500th Post!

500 Finger CandyMy little blog is celebrating a big milestone today in the form of its 500th post, and I’m marking the occasion with these nails that draw inspiration from both its candy-coated background image and header. Five hundred posts is nothing to thumb your nose at, especially when you consider that those 500 posts span just 15 months and encompass over 600 unique manicures. That works out to just a year and a smidge of near-daily blogging and nail art-related activities, and that, my friends, is bananas.

Ask just about any blogger, and no matter the subject of their blog or their area of interest, they’ll invariably tell you that the hardest part of blogging is sticking to a routine schedule of frequent posts. Daily blogging seems like the unicorn of the blog scene, a glittery, mythical animal often invoked, but rarely seen. It’s also a roadblock to creativity in which bloggers stagger to play catch-up on what they feel they should be doing as opposed to what they could be doing.

But I apparently do not suffer from that problem! And so for those of you wondering how I can keep at it nearly every day (after day), these tips are for you:

1. It helps tremendously if you already have an affinity for writing. If you enjoy writing, you’ll enjoy blogging – it’s that aggravatingly simple. I’m lucky in that it comes to me quite naturally, both by training (university degree in journalism) and habit (lifelong journaller and storyteller/writer), but it really needn’t be anything so formal. E-mails to friends, grocery lists, scribbles in greeting cards and notes to a colleague are examples of the writing you already do every day. Expand that into a bit of frequent stress-relieving journalling and you’re halfway there. Find the simple joy in writing, and you’ll want to share the blog love daily.

2. To that end, keep it casual. A lot of bloggers seem to get tremendously tripped up on the mechanics of writing itself, editing and formalizing their posts to the nth degree until they seem like something mashed together and spit up by a Speak & Spell on downers. Correct spelling and proper grammar are absolutely paramount, but if you’re lacking the human touch, people won’t want to read and you won’t want to write. Blogging shouldn’t be a burden of rules and “you should”s. Relax a bit and let some of your personality shine through. If you’re having fun blogging, you’ll want to do it every day.

3. Have something to say for yourself. And by that I mean have a purpose to your blog. My blog is (ostensibly) about nail art, nail polish and the many, many manis I have created over the past year and a half, although I frequently (some may say too frequently) use those manicures as a jumping off point to gab about my cats, my family, things in the news, nostalgic old lady stuff – you know, life. The manicures might seem like they’re incidental to the storytelling, but they actually play a pretty vital role in maintaining this wee little blogging enterprise – I write about the manicures I create, both from a technical standpoint and a more rambling, “Where the hell is she going with this?” storytelling standpoint, and in return I’m often inspired by something in my writing to create a new manicure. It’s all very “I blog, therefore I am.” But it’s just one of those truths that if you have an activity, a purpose, tied to your blog that your creativity can feed and feed from, as opposed to some nebulous “I’m just going to talk about whatever strikes my fancy,” it’ll make showing up every day to talk about it that much easier and desirable.

4. Much like going to the gym, if you can just drag your ass over to the computer, you’ve won half the battle. Sometimes all it takes is to simply sit there and see what shakes down. It’s not very glamorous, but then again, neither is blogging (although I dunno, the jammies I sit around in all day are pretty fly…)!

5. Break your posts up into bite-sized bits of goodness. In the interest of not spamming their readers, a lot of bloggers overload their posts, leading to epic poem-length missives on every single thing that has happened in their corner of the blogging sky for the past two weeks. That’s a lot of information for readers to take in and too much information for bloggers to be putting out. It’s the blogging equivalent of a 2,000-word story with no paragraph breaks. But if you parse out some of those thoughts, condense others and split things up into a few different posts, it’ll be easier and more enjoyable for both you and your audience. Better still, if you mete those newly separated posts out a bit over the week, you’ll be developing a nice little daily blogging habit, which is the whole point of this post!

Bottom line? In the immortal words of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, RELAX. Writing, blogging, taking pictures of our activities and adventures? None of these things are so serious that we can’t have a bit of fun with them. Try to find the fun, joy and purpose in your blog – little things that don’t cost a cent – and you’ll want to show up every day to share them with your readers. Happy blogging!

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