Before I started The Rose-Tinted Chapter, I had had two blogs which I deleted after a few months of running them. I didn’t put work into those blogs in vain though because I learned some things about myself and about the blogging world through them. I’m going to share some of the things I learned from those blogs.
#1: I’m a bit of an attention whore.
One of the main reasons those blogs flopped was because I had almost no traffic on either one. I felt as though I was writing for no reason since nobody was reading my work. At that point I was writing very impersonal things, so my writing didn’t even benefit myself. This blog already has more traffic than either of those blogs ever had, so I know my words are reaching someone. (Thanks for reading my work. Knowing that someone is reading this makes it all worth it.)
#2: I need competition in order to work well.
This time I started my blog really close to the beginning to NaNoWriMo. When November rolled around I was horrified with myself and thought I would have to give up NaNoWriMo in order to keep blogging. Turns out there’s a thread in the forums for people who do NaNo with blog posts, so I decided to do that. The competition and the threat of losing makes me write a lot more than I would if I hadn’t signed up for NaNo. In fact, I’m currently sitting in a hotel room while my family is at Chuck E Cheese just so I can catch up on my word count. I decided to skip out on skeeball on my birthday for this stupid competition guys. I’m either really dedicated or really scared of failing.
#3: I should have researched before starting those blogs.
I hadn’t even heard the word SEO before starting my first blog. I didn’t understand how categories on WordPress worked, and my writing was really low quality. Now I know how to make my titles SEO optimized, even if I don’t always do it, and I know how categories work. My writing isn’t top notch, but I’m putting in a lot more effort. In the beginning, I just didn’t know how blogs worked, and now I’m at least making an effort to learn.
#4: I need to write about things that interest me while sticking to a common theme.
My very first blog was really all over the place. My second blog was a little more together, but I wasn’t writing about what I wanted to write. Now my blog is still a bit scattered, but I’m writing about what I want to write about. My first blog had no direction, and therefore nobody wanted to read it because it was everywhere. I didn’t even want to look at my second blog because I was forcing myself into a box that I didn’t really want to be in. I’m much more happy with this blog than the other two.
#4: I need to set solid goals.
When I started my first blog I called it a hobby blog in my head, but in the back of my mind, I had dreams of living the “blogger lifestyle” and blogging full-time. For my second blog, I started it knowing that I wanted it to become my job in the future, but I wasn’t happy with it, and I wasn’t putting much effort into it. This blog I started with a goal of turning it into a job by the time I’m in university, and I’m putting a lot more effort into it. I know that blogging full time is a really hard goal to reach, especially for someone who’s never had much luck with social media, but I need to set my goals high in order to keep trying to reach them. I’m not treating this blog like just but a hobby and then expecting results, I’m expecting the results I work for.
#5: Telling friends and family about your blog isn’t always a good idea.
When I started my first blog I had to ask my mom if I could, and she said I could as long as she monitored it. This sounds really reasonable, but that made it very hard for me to write about what I wanted to write about. I think three of my friends followed my second blog, and that was way worse than just my mom. I knew that I was being monitored, and I haven’t had a close relationship with a friend since seventh grade, so I couldn’t write properly. I was writing what I knew they expected me to write instead of what I wanted to write. Nobody I know in person follows this blog, so I’m free to discuss things like my thoughts and emotions without feeling like I’m being judged constantly. I know that you guys won’t judge me (at least outwardly) because you all want to be here. I have the freedom to write my darkest secrets and I don’t shy away from posting them. Of course, I hesitate since it’s a bit intimidating to share some things with anyone, but I feel safe sharing my heart with you.
I could go on and on about this, but I think five is a good number to leave it on. Thank you guys for reading this far, you’re the reason I keep writing. Have any of you learned any lessons from blogging that you want to share? Do you want to spill your deepest darkest secrets? Did you eat a really good taco that you must tell someone about? Comment it up.