Many, many, many years ago when I was at the most embarrassing age of all ages, I began a free site on Matmice (anyone else remember Matmice?), I moved to FreeWebs (which is now just Webs), I moved to a sub domain from a bigger web designer that was just the bomb to me and then someone kindly offered 12-year-old me a domain name for free!
At this domain name of mine I began feeling like I was the bomb and while I was getting comments out of my ears, I wasn’t really blogging – I was just constantly re-designing crappy, celebrity covered layouts. This is where my blogging (if you can even call it that) journey embarrassingly began.
I then gave up when I was among high school life but always wanted to return in a less embarrassing way. So last year, I finally just jumped right into it: bought a domain name and hosting and just hoped I wouldn’t waste my money and would stick to it.
So, since coming back to immersing myself in the online world I’ve seen, read and connected a lot with the blogging world and thought I’d share what I learnt since posting my first post here back in July 2015.
Niches are good and all, but a blog can be your own.
The big part of monetizing a blog is being a part of a niche and appealing to that niche – it is also meant to be more beneficial traffic-wise. However, I tend to see a lot of, what I would call, niche-snobs who turn their nose up at people who blog to blog and don’t necessarily need to put themselves in one box.
Personally, I am in no way the type of person who could put myself in one box at this stage. I don’t consider myself an expert in any area, so if I tried to narrow myself down to one single niche, I’d feel blocked and end up with nothing to say and this website would just sit in a corner on the internet and just sadly watch others have fun.
It is fair enough that niches are good for those passionate about something in particular (and I am envious) but please, give us lifestyle bloggers who like to dabble in a bit of everything a break.
It is hard – the internet waits for nobody
I hate the stigma around blogging being easy and feel for full-timers who get accused of making “easy money.” I don’t even intend to make money from blog at this stage, but even I feel the stresses of putting out posts (trying for quantity and quality), promoting and always improving and learning.
I’m sure even full-timers learn new things all the time because the internet is so challenging, the trends are forever changing and you have to stay in the know and up-to-date to stay relevant. I’ll finish one task I wanted to do to improve my blog slightly, then I’ll read about something else and my to-do list just keeps on growing!
Authenticity goes a long way
When beginning this humble spot on the web, I definitely had inspiration but was definitely not sure of my blogging voice and direction. That was and is okay! But I have gone from feeling fake to authentic and I love feeling authentic over pushing affiliate links at readers that do not care (but experimenting is all a part of the journey, so it’s all okay dude).
I began realising the common thread in bloggers I would immediately follow after simply reading a blog post or two of theirs – an authentic voice, quirks and all! Other blogs, I appreciated their effort and some content, but I didn’t feel it as true. Therefore, this has inspired me to really think about how I come across – I wanna seem like a real person to people reading, because well, to be quite frank, I am actually a real person.
Here I will also mention bloggers who care more about numbers than being real. I appreciate a nice day of nice page views, hell yeah, but I like connections over a view and a lousy comment like “cool post, check out my blog…” I’m sorry, I probably won’t when you make it blatantly obvious you’re just looking for clicks.
Blogging is absolutely thriving
In a class last year one of my journalism tutors said blogging became huge then semi-died due to it not really getting anywhere new. I bit my tongue as it wasn’t a big discussion on blogging, more of a passing comment, but I was thinking noooo way! Maybe old school blogging has died down, but I did not realise the kind of community that was out there of bloggers until I really started becoming a part of it – I mean, the amount of bloggers combined in the 5 Facebook blogging groups I’m a part of would easily exceed 20,000 and 5 Facebook groups is nothing compared to how many are actually out there.
I absolutely love the blogging community. I have been flooded in the last few days and I thought holy wow, best opportunity to get some blog posts under my belt! but instead spent so much time stalking blogs and just falling in love. But I regret nothing.
So, I hope you actually understood some of my excited ramblings about blogging in 2015! I am just feeling so overwhelmingly excited by this year in the blogging world as I fall more in love with the lot of you each day! (Cheesy, but true.)
What did you learn from blogging in 2015?
What are you excited for in 2016?
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