One year of John the toy shop guy

Pirate cakes

I nabbed this picture from a local cake maker’s facebook page, you can find them here

This week marks the one year anniversary of this blog (you can find my first wee post here). I have to admit that for the first few months (maybe as much as the first 6) it felt like a hard slog with little to no reward in terms of readership. However I knew that my subject matter was so specific that I’d need a bunch of posts under my belt before I started to gain any google hits. As I expected it’s been a slow start but it’s getting there, I no longer suffer readerless days, I’m now part of the mumsnet bloggers network, I write a guest blog for parents space, I write a monthly toy column for the Strathallan Times and I was recently asked by Richard Gottlieb if he could repost the reply to his article which I wrote last week on his toy news site ‘Global Toy News’.

This is just a short post, simply intended to point out this blog’s wee anniversary but I thought I might throw in a few general hints for people just starting their blogging journey:

1) Stay on topic from one post to the next, I’ve been tempted to drift off a number of times onto topics which might catch more readership but I started this blog for a reason; to talk about toys and encourage people to check out Fun Junction (the toy shop where I work). Of course this advice only applies if you want to maintain a faithful subscriber list, if you want a vast random set of readers coming by your blog through search engines then variety will be your friend.

2) As much as possible use original images in your posts and then tag them like crazy: image description, alternative title etc. etc. Google image search brings me a whole heap of traffic this way and I only started doing this about 4 or 5 months ago.

3) Don’t feel guilty if you only blog once or twice a week. Some of my favourite blog writers only post once a week, unless you have something new to say every day, don’t spread yourself too thin.

Lastly:

4) Read lots of other people’s blogs and venture into topics outwith your own area. This can be enlightening and can also help you to figure out ways in which you might improve your own blog.

Many apologies to my regular readers and subscribers for falling so far from the topic of toys in this post. I hope my wee bits of advice help some new blogger out there. As always many thanks for reading and a big thank you to those of you who have been reading my posts for a while, for giving me the support and incentive I needed to reach this milestone. If anyone would like to subscribe to future posts and receive a wee e-mail about twice a week (when I publish a new post) there’s a box over to the right where you can enter your e-mail address and get added to the list (neither I nor wordpress will pass your address on to third parties, for starters I wouldn’t know how). Anyway thanks again for reading, hope you pop by again soon, Cheers, John

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