I can't believe I've been blogging for 3 years! And I still like it.
When I first started blogging, I felt a lot of pressure to do things as I had seen them done - basically mimicking the blogs that I read the most. I created a blueprint based on what seemed to work for those blogs and attempted to use it on my own. Turns out I pretty much loathe this method.
- Blog once per day.
- Document everything I eat.
- Post my workouts.
- Recap everything I do over the weekend.
- Create / share recipes.
- Drum up readership by commenting on other blogs.
- Ask questions at the end of every post to encourage comments.
- Write as if everyone reading was my close friend, always agreed with me, and followed my blog religiously.
- Use lots of exclamation points and emoticons to show how much I loved blogging.
Most of this was driven by two things: 1) Others had already done it and were successful. 2) I wanted to be successful in the same sense.
However, over the course of 3 years, I've had two major (blog-related) revelations of my own:
- I do not view my blog as a business.
- I want to like and enjoy my blog.
So here is my new direction, which will forever be changing and evolving:
- Write free-standing posts. If someone gets to my blog from a Google search, I want them to have all of the information they need right there. They shouldn't have to know anything about me or what I've written before in order to understand the post in front of them.
- Post when I want to. I know scheduled posting is good for business - readers know what to expect and when. But it doesn't work for me. Pressure to post leads to junk posts and guilt/stress that are unnecessary for a hobby that I'm supposed to enjoy. Which leads me to...
- Treat blogging as a hobby, not a job. I used to think that I'd love to blog full-time for money, but I've realized that's TOTALLY not true. I hate being forced to write about certain things (sponsored posts) or in certain ways (begging for comments).
- Write about things I'd like to read about. For me this is travel, food, crafts, good ideas, recommendations, and fun/interesting things about my life. I realize that list sounds fairly all-encompassing, but it's helpful to me. I would like my posts to be more focused - for example, instead of posting everything about a party we host, I might just post some tips on preparing for the party or a cocktail recipe, etc.
One last thing. Although I don't consider blogging a business, I am going to keep ads on my site for the time being. I pay for my domain, so I'd like to use ad revenue to help recoup a (very, very small) portion of those costs. I'd consider moving to a free domain, but it doesn't seem worth it at the time. Plus, I'd like the option to change my ad structure in the future. (I'm hoping to use the space to support local businesses!)
Was that enough bullet points for one post? No? Ok, here's a list of some of my favorite posts from the last year. Thanks for reading!
- Switching Jobs
- Tips for Finding a More Fulfilling Job
- Book Recommendations (check out the comments, too!)