The highs and lows of blogging!

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I have been blogging for nearly two years, somehow it seems far longer! I came to the point where I was itching to put my thoughts on paper. I felt I had something to share with others and it would be a way of expressing myself without verbally speaking.

It did not dawn on me there were thousands (perhaps millions) of bloggers who had created their websites years before me. Through LinkedIn and twitter I began to network with these bloggers who appeared to “know their game” while I as a complete amateur looked on. I wondered if they ever felt like amateurs – likened to the shy/nervous child looking on from the edge while their peers played happily and confidently. 

I absolutely love the networking and rapport building side of blogging. I enjoy rubbing shoulders with those who have impeccable writing skills and are knowledgeable about their field.  I have found most to be humble; always willing to advise and encourage others.

At times I feel “lost” in the world of blogging as I am one of many. The bloggers I come across are established and have thousands of followers and readers.  On twitter it is difficult to stand out and build your audience unless you practically live on there. I simply do not have the time as I hold down a full-time job, run a make up business, raise a family and am in church leadership. As a result I dip in and out of twitter and therefore appear inconsistent. Perhaps I should allocate a 20 minute slot in the morning and afternoon – at the very least I will have a routine. 

I often reflect on my blog and wonder what impact it is having on the lives of others. This is highly important to me and I always hold on to the notion that even if just one person resonates with my blog, then it is serving it’s purpose. 

The more I write, the more my skills improve. The more I read literature and blogs, the more I am challenged to take my blog to the next level. What I am saying in essence is, I am committed to blogging and will do all I can to develop my skills and create a niche for myself.

If you are a blogger, what compelled you to start a blog? 

How do you ensure your blogs stay fresh and interesting? 

What do you do when you run out of content ideas? 

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24 thoughts on “The highs and lows of blogging!”

  1. I maintained a traditional, handwritten journal for many years, and my blogs are a continuation of sorts of my earlier writing efforts. (That journal has been on hiatus for a while, but I may rekindle it someday, who knows?)

    More generally, I think that all hobbyists should run blogs. If you read a lot of books, then you should write about the books you read. If you listen to a lot of music, then you should write about the music you listen to. If you regularly eat out at restaurants, then you should write about your restaurant experiences. Run out of content ideas? Not a problem when a blog is based on a well-developed hobby.

    One last point relating to writing skills:
    Whenever you are uncertain about the presence of an apostrophe in a contraction, unravel the contraction and see if the sentence makes sense; for example, “then it is serving it’s purpose” (in the next-to-the-last paragraph) unravels to “then it is serving it is purpose”, which doesn’t make sense, so you know that the apostrophe shouldn’t be there – “its” is serving as a possessive in this case. 🙂

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    1. You have a good point Andy. If you blog about an ongoing hobby, you will never run out of ideas.

      Thank you for pointing out my incorrect use of an apostrophe. A clear oversight on my part!

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  2. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I started my blog because I was going to be an author and all authors are supposed to have a blog! Only I struggled to write a dang book. I was putting the cart before the horse. However, I fell in love with blogging and the community building that goes with it. Those who have been in the BHB group have seen me switch tracks a few times with my blog until it became solely associated with my freelance editing. I didn’t intend to be a freelancer when I started my blog, but that’s exactly what happened.

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    1. Jeri – it sounds as though you have made a success of your business and blog. At times we have ideas which do not always pan out exactly as expected. The main thing is we arrive at our destination.

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  3. I often wonder if I am reaching anyone myself. It seems the most of my regular readers are other bloggers, whom I have read there blog. We are just moving back and forth between each others blog posts.
    But it was fun making connections and learning from others.

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  4. I started my blog when I started my brand new business. I figured people had no clue what I was about or what I offered, so I would write a few posts. That turned into my blog

    I’m fascinated how many people blog just because they have the desire to be heard and no other anterior motive. A blog takes a lot of time and dedication. That is amazing when someone does it not because they have to, but they want to.

    I’ve been lucky because my blog got found by a health and wellness website and they often re-post my blog on their site. That gave me motivation to keep going because it gave me a much broader audience than I would have on my own. The thing about starting to write a blog is that at first, you are writing for yourself. My first 10 blog entries had 0 readers. And then it grows from there.

    The blogging community is a great one to be part of. That is another motivation to keep at it. I always enjoy reading your blog.

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    1. Erica – many bloggers write for pleasure. If they were paid, it would be a bonus! Joining blogging forums helped to increase my readership /followers. Friends and family visited my blog a few times here and there but have not been consistent.

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  5. Hi Phoenicia, great topic! I can echo many of the above comments. I started my blog in late 2013. I love writing and had just published a book. To do that was an enormous undertaking that I was in no hurry to repeat. I wanted to write and be able to share myself and my ideas with the world, so blogging was the perfect thing. I could write about anything plus it offered me a tremendous creative outlet. I have met some of the nicest people too, from all over the place, which I love. LinkedIn’s Bloggers Helping Bloggers has been awesome.

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  6. Phoenicia, I think every blogger feels the same way you do when starting out and I know how hard it can be to build traffic. I’m basically in the same category as you but after several years of blogging, I am now starting to gain more readers every week. Your posts are always interesting and I’m sure you will also gain traction as you go along. And finally, as you said, you will continue to write which gives you pleasure and for that reason alone, blogging is important.

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  7. I started my blog five years ago this summer. At first it was a lark, then I did some freelance writing (can I tell you how much I deplore copywriting? There’s a skillset that’s hard for me!), then it became a challenge. The discipline of having to publish something each week, something good, each week was very helpful to my overall writing goals.

    Like you, Phoenicia, I get overwhelmed with the social media side of things. I can track that 100 people from Facebook and another from LinkedIn are reading each posts, but get dismayed by the lack of commenters.

    That’s where the camaraderie of bloggers really makes a difference. I count on my BHB group to share me as I look forward to sharing their posts with the right audience/the right friends.

    As for Twitter…I finally came up with this idea: I’ll take a break in the morning and read some of our BHB blogs and share them on twitter–action for me and for the writer. Then I’ll do it again in the afternoon. That way there’s something out there. Given the speed of twitter, I haven’t figured out if this is working, but it’s working for me!

    Good luck!

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  8. What compelled me to start a personal blog is that I retired. I was writing in a couple of different blogs for the company I worked for. But that restricted the subjects I could write about and the things I could say. Starting a personal blog freed me to write about whatever I want and say whatever I want. Hence the name “off the leash.”

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  9. Phoenicia I need to first add a comment about Alexa to put things in perspective for you. First of all, you have to be a registered user in order to obtain detailed accurate analytics about your site and secondly the way it works is they collect data only from people who use Alexa toolbars on their computers – which obviously leaves out LOTS of people. According to blogging “professionals” Alexa is good for spotting trends, but not to give it too much weight in terms of decision making or judging the value of your work. Moving on …

    I started writing online when I was working as a life and small business coach because I had clients on four islands so to improve communication and offer more training I set up a group on Yahoo. It became so popular that led to a really basic little blog and I enjoyed it so much I decided to make the leap to writing full time and that’s when I wrote my first book and launched my first personal growth blog. That blog won several awards but it was too general, so a couple of years ago I closed it and launched my current blog. I love blogging, and like you, a big part of that is the relationships you build along the way. I think you are doing an awesome job Phoenicia and I always find value in your thoughtful posts. Keep at it!

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    1. Thank you for the information Marquita. Do you do everything with such depth? I logged onto Alexa and was somewhat overwhelmed by all the techy jargon. I do not think it is for me at this stage of my blog.

      I appreciate your encouragement.

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  10. Hi Phoenicia. My problem is never running out of ideas! My problem is finding enough time to put all of my ideas into posts! I started my first blog in 2009 after attending a writer’s conference at which the keynote speaker told us we should all be on Twitter and have a blog. I mediately came home and opened a twitter account, and a few months after that, launched my first blog. It’s now a way of life for me and I love it.

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  11. I think many if not all bloggers feel the same way you do. I know I do. I love to share my excitement about different topics I learned about and products I came across. A lot of times, the blog topic presents itself. But, to help me be able to write more, I purchased a large monthly whiteboard calendar and write the topics for the entire month on it. It helps me see the big picture and if there are topics I need to research more. It’s a work in progress, though. I keep modifying it a bit, but that’s OK. The post topics are not set in stone so if something comes up that week, I will write that instead. Thanks for sharing.

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