Saturday, May 26, 2018

Happy Blogiversary! An Honest Post About Six Months of Blogging

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Wow! Time flies when you're...blogging? Six months ago I timidly published my first blog post. I thought starting a blog was the most ludicrous idea that ever ran through my mind. What did I know about blogging, content creation, promotion, social media, or even writing? The answer was not much, but that did not stop me from wanting to try (especially with Google and YouTube in my corner).

I had two objectives for my blog. First, I wanted a centralized place where I could write about my travel adventures and share pictures. I used Facebook for this type of interaction but did not feel there was enough space to express all my thoughts. Second, I wanted to tackle a creative personal project. Something completely out of my wheelhouse. I wanted a challenge. Believe it or not, I wanted the weight of failure dangling over my head.

Successful people often talk about the power of 'failing upwards' or 'failing well'. Learning how to fail is an important life skill, and this blog helps me develop that skill.

Let's evaluate my goals for the first six months. These are tacked up on a wall above my desk.
  • Set up a blog with a nice, simple design. (done)
  • Write 30 blog posts. (not even close)
  • Have a small following. (check)
  • Engage regularly on one social media platform. (not so much)

Kind of a mixed bag, eh? The blog is up and running. The design is simple and easy to navigate. Writing 30 blog posts in six months was the overachiever in me talking. I'm not even halfway there. The blog has a dedicated group of readers, and new people find the blog every day. Social media has been a thorn in my side. I thought I knew how to use social media. It turns out posting pictures of my lunch or latest trip is completely different than promoting a blog or growing a community.

There are so many moving pieces when it comes to running a blog. There are design improvements to make for the website, new readers to attract, social media interactions to follow up on, and of course, writing. A blog cannot exist without words on a page. That is the number one job and it is time-consuming, sometimes to the detriment of the other pieces that make a successful blog.

Have I been challenged? Yes. Have I been frustrated, disappointed, overwhelmed by the constant juggling of tasks that must be accomplished to run a blog? More often than not. Have I learned how to fail well? Maybe. I feel like the struggle is still teaching me. The two most significant lessons so far: patience and persistence. The twin Ps have propelled me through some rough patches these past six months.

At this point, the blog is like raising a child. It is an overwhelming amount of work, but there are moments that make it all worth it. Those moments, for me, are observing the number of page views steadily increase, or when someone likes a social media post, or when I publish a 1300-word post on time. Those moments fuel me enough to keep me going for another six months.

Two final words: thank you. Time is precious and that you would spend some of it reading my words gives me goosebumps. You all rock!

Btw, here is the link to the first post in case you missed it six months ago. :)

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