different light. He said:
… not sure you will make a living from your blog, but from your product and your blog might be a stepping stone and a good background.
Wow…! The penny dropped! I realised he was right and although I started to work on my product, I wasn’t working on it thematically. Therefore I made a plan at the beginning of September and I set the target to have the product ready by end of this year. So far, I am keeping the deadlines and making progress. So what is my product then? It is a secret and surprise. I will let you know as soon as it is ready. 🙂
I realised I have to improve my skills and invest in myself and the blog, so I signed up for a photography course at the beginning of September. I learnt the basics of photography with lots of practice and this is a huge thing for me who always use(d) a mobile instead. The photos used in this post were made during the course and those of you who know photography know, it is not easy to take photos of anything that moves. I am proud of the featured image of three ducks 🙂 where according to my teacher one duck is under, one is perfectly and one is over-exposed, but I used the space perfectly not leaving too much water around the birds and the photo is not blurred. All in all, I loved it and hopefully it will pay off in photos to come.
Everything has to be available on my phone. I am becoming a real blogger, he,he 🙂 But this is true: I need access to everything on my phone because I never know when I am behind, maybe I can post something whilst I am travelling etc. Therefore I have a photo and design editing application on my mobile, photos in the cloud, business and social media plans in the cloud etc. And this – being a NON-full-time blogger, does help, believe me!
It appears, I have more success on Instagram than with posts on my blog. The energy put into social media seems to pay off. I have started to concentrate on social media a few months ago only and I must say I prefer Instagram to Facebook maybe because I have never been on Facebook when it was THE thing. Of course the Instagram world is very strange. For example I do not understand why somebody gets 150 likes for a similar photo I have just posted and was worth 14 likes only… Or I don’t understand why I get 5 followers one day, but by the following morning I have -4… However, as soon as I managed to stop concentrating on how many people follow me, results started to show… I just concentrate on doing what I love doing and the rest will come.
Another strange thing when somebody likes my post, gives a positive feedback and starts to follow me. By the time I checked the profile and decide whether to follow back or not, the person un-followed me. ??? I am only guessing the person with 31K followers thinks I would be amazed by the number of his followers and would hope to get more followers through his network and will start to follow him but he un-follows me because it is a pain to have too many profiles to follow (I know it by now). It all seems to be psychology but of course I un-follow people like this.
At the same time, you can learn an awful lot if you pay attention. For example I realised, it is really worth following people with similar interests and you don’t need to follow back everybody to be polite. You also have to be brave and start commenting, because people can see you pay attention, you are alert, you are willing to be engaged in conversations which then will be noticed by others and they become interested in you. And the most important thing: checking which hashtags similar profiles are using. THAT helps a lot. A LOT. Still, perhaps the most important thing is to post on a daily basis if possible and stay consistent.
I must admit, it was a milestone and some sort of euphoric moment for me when somebody who I take seriously (constantly posting about English architecture in a very high standard) started to follow me. THAT felt as if a university teacher would have patted my shoulders.
Besides, I get more and more positive feedback:
“I like your feed and not only that pic. Carry on!”
“Enjoyed your English Sundials blog – well researched and engagingly written. If you want to see some of the diversity of sundials in these islands try sundialsoc.org.uk (Yes, there is a society for everything in Britain)”
“Love your posts, BTW. I like the way you pick out quirky details and give the context.”
“Bless you, Hun… and please keep doing this! You have a keen eye and must be shared!”
“Very good photo because of the composition. I think just need some lighting in this photo then great!”
And some feedbacks from you, Readers:
“I cannot wait to read all of the posts. I love what you are doing.”
“I love your posts.”
“It comes through you love doing it.”
As far as the blog is concerned, I have more and more page views and the ratio of the returning visitors has doubled. It is 18% YTD and this is what I would love to improve along with the seconds spent on page figure. What is for sure I won’t stop writing and posting on Instagram only because I LOVE writing. No, I have to be tricky and divert people from Instagram to my blog. 😉
And then I have the plan for the last quarter of the year (OMG – where has this year gone…?!)
- Work on the product with full steam and finish it by the end of this year.
- Carry on creating great content even when I think it is basic for everybody what I am writing about.
- Carry on posting on social media.
- Divert people from Instagram to my blog.
- Follow Instagram profiles on Facebook as well.
- And one day I will have a design that I have in my head, but for now I must admit, I let it go. I will find my WP developer one day who takes me seriously and is willing to work.
For now, let me say thank you for reading this blog and special thank you for those who shared my posts. I will keep on providing you interesting reads to enjoy. I am full of ideas, all I need is time! But as the locomotive driver says:
Full steam ahead!