Tuesday 22 August 2017

How to stick with blogging for 10 years

The computer monitor precariously balanced on phone books was covered in dust again, but with an unexpectedly long nap from the not-quite 6 month old non-sleeping baby girl, the internet had become an escape from the juggle of life. Facebook was still a month away from introducing itself to me, so hours lost in chat forums was the norm. On this particular day, the discussion was about blogs.

"Is it easy to set up?" said one participant.

"Sure," I said "I've done it before"

"So what do you use it for?" asked another member.

"I'm going to share my scrapbook layouts" responds a third person.

"Wow," said I, "that's a great way to use it!"

And the rest, they say, is out there for the world to see for forever.

From sharing scrapbook pages, to collecting memories, and imparting knowledge, this space has become part of the framework of my life. I can't imagine a time when it wasn't  important to my days (even when I'm lost in the spiral of self-doubt, trying to find a path back to writing is important) Content may change, but reading and writing is always important (who would have thought I'd love creating videos so much? Certainly not me!)

1 - Blogging is a long-term game

Sure, there's people on Pinterest who will tell you they made four figures their first month, but if you look closely at their break down, it's never quite true. (As Melanie Miller points out, there's a big difference between $1000 and $9999)

2 - It doesn't matter what other people think

I was listening to a podcast when I suddenly heard a comment that I knew was directed at me. The host said "brand identity doesn't just mean your text is purple." (There's a whole story about how I knew it was me they were talking about, but that's for maybe one day.) But my point is that if you like something, whether it's purple text, or writing about frogs, stick with it, because if you're not passionate about it, it isn't going to stick for you.

3 - Write what you know (or want to know)

There's some truth in the idea that you should write about what you know. But it's even more fun to write about what you learn as you grow. (This post from Megan Blandford explains more.)

4 - Perfection is overrated

There's an overwhelming number of people in Facebook groups caught up in names, and design, and planning the content, and the Pinterest templates, and on and on.

For God Sake, just start!

Yep, it's harder to do all that stuff once you start writing, but if you don't write, you have no need for all the other stuff.

5 - Stock photos are boring

The internet is built on images, so it stands to reason that images are a vital part of writing a blog post. They should support and enhance the story that you're telling with your words. But finding the right stock photo can be hard work. Using your own images is always unique, even if you have to stage your own flatlays or take photos of flowers.

6 - Have a purpose that isn't "make money"

Every man and his dog will tell you that remembering your why will help you put one foot in front of the other, but despite my many years of reading and writing, I didn't truly get this until just recently. "Making money" helps pay the bills, but it doesn't inspire passion, or loyalty in tough times. But writing to remember your story, telling your story so someone else doesn't have the same experience, making mistakes so your kids don't have to, that's a great purpose.

 7 - You will find friends in unexpected places

Blogging is a popularity game. Making money comes down to traffic, and who you know. But when you comment often enough on someone's posts, eventually friendships develop.

8 - Sometimes you will hate everything you write

We are our own worst critics. Whether you are trying to grow your audience, or write a sponsored post, or just capture memories for the future, sometimes you will hate the words you've written. That's ok, but don't let it take over your thoughts. Just remember, it's a bad day, not a bad life. Close the editor for today, and try again tomorrow.

9 - Read your archives occasionally

We all start somewhere, and we were all terrible at it. Going through your archives shows how far you've come, how much you've changed, and how much you've yet to learn. Those posts are gold, so go read them again.

10 - Ignore everything I've said

If you remember your purpose, write because you love it, and you're in it for the long haul, blogging can be absolutely anything you want it to be. Write because you don't have anything to say, include affiliate links in every post, listen to all the experts; do what you want, how you want to, just get on and do it!

You can read past blog birthday posts here - nine, eight, seven, six, five, three *

*  I've been celebrating on the wrong day for the last four years!

How long have you been blogging for? What don't you know?

Linking up with Kylie Purtell for IBOT


  1. Bahaha I love your last comment - blogging for me has gone up and down. I started 4 years ago - wrote religiously and commented every where then lost it for a while. I now only do it purely for fun.. #teamIBOT
    P.: congrats on 10 years.

  2. Yep all true. I'm in my 7th year. Started in 2011 and I had a bit of an epiphany recently about it. That said I also went back through my archives and any photo older than 4 years I think was loaded onto photobucket and all of them are currently blocked because of the changes to photobuckets policies. Not sure what I'm going to do about that.

  3. I made a choice not to delete my first posts as they are both a good example for me and others. And HAPPY 10th bloggy birthday! That is a major milestone.

  4. Great post! I've been blogging for just three years with some big breaks. It's definitely a slow-burner and a labour of love.

  5. Happy anniversary... my site started as a non-personal one and is usually that. But there are wee posts in there that nobody reads and they do track us a bit through the years. In many ways, I do regret a lot that I don't write a personal blog too. I have tried but I never stick with it... anyway, I'm still very motivated by writing posts that encourage people to get out and about with their kids. Fresh air for families! Always great to sit back and take stock... and always, always to do your own thing.


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