“Old 2019” is quickly coming to an end. Christmas is just two and a half weeks away and the New Year will make a grand appearance a week after that.
There are a few bloggers I follow who have far more experience as yours truly and graciously offer up tips and insight on becoming more successful at this wacky craft called “having your own blog.”
But, that’s not to say you can’t learn something, regardless of how small “that something” might be from any bloggers out there that work diligently week after week at their craft.
This was originally posted back in March of this year. Since that time and until the end of November, we averaged now around 925 views per month and 680 visitors per month. And like I wrote in the March post, I have no clue what those numbers mean if they mean anything at all.
Having said this, there are a few things or nuggets that I can share that will have relevance to many bloggers out there, whether you’re brand new at this or have been at it for a while.
From March 2019..
First off, if you’re here reading this thinking all of your blogging worries and concerns will be magically solved and that you’ll be the next “big deal” in the blogosphere, sorry mate you’ve clicked into the wrong page.
However, having said that, why not stick through this with me.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the past two and a half years is this. You never know what small and seemingly insignificant nugget of information found in what may look like just another random blog post could make the world of difference.
I started this blog back in the summer of 2016. It was our way to share with others the outdoor adventures that Lynn and I were having and to inspire others regardless of the point they may currently be in, to get outdoors and experience all that nature has to offer.
Since starting though, things in regards to the blog have grown and evolved in terms of content and such.
Although I certainly was “committed and serious” from the very start back in 2016, it was during the summer last year(2018) that things got “more serious and more committed.”
I decided to join some online social media blogging groups thinking this might be the way to sky-rocket my way into the stratosphere in terms of followers and exposure across the blogging universe. They were fine in what they provided and such but found they required FAR MORE TIME THAN ANTICIPATED networking within the group.
When I couldn’t commit to the time required, I felt guilty, like I was somehow abusing the group.
Needless to say, I’ve stopped that time waster. I know it may work and be beneficial for some, but it wasn’t in the cards for me.
Prior to getting seriously serious in the summer of 2018, here’s where I was at:
For June 2018
- 166 views
- 127 visitors.
Not very impressive to say the least. The numbers were what the numbers were.
Now, as of the end of February 2019, I’m averaging 750 views and 513 visitors per month.
What does it all mean?
I haven’t a freaking clue in terms of whether the numbers are good or not.
It does show that in that eight-month period, we’ve experienced growth and that I conclude is a good thing. I think the growth can be attributed to creating good content that connects with others while at the same time cultivating relationships with those in the blogging world whom you like and respect and who like and respect your writing and content as well.
Nevertheless, here are five things I’ve learned since starting the blogging journey.
Write From The Heart
If this doesn’t apply to you, because your blog is about the latest and greatest trends in fashion, well that’s all right. Thinking about it for a second, perhaps fashion is what gets you going. Oh well.
I write from my heart. I write and blog on those elements of life and how they intersect with the outdoors and nature. That is the thing that comes naturally to me. It’s like those emotions and experiences of life can be illustrated and written about through what nature and the great outdoors and teach us.
For me, writing from my heart; that spot that is so very deep within my soul creates at least the potential for good/great content. And isn’t that what you want for your readers and followers; great content with that emotional “right hook” that smacks them right upside their head?
If I am, and to use a well-worn cliche, “not feeling it” there is no use writing about it at that point. Everything then for me becomes a forced and painful exercise, leading to frustration and moving on to something else for the morning. That’s not to say, the draft won’t revive itself and find life published at some point in the future, but I have lots of “draft posts” sitting there and the heart just isn’t feeling it for any of them.
Writing from that “well” which is deep within my soul; the agony, pain and emotions of life, spilling out on the keyboard has been in my experience the posts that resonate and connect most deeply and profoundly with readers and followers.
Remember though, it can take time to get the courage; the nerve; to be vulnerable; to hang yourself out there for all to read about.
It did for me to get to that point to hit “publish.”
Also remember, there are many out there that are in the same boat as you and need to read what you have to say. Some are at a point in their own path or journey that what you’ve experienced and are sharing with them, can make a world of difference.
Perhaps change their destiny
Don’t be afraid to write from the heart.
Write/Post When You Can
Experts or those experts that I’ve read indicate that consistency of posting on your blog is a key element.
One question that pops to mind is how consistent is consistent? Daily, weekly, bi-weekly, every 3.5 hours or some random combination.
I am not a full-time writer. And I suspect, not many of you are either. Like most, I hold down a full-time job, that requires me to up by 3:15am; out the door by 4:00am and not returning home until 6:00pm. There are some days getting home is earlier, but my four-day workweek is full. That was a choice we made to only work four days a week. Best decision we made in many years!
As such, I can only commit to writing and my blog in the early mornings on my three days off and before Lynn gets up. Once she’s up, we like to get outdoors and take on yet another adventure or we have other commitments that we need to take care of.
Do I post every week?
I try to for the most part. But, going back to the first point, if I’m “not feeling it” it is unlikely that new a post gets written and subsequently gets published. Now, having said that, I have in the recent past gone back and revised earlier posts and re-blogged those.
What’s my point then?
I don’t get all “whigged out” or too upset if nothing gets published on my days off. Life happens; things happen; sometimes the “well” isn’t pumping water that day.
I try to remember that this is my outlet. My creative “thing” that brings me joy and soothes my soul.
If you feel the need and push to publish each day or whatever the schedule is that works for you, then great – go for it.
I post when I can and when the post is ready for me to hit “publish.” Once, twice or even three a week or great. If it doesn’t happen, there is always next week.
Need I say more?
If this stops being fun and not enjoyable anymore, then from where I sit, it would be time to pack it in and move on to discover another outlet.
I have written before that blogging, on the subjects I do, is a cathartic exercise. Allowing me to deal with, grow and move through life’s challenges and past experiences. It is also my creative outlet. As painting, sculpture or photography may be the creative exercise for others, writing and blogging are for me.
Doing what soothes your soul at even its basic level should be enjoyable, shouldn’t it? If it wasn’t, why invest the time and heartache to do it?
Enjoy doing it – enough said.
Challenge and Push the Envelope
This can mean whatever you what it to mean.
For me, it meant several things.
First, to get to the point to challenge myself to write and blog about issues or topics that I knew were touchy or difficult issues for people and thus difficult or painful for me to write about. This always means vulnerable and hanging your emotions out there for people to get a darn could look at.
Not all of us want the world to see and read how messed up we are or messed up we were.
Doing this can be tough and a challenge for sure. Therefore, it can take some time getting to this point, if this is where you what to go and eventually end up at. Maybe some people never get to this point and that is okay too.
Challenge yourself to be provocative; push the outside of the limits of things; dare to be slightly or significantly different than those others blogging around the same issues.
The second for me was to challenge myself creatively. Up until just a week or so ago, all of my writing and blogging were long-form. Simply what most of you may do and read.
For 2019, one goal was to move in other creative directions and to try different genres of writing.
So, with that in mind, I moved into creating poetry as another way to express myself.
I can emphatically and somewhat triumphally state, I know less the zero about poetry. But, not letting that hold me back, I’ve found that writing poetry challenging, difficult, but rewarding beyond my wildest dreams.
One mantra that I often bellow out is, “that if you’re not moving forward; you’re not remaining in the same place either; you’re moving backwards.”
Challenge yourself and push the envelope of your writing and blogging
Lastly – Find and Follow The Advice of Bloggers Who Are Great at This
It seems funny at this point in the narrative, but this has been the greatest thing I’ve learned since heading off on the blogging expedition.
If you desire to be a great Doctor, you learn and are taught by great Doctors. The same principle applies here.
If you want to be a great or at least a better writer or blogger, follow and learn from someone who has and is doing well.
Read what they have to say. Study what they have done. Examine their blog sites. Pick the points they make that have the most relevance to your own situation. Then go ahead and implement them and see what happens.
Have I taken to heart each and every point these bloggers make? No, of course not. But, I have tried to work some of them into my situation.
The biggest and most important element I work at each time at the keyboard is that content is king. Having great content trumps all other elements. You can promote the crap out of your blog, but if your content sucks it is unlikely people will return for a second visit.
Here are two bloggers that I follow that are doing it well; if not great.
Well, that’s it
All of what I’ve learned from two and a half years in this wild and wacky world of blogging.
If you managed to find a nugget here that may help you move forward in your own blogging journey, then this post is well worth the time it took to compose it. If not, that was 10 minutes in your life, you’ll never get back.
One last question though, what have you learned since you started blogging that others may find to be the one thing that could help them the most?
Thanks for reading.
— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —