One Year Of Blogging: What I've Learned Along The Way
It was the end of 2015 and I was looking over the last 12 months and dreaming about what the next 12 could hold for my life.
And in the midst of planning and dreaming about 2016, I landed on one big and audacious goal (at least for me) I wanted to finally tackle.
And, as you can probably guess from this post's title, that goal was starting a blog.
So after a month of research and planning, I launched this blog in February 2016 and entered into a new journey of writing.
I love writing.
I love reading the writings of others (like all of these books) and I've always loved writing personally as well. From poems to magazine articles, I've been practicing the art of writing for several years.
And this blog has been a big step for me in learning my "writing voice" and developing my writing skills.
For me, it has been really exciting year of learning about writing, websites, and blogs - and also realizing just how much I have yet to learn!
As I look back over the last 12 months, there are several lessons I have learned along the way and I want to share six of them with you.
Here's what I've learned from my (first) year of blogging:
- Writing schedules are important. Things don't just accidentally get written. It takes planning, effort, and intention. Block off a regular time (the longer the better) to work on writing blog posts. And I've found this important because half of the posts I write never get published because I don't like the end product. So a consistent time to get the "bad posts" out of me is also helpful. If you don't schedule a regular time to write every day (or at least several times a week), it's very easy to not post on your blog regularly. And that leads into the next point...
- Post regularly. No matter how often you decide to post - post regularly. You want people to know when to expect new posts and material from you! So whether it's once a week (which I'm currently doing) or once a day, commit to a consistent schedule of blog posts. Be consistent.
- Find your niche. Decide what you want to write about. The more specific you are, the more loyal of a reader base you will be able to develop. If you write some posts on running and some on politics and some on technology, it will be harder to create a consistent following of readers. Narrow down what 'genre' you would like to talk about and focus on that.
- Decide what your writing voice is. Are you writing as an expert? Or as a learner? What you decide to write on will dictate what type of writing voice you decide to use. You can either write as someone who is very knowledgeable on a subject (ex. an Olympian blogging on workout tips and routines) or as someone who is learning about a subject (ex. me writing this blog post about what I'm learning about blogging). But, like the 2nd point, be consistent. Decide your voice and stick to it.
- Keep reading and learning. This point is pretty simple: the more you write, the more you need to learn. To write well, you need to read good writing. And to be able to consistently discuss a subject, you need to continue to read as well. And you don't need to just focus learning more about your 'niche' but also learning about other areas as well. My love of reading historical biographies often impacts my blog post content, as well as my everyday conversations.
- Be relevant. When you write a blog, you readers want the content to apply to their lives. If they don't see it as relevant and applicable, they won't keep reading you blog posts. So make sure you keep your content up-to-date and actionable. (I've found numbered lists and bullet points to help with this.)
Those are six of the most important lessons I have learned over the first 12 months in this blogging journey.
If you blog (or love reading other's blogs), what are other lessons you think should be added to this list? Comment below with your thoughts.