10 things I learned from my 6 months blogging

This week marks my 6 month blog anniversary!

6 months? How did that happen? In some ways it feels like I hit publish on my first post just yesterday. The day I created this blog I was so overwhelmed by the very basic process of creating an account that I had to step away not really knowing if I’d ever sign back in to write that very first post. I did write it– and I’m just so glad that I pushed through my fear and started to share my life with you fine folks. You all are so incredibly wonderful and have truly made the last 6 months an amazing experience for me.

What started out as a “let’s see what happens” type of adventure has really stolen my heart. I enjoy giving my thoughts a voice and sharing tid bits of my life with you fine folks. But, most importantly, I love communicating with you guys and hearing your thoughts, experiences and opinions. Blogging has become an integral part of my day to day life and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

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It hasn’t been easy though. There have been many days plagued with self doubt, newbie mistakes and questioning “what’s the point?” This tiny piece of internet real estate is truly my happy place and along the way I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with you today.

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Staying true to your voice can be harder than it seems. I realized pretty early on that my “thing” with regards to blogging is writing about topics that pull at my heart strings. If I’m not passionate about it then I can’t write about it well. Mer often tells me that I’m a terrible liar and that when something displeases me you can see it all over my face. This notion really applies here – I can’t be someone I’m not. My “things” seem to keep coming back to advocating for breaking down the taboo surrounding pregnancy loss, being real (sometimes overly so) about the challenges I face as a rainbow mum and challenging ideas that literally keep me awake thinking obsessively at night (two spatulas anyone?). This is who I am – this is what I’m like offline and so it would only make sense that I portray a true version of myself here in this virtual space. Writing from these perspectives is tough sometimes – writing about loss, about anxiety/depression and often feeling like I’m losing myself to motherhood makes me unlike most mom bloggers which scares me and leaves me feeling judged at times. But, I can’t help it and it wont change because this is my story and by consequence my voice.

Engaging with my readers is the best part. I never thought anyone would read my blog. It sort of started out as a way to just put down all those ideas whirling around in my brain. Then, something happened and you fine folks started popping in and taking the time to communicate, share ideas and support me. Can I just tell you how much I love your endless support, kindless and encouragement? I love hearing what you all have to say so please keep your ideas coming! You guys are absolutely the best part of this journey.

Being consistent is key. I’ve been experimenting a little with post frequency lately. My typical schedule is a Monday, Wednesday and Friday type of deal. It works and I don’t feel overwhelmed by the blog which is the way it should be I think. I’ve experimented with upping my post frequency to 5 times a week and felt frazzled, disconnected and overwhelmed. Being consistent is so important to growing your readership and maintaining a sense of community in the blogging world but, at this point in my life and my motherhood journey, 3 posts a week is plenty and I’m okay with that.

Writing blog posts is only a small part of blogging. The actual process of blogging involves so much more than simply writing posts – who would have thought?. Beyond the actual writing part of it, there’s communicating with you fine folks (which I love), publicizing content on various social media platforms (I tend to stick to instagram and twitter), editing images and researching post ideas. I spend less time writing and more time figuring out the rest which was really surprising.

Social media is your friend. Social media is such an important part of the blog world and until I jumped in head first I had no idea just how useful it was! I’m not overly active on channels like twitter, instagram or pinterest but have started putting more effort into putting myself out there via those platforms. Most popular bloggers will tell you that growing their readerships stemmed from having active social media accounts and so I’m dabbling with being more consistent there as well.

Don’t obsess about the numbers. At around the 3 month mark I started to get really wrapped up in the numbers: number of visits, number of comments, number of shares you get the idea. Curiously, it was around this time that I jumped into monetized the blog (update post coming soon) and realized just how important those numbers appeared to be to potential media companies. I went weeks scrutinizing my traffic and trying to find ways to boost my readership then, I realized that by doing that I was falling out of “love” with my blog. Blogging was becoming a chore because I was so consumed by the numbers I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing here anymore. Now, I hardly look at the stats because those stats really don’t mean much. For a relatively low-traffic blog my engagement levels are rather high and I’m good with that since communicating with other like minded people was my goal from day one.

The blog will be there tomorrow. Blogging can be incredibly consuming if you allow it to be. The internet is 24/7 and technically there’s always something you can be doing online that is blog related. I caught myself falling into that rabbit hole back in January and thankfully I was able to acknowledge that I was spending far more time online than necessary. The blog will be there tomorrow – you can’t be “present” all the time ya know? Take time for you- readership building, comment replies, emails and social media can wait.

Be patient. Seeing “progress” however you qualify it takes time. Growing a blog takes patience, hard work and dedictation. You need to really come back to your space and continue to put one foot in front of the other.  Clearly, all bloggers want their posts read, liked and commented on – that’s why we blog and not write a paper journal right? But, the blog world is infinite and often our posts (however great) are hidden in obscure corners of the internet unread and unnoticed by readers. It takes time to grow a readership, it takes time to build that sense of community but slowly it will come. < — I continuously remind myself of this one.

It’s a lot of work. So so much work but I love it which makes it a pleasurable pass time for me. I get far less sleep than I did pre-blog but that’s okay, I enjoy what I’m doing and don’t mind investing the time and effort. Having said that, it takes at least 10 times more time than I initially thought it would. There’s a ton involved in writing a blog that you hope others will read.

Ask questions. Bloggers are generally friendly and willing to share their knowledge. If you’ve got a question just go for it and ask! Some will respond to you while others wont which is fine. In my experience the bloggers I’ve reached out to have been kind, helpful and willing to help me which I’m incredibly grateful for.

With that, here are my top 5 posts from the last 6 months:

QOD

Do you blog? If so, how long have you been at it?

What is one thing blogging has taught you so far?

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Author: Jenny

I'm Jenny, a 30-something mama to 1 living child and 5 angels. I live in a tiny blue cottage in a small suburb outside a major Canadian city. I live here with my miracle baby Margs, my husband Mer, my pup and my 2 cats. I blog about a bunch of different things including parenting, frugal living and minimalism. Feel free to subscribe to my blog and follow me on instagram, twitter or bloglovin.

71 thoughts on “10 things I learned from my 6 months blogging”

  1. I’ve been blogging for 8 months now. I love it, but it is hard work. I recently have become obsessed with the numbers, and as you say I am finding it to become more of a chore which is the opposite of why I started. Great post, especially the part about being true to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for reading! I think we just all need to do our thing and not focus so much on the numbers. Some of my very favorite blogs don’t get many visits at all. It’s all about quality I suppose 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the 6-month blogiversary! Appreciate the lessons learned. I didn’t pay attention to the numbers, still don’t and probably will continue to ignore them. For 4.5 years, I had a “private” blog as this was something I used for my own purposes, but now, the last 5-6 months it’s been public and I’ve slowly added followers. The one thing that I didn’t anticipate and learned very quickly, blogging is so much more about the people that choose to read and comment than it ever is about the writing, that isn’t to say the writing isn’t important as that is what draws people to your blog. It’s a balancing act for sure, and the ones that figure out how to make it work for them are the ones that last. In the last 5 years, I’ve followed people that stuck it out for only a few months and still following people that are approaching 5+ years like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t we recognize everything you say?! oh yes. Awesome post, so fascinating to read your own feelings and past struggles about.

    Congratulations on your milestone, and up to the 6th YEAR! Now I’m going t that first post of you…

    Over 3 days, my will have the 3 months mark. I think I will put up an anniversary post on the 12th.

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  4. My blog’s anniversary is actually this month *tosses confetti* and I can say that it has taught me a lot. I really think the biggest thing is just not letting things hold me back. I write about what I want to write about. Certainly I’ve learned that timing is everything especially when it is appropriate to post on a certain topic. At great deal of what I write about as far as the more personal posts come from my every day life, so I have to be careful about when I post certain things. I.E. has this blown over enough that I can post this now to address the issue in general? and so on.

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  5. I’ve been blogging on and off since 2005, but I came to wordpress about 4 months ago. I started back up because I felt my creativity slowly slipping away. I used to be a constant writer. I was always writing poems, or stories, or just scribbling away in a journal, but over the past few years with all of the other distractions of life, I just quit. It wasn’t because I wanted to as much as I just didn’t have the time for it. Eventually I started realizing that my creativity is a passion and I should find a way to make time for it. I’m still not thrilled with the quality of my work, as it hasn’t progressed as it should since I took so much time off, but that’s starting to get a little better. Blogging has really taught me how much writing and creativity is important. Life isn’t all about work and stress, you really need to take time out for things you love. I do most of my blogging while at work, because quite honestly I have a pretty “boring” job. It helps to pass the time and cultivates my creativity at the same time. I do want to thank you for all you share, I can imagine some of the things you discuss can be very hard for you. I’m glad the community has been helpful and supportive, and I know I enjoy reading your content. Congrats and keep up the good work!

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  6. Jenny,

    I started blogging as a personal e-scrapbook for my family… about 5 years ago… back then it was BlogSpot, but I recently started my own in home business, and I wanted to spill it over to my blog, so I switched to WordPress. I am still learning, but it is very rewarding, even with the mean comments, etc. that sometimes come with the territory. I really enjoy your blog, and am soaking up the wisdom you share in posts like this one. Thanks!

    Dawn-Lynnette

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  7. I’ve been blogging since before “blogging” was a term… guess I considered it online journaling. I have followers, but don’t seem to get much feedback. But you know what? That’s okay with me. Blogging is a lot of work even when I’m NOT posting regularly. I share things when I’m able but can’t believe how much time I have wasted/can waste by worrying about content, pictures, etc.

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  8. Congratulations with your 6 month anniversary! I’ve been blogging 3 months juggling with family life, my part time teaching job and volunteering. I find it difficult to dedicate enough time to build my site as much as I’d like. How much time per day do you work on your blog? Hope you don’t mind me asking….x

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  9. I started a blog last fall. I don’t remember exactly. I haven’t went back to count. It started as a way to quit spending so much of my day bogged down in Facebook drama. I had been writing a gratitude list on Facebook for over 6 years because my sponsor said it would be good for me. And it was. Until the rest of the stuff on Facebook started to affect my mental health. My sister said I could write and I should start a blog. So I did. I just write on my smartphone for now. I’m saving up for a laptop. One of these days.

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  10. I’ve been blogging since July 2016 and I still feel like have so much to learn. I can relate to so much of what you say. I try to blog 2 – 3 times a week just so I don’t feel overwhelmed by the pressure I tend to put on to myself. I love sharing what is going on in little slice of earth and I really love hearing about readers comments and their lives too. Keep it going, we’re loving it!

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  11. Great content! I’ve been blogging for around 6 months now. At first it was just for fun but I’ve actually grown quite fond of it. Blogging has taught me that blogging is much more than just ‘blogging’, I use Instagram to promote my blog, I’ve made a few mummy friends too! xxx

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  12. I’m a blogging newbie, having just started mine in January. I am learning so much and loving it so far but like you mentioned it is so much more work then I ever knew. I try to keep my blog Time and life separate so I’m not always on social media/my phone/computer but sometimes it’s not that easy! Thanks for your tips that you’ve learned over the last six months. I appreciate the insight!

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  13. I’ve been blogging for a year but stopped due to the stress of buying my first home! So i thought i would make a come back with posts about that process and kinda go from there! Xx

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    1. It’s so hard isn’t it? We bought our first home in June 2016 and the process was not at all what we expected! Great topic to blog about I’m sure a ton of people will find your info useful!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. HI Jenny, I have really liked your post! I have started my own blog since February after a long hesitation of doubt. I do not regret it. Yes it is hard work. I am still searching the best organisation to post regularly. Continue and see you at your 1st year anniversary 😉

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  15. I started my blog in June of 2016. One of the first posts I wrote was called “Boys, Boys, Boys.” This post is a very funny story yet the circumstances took place when my father was very ill. Somehow, I hit something on my laptop and erased part of my post. I didn’t want to have to go back and recreate the post but more than that, I didn’t want to revisit the time when my father was dying.

    Six months pasted and I finally finished my post and started blogging again.

    Over the past four months two of my posts got some attention. “Another New England Snowstorm” was published in the newspaper.

    Another post that I wrote called “Why You Should Care About Historic Homes” is being used by both the Historical Society and House Histories.

    The basis of my blog is humor but I am evolving and exploring situations and content that moves me. It’s exciting to see what will happen next.

    I enjoyed your post.

    Erin

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  16. Hi Jenny, This is such great encouragement!! I just started a couple of months ago and I absolutely love blogging. I can only get to it maybe once a week with 3 kids and my diy projects but I found your post to be inspiring! I will keep at it. You were the first to ‘like’ my very first post… and since I have enjoyed reading your posts. Thank you!

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  17. I started my blog this week after contemplating it for ages! I wish I’d started a long time ago really but I was always unsure whether I was good enough, interesting enough and a million other self doubt issues 🙄 It’s lovely to read about where I could potentially be 6 months down the line but for now I’ll just take each day as it comes! Thanks for posting 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve been blogging for 7months now. I love it,but its a lot of hard work, especially promoting your blog post. One thing blogging has to teach me is patience, and am still learning. Sometime I dont get views at all and its really heart breaking, because I wonder how people get up to a thousand view per post and here i am still struggling. I feel like quitting

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  19. Such a lovely post Jenny. I have just started blogging again after previously dipping my toe for a little while. Sometimes I am so happy and motivated to be writing again and other times I just feel daft and question who on earth cares what I think. I always have the moment when sharing on social media when I nearly stop myself. I don’t want people to think, oh here she goes again!! However my new attitude to it is if someone doesn’t want to read your blog then they don’t have to and wont. I just love writing and also reading others, that’s all that matters x

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  20. Congratulations on 6 Months!!
    I’ve been blogging for 4 1/2 months now and I love writing about things that have helped me! I just wish I had the tools to get it out there, as maybe ten people a day seem to visit. I just hope I’m helping someone out there, since that was the aim of blogging for me!

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