2017 was a great year for my blog. I am happy and proud of the progress that I have made in this time.
Blogging has not always been easy for me. I have definitely struggled. As I have shared in the past, this is my fourth attempt at maintaining a blog, and even this one has been met with numerous challenges.
After starting my blog in late 2014, with high hopes of sharing my life with the world, I let it sit idle for nearly a year. I allowed doubt, fear, and worrying about the opinions of others to defeat me. Yet, after the pain of feeling that I had failed again, I decided to resuscitate my blog. It wasn’t easy, I struggled, however I forged through, growing along the way.
In the time that I have learned a few valuable lessons that have helped me on my journey. These lessons, I wanted to share with you.
1- Write with care – Writing is essential to any blog. I have learned that a blog post must be well planned and with a purpose. One shouldn’t haphazardly write, just to have a post. A blogger must think critically about their content and the purpose behind what they are writing, also the effect it will have on the reader. When we don’t write clearly and with a purpose, we are not showing respect to ourselves and our readers.
2- Publish – I had to ask myself this very question. – What is the point of writing if you don’t publish it? I have had numerous post sitting in draft, waiting for the day and time that I decided to edit and publish them. I learned to make a commitment to write, revise, and publish….sending my work out to the world.
3- Stop worrying about what others think – I can give an entire speech on this very lesson. I have written a blog post or two about this very thing, as it has caused me so much grief in pursuing my writing goals. When we concern ourselves with what others think we stop progress. I have learned to ignore the thoughts, and focus solely on my work. This has helped me to grow, not only in my writing and blogging, but in my confidence and ability to share my work with others.
4- Build an online presence – In the beginning of blogging, I didn’t know the value of sharing my blog with others. I kept it hidden. Yet, I have learned that having a presence on social media is vital to building a platform and brand. Social media is the main vehicle for driving content and if we are not on that road, we will miss sharing our message with those who need it the most.
5- Get to know your fellow bloggers – Not too long ago, I wrote a post title “Don’t Be An Anti-Social Blogger.” In this post I explained the importance of getting to know fellow bloggers and how it can help to grow in both writing and an online presence. We also get to read great content from others and learn, expand, and broaden our blogging opportunities.
6- It’s not always about money – “Show me the money!” I can’t help but reference that overused and famous line from the movie “Jerry McGuire.” There are millions of blog post that guide people into making money from their blog. I must admit, the dollar signs ($$$) flashed in front of my eyes in the beginning. The thought of making a “passive income” drew me in. However, after a while, making money from my blog was not my priority. For me, it was overcoming my fear of sharing my writing and growing as a writer. It was about completing my book.
If you want to make money, go for it. If that is not your goal, that is all right too. Just stick to your plan and your goals for your blog, and don’t allow others to make you feel bad because you have other priorities for your blog.
7- Have fun – Enjoying the process of blogging is essential. You must have fun while doing it. I must say, I thoroughly enjoy blogging. Yes, it can be difficult, but after I am done writing, editing, and posting, I am excited to write another one and then another one. It just so much fun!
However, for some people, it is not fun. I have heard and read complaints by fellow bloggers about how they don’t enjoy it. They deem blogging as stressful, as they try to juggle the process of writing, editing, publishing, and promoting, all while managing a family or full-time job.
If blogging is difficult for you and you are not having fun, it is all right to stop and evaluate your goals and reasons for blogging. If after much thought and attempts to make it fun and it still is not, STOP. It may not be for you.
I hope my lessons have encouraged you and will guide you into the New Year on your blogging journey.