Your Older Sister: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

 

 

 

I started blogging late in 2012, following my beginning a journey in mental health treatment. Blogging wasn’t completely foreign to me; I had participated in LiveJournal accounts. This post is about advice in regards to blogging. So: here are 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging.

10. Have a plan

When I started blogging, I wanted to track my journey with mental health professionals. Basically, my posts were mostly angry and self-pitying. There was no plan behind my blog, no awareness of niche. In a way, I approached my blogging as a LiveJournal writer might: as a diary.

My assumption was that someone with mental illness would connect with me based on having the same diagnosis, which is a very flawed series of assumptions on my part. Again, there was no planning. I had zero recognition of process and intentions (because there were none).

9. Know Your audience

I am still very guilty of this, because I don’t quite know who the “masses” who visit my blog are. Perhaps I can do polls to get to know them better. For the most part, they are fellow book readers. There’s a lot of common approaches to writing in this community, and I am trying to see what works for me as a writer.

Awareness comes from interacting with your audience (which is something I’m new to). No one is obliged to read your posts.

8. Networking

This networking thing is very strange to me, because I am very bad at approaching people. If anything, my whole book blogging career is owed to Inge. She introduced me to people who are so lovely and kind to me. Then, Ely added me to this group of bold and strong individuals while we worked on the Disability Diaries.

I am not good at making friends, but I’d tell myself to try to comment on more blogs and network better to get a better sense of audience, content, and ways to present myself.

7. write what you like

Shannon always says this on her blog: write what you like to talk about. At first, I was like, “Pfft, Shannon.” But, the more I read her blog, the more I see what she means. The more passionate you are about the topic at hand, the more engaging and interesting your writing becomes. Also, and this is kind of something I didn’t ever consider before, when you write about what you’re truly passionate about, you start connecting with your own people–folks who have things in common with you.

6. keywords and seo plugins

I am very new to WordPress Up until September of 2016, I was using Blogger. Now, with this new web hosting service, I am able to use some nice plugins to help guide me along the way. In a way, these plugins help guide me until I get better at writing posts that are streamlined.

5. Consistency matters

Some people say that if you write amazing posts, you’ll be successful. I don’t agree with this approach to blogging. Instead, I am keen on posting consistently to have a nice batch of content for people to enjoy.

4. Write in Advance

This ties back to posting consistently. For me, I get bouts of heavy depression and general anxiety (along with other issues). Life happens, too. Writing in advance and scheduling posts helps keep the blog consistent, even when you are not actually writing every day.

3. List new ideas somewhere accessible

I like writing in a notebook. Always brainstorm new topics. Explore things that interest you. See what other people are writing, and fill in the holes in the narrative from your own perspective.

 

2. Don’t do it for the money

Blogging is not easy, and I am not sure how one can actually sustain themselves with this job as their main source of income. If you approach it as a business, it loses its fun.

 1. Be Yourself

Finally, remember who you are. Your values and sensibilities are ultimately what will define your blog and its direction. Use writing as a way to chart your development as a thinker, writer, reader, artist, person.

Being yourself is the best shade of you that anyone could ask for. But, also, be open to learn and grow–develop yourself as a person and blogger.

 

  Today, I am sharing some tips on how to find your authentic self. In
I have had depression all my life--this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It's like
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

5 thoughts on “Your Older Sister: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging”

  1. These are great tips!! It is hard to find your people- I know I struggled so much, because it just isn’t in my nature to randomly start talking to people (though I wish it was!) ALSO, it is only pretty recently that I managed to post whatever I felt like- before that, I was so stressed by it too. I think that there just came a time when I was able to let it all go, though I don’t necessarily know how it got there hahah. I write ideas in a notebook too! Sometimes they seem more tangible that way. And I wish so much that I’d have some time to write posts ahead. Because I feel you in regards to the MH issues and sometimes just not being able to write a post. And I have noticed that since the election, I have more and more bouts of just NOT being able to post, but I have nothing written ahead, ugh!

    Also… HOW do you get money from blogging!? HOW? Please, teach me your ways! In nearly 4 years, I have earned about $10. Which is like, one coffee a year. Not great when I have a serious caffeine addiction 😉

  2. This is a great post D – when did you get so wise and awesome?!

    Passion is a must – I’ve been trying to make some blogging income for a while (I’m self-employed and basically cobble together a bunch of side-hustles for my money, thank God my parents give me food and housing) and it’s tough!

    As far as networking goes, I’m always awkward – but I always try above all else to be honest and genuine. It’s better to *be* something than to make yourself *look like* something.

    I’ve also been going by the motto of ‘quality AND quantity’ of traffic – so, doing things that get high(ish) numbers of pageviews, but also working to make sure that people who will actually engage with my blog know about me and/or like me! Lol.

  3. Your blog told me my comment was spam because it had an ‘at’ symbol in the name field 🙁 Luckily I copied it before posting and can just paste it again!

    Not sure I know my audience either, other than book bloggers and maybe some non-blogging readers. But networking is def important and makes all the difference in the interaction your blog gets! I had a hard time with that at first but have gotten better with practice. And writing what you like is always good advice because that’s what keeps you motivated and posting a lot and it really does show when you’re passionate.

    “See what other people are writing, and fill in the holes in the narrative from your own perspective.” I love that advice! I do try to do that sometimes, though unfortunately those are often the posts I chicken out on because I worry there will be a lot of disagreement, or those are the ones that don’t seem to get a whole lot of comments or attention.

  4. Money huh 🙂 I’m impressed you make any at all, that’s so cool? I can’t really monetize with affiliate links much cause Amazon won’t let me (I’m international, I am not allowed to even sign up). Maybe I should put some ad space on my blog… but I haven’t looked into that yet. I just blog for me.
    I believe in both consistency AND good content! Consistency matters, but if you also put out good quality content then everything’s going to work even better! Must do.
    Nice post 🙂
    Your website considers my website URL to be spam cause I don’t have a typical domain, so if you want to find me or visit me back, you can find me as @avalinahsbooks on twitter, cause I’ll have to post my comment without a link. Sorry! 🙂

    1. Evelina, lol, I don’t make money at all and, like you, I’m pretty new to book blogging. Before then, I kind of just wrote random diary-like posts. I have been trying to go back and refocus my posts. My website is a jerk for considering your URL spam. Ugh, sorry about that. I’m still trying to figure out plugins for spam control. I’ll go follow you on Twitter! See you there (and thanks for the comment)

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