Six Things I’ve Learned in Six Months of Blogging

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I started my blog in mid-February 2014 and it has now been about six months since its inception. If you’ve glanced at my ‘About’ page, you may have read that I started the blog after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and recovering from surgery. Mainly I saw it as a creative outlet and a way for me to find my voice. I have learned a lot in the six short months since I’ve begun the process – some things about blogging and social media in general and other things about myself. I am grateful for all of the people who have visited my blog, commented on my posts, and offered me encouraging advice along the way. Since this is my first blog and foray into the social media landscape, I am glad to have found a community that is so gracious and willing to help out a newbie.

1. Blogging is a Community: And a strong one at that! I have enjoyed following other bloggers and commenting on their posts. Some blogs have become like a morning ritual and my day just can’t start until I’ve seen what they’re doing. I am indebted to a couple of bloggers who took the time to answer my unsolicited emails asking for guidance {a special thanks to Jessi Afshin of The Darling Detail (http://www.thedarlingdetail.com) and Justine Lorelle LoMonaco of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One (http://stopmeifyouveheardthisone.com)}. For anyone thinking of starting a blog, or just needing to ask a few questions, bloggers out there will help you, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Overall, it has been really nice to read people’s comments and connect with people I otherwise would never have known…even if it is only through their blogs.

2. Social Media is Critical: Okay, this should come as no surprise to most, but I must admit that I was a late-bloomer when it came to social media. I have had a Facebook page for less than a week now. I never really saw a need for social media in my daily life until starting my blog. I am surprised by how much I have enjoyed Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest so far. I look at it as an extension of the blogging community.

3. You Don’t Always Need to Have Something to Post About: When I began the blogging process I was afraid I would run out of things to write about. There have been days where I have struggled to put pen to paper — or fingers to keypad– but sometimes those are the days where I just want to be honest with my readers and write what I am thinking/learning/trying to accomplish in my life.

4. Read Everything You Can About Blogging, Social Media and Branding: If you are new to blogging, like me, just setting up your blog can seem daunting (thankfully, WordPress makes it virtually painless and offers plenty of support). Then came all the social media platforms and I was overwhelmed. I decided to tackle one at a time. I began with an Instagram account, then Twitter and Pinterest and finally Facebook. I have found invaluable links on Twitter regarding establishing your brand, making your content stand out, and building an Instagram following.

5. Find Your Voice: In the beginning it was challenging to be personal in such an impersonal way – over the internet. Not knowing my audience was like throwing paint on the wall and hoping it would stick. It wasn’t until I began writing about my thyroid cancer diagnosis, which was difficult but cathartic, that the process became easier for me. My suggestion is just to start writing and to write for yourself – as if nobody is reading your posts. Over time, it becomes easier to develop your own tone and to know what works for your blog and what doesn’t.

6. Tag Your Posts: I started tagging my posts early on, but attaching a few key words can help improve you viewership by allowing search engines to categorize your content better. I try to use words that convey the message of my post, establishments if they are mentioned repeatedly, or categories such as lifestyle, beauty, health, fitness, and wellness.

These are just a few things I have learned along the way. Most importantly, I think it is vital to enjoy the creative space you have and the process of developing content.

What advice would you give a new blogger? How did you get started with your blog?

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7 comments

  1. I don’t “blog,” although I write. I’ve always thought it’s important to be grammatical; you lose respect when you make silly misteaks (uh, right). The other thing is, don’t hit the publish or send button until you are sure about what you’ve got to say. I’m guilty of that myself!

    1. Thank you Lina! I am glad that you are enjoying blogging. It’s such a wonderful creative outlet! Make sure you follow other blogs and bloggers and you will establish your own community. Good luck!

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