Here’s some good advice for newer bloggers, and those who feel like they’re not getting it right.
Imagine WordPress is a lake, where the waters are calm and still. This morning when I opened the reader, something felt different, almost like a storm was brewing. There were ripples on the normally smooth surface of the water. Sadness, people leaving, people hurting, it kind of knocked me for six a little.
When I started blogging I have to admit I was a little scared. Sure I had experience of WordPress before, but that was on a self hosted blog that no one ever read. The first couple of months contained many days of me stumbling around in the dark trying to find my way, experimenting and generally teaching myself how to publish a post.
For the first while you hang around unseen, watching and hoping one day you are brave enough to comment on that post that you really liked. You quickly find all the ‘cool’ blogs, because…
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I’ve been blogging for 10 years and I still feel sometimes that I’m not getting it right.
Well, that proves you’re nothing if not persistent – and if you’ve been at it ten years, then you might just be setting the standard.
I don’t know about that. Trends have changed so much compared to when I first started, and the blogging platforms I was on previous to WordPress were smaller communities (especially VOX).
Well you have a point there. When I first heard about LiveJournal it was a niche thing to be a blogger – it struck me as more like having a diary online, but I never thought back to that until now. Now that girl who first told me about it is writing freelance for a living, so I wonder if maybe I’m a little late for the train, but I feel like at least WP gives me a larger community platform for my writing.
It really was more like having a diary online– hence the name. I realized that I’d internalized that approach eventually; I remember being at VOX and someone told me my eclectic approach was that “I hadn’t found my voice yet”. What? I had no idea that blogs were supposed to be about something specifically. Then again, I also realized that perhaps some of the novelty had worn off, much like it did with websites. You remember the time where it seemed everyone had a website, right? Well, I think we’re getting that with blogs now, not just with the idea that blogs should have a specific subject rather than be a diary, but also the monetization of blogs– and integration with websites.
Well, there’s something to be said for a site having a blog when the blog serves to inform the readership about certain aspects – a band’s touring experience, the development of a software application (Chrome) or some piece of hardware that was Kickstarted shortly before Apple switched to the Lightning connector (the rapscallions!) (Waldock) but if there’s no rhyme or reason to a blog then they’d probably just drop it after some experimentation. It might seem like everyone has a blog because you’re part of the community, because I honestly don’t know anyone else IRL who actually blogs, even though my wife has one, my sister has one, a classmate who just got his teaching degree, a friend’s fiancee who has vitiligo, but they don’t really post. Those of us who stick with it have to remember that you have to try it before you can say it’s not for you, and because it’s digital I think a lot of people feel less compelled to clean up after themselves, or maybe they intend to come back some day – I left for quite a while after some sporadic posting early on, like a year or two. I was going to delete the blog when I posted the first in what has been almost a year of daily(ish) posting up to this point.