Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

5 things I have learned about blogging

I've joined Twitter! Two days ago. Yes, I know, I'm waaay behind. I'm one of those people who are deeply distrustful of any new invention: Didn't get my first smart phone until 2 years ago, I still drive a car where you have to manually lock and unlock the doors (don't even get me started on those fob thingies - how can you trust a car that drives without a key?? It's beyond me), and don't own anything from Apple. This is an i-free zone.
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The picture has nothing to do with this post. Except that I like it. And, you know, it has pumpkins in it and a bird.
Bird for Twitter? Pumpkins for October? Let's go with that.  

Actually, to be completely honest here, I did try out Twitter shortly after it first came out (in 2006, can you believe it?), but without a phone or laptop to use it (and not really knowing who to follow) I gave it up pretty quickly. Can you imagine having to log on to your desktop computer for a tweet?
Yup, it's awkward.
Well anyways, the whole point of this spiel is that I've finally re-joined the movement, and enjoying a whole new world of stalking possibilities. In case you want to stalk back (please do!), click here.

And this leads me to my first point about blogging.
I don't want to claim that I know a whole lot about it (I don't), but I love it so much. After 7 months and 7 days (not that I'm counting) I enjoy it more than ever. It's my little heaven on earth, this place here, and it makes me very happy. But before I get sidetracked yet again, here are the 5 things I have learned so far:

1. Network your little heart out.
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Seasoned bloggers can't stress enough how essential networking is. And also how much they enjoy it, how you can create real relationships and friendships from blogging.

I started very slowly, and focused more on just writing for a few months. That's what felt right to me. Then I sponsored a couple blogs, and I really recommend it: You build new relationships, get more traffic, find new blogs.
It's fun and not expensive (unless you want to sponsor some of the really big blogs).
Now I signed up for Twitter because I keep hearing what a great networking tool it is. It may take me a while to figure out how to properly utilize it, but I will get there!


2. Engage with your audience.

That one I'm sure you all have heard time and time again, but it is so important. Respond to comments. Visit other people's blogs, and if you like it leave a nice, non-generic comment for them. The other blogger most likely is like you in that regard, it will brighten their day just as much as it does yours!  Be grateful and appreciative and tell your readers once in a while.

3. Do whatever feels right to you, ignore "the rules".

Yes, this is my rebellious piece of advice to you! I tried so very hard to find a category in the beginning. To "brand" myself.
And I couldn't really fit into any of them (you can read about it here). For a while there I was disheartened and doubted myself. What does it say about me if I can't even find a proper place to fit in?
I'm interested in a lot of things (books, clothes, dogs, photography, inspirational stuff, thinking about life in general, road trips, yoga), but I don't know enough about any of these things to educate other people or ever do tutorials.  I'm not a 20-something blogger. (Missed that boat by 4 years.) Not a mommy blogger. Not a DIYer. And so on... you get the drift. So I followed the advice of older and wiser people: Follow your heart, do what's right for you.
I post whenever the fancy strikes, don't have a "set program", don't try to do whatever is popular right now. It just wouldn't work for me. Stay true to yourself!

4. FORGET ABOUT THE NUMBERS!

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Yes, shouty caps are in order. It can suck the life and fun out of it if you get too worried about followers, page views, and all that jazz. I have seen several bloggers take breaks, be discouraged, or even give up blogging because of it.
There have been days where it made me feel like a failure when I lost a follower, or the number seemed stuck.
You know what really helped me get over that? Learning that everybody out there feels the same way. It was such an eye opener! That one doesn't only apply to blogging, it applies to life in general: All those fears you have, the things you worry about and insecurities that make you feel insignificant? Other people have them too.
And not only a select few. Nope. Every single person you will ever meet is afraid of something, has lost something and loves something. (I read that on pinterest once and really, really like it.)
For some reason, that realization took the stress away for me. And I hope it will for you, too!

5. Enjoy it!

Simple, but the most important part. If you have fun with your blog, it will shine through. And after all, that's the reason why we started, right?

My first GIF. This is supposed to showcase pure joy.  
What pieces of advice do you have about blogging?

xoxo Miriam
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7 comments

  1. I couldn't agree more with the above. First and foremost you should enjoy blogging and not just do it solely for the numbers!
    And welcome to twitter. I go through phases with twitter where I love it and then it fades into the background and then I remember how much I like it again.

    xx

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    1. Thanks! As of yet Twitter is still a strange, foreign land to me, but I will hopefully get the hang of it soon!
      xo

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  2. I love your points above! There are too many "blogging rules" out there but the truth is that everyone is different and should blog differently. A blog should reflect a person's personality, and I like blogs about many different things, Because I like reading about people's lives and events in life. You definitely do not have to have a "niche", blogs without one are more interesting in my opinion, unless it's a topic I'm really passionate about. And DIY blogs are boring.
    I don't use Twitter much because I think people tend to be so antisocial there, they post their little things there but don't really chat, and I see that as a little pointless.

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  3. they're great advice. networking is the one I don't do well but everything's make-mistakes-and-learn kind of process for blogging.

    one rule I would say is never apology for posting something you thought didn't interest people. as we all know, people are fickle and you'll never know what their interest are.

    have a great day.

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  4. Great advice, Miriam! I am the same way. My blog doesn't really fit into any category either. I just write what is on my mind/in my heart.

    Following you on twitter now too!

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