I've been thinking about this blog lately, and sometimes I wish I could just start over with it. I wish I knew what I wanted from it. I like having it as a creative outlet and a space for my various rants and soap boxes. I like having it for a space to store memories. There was a time when I wanted to try to increase traffic and maybe get it to a point where I could make money from it. But the problem with that is you need to have something to say. I don't really have anything to say that hasn't already been said hundreds of times. I am just another Mormon Mommy Blogger that got bit by the natural birthing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering bug. I dabbled in reviews and giveaways for a little while, but I lost interest in that. You gotta hand it to the people who get good at it. It took a lot more work than I thought it would! It was pretty fun, but it just wasn't me. I wanted to be a blog that attracted readers for my content, not because I was giving something away. Now I don't even know if I want to attract lots of readers.
I've read plenty of articles about how to build blog traffic, though. Here are the 4 most popular I have read about.
1. Don't Suck
Seems like the number one rule is: Don't suck. You need to have something to say that people want to read, and you have to be good at writing it down. You have to ask yourself, "Would I want to read this article if someone else had written it?"
2. Find your niche.
This is my current struggle. What is my niche? I am a mommy. I am a doula. I am a flutist. I am a Mormon. I love natural birth. I love home birth. I love breastfeeding. I love cloth diapers. I love babywearing. Some people can write about these things and get lots of followers. I think it is probably because they follow the first rule of blogging: Don't suck.
3. Attract attention with a great title
I've also read that you need to have a great title. The really really good bloggers say you should start with a great title and then write out your content. You should start with a plan. Your title needs to grab people in. Once they're in, your first sentence needs to be amazing because people just don't have time for crappy writing. But this approach seems backwards to me. My title at the moment is "Clean Slate" because that's what I wanted to write about when I first started this article. Now it's turned into something about rules for increasing blog traffic. Now I feel like I need to change the title at the end. I guess that's why the GOOD ones say start with a title. They get how to do this. I didn't really get it when I had to do this for my research class in graduate school. Why would I have to come up with a title for my paper when I really haven't started researching yet? So because I know people like to read articles that say stuff like, "100 Gross Bodily Functions that Changed the Course of Human History" or "10 Things You Must Do Before You Die or Your Whole Life is a Big Fat Waste," I am now thinking about changing the title to, "4 Blogging Rules That I Always Break" or "4 Ways to Drive Away Blog Traffic" or "Want to Suck at Blogging? Read these 4 tips"
And the last rule I suck at? Search Engine Optimization. Yeah. I suck at that. Don't know what that means? Google it. I've gotten bored with my own article. See Rule number one.
So I guess I could make this like a reality show and have my readers vote on what my title should be. Because I am totally going to break rule number 3 like I always do and change the title. Now I am thinking, "4 Popular Blogging Tips That Actually Don't Really Work." Or maybe I can just say, "Boobs!"
What do you think? Which one gets your attention?