Last week marked nine months since I published my first post for this blog. For us women, in particular, nine months holds a certain significance, so I was prompted to reflect on what I’ve learned. First of all, I’d have to say that, to a great extent, what I’ve learned would fall in the techy column. When I started, I’d never heard of a widget, I didn’t know how to create hyperlinks or embed a video or dozens of other things I’ve only learned (and relearned) when I needed to use them. Here are some other things I’ve discovered along the way:
- Basically, only bloggers read blogs. Many of my friends and acquaintances enjoy reading, but blogs are not on their radar screen. Some subscribe to my blog, but still do not read it. You can’t convert everyone, nor should you take it personally (unless, maybe, you’re talking immediate family). Just keep on blogging, and you’ll find your audience.
- Writing whatever/whenever/however you want is definitely liberating and fun. If you get too far afield, though, it will be harder to find—and retain—readers.
- You can learn a lot from experimenting, even—especially—when you fail.
- On the whole, the kid lit community is welcoming, supportive, honest and of course, creative.
- Some bloggers are only about self-promotion and what’s in it for them, a few only want to do good, and most people fall somewhere else on the spectrum. This is like life.
- One thing leads to another. Since I started blogging, I have become acquainted with people (real and virtual), projects and ideas I would not have otherwise encountered.
- People love a good recipe.
- Even though your material may be entertaining, useful and educational, you still may not have the readership you hoped for or feel you deserve. At that point, if you want to continue blogging, you will need a good answer as to why you are doing it. This is not an answer for others, but one that resonates strongly with you. For me, I like feeling that I’m engaging creatively with the world.
- Checking your stats can be informative and interesting; however, obsessively checking your stats is about as useful as… well, obsessively doing anything.
- I get a kick out of knowing that someone in Thailand read my mom’s sweet and sour meatball recipe and might be serving it for dinner.
- I remembered that I like to write.
- Many, many people want to use their words and tell their story.
- There is an almost endless amount of helpful information on other people’s blogs, but it’s not healthy to live on-line. Find a balance.
- As your blog evolves and you find your voice, it will become clearer what you want to write about. It might not be exactly what you envisioned, and that’s fine. Let your passion(s) dictate the content.
- People love lists.