15 Things I Learned While Blogging

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You can learn a lot from experimenting, even—especially—when you fail.
  4. On the whole, the kid lit community is welcoming, supportive, honest and of course, creative.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. People love a good recipe.
  8. 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.
  9. Checking your stats can be informative and interesting; however, obsessively checking your stats is about as useful as… well, obsessively doing anything.
  10. 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.
  11. I remembered that I like to write.
  12. Many, many people want to use their words and tell their story.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. People love lists.
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22 thoughts on “15 Things I Learned While Blogging

  1. Jim Young December 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm Reply

    Keep Blogging Belinda!

  2. Marianne Knowles December 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm Reply

    Thanks for the wisdom! I’m only at the end of my first trimester, and it’s a shared experience, but your points ring true.

  3. Marianne Knowles December 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm Reply

    Whoops that’s second trimester! 6 months of blogging, almost.

    • belindambrock December 3, 2013 at 12:30 am Reply

      Marianne, I’m flattered that you think I’m dispensing wisdom! Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your blog.

      • Marianne Knowles December 3, 2013 at 9:45 am Reply

        I’ve also learned that posts that offer reader-writers something concrete that they’re looking for get the most hits–hints and tips, interviews with agents, how-tos.

        • belindambrock December 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm

          Yes, that’s true. Several of the blogs I read do that, including Writers’ Rumpus. By the way, I really liked your post on creativity today.

  4. carolcovin December 3, 2013 at 10:46 am Reply

    All excellent advice. It’s an adventure because you don’t know what you’re going to learn.

    • belindambrock December 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm Reply

      I would agree with that, Carol. Also, I’m in the midst of independently publishing a pb—that’s a whole other adventure. 🙂

  5. katsbynp December 5, 2013 at 7:28 am Reply

    Tomorrow will be 5 months since I began blogging. I have learned not to be so structured but rather blog for your own enjoyment. I also have rekindled a love for writing. I have learned a great deal from your blog as well as others. Thanks for sharing a great post

    • belindambrock December 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm Reply

      That make me happy that you’ve learned something from me. Yes, once you get some of the basics down, you feel more free with your writing. Congrats on what you’ve done, so far.

  6. Lisa_GrandmasBriefs December 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm Reply

    Yes, people do indeed love lists. And I especially love this one. You’ve had an impressive nine months. I agree completely with every number on your list. Except #10, of course, for I have no meatball recipe on my site. I don’t think I have readers in Thailand, either.

    So wonderful to share the blogging space with you. ♥ Cheers to another nine months and more!

    • belindambrock December 6, 2013 at 9:33 am Reply

      Lisa, you are so sweet—I appreciate your support. You are definitely one of my role models.
      And hey, I’d be surprised if you also didn’t have readers in Thailand and other countries.

  7. Grandma Kc December 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm Reply

    A wonderful list! I think #8 is a very important one — know why you are blogging! And as for obsessing over statistics, well that is when I have to remind myself why I blog! It isn’t for the numbers, it is to document and share the fun I am having as Amara’s Grandma. I know it sometimes takes me a few days to get here but I certainly do enjoy your blog! Keep it up!

    • belindambrock December 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm Reply

      Thanks for your kind comments, Kc. Always happy to “see” you here whenever you show up. By the way, your enthusiasm and love for Amara shines through your blog. And what a treasured document she will have.

  8. bohemian babushka (@BBabushka) December 13, 2013 at 9:30 am Reply

    jaha JU SO FONII !!! Here from the Grand Social and loved this post. It’s a good list (si, #15 is very true) that reminded me of my blogging beginings and why I continue to blog. Gracias for the smiles; BB2U.

    • belindambrock December 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm Reply

      hey bb, thanks for stopping by. happy to hear that you connected with the feelings behind my list. ~ bb

  9. tbellkindred December 13, 2013 at 9:57 am Reply

    I love lists and yours is a good one. I’ve learned many of the same things you have. I’ve been blogging for 4 years and love it. Blessings to you and your blog! Would love for you to visit me. I plan on coming back to visit you again soon!
    Teresa from NanaHood.com

    • belindambrock December 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm Reply

      teresa, thanks for your support! i will definitely check your blog out. 🙂

  10. Susan Adcox December 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm Reply

    Excellent advice! I think that a lot of people have unrealistic expectations about their blogs. I love putting words together but don’t have the vision for a novel, so blogging fits me just right!

    • belindambrock December 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply

      So glad that you enjoyed my thoughts on the subject. I would definitely say that you’ve found your niche—your blog is so full of interesting and useful information.

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