It has now been four years since I started my blog site and I believe that 2022 has been my most successful year so far.
Why do I say this?
There has been an increase in readership this year, but it is only a marginal increase and there is still a lot of room for improvement so this is not the main reason that I feel the blog has been successful.
During this year I made some links with organisations that reached out to me because of a certain post. This helped me increase my reach and encouraged me to believe that the algorithm is working away in the background.
However, these types of ‘successes' will fluctuate so I don’t want to build the future of my blog on things that are outside my control.
Also, to pin my success on getting contacts from random companies, most of whom are looking to promote themselves, would not fit with my aim for my blog, which is essentially to chart my own progress and share my learning and insights with my readers.
The real success of the blog for me has been down to the fact that I am enjoying it more than ever; it has become a real outlet for sharing my photography journey as well as my images, and it has given me an opportunity to explore different photography related topics which might be of interest to others.
I have identified 3 main reasons why 2022 has been my most successful blogging year to date.
For the first few years of my blog, I posted quite randomly. I tried to publish more than one post a week but ended up posting on different days of the week and there was no pattern to my timing of posts. As a result, I put myself under pressure to get posts published on time, yet I was working to a schedule that was entirely in my head.
Since the beginning of this year, I have been posting once a week and always on the same day. Regular posting works for me because I can plan ahead and have a degree of discipline in my week. I don’t feel stressed as I always have a post ready to upload and a few saved in drafts so that I know what I am doing for the next few weeks.
Posting weekly has been very motivating for me; it has helped me to stay on task, to honour my own commitment, and the pace feels just right.
I initially chose my blogging time by checking google analytics to find out when most of my readers were reading but this can vary so I will stick with my original time of Sunday morning for now. I think that consistency of posting might be more relevant than the day or time, but I’m open to change if that becomes necessary.
By continuity I mean that I have stayed with my original purpose for my blog – sharing my journey as a photographer in training – and I have not branched off into other unrelated topics.
Having said that, my journey has taken me in many different directions, but these are part of the (sometimes steep) photography learning curve. In all my posts I hope I have come across as a learner, not an expert, and that I have stuck with my original basic theme, that of sharing my journey, my progress, my learning and insights, and my personal development along the way.
The fact that I have continued with my original purpose for my blog does not mean that I have continually covered the same ground. Learning photography is a multi-faceted, lifelong process and one field of learning regularly leads to another.
I have followed photography teachers online who have introduced me to aspects of photography that I knew nothing about, as well as those who reinforce my attitude and outlook on life in general as they find meaning and purpose for themselves through creating with a camera.
I have come across photographers who have been controversial, photographers who have posed interesting questions that I have tried to answer for myself and photographers whose philosophy of life simply resonates with me, and I love to follow their journey. These virtual trips via internet have given me food for thought, prompted me to respond and have also provided encouragement, challenge, growth and inspiration for my own journey.
It is in responding in my own way to information provided by others, as well as forming my own insights through constantly getting out with my camera and putting my learning into practice, that I receive inspiration for my posts, and I believe that this is an ever-evolving process which can continue for as long as I want it to. In this way there'll be no end to variety in terms of blogging topics.
Consistency, Continuity and Variety are the key aspects of my workflow that I have identified as contributing to the success of my blog this year.
For several months after I started writing online, I actively tried to promote my blog in an effort to increase readership.
I participated in a blogging start up course with Problogger and learned a lot about blogging that has been a great help to me.
But, essentially, I discovered that it is not the art of blogging that is important to me, rather it is the content that I produce, and the honesty with which I share my journey, that means the most.
I don’t obsess over the best titles to use or engage in ‘click bait’; I try to write what comes naturally. I try to write from the heart and allow my readership to grow organically.
This way of working sits well with me. It gives me freedom to progress at my own pace, to write what I want to write and to enjoy what I am doing rather than feeling pressurised by the perceived expectations of others.
Having come to terms with my own way of working, and by producing content that is true to my aims, varied in theme and posted regularly, I have had a successful blogging year and I hope to build on these successes in the coming year.
Thank you to all my readers who have supported my site during the year.
Whether you have read some of my posts, shared my link or reached out to me by email, I really appreciate each one of you and hope you will continue to visit my site and share my photography journey into the future.
HAPPY NEW YEAR