Happy Birthday , Things Helen Loves. My little blog is one year old. It has been quite a year, much has been achieved and much has been learned.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this blogging malarkey would go. I was starting to annoy myself (and the poor husband, although he’s gracious enough to say not) with the number of times we would be doing something, and I’d pipe up, “If I had a blog, Id definitely blog about this…”. I would even get as far as inventing blog post titles and sketching out what I would write, but I never got as far as actually doing it. Until I hit point of knowing I had to either stop muttering like a mad woman about my imaginary blog, and give it a go or abandon the idea. If I let it go, it would niggle me forever more and so I bit the bullet and this blog was born.
One year, one name change and more mistakes than I care to admit to later, blogging is possibly one of the most rewarding things I ever dared myself to do. Hitting publish gives me such a buzz. Every comment, like and follow makes my day. I mean, really makes my day. Discovering a new blog that excites me and getting to know other bloggers is so much fun. The sense of community , inspiration and encouragement in blogosphere is really something.
There is a lot of advice and conventional wisdom out there for new bloggers and I think each person has to figure out what works for them. But reflecting on my first year blogging, these are the things that I have learned along the way.
Get To Know WordPress
I just kinda jumped in. I was excited and didn’t take the time initially to get to grips with things like tags, community pool posting or even the online tutorials such as Learning The Fundamentals. The good thing is, there is no time limit on this and all of these resources are at your fingertips whenever you get round to them. But the sooner the better, getting the hang of these things sooner really will give you and your readers a better blogging experience.
Don’t worry about being too niche.
A lot of advice that promotes the idea a blog needs to be niche to work and I’m not convinced that’s always true. As long as you have an underlying theme to offer some consistency, you don’t need to worry too much about pigeonholing your content. For me, the theme is life in Germany but from those roots I can blog about travel, beauty, food, cultural differences. And on the subject of consistency…
Easier said than done, sometimes. You wont always organically have something to post about. That’s when its time to get creative. Use prompts, create lists, take part in a tag. Not only will this give something to blog about, but you might find it attracts readers and fellow bloggers you might not have connected with when posting from your comfort zone. You just need to keep posting to be present. But blogging is not just about posting so don’t forget to…
Read, Like, Comment, Encourage.
Blogging is personally rewarding, but it’s also a community. Make time to engage and encourage. Keep comments positive and authentic, compliments should be genuine and feedback constructive. And finally…
Don’t Judge Yourself.
You cannot predict what others will find interesting or engaging. Don’t post for popularity, and don’t shy away from writing something meaningful to you because you fear it wont appeal to others. Have faith in the things that are interesting and meaningful to you.
And I have to finish by saying a huge, heartfelt Thankyou. To you, lovely reader. To the people who take the time to read, to like and even to follow me. For the encouragement, for the positivity and for sticking around even when I make mistakes and don’t quite know what I’m doing. Thanks, thanks a million. You, dear reader, really do make me smile and make my day.