In April 2010, I began blogging. Today I’m reflecting, once more, on what I’ve learned from blogging. I’m still cleaning house on old posts – paring down 500+ posts to the current 350 posts on this blog. The oldest post in my archive is this one – which has me itching to make that recipe now that I’m running more. My blogging voice, direction and purpose have all changed over the years. Here’s what I’ve learned.
I have considered ending my blog many times. Many of the bloggers I met at the beginning of my journey have done this. Or they have made their blogs private, have started posting on other social media platforms or have simply stopped blogging without ever saying anything.
There have been times when I posted infrequently because I wasn’t inspired to say anything, but every time I’ve come back. I’ll keep coming back as long as that itch is still there. Blogging provides me an outlet to write about whatever I want and it allows me to continually learn. Whether you are a new reader or a long-time reader, again, thank you for your interest in what I have to say, and thank you for your conversation and support.
What I’ve Learned
- Blogging is a lot of work. Don’t start a blog with the sole intention of making money. You have to really want to do this. You have to be passionate about blogging first. Then, you might make money.
- You will question yourself daily. You have to be your own writer, editor, marketer, webmaster, photographer and more. Questions can stall your creativity, but you have to press on and publish. You will probably make mistakes and publish typos. But the joy of a blog is you can go in and edit that typo or clarify in a comment about what was confusing in your post.
- Not everyone will read your blog. You will receive nasty comments. You will also receive the ones you read five times over, then send to a friend for her opinion, and finally decide the comment is constructive criticism. You will also read and comment on your favorite blogs for months or years, thinking that person would read your blog too – instead you never receive a comment in return.
- Blogging teaches you a lot. It teaches you to write daily. It teaches you the technical side of running a website and it teaches you a lot about social media. For those reasons alone I continue blogging. There is so much I never would have learned had I not started this blog.
- People say they blog for their readers. They are lying. I blog for myself and for my readers. Question anyone who says the former. Going back to my first point, you have to really enjoy blogging to keep at it.
- Blogging is more than writing. For a long time I believed that in order to be a successful blogger, one simply had to be a good writer. Now I realize this is not always the case. Today I spend a third of my time writing posts, a third of my time optimizing and formatting posts and a third of my time on promotion.
- Be more open with your blog. For about four months, I blogged anonymously. Then I told close friends and family. About a year or two in, I posted a link to my blog on Facebook. Today I blog under my own name, which helps tremendously with accountability, and with building my personal brand. You are putting in an inordinate amount of time and effort into your blog – share it with others.
- Blogging comes with great community. From in-person to online, I’ve tested out different blogging groups. For the most part bloggers are normal, real people. Today, I’m proud to say some of my close friends are bloggers.
- It’s hard to stop blogging. As I mentioned at the beginning of my post about what I’ve learned from blogging, I have almost stopped blogging several times. I was about to quit again in 2015, after having a baby. But instead, I decided to learn even more about blogging, found a blogging accountability partner and have become more transparent about my blog goals.
Do you blog now or have in the past? What is your “why”?
*This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.