A Journey Into Blogging

Three months ago I took my first tentative steps into this unknown world of blogging. I’d been thinking about it for a long time, even tried a little “sea change” blog a couple of years ago, but quiet frankly I’m not good with one topic – five posts and I was bored. Moving on.

Returning to work after 10 years in the trenches of motherhood I discovered a lot had changed between 1997 and 2007. That internet thing had really caught on, but not only that a whole other field of communication had been invented. Social media was growing, growing, growing. Suddenly in the media/marketing/PR fields employers were asking what your strategy was for working with social media, evidence that you were engaged with the medium, samples of your blog.

Here was me, my strategy was simply to get myself to an office, fully dressed anything after that was a bonus. Evidence I was engaged and communicating with a variety of people I didn’t know and would never meet? You really want me to tweet about what I had for breakfast? Worse, you want me to read about what OTHER people had for breakfast? As for the blog thing – I’d been a little distracted for the past ten years, what with growing two human beings, birthing them (and trust me that took a bit of work), trying to raise them to be polite, socially capable, fully functioning individuals – then there was my little home-based business and oh yes the volunteer work at the school – I didn’t have time to write about it all – and the state I was in  I couldn’t have been held responsible for what I would have written back then anyway.

Nevertheless it was obvious that I needed to become more au fait with all this stuff.

So in October I began the journey. I signed up for the Blogging Your Way course, one of the requirements was you had to have a blog. Funny that. So a week before the course I set one up.

No idea what I was going to write about but off I went.

There was a lot of exploring other blogs at which point I felt very unworthy. The blogs were beautiful. The pictures awesome. Feeling pretty despondent and on the verge of giving the whole thing up a woman wrote a comment on one of my posts. Her name was Tina – she was another participant in the BYW course – she said

Hi there,

Your blog makes me laugh. I so relate to your stories of chaos and not quite getting it together (being a bad mother). Keep writing because you are very funny! I came across your blog on the ‘blogging your way’ forum.

Tina

I don’t know whether she ever visited again but that comment made me decide that maybe I could do this. My strength wasn’t in pretty design but in words. So I pulled myself together and decided to keep on going with it (thanks Tina).

The stats so far:

80 posts

3,518 page views

63 Blog followers

93  92 91 92 (oh who cares) Twitter followers

40 Facebook followers

3 Instagram followers

How does that shape up for three months work? I have no idea. Probably better than some and way below others.

There’s been so much to learn. A whole other language in fact. There’s still so much more to figure out – Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr –  how many ways can we communicate for goodness sake?

There’s been early starts, late nights. I have ideas galore but am often too tired to put them into any coherent form. The whole time issue has been a struggle – blogging is a time consuming process – sometimes that worries me – while it is lovely to have an outlet that gives you a link to your creative side and support from like-minded individuals you do need to be clear on what you are getting out of it and what you are giving up to do so.

The reward has been connecting with lovely people from around the world. The opportunity to write every day on any topic I desire. The fact I’m learning new stuff every day and I don’t have to leave the house to do it.

What I’ve learnt along the way:

  • Don’t lose sight of why you began blogging in the first place.
  • Find your strength and get other people to provide what you are lacking.
  • Don’t worry about what other people are doing – your blog needs to reflect you – not a copycat version of others.
  • Just do it. Get it out there and figure it out as you go along.

Do you blog? What has been your experience?

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29 thoughts on “A Journey Into Blogging

  1. I started blogging three months ago and am in a similar position to you. I look at a lot of the other blogs out there which are so good at filling their niche and sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. You can lose sight of what you originally set out to achieve. I just keep coming back to the fact that it’s fun and I want to continue enjoying the process.

    • Yep we’ve got to focus on the fun and remember the reasons why we started in the first place. I don’t think it is uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the beauty, cleverness etc of other blogs.

  2. I do blog actually, and have been for about 7 years. But it’s only last year that I started public blogging and interacting more with others I don’t know personally on the web. It has been a great experience so far and I love using Instagram and Pinterest too. But maybe that’s because I’m into photography as well.

    I think we shouldn’t spread ourselves too thin and join in so many social media outlets if we don’t feel like it. It’ll just be a chore. keep it simple and just use the ones we really like. No point getting FourSquare, Path, Pinterest, Google Plus, Networked Blogs, Blog Frog, Gushcloud, Stumble Upon, Snappee etc and just feel so drained using all!

    Keep up the good work 🙂 Nice to meet u and I hope to see more of your work!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  3. janine, for breakfast i had oatmeal with frozen blueberries and walnuts and milk, with orange juice and vitamins following…. blah, blah, blah. oh yeah, you don’t need to know that… well, i’m glad to know you. i’ve had my blog since july, and we’re in this together. but don’t say we’ll never meet because the world is getting smaller, and australia and n. america are lovely places to visit. i’m so happy you are blogging because i love visiting you! happy what-day-is-it-there? friday? anyway, happy today!

  4. Tina was right, you are funny 🙂 I agree that lack of time is the biggest obstacle but you are very committed to be a daily blogger – good on you. I love that you put your stats in. I think they are pretty good for 3 months in, and the regularity of your blog really helps with that. I’d love 92 Twitter followers!

    • I think the daily blogging thing does help with keeping people coming back – I am still amazed that some people visit everyday (and so appreciative that they do). But on visiting other blogs that have been going for a lot longer I read of stories of “blogging burn-out” and I can see that would be very likely to occur. But at the moment I’m going at this rate and then I’ll figure out a strategy once it starts to get too much. Holly Becker (who runs the BYW course) blogged 6 times a day when she started out and says that was part of her quick growth, I can see a number of other highly successful bloggers did the same thing. That’s not something I could maintain with my real world job although I was toying with the idea of giving it a go while I was on holidays but was then worried about scaring off the subscribers I do have with too many posts.

      • I wonder if those people who blogged 6 times a day did so at a time when there were far fewer people blogging, and therefore fewer blog updates lobbing in to our inboxes? Personally I’m happy to receive a blog update once a day. Any more and it become part of the noise I think.

  5. Hi, I’m new to this blogging gig too and I’ve been at it for 2 months…I’m a little jelous of your stats! 🙂 I feel like a very small fish in a big pond… Some other blogs are so beautiful, professional and well written I sometimes wonder weather I should keep going. But I read over mine and think ‘I wrote that… It’s not half bad’ and so I keep going!

    • Nicole your blog looks great, you’ve even got a niche, (sporty activities for the whole family) well done, and you are linking up with the bloggers which seems to be a very successful strategy. I think everyone feels overwhelmed by some of the more established blogs but we have to try to find our own way through because being able to look back on what you wrote, with pride, is a pretty great achievement.

  6. ONYA SIS!!!!….not bad work….however, i can see one improvement you can make to your blog……howsabout ya start paying the photographer!!!!!!!!!! just a six pack of New per shot will be suffice…….(& good job with Chrissy lunch, brave effort…..in my book, bestest in years!……& consider this post as this years birthday present)

  7. I absolutely love reading your blog. I think you write beautifully Janine and you always make me laugh. Only 3 months??? Wow!!!
    I related to this bit…
    ‘Here was me, my strategy was simply to get myself to an office, fully dressed anything after that was a bonus’.
    …and this…
    ‘I’d been a little distracted for the past ten years, what with growing two human beings, birthing them (and trust me that took a bit of work), trying to raise them to be polite, socially capable, fully functioning individuals ‘.
    ..was brilliant.
    I loved this bit…
    ‘I didn’t have time to write about it all – and the state I was in I couldn’t have been held responsible for what I would have written back then anyway’.
    Love the comment above mine…I think you have some trouble in the ranks there 😉
    Don’t you ever dare stop blogging 🙂
    Your fellow blogging Aussie, Danielle

  8. Oh, I got so lost in reading your post and my comment that I forgot to tell you I have nominated you for the 7 x 7 Link Award and the details are on my blog. Doh me!

  9. I am so glad that you started blogging and I’m so glad that I started reading your blog. You are funny and down to earth and I love your take on life! I’ve been blogging since June and I’m having fun with it. I’m still finding my voice and, like you, I have a hard time sticking to one theme or topic. I’m trying to decide if I should just go with that. I’m not terribly focused in any other aspect of my life, why would blogging be different? We’ll see how that goes… Thank you for writing!

    • I know it’s difficult. All the experts say you have find your niche but mine tends to be a collection of things I’m interested in photography, books, funny stories. It does make it difficult though for people to get what they want from your blog ie not enough photos for the photography lovers, not enough book reviews for the literature people. I’m wondering if it will develop into something like a radio program, a little bit of everything but regular features that people can rely on happening on a certain day each week. Still working on figuring it out.I’m trying to do a blog schedule at the moment and hippie child said “that’s not going to work, what if something funny happens? You can’t schedule our life.”

  10. I agree with Tina… and Rachel… and probably a few others. Your stories are awesome, I love how real they are. And the stats sound pretty good to me for six months. I’m impressed you’ve had time to do so much. I was also signed up for the Blogging Your Way course, to be honest, that’s probably how I came across your site to begin with… but I wasn’t active in the course because work got in the way… too much traveling all the time. HOWEVER, I am very glad I came across this blog because I love reading it. I subscribed to “bloglovin” recently and started sorting the blogs I read through and you will (hopefully) be happy to know that I have put yours in the category labeled “good reads”. Keep blogging. It’s incredible. Happy Saturday 🙂

  11. Keep blogging Janine, there are always people reading, even if they do not leave a message. I read everyday..I have no ambition to blog but I am enjoying yours.

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