Something you all may or may not know about me; I’m incredibly disorganized. It’s not that I LIKE it when my desk is awash in paper, pens, and Post-Its, but it somehow always seems to revert back to that state no matter what I do. It’s a lifelong problem- in elementary school, the one area I could never get an “O” for Outstanding in was “keeps materials organized.” Always just an “S” for Satisfactory, or if I was having an especially rough week I may bring home an “N” for Unsatisfactory in my Tuesday Folder (who remembers those?). The point is, organization has always been a struggle for me, and I KNOW it’s affecting my business.
Back in the spring as I was preparing to leave my full-time desk job, I remember expressing to Matt the fear that my blogging was going to suffer as a result of me going full-time photography. He was confused, not sure how MORE time to devote to my business would mean LESS success for my blog, but I know myself; I knew that NOT being forced to prepare ahead of time would mean I’d become complacent. Prior to going full-time, I prided myself on my reliability- my blog was always published by 7:45 am, with links out of Facebook and Twitter by 9:15. I wrote my blog posts the night before and if I was struggling for topics, I’d use my lunch hour to sit and brainstorm ideas, occasionally using that time to hammer out a few posts to keep in my drafts folder in case I needed them.
These days, my blog posts are more often than not the result of last-minute scrambles- I wake up in the morning, realize I’ve got to write something because I’ve promised my audience I would, then write some crappy excuse for a blog post. And then I get upset that it’s not garnering enough comments/page hits/interaction on Facebook. But truth be told, if I’m going to be lazy in my blogging, it doesn’t deserve crazy awesome amounts of feedback. If I’m not giving my best to my blog readers, how on earth can I expect them to respond enthusiastically? It’s like pulling an all-nighter and doing a half-hearted job on a school project, and then getting upset when you get a mediocre grade. Sounds silly, right? If you want a good grade, put in the effort. If I want enthusiastic responses, I need to get my stuff together.
Something that’s helped keep me accountable to my promise of blogging 5x a week was the fact that I PUBLICLY declared I was going to do it. And on the days when I just want to leave my blog blank for the day, I remember my 2012 New Years resolutions. Telling others I’ll do it gives me a reason to keep up with my promise, because I don’t want to disappoint or give others the idea that I can’t follow through on what I’ll say I’ll do. So I figure the BEST way I can instill some more rigorous rules for myself would be to share them with you all! Here we go:
1. Pre-blogging: I’m going back to my “write your blog the night before” mantra. This will eradicate the last-minute scramble each morning, and will help me follow through on item #2…
2. Consistent timing: desperately searching around for a blog topic each morning has resulted in me posting my blogs later and later. I really like having my blog ready in the early morning, so unless there’s a legitimate reason for waiting until later, I’m going back to having my blogs posted to Facebook no later than 9:30 each morning. If I’ve prepared the night before, this shouldn’t be a problem.
3. Planning: I’ve been avoiding creating a blogging calendar for a LONG time. I honestly don’t know why I’ve put it off so long, I know that it would do all but eliminate the problem of not knowing what to write about- I think it’s that whole “organization” thing. But from here on out, I’m spending the last day of each month planning out my blog topics for the following month. Last night I put together a schedule for the remainder of November, and on November 30th I’ll do the same for December.
4. Blogging for my audience: becoming lazy about my blog resulted in lackluster posts. If I truly want to engage my audience, I need to create relevant, fresh material that appeals to the type of people I want to be attracting. So if I want to attract potential brides, creative souls AND photographers, I need to choose topics that I think will interest ALL of them! I’m still going to continue blogging about things that are personal to me, but I’ve been wanting to blog more project-based things for a while now. We’ll see how that one works out :).
5. Blogging identity: this is something I’ve been mulling over for a little while now. What do I want my blogging identity to be? There are a few bloggers I can point to who have that very clearly defined- Katelyn James is all about educating brides and photographers through her blog (and posting gobs of gorgeous imagery) and showcasing her own creative energy through DIY and home decor posts; Liz & Ryan are all about DOING LIFE together, so their blog is chock full of date night ideas, recipes and downloadable fun. If someone were to describe my blog, would it stand out from the mass of other people flooding the blogosphere? Or is it just more white noise in a world saturated with people showcasing their work through a WordPress page? I don’t have an answer for that, which means I need to work harder to refine what my blog’s purpose is, and then blog in accordance with that purpose.
I know this wasn’t the world’s most riveting post, but I felt like I needed to put it out there that I KNOW I’ve been struggling. Yesterday I spent several hours obsessing over my blog stats- they still haven’t recovered since I switched blog URLs back in July (as a result of my new site launch). I was finally forced to come to the conclusion that it’s no longer the result of changing my URL (which, to be fair, can impact your stats for months)- it’s a result of poor blogging practices. So instead of wallowing in self-pity, I’ve picked myself up, dusted my shoulders off, and am ready to get to work.
All that being said, if there are blog topics y’all have been hoping to see more of, feel free to shout it out in the comments section! I love getting feedback- it’s what helps me know what is and isn’t working.
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© ABBY GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY 2023
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I’m RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. gah. cheering for you!! you inspire me!!
Just so you know, your blog is one of my absolute FAVORITES to read. I never skip reading a post! Your blog definitely stands out from the masses to me!
Aw! I love how transparent you are! And I think you’re a great blogger–your fun, sweet personality is so easy to see in the way you write! 🙂 xo
Way to go Abby! You are seriously pushing me and inspiring me to get better about this myself. You are SO right when you say that you can’t be surprised that a lack-luster blog post results in lack-luster responses… I guess I was taking my hard work and planning for granted and feeling disappointed when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Thanks for inspiring me!
No, this post was great! I feel the same way!! Yesterday I was thinking man, blogging was so much easier when I was stuck at my desk at a job I hated for 10 hrs a day…I WANTED to blog to pass the time there haha. Now I can’t get motivated:( Ugh. Thanks for posting this!!
I’d also love to see you write more on film – shooting film tutorials and editing film vs. digital. You are a lot more experienced and knowledgable than you think and you give yourself credit for! I know you could really help teach a lot of people about something you are so good at and passionate about!
Love this post and OMG to all the pictures! I’m obsessed
i FEEL you on the disorganized thing. nottt my strong point. heck, i’ve been meaning to make a blogging schedule ALL year, but just haven’t. sooo. i need to work on my blogging structure, as well.
but i would definitely encourage you NOT to stress over the blog stats. i know that may sound like dumb business, or something, but don’t put the pressure on yourself to write better/more just because you want more traffic. i feel like sometimes we can drive ourselves crazy with “what am i doing wrong?” thoughts because the response doesn’t seem to be there, but SOMETIMES it’s not just about the response. it’s about pressing on towards your personal best, just because you’re seeking excellence. and the rest will follow. you’re awesome, and people know that. so the happier YOU are with the content on your blog, the more people will respond, because that happiness and genuineness will come through your posts. so, just let those stats take care of themselves and just have FUN with blogging again. 🙂
oh, I know the feeling about waking up and struggling for content. It sucks! Planning ahead is definitely the win, but so hard to do!
I love your blog! Your images are beautiful. Artistic people do tend to be disorganized, so do the best you can and don’t stress over it!
thank you for this post!!! i will do ok with blogging consistently for a while… then i fall off of the face of the earth :/
YES YES YES! I am not sure why I’ve put off a blogging calendar either…I think I’m afraid that it will just sit blankly in front of me and I’ll never be able to fill it. But, if I’m committing to blogging 5x per week, then I might as well commit! Thanks for the push, girl!
ABBY- YES! You hit the nail on the head- you put into words what I’ve been searching to try and describe. What is my blogging VOICE?! What do I want to be known for… I’m right there with you!! I have no doubt we’ll both figure it out! 🙂
I sooo feel you- I put off blogging sooo much!! Thanks so much for this post- its such an inspiration! 🙂
i’m with everyone who has already commented – i love YOUR voice and i love YOUR blog because you are transparent and you! but there’s always room for all of us to step back, reevaluate, and recharge!
Cheers to honesty and picking oneself up and trying again!! 🙂
this post = real! love it!
It’s so true…. Blogging is one of those things I feel I can’t control…just yet. I become so consistant and then BAMN! But hey?! We all need a shakeup for the soul right?
I was wondering what you use for your post processing, or maybe descrive how you enjoy seeing your images. I think that would be a fun read!
Great work as per usual! Your frames are OUTSTANDING!!!!!
p.s. Thank for following me on Pinterest! 😉
I love your blog! I’m already married but I love looking at your photos & also just reading your posts about photography & life in general. I think you already have a very distinct “voice” b/c you are so open & honest. Keep up the great work!
I know exactly what you mean, and as a newer photographer and blogger like me, it’s even that much tougher! It’s a big world and it’s tough to find a voice. BUT I love your blog. You say that your posts are lackluster but your blogs are one of the ones I make sure to read every day. You post interesting material and breathtaking photos!
I always find posts talking about interests, photography tutorial related stuff, equipment, behind-the-scenes interesting, but that may also be because I am still in the teach-myself phase of photography!
I’d love to see a blog post on the peek on a wedding day. I know a lot of people love them, but others don’t want to ruin the moment of the first look walking down the aisle. It’d be great to get a photographers view since you’ve seen both sides.
Abby, thank you for this post and all this wonderful advice! I´m sruggling with my blog and all connected to it right now. Or since some weeks to be frank. So thank you for reminding and for pointing out some helpfullness while doing so.
Lots of love from Germany.
Abby you are so sweet! Thanks so much for the shout out in your post! And you pictures are AMAZING by the way! Can’t wait to meet you in person hopefully someday soon! Cheers to living your amazing life authentically and sharing your struggles with the world. Your honesty is inspiring! Love and Hugs!!!
I would love to read more about how you deal with film vs. digital as well! I go digital, but it would be great to know about the other side of things!
Awesome post. Blogging is one of my biggest struggles… mainly because I write and then re-write my posts, second guessing “my voice”. BUT your blog is very inspiring and I think your posts are anything but lackluster!
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