Using iA Writer again

I’ve been away for a while but I’m trying to get back in the habit of using iA Writer for my blogging. The WordPress app (for me) has gotten to the point that it’s slowing me down and forcing me to use their block editor.

My only concern is how I easily publish to WordPress via iA, something this post will test for me. If this looks ok then it’s working.

Don’t worry about engagement on your blog

I’ve fallen into a bit of a trap after a great month stat wise in January to now seeing a 60% drop in traffic since and feeling down about my creative endeavours. But weirdly swapping to Tweetbot and not seeing engagement has actually helped me realise the blog is about getting stuff out of my head and sharing my thoughts. It’s not a money maker (costs me to run it) and after several failed attempts at Patreon I realise my content isn’t worth paying for but I still ploughed on – I needed an outlet to talk about passions I can’t do in my day to day.

This’ll continue whilst I have the energy to put it out there.

The WordPress iOS app is slowly making me want to leave WordPress

I’ve had my niggles with the WordPress for iOS app for a while but in the last couple of months it’s gotten worse, so bad I’m considering leaving. As someone that is iOS only the majority of the time it seems pretty obvious to me that the folks over at the WordPress iOS team don’t actually use the app.

The first major change and gripe is the forced user experience of the block editor.

It seems I have to change this setting each time the app updates. It’s not I don’t like change but the block editor has some broken functionality (like the one below) and I just wish the developers would respect my choice of disabling this feature.

As part of this block editor another area broken with it is the writing experience itself. I like the way the images are resized but when it comes to text it’s lacking.

In the screenshot above you can see my text disappearing under the keyboard. Yes, when you type and it flows past the screen it goes underneath the keyboard and you have to manually scroll down. This doesn’t happen in the non block editor and is the main reason I think no one at WordPress is actually using the app.

So I’m sat wondering what platform us best for someone that is predominantly on iOS. I’m open to suggestions.

Being consistent

Being consistent is something I’ve always struggled with, I have flourishes of being really good and moments of being terrible. I’m not just talking about writing on my blog but in general. I’ll have a good spell with my mood and have a positive effect on the world around me then I’ll have a big dip and seem to make everything worse.

I don’t check stats too much but look at this massive dip in traffic over the last couple of weeks. I’ve not been consistent again, when I start to write again the traffic picks up.

I guess I’m rambling with this post but I what I’m trying to say, especially if you’re doing something creative is to try to be as consistent as possible.

Figuring out what to write about

I’ve always seen my blog as somewhere I can share my passions, not one thing but across multiple interests. What I’m finding is I got little to no feedback or views on non tech content. I’m not saying this is a bad thing as it’s given me somewhere to get stuff off my chest as I don’t have an avenue to do this in my day to day. Working at home is pretty isolating so being able to share here is great but getting no feedback is starting to become a bit demoralising to be honest.

I’m not going to stop talking about things I’m passionate about but might need to take a step back and figure out the sort of content I can bring value to.

At the moment I have no idea if I’m bringing value to anything.

Blogging in 2019, a year in review

I’ve tried to post daily here and looking back I can see it’s had a big impact on the traffic coming to the blog.

I’m not setting the world alight but for me I’m up over 14,000 views over the previous year. I’m still a nobody in the grand scheme of things but I enjoy sharing regardless of these stats.

Resetting a Sonos continues to drive most traffic but strangely an iPhone case post beats it this year. Continues to show that if you want to build traffic how to’s are the way to do it.

Bulk of traffic coming from Search and Social but readers have started to pick up from WordPress itself.

Finally I always find it interesting to see where my readers are coming from. Top 3 remain the same but Germany and India are new additions to some of the bigger traffic.

I’ll continue doing what I’m doing and see what happens.

Blogging, a year in review: Where my traffic comes from

I’m going to write up a few posts on blogging rather than just tech stuff as I thought it would be good to be open about my site and the information may be useful to someone else.

Over the last year I increased my traffic by 4 times the year before but I still don’t get that much to be honest. In the first post I wanted to share where the majority of my traffic comes from.

Growing something, especially these days is hard. You can see that the bulk comes from searches (mostly Google), then social media and lastly in the top 3 WordPress.

I think that’s an important data point. If you’re using WordPress you have a whole host of other WordPress users that use the app to find content and writers. I have over 100 people that follow me on WordPress and read my stuff. It’s one of the reasons I stay on the platform. I’ve discovered a lot of writers using this method myself and I continue to use the app for reading.

So I’m small fry a nobody really in the blogging space but it’s nice to look back this year and actually see that my writing is being read and is somewhat useful.

Continuing to write on the blog and the most popular types of posts

Should I continue to blog is something that I’m asking myself as we round out 2019. I don’t pay too close attention to stats but this year my readership has grown nicely over. I’m up about 3 times as many views, which I’m extremely grateful. In 2019 I concentrated more on writing and dropped off on other projects, which enabled me to write more. I also dropped a little of my time spent on social media, this also helped me focus more on sharing my thoughts on my own platform.

But I keep seeing blogging is dead and people don’t read them anymore.

What I’ve found is that there is little to no interest in posts like this one but there is an appetite still for guides and how to’s.

In fact looking at my statistics the top 3 posts have 4 times as many views as anything else and are all related to how to’s.

I don’t really want to change my writing or blog to become a help site but it’s eye opening. I put more work into more heartfelt posts but no one reads them, maybe these are more suited to sharing on social instead of the blog.

I’ve just renewed my domain for another 12 months but I think I’m going to spend a few weeks digesting these findings and figure out where to put my energy in 2020.

I’ve got a few projects I’d like to focus and I’ll have to see where the blog lands in terms of priorities. It’s focus may change in the new year but at the moment I’ll stick to what’s it’s been doing for the last year or so, my random thoughts mixed with Apple stuff 😀.

Are you running a blog? Are you seeing the same sort of stats?

It’s ok not to post daily

I’ve put pressure on myself in the past to post something everyday but if you’re not reliant on income from your blog then it’s perfectly fine to post as and when you have something to say. For me I’m on a break from social media at the moment so this is my only outlet. I’ve found I’m posting daily or more because I’m not using social media.

My posts tend to be more thoughts than epic reviews etc… I like having an outlet that’s mine to post whenever I want.

Don’t get me wrong my blog doesn’t cause me any stress at all (now I’ve given up thinking about making any income from it) but I still felt like I had to post daily.

I guess this ramble is just to say if you own your own blog don’t put any pressure on yourself, post when you have something to say and enjoy it.

(Also experiment with dropping social media for a week and put your thoughts on your blog instead).

How I’m scheduling blog posts

One of the best things that has happened since switching to WordPress is the iOS app. I’ve found that I’m writing more and I like the editor so much it’s replaced my need for a writing app. As much as I love using iA Writer I always ended up just copying and pasting into the WordPress app anyway.

So what I do now is whenever I get an idea for a blog post or want to share some quick thoughts I use the WordPress app and write a new post.

Quick tip: I found that sharing less on Twitter helped me have more to write about.

Once I’m done with my post I’ll schedule it in for sometime that day or in the future so I try to do a post every day.

This way I try to have a little queue of posts, maybe just a few days worth but it keeps me creating everyday, something I’m trying to form a habit around.