I started this blog on January 1, 2010 with my own header and a basic understanding of self-hosted WordPress. I’d read blogs and I had an idea of what I wanted to do. So on the first of this year I spent several hours chatting with Joy from Five Js Design about setting up my blog and designing something fabulous. Which she did!
But now that I’ve been doing this blogging thing for 11-months here at this site (not counting all the years I spent on other platforms doing other projects) I wanted to share Five Things I’ve Learned Since I Started My Blog.
1. People Will Read My Blog. While in the back of my head I knew this, it still, 11-months later, makes me giddy when I look at my site stats and see that hundreds of people came to my blog one day. That is just so cool! It takes time, but most things do.
2. I Will Meet Wonderful People. I could list hundreds of people that I’ve met because of blogging. And I can count many of them as true friends. People who would reach back if I reached out. Yes, you have to put yourself out there and take time to meet people, often in online settings such as Twitter, The Blog Frog, and The Sits Girls and reading other blogs. But when you have an opportunity to meet IRL (in real life) its a very cool thing. It reminds me of my childhood because I had a penpal, Rhonda, since I was about 7 years old. I didn’t meet Rhonda until I was 18, and 30+ years later she is truly my sister. I can see that happening with people I’ve met first online.
3. There Will Be Haters. Some people are just unkind, unfriendly and/or downright rude. I’ve experienced them. But because of the great people I’ve met, I have been able to brush off the run-ins with these people. It happens in every job, every community, every day. Sometimes it’s a person just having a bad day. Other times you find out that the person is just not nice and it’s best to ignore them.
4. Write What You Know and Love. I write about saving money and trying to figure out how to achieve my dreams, big and small. I may not be the ‘go to’ expert in these areas but they’re important to me and my passion and interest comes across and gives depth and dimension to my site. Authenticity is a word you hear a lot in blogging, and it is especially important to be your true self. I’m always amazed that other people are out there who think about the same things I do and want to reach out and connect with like-minded or similar people.
5. Don’t Be Afraid. Just write it and hit publish. Send the emails. Reach out to people. Tweet at people. Leave comments on blogs. Become part of the blogging community. There are people out there that will adore you and be thrilled that they are meeting you. Other bloggers hope people love their posts too, so if you like what you read let them know. Same with twitter. If someone provides a link to an article or post that is meaningful to you, let them know. The computer doesn’t love us. It’s the people on the other side of the screen that makes being part of the online community, involved in Social Media and connected to others via the world wide web that makes this all worth it.
Maybe writing a blog isn’t in your future. But you’ll likely read them. Maybe you’ll get on Twitter. No matter what you do, take a deep breath, stick out you hand and say ‘Hello, my name is….‘. In the online world it’s easy — leave a comment, send a nice tweet, send an email.
I’ve learned a lot more but I think these five things are what are most important to me at this point. What have you learned, either as a blogger or as a reader?