While you would have seen experienced bloggers putting out posts what they had learnt along their blogging journey, as a starter-blogger this post is just about my blogging journey since the publishing of my very first post on April 1st this year.
As the year comes to a close, I had a look at my blog-9 months, 9 posts (including this one) and frequency of the posts. Let me be very honest here- I was not very happy with the insights WordPress gave about how my blog was performing and I knew that it needs much more effort and time than what I am putting into it. WordPress can help me with the stats, themes, plugins, SEO and a whole bunch of other stuff.But definitely WordPress cannot help with n number of other factors . I decided to trace my blogging journey so far. It looked like NOT blogging often had actually offered me more insights into what I need to work on as a person rather than a blogger.
So, let’s begin…
I wanted to put out ” the terrific first post ” that would get the reader hooked and he/she would connect with it from the first line and there would be more hits at the star icon and the notification bell will have more things than only likes to show. I can visualize all experienced bloggers slowing shaking their heads saying “Kiddo, dream on!!!…”.Yeah , that was a superb fantasy and in the attempt to make that come true, I read numerous blogs about must-haves for a terrific first post. Another thing that egged me to put out the “perfect” post were the compliments that I received from my friends and colleagues for my work on our magazine.Finally,the first post came a good 6 months after I created a WordPress account and it was written just to kick-start blogging . In the quest for perfection I lost out on experimenting with my blogging and it goes without saying-writing better.
Lesson 1: There is no “terrific” first post. Your first post would be your introduction to the blogging community. So take it easy and don’t sweat about giving a star entry into the blogging community with the first post itself.
I was not ready to take a fall or even stumble and because of that I was afraid of taking the first step.And the journey doesn’t begin without the first step.When it began finally,I realized that I had lost time and most importantly on improving my writing
When I was finally posting at very irregular intervals, keeping up my motivation by reassuring myself that I was “taking one step at a time”, “doing things in my own pace”, eventually I realized I needed to get people to take notice when I post when I saw my blog languishing without much views except for the references from WordPress reader. Even if I spotted interesting stuff that could have become interesting posts, they mostly became ideas-that could-have-been-posts or very late posts.
Lesson 2: Nothing can make your writing better except for writing regularly.
Perfection is just an illusion-there is always a better way any day.
3 posts later I decided to jump into the Community Pool as I wanted to hear from other bloggers out there and I thought that 3 posts ( and maybe another 2 posts on the way ) was enough to take a dive into the Pool . Yes, the Community Pool helped my posts to reach out to wider audience. Some of them did not stop with reading the articles-they gave their opinions on the posts, some fantastic book recommendations and tips on how to improve my writing.
After another lean period of blogging, during which I read some really awesome posts and even better, discovered some wonderful bloggers, I was all fired up to put out something even if it was a month late. I wrote this post the same way as I did my very first post- I started putting out the content directly on WordPress and all editing and spellcheck was done there only and I hit the publish button on the same day. If any of my roommates had taken a peep at my laptop on what I was working on in the “it’s – now- or – never” style, I would have got some weird looks.
The extensive reading about blogging which I did during the period when I did not write helped me to a certain extent but EOD it’s only the content and for a starter definitely writing as often as one can is the only thing.I had decided by then that all the Pinterest blogging prompts, tips to grow your blog traffic Xx times in Y months and a whole lot of blogging related extensively informative articles’ ideas can be implemented later. I need to get a decent number of posts in the blog. I can very well imagine how people feel when they get to very few posts in the Archives section. And, then came quite a decent number of posts.
Lesson 3: If you go with research which is a good thing (not only by itself), you should also have some good number of posts to actually start out with the other things that would give your blog more visibility.
There is a saying which goes “Life can only be understood backwards ; but it must be lived forwards” . So, tracing my blogging journey so far is a step in that direction . In an optimistic note,let me count my contributions rather than the blessings as Sheryl Sandberg says. And if not during the initial months, I am happy about how much I was able to write during November and December.I believe that the contributions which we are able to make despite several roadblocks themselves are blessings in disguise.That’s because they make you stretch your limits and definitely motivate you better than anything or anybody .
As the countdown to the new year nears the end, I wish that 2018 becomes a year where we all do better each new day and realize our dreams . Until the next time then….Ciao!!