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Hello!

I’m Tammy Strobel. Thanks for visiting my digital home!

I write about creativity, living simply, everyday adventures, digital minimalism, and more. Hope you have a nice stay!

On Keeping Blogging & Social Media Enjoyable

{I’m running a series on the blog where I answer reader questions in a letter format. My responses are based on my experiences and reading. I’d be happy to answer questions about living simply, creativity, health, photography, and more. If you have questions for me, please leave them in the comments section. Thanks!}

Tammy,

Keeping up a blog and brand on social media can be very time-consuming and stressful, especially when confronted with ongoing content creation tasks, plagiarism by others, and, if you're unlucky, trolls. What are your tips for keeping blogging and social media simple and enjoyable? –Liz Frederiksen

Photo by Tammy Strobel
Photo by Tammy Strobel

Liz,

I began RowdyKittens.com in December 2007, and I honestly never imagined that I’d still be blogging or that blogging would be part of my business. It’s been a wonderful adventure, and I’m incredibly grateful to have a home online.

When I started RowdyKittens, I wanted to:

  • learn how to blog
  • share my story and creative work online
  • connect with like-minded people
  • share interesting articles and books with readers via a weekly link roundup
  • be helpful, inspire others, and continue to inspire myself

Nine years after starting RowdyKittens.com, my core intentions still ring true. They also have more depth. For example, I’ve learned how to blog. However, learning never stops. Learning ways to become a better writer and photographer will always be part of my life.

With that being said, I rely on seven key strategies to keep blogging and social media enjoyable.

1. I stick to a posting schedule on my blog and on social media platforms because it keeps me sane and grounded. Also, developing a posting schedule is one way I stay accountable to myself and to readers. For example, I share words or photos on RowdyKittens.com at the beginning of each week and every Friday I post a roundup of happy links. I love sharing articles and books that have changed my life, brought me joy, or caused me to rethink a particular viewpoint.

I also stick to a posting schedule on social media platforms. Since January 1, 2013, I’ve been sharing a photo of My Morning View on social media. I share the photo on Instagram and then link the image to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I don’t post lots of content on social media because sharing my daily photo is plenty. Sometimes, I’ll share an image on Instagram in the afternoon but not always.

I do my best to share words, photos, and links that are inspiring and helpful. Sticking to a consistent posting schedule allows me to focus on that goal.

2. I only use social media platforms I love. For example, I don’t have a desire to be on Snapchat or Periscope. I’m not against trying new social media platforms, but my bandwidth for social media is limited. Currently, I love sharing my photos on Instagram. Plus, Instagram makes it easy to share my daily photo on Facebook and Twitter.

3. I try to ignore online trolls and vampires. For instance, if someone leaves a hateful comment on my blog, I ban that person from commenting on my website/social media accounts (or delete them from my email list). Graduate school and prior job experiences taught me about the importance of constructive criticism and feedback. However, there is a big difference between constructive comments and being hateful and mean. My blog and social media feeds are my online home, and just like my real life home, I have a no-tolerance policy for hateful, racist, sexist, or judgmental comments. Life is short, and I want to be surrounded by kind, compassionate, and grateful people—both online and in real life.

4. I do my best to respond to all questions, and I truly appreciate every kind comment that’s left on my blog or on social media. However, I don’t have the writing energy to respond to every blog or social media comment.

5. Not citing sources—or plagiarizing—is unprofessional and not cool. When I read books, blog posts, or social media posts without proper references or citations, it drives me nuts because using proper references was drilled into my head as a graduate student. With that being said, I believe most people are good, and I don’t believe folks set out to steal from artists. I do my best to educate myself—and others—about how to cite sources. If I discover bloggers or media outlets using my photos or words without offering proper credit, I contact them.

If the person is open to it, I’ll share resources like:

My motto: Offer proper credit, don’t steal from others, and if you see unethical posting/citations, contact the person or organization.

6. I take blogging breaks because I’m in this for the long haul. I enjoy blogging because it helps me grow, learn, and connect with like-minded people. But, I don’t want to burn out. I’ve learned that taking frequent breaks is good for my creative spirit and soul.

7. Doing good work contributes to my happiness. However, in my daily life, my health comes first. If I’m ill, I suffer, my core relationships suffer, and my work suffers. I’ve learned the hard way that I have to take care of myself. By keeping self-care at the top of my priority list, I’m able to blog with joy and enthusiasm.

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