A year ago today I launched my blog, so for this week’s post, I thought I’d give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who reads, comments, and follows me on my weekly ramblings about my own writing journey and the writing tips and advice I’ve learned along the way.
I really do appreciate that anyone at all reads what I post, and the support, discussions, and fellow bloggers I’ve come to know in this past year certainly have made writing weekly blog posts worth it.
Launching a blog was something I avoided for a long time, mainly because of the writer’s ever-present side-kick, self-doubt, but I’m glad that I have. So if you’re reading this and still sitting on the fence in regards to starting your own blog (or you have only just started your own blog), here are the 6 things I learned in my first year of blogging.
1. You Will Actually Enjoy It
Sure there are weeks when you can’t think of a blog post topic, let alone spew out 500-1,000 words on said topic that are actually coherent, but that’s the fun and challenge of blogging!
And yes, having to write blogs does take away from writing fiction, but during those weeks when I’m endlessly editing, writing a blog post is the only time I do any type of new, creative writing, and that makes it enjoyable.
Blogging also helps you build a writing habit, work to a deadline, and hone your skills. The best way I’ve learned to tighten up sentences, complete an idea in a paragraph, or write in a consistent voice has been through crafting blogs posts. It’s enjoyable and it’s educational.
2. You Need To Be Organized (Although I Never Am)
I’m not going to sugar coat it, putting together a blog post is work. You’ve got to think of a topic, write it, do some research, and make graphics. Being organized with these aspects is the key to creating regular blog posts with as little stress as possible.
When I decided I was going to launch a blog, I intended to spend a day each month writing at least the first draft of 4-5 blogs to give myself a head start on the month ahead. Do you know how many times I’ve done that in the last 12 months? Zero.
Instead, I usually spend one day a week getting one blog post done, and more often than not, that one day will be the day before I need to publish. It’s not ideal, and sometimes I feel like I’m really scrambling to get everything done, but that’s just life sometimes. So be organized with your posts if you can, and if you can’t, just do what you have to do so that you can hit publish as regularly as you want to.
3. The Posts That Work Are Always The Ones You Least Expect
I base my posts on things I’ve learned, writing I’m doing at the time, or writing topics I’d like to read about on a blog. Sometimes these posts get lots of views and comments, and sometimes they don’t.
It’s unpredictable which posts will resonate with readers. My most popular post, for example, is Writer Resolutions For The New Year (And How You Can Achieve Them). I’d been blogging for six months when I published it and it was the first thing I’d written after a week-long break from writing. I didn’t expect it to be read by anyone outside of the few hundred followers I had at that time. The blog, however, was picked by a WordPress editor to be featured in the discover feed, and my views and followers just skyrocketed after that. To this day, halfway through the new year, it’s still a post that gets read weekly, and not something I ever thought would happen at the time I pressed publish.
When it comes to blog posts, you never really know what is going to work, so just go with it. Write what you want and enjoy it regardless of whether it’s read and liked by 1 person or 100.
4. You’ll Feel Like No One Is Reading (But They Are)
When you first start blogging, you will feel like no one is reading and you’re just shouting into the void. Even one year in with more followers than when I started, I can still post a blog where it feels like no one was interested in reading it. The more you blog, though, the better you’ll get and your voice will become more consistent. You’ll also find other wonderful bloggers and writers who will connect with what you write and re-blog your posts. So even if you feel like you’re failing or that no one is reading, just keep posting and don’t get hung up on the stats. When you enjoy what you write and do it with passion, readers will respond.
5. You’ll Still Find Typos
Even though there are days where I’m rushing to throw a blog post together, I still read it half a dozen times or so before I press publish. Does that mean my blogs are perfect and typo free? Of course not! I still find typos, even weeks later, and chances are that you will too. I’ve learned to accept it and move on, and to fix any if I happen to see them.
6. It’s Okay To Be Scared To Do It
Like receiving rejections, blogging does get easier the more you do it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never doubt if what you’re about to post is worth reading, or that just starting a blog is even something you want to do at all. All writers write, but not all writers blog, and that’s okay.
Unfortunately for the introverted writers, having a social media platform is a must in today’s publishing world, and if you haven’t started querying yet, you’ll soon discover that publishers and agents will expect you to have some type of social media because they will ask about it in the submission process, but social media and blogging are as hard as you make them, so what do you have to lose?
It’s fine to be scared, but also give it a try. If you decide blogging is not for you, then it’s not for you. But you could also find that it’s another creative outlet that helps you grow as a writer, which is never a scary thing.
So there you have it, my 58th blog post full of 6 lessons from 1 year of blogging. Thank you once again for reading, and if you have any blogging tips/lessons of your own, be sure to leave them in the comments.
— K.M. Allan