My Blog Journey to Date

My Blog Journey to Date

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Part 5

The Happening
Plenty For 20 – 12
The Happening Today Directory

Introduction …

The 38 Monther Learning Curve! Was included in this small series because it was about traits l think we need as bloggers, writers, and authors alike in varying degrees. Characteristics or even foibles if you wish like – ‘stickability’,self-promotion’, ‘self-marketing’, ‘unconventionality’, confidence, and believing in yourself and your abilities.

With everything l have learned in the last 20 years since l have had a computer and been writing online is that we never stop learning and our journey into success really starts with us.

If you believe in YOU and your Inner Core, you can achieve anything – anything at all, irrelevant to what you may read or hear, the single most important first person in your universe is actually ‘You First – no one else’. A lot of people have trouble with that and it’s not easy to always accept – because a lot of people don’t take the time to put themselves first – they would rather put someone else on the top shelf than them!

What have l discovered in the last 20 years then?

l have learned a lot about life through hard knocks – because l don’t have a Moderation or a Slowdown Button or even just a Take It Easy Button – l have an Off Button and an On Button and then l have a Broken Button!

My life is filled with On, On, Blah Blah, Off! Or On, Blah Blah BROKEN!

Having no moderation button isn’t that bad it just means that at times you get to learn things quicker, you break quicker and you adapt more quickly so as to continue to encourage and motivate the learning curve and catch the ball before it hits you full in the face again!!

In the last 20 years of almost non-stop one speed motion – including the various breaks as well – l have learned so much about who l am and who l want to be. It takes courage to realise and admit certain things about yourself and that if you want to get on – you must push yourself. If you want to learn things you don’t know – you have to keep pushing yourself to learn and if you want others to see you – then you have to put yourself out there!

That philosophy applies to absolutely everything in your life not just writing or blogging, but just life itself. By the way – if you are looking for a typical How To post – this ain’t it … this is however a typical Guy Called Bloke long content post! I have learned a lot during my journey and whilst l knew a lot before, blogging is a quite different fish to other formats of expression…… so without further ado ….

My Blog Journey to Date ….

… what have l learned?

If l had to answer that question with one sentence it would be “You can achieve way more, with way less than you think!” I learned that literally at the end of 2018 and l started to apply it in 2019. Some of you may recall that at one time l was producing between 8 – 15 blog posts per day! Not all my own content – 50% were reblogs.

These days, l don’t reblog anyone’s post directly – l do however, once a month Gift certain posts l have enjoyed reading over the last month to my own readership on the premise they may not have seen the post before. The Gifting is a chicer way to reblog.

I also learned something about Reblogging last year and that was that many bloggers hate to see non-stop reblogging of posts – they like it when it’s theirs being reblogged ironically, but they don’t like to see masses of reblogs in the reader!

I have had an eCommerce blog since July of last year and it doesn’t come with a reblog button …

But it wasn’t just reblogs that annoyed readers, it was also massing of posts and by masses l mean some blogs produce posts every hour and that is off-putting to readers. So, l trimmed down my daily output between 2019 to 2020. In May 2019 l was producing 15 a day and by May 2020 l was producing 3 a day. Today l post with regularity 3 posts daily and occasionally only 2.

Lesson – That You Can Achieve More With Less!

Blogging is no different to anything else in life that is worth doing well. It takes time and effort and hard work. But equally, a blogger and their blog needs Balance to achieve Equilibrium and that can be ridiculously hard to achieve.

To maintain a successful blog – a busy blog or an active blog whichever term sits best with you requires passion and dedication. A lot of new bloggers seemingly believe that you will become a sensation overnight! It does NOT work like that. That time is taken into writing, creating, researching, finding the right images and expressions, rewriting, editing – promoting, marketing, advertising, interacting, engaging, commenting, reading and that is hard work.

Living a life with no moderation button is tougher than many might imagine and over the last three years l have gone from full pelt nervous energy blogging to where l am today – calmer blogging There were times in 2018 that l was so hooked with my blog that l was worried about going out!!

I panicked that l couldn’t get the right posts out or the quantity and that was proving detrimental to my health and my relationship as well. Suze was very tolerant of my behaviours, but they were NOT healthy. I had to break the bad habits and that did take time, but l got there. I came to realise that if l didn’t slow down, l was going to burn out. Burned out bloggers are 10 a penny! I loved my blog and l wanted to be able to enjoy the journey but not feel like l was in a race against myself!

Lesson – Patience is a Virtue and Good things Take Time

For well over a year from the time l started this blog, l did struggle with both the direction and identity …. what my blog was for? Why did l create it in the first place? What did l want to say? What was l trying to achieve?

Those questions stumped me for a long time … because they are differently answered to what my dreams for my blog were.

I learned pretty quickly however, that not all blogs are destined to produce an income and l also learned that not all blogs have to be niched and conventional in their layout to produce an income either – despite what the gurus inform us.

In the early days l read all sorts of articles both here in WordPress and outside about how we were to write our posts, the format required to achieve higher traffic, that niches were the only way forwards for ‘good quality bloggers!’ [Which for the record l still find incredibly pompous]

Eventually as you will have read in the first 3 parts of this series, l started to answer those questions above as well as address my dreams for the blog itself.

I wanted my blog to be uniquely different from the rest and that it didn’t matter if l didn’t know what my direction was … that eventually it would probably show itself and if it didn’t then that didn’t matter. That there was no point in getting all heated up about not knowing the answers to everything straight away … that it was OK, to not know!

But the one thing l have kept from the first day to today clear cut is my personality in the blog – well l hope so anyway. That l wanted to come across to my readership as a genuine person – that the person you read about in the blog is the same person outside of the blog. I don’t have to work hard or try to be someone different that way.

Lesson – Always Be Yourself and True To Who You Are – Be Real!

Over the course of the last six months especially, whilst working with the ‘less is more’ strategy, l have very deliberately worked on producing a lot of variety and eclecticism in my posts, series and features – because what l have learned is – it doesn’t really matter if you are a long content or a short content writer – what matters the most is what you write!

The good ol’ gurus inform us that to improve your reach and traffic flow you ONLY need to produce short content posts! Because readers will only read S/C posts! Sorry folks that is not entirely true! I am not saying it is false, because there are readers who only like S/C but l also know as a L/C writer and reader that people like to read content they can get their teeth into.

BUT …

Readers like to read good quality content and more so if you are writing L/C posts. Funny, engaging, consistent, interesting, and socially responsive content is loved be it long or short!

PHEW!!

One of my main reasons for writing less posts was so that l could concentrate on producing more qualitable written content. Now l don’t get it right every time … but as they say …

Lesson – Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day – Take Your Time With Your Content!

Statistically speaking our analytics or figures if you like – are important to our blogs – but they shouldn’t ruin your day or stress you out. They should be respected and viewed once a day in the very least…

During the first 18 months of this blog, l was dangerously motivated by my stats – if they dropped – l was worried – l never have bought into the whole ‘don’t worry about your figures as they are unimportant theory’ that many bloggers state in some of their posts! But l did worry about those damn figures at one point and quite seriously!

38 months on – l AM no longer bothered by my stats. I view them once sometimes twice a day just to see how things are performing as l do consider that an important part to healthy blogging.

But when l first started l didn’t really understand the figures … now l do and l know which figures are more important over those which are not. I do know however, that many newbie bloggers get worried about their numbers. I have seen bloggers become incredibly stressed at losing followers – blimey thank goodness, that has never bothered me! I started the year 2020 on 2400 followers and here l am in November – so 11 months on and l only have 2472 followers. My rate of growth is way slower than some blogs – but that never worries me – it is what it is.

My advice however is yes your figures are important to your blog, but don’t them control you!

Lesson – Some things are worth stressing about in life – but your figures aren’t one of them!
That You Can Achieve More With Less!
Patience is a Virtue and Good Things Take Time
Always Be Yourself and True To Who You Are – Be Real!
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day – Take Your Time With Your Content!
Some things are worth stressing about in life – but your blog figures aren’t one of them!

As l said at the start, this was NEVER going to be a HOW TO BLOG guide, it was only ever going to be a display of the lessons l have learned since l started my journey with this blog in September 2017. In the three years l have learned so much, more than l have presented here … but these five points alone and in addition to the previous four episodes – have taught me the most.

But there is one key lesson, that none of us should ever forget …. l said it in Part 1 …. l say it again “Without our readers, our blogs have no life – we should never forget that or them!””

This episode concludes also the series Plenty for 20 and l just wanted to say … thanks for reading!

12 thoughts on “My Blog Journey to Date

  1. I really don’t look at my stats very often. Maybe once a week, maybe once a month. I honestly have no idea how my blog is “performing”. My regular readers seem to enjoy it, that’s good enough for me.
    My reasons for blogging are different from yours though, so it makes sense that our approaches would be different.

    🌊🦄💫🧸💌

  2. Out of all the blogs I follow, Rory your blog is my ultimate favourite. Ashley from MH@Home is my second. Your personality shines bright in every single post and I can feel the emotion in your writing. I’ve smiled, laughed, and cried reading your posts. You really are one of the best, not just a blogger but as a person. You’re one in a million Rory, don’t forget that 💚

  3. Another very helpful post Rory. I think my take away from these words of wisdom is to post less. I’ve noticed a fall in comments lately and I think that’s the reason is too many posts. Renard also pointed this out in his post today.

    1. Hey Sadje – thank you.

      You know, and l know you do – we go through various stages as new bloggers until we find our place in the machine. We discover things that work for us, things that don’t. We explore everything we can to better our experience – but at the end of the day, ultimately it always comes down to literally cutting our teeth.

      We learn by trial and error and the best thing is we never stop learning. As said l have learned heaps, l could have tripled that post last night with the aspects l have learned like with engagement, reading, commenting, everything – but we keep learning. Maybe one day l’ll write a bigger ‘Look what l have found! Post’

      Thanks for reading it to the end Sadje 🙂

      🙂

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