I can’t believe that we are now in the last week of 2016 and that I’ve managed to blog successfully for almost a full year. Reflecting on my first year as a blogger, I’ve learnt an incredible amount. As we approach the end of this year I thought today’s post would be a great post to share on the lessons I’ve learnt from blogging in 2016.
What I’ve Learnt As A Blogger
1. Fight the negative thoughts
I’ve learnt that sharing your writing, your thoughts and your outlook on life with the world wide web takes guts. Especially if you’re a private person. You’re constantly worrying about what people might think. You worry about coming across as a “know-it-all”, if your English is poor or if you just don’t make any sense at all. I’ve had to fight these thoughts by reminding myself why I wanted to start blogging and what my purpose was. My purpose has been to share information from the research I’ve done or experiences I’ve had. I’ve also had to find that balance between what I want to share and what I wish to keep private online. This leads me to
2. Finding your voice
I have learnt to write how I speak. Putting your thoughts into words comes a lot easier when it sounds naturally how you talk. I have tried to inject some humour or frequently said things I often say in reality into my blog. For example, I often refer to the “dance of joy” when I’m excited or extremely happy about something 🙂 My additional thoughts are put into brackets and extreme emotion is punctuated with question marks or exclamation marks. Some people have told me that they can hear my voice talking to them when they read my blog.
3. Community is important
It’s important to meet, connect and chat to other bloggers. Initially blogging felt like a lonely online space. Sometimes you can feel like you’re talking to the wall. Even though people are reading your blog but no one comments, it makes you wonder whether your opinion is valid or useful. The blogging community is an amazing group of like minded people going through exactly the same thing as you. They are willing to support, contribute and provide feedback if needed. They also understand the amount of effort, time and work it takes to own a blog. So find your blogging tribe.
4. Be organized
I find being organized helps me to maintain and manage my blog within the normal routines of a busy life. Sometimes blogging can feel a little overwhelming or make you feel a little out of control. As I’m a control/organization freak I needed to find a way to manage it all. A while ago, I wrote a post about how I have learnt to blog more efficiently with my blogging time-saving tips.
5. Proof reading your posts
Proof reading your posts can be time consuming. Particularly when you’re reading your posts over and over until you think you’ve perfected it. A tip I picked up earlier this year is to read your posts out aloud. This can really help when you’re struggling with the flow of your posts.
6. Be inspired
Looking for topics to write about can sometimes be a challenge. Be inspired by the events, experiences and things that are happening around you. Learn to think outside the box when looking for blog topic ideas. Listen to the people around you and the questions they are asking. Join Facebook groups of common interests or writing prompt groups for inspiration.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask
I’ve learnt there’s no harm in asking. When looking for opportunities in promoting your blog, don’t be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is that the person will say no. The best is that the person can say yes and other doors may open up to you.
8. Be proud
Be proud of your blog. Initially I was quite shy about it. But then I realized, how will my blog get out there if I don’t talk about it. So share your blog with people. If you’re having a conversation with someone on a topic which happens to be something that you’ve written about, seize the opportunity to mention your blog. You could even create your own blog business cards. This is handy for giving to people immediately without having to write it down on a piece of paper 😉
9. Don’t give up
And lastly, another tip I’ve picked up is not to give up blogging. Successful bloggers keep writing. It is important to maintain the quality of your blog content though. Rather publish high quality content less frequently than low quality content more frequently. People will eventually start noticing you and opportunities may start appearing for you.
These are the lessons I’ve learnt from my first year of blogging. I am incredibly grateful for everything that I have learnt, the people I have met, the opportunities and the personal growth I’ve had. I look forward to another year of blogging and hopefully I can continue to keep it going.
Have you learnt any lessons from blogging this year? I’d love to hear in the comments below.