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Today, this blog, completes 10 years of blogging. It’s a milestone that I treat with gratitude and love.
Blogging has brought so much my way. I’d be remiss if I missed writing about it, so here is a post that shares 10 lessons that I hope you’ll enjoy reading.
To be fair, I already mentioned 10 lessons on Twitter, ten days ago. Here’s the thread, if you missed it.
[THREAD] In 10 days, I complete 10 years as a #blogger.— Shailaja V 📝 (@shyvish) August 11, 2017
Here are 10 things I've learnt in this time. Maybe you can relate 🙂 #Blogging
So what can I share today that I haven’t said already? I’m hoping that the following lessons can apply to blogging as much as they can apply to relationships.
1. Everything happens at the right time
When I began blogging, I had no grand vision. I began a diary, as the title of the blog suggests.
For almost 6 years it was just that: a journal to keep track of my days and nights with my daughter. In 2013, that changed with a single series on my blog. The yelling-less challenge took me out of internet obscurity and showed me what the blogging community could be.
As time passed, I grew as a blogger. I learnt things I’d never have learnt on my own: Buying a custom domain, moving to self-hosted, trying my hand at fiction, getting a paid association with Shutterstock- all of these things happened gradually.
The best part? Blogging led to my job as an editor. I didn’t go looking for it; the job found me.
So don’t stress. Things will happen when the time is right.
2. Practice makes perfect
Nothing happens overnight. On the day I started this blog, ten years ago, I wrote 3 posts. Yes, you can tell I was excited. But they were just snippets, diary entries, really.
For a blog to grow, it needs consistent attention to writing quality as well as ideas.
There’s nothing wrong with writing about a walk on the beach.
How you write about it and how you make it stand out from the 500 others writing about the same walk- that takes practice.
Don’t stop writing.
3. Enjoy the process
As much as blogging is enjoyable, it can become a chore if you aren’t careful.
Every time you feel tired instead of enjoying the blogging process, step back. Take a break. Do something else.
Never do anything to the point of exhaustion or where it takes the joy away from the experience.
Enjoy blogging and it will give you incredible returns.
4. Steer clear of ranting about people
Many things annoy us on social media. Provocation is everywhere.
What matters, though, is self-control. Use your blog as a space to share your opinions, your ideas and your preferences.
But try and stick to the topic instead of making it about a person. This has zero value.
It doesn’t endear you to the readers and it definitely doesn’t help with fellow writers and bloggers.
5. Use social media sensibly
Social media is a valuable tool for bloggers. There are multiple platforms and so many things to learn, every single day.
Keep it simple. Take your time with each platform, learn the ropes and enjoy the platforms for the returns they provide.
Don’t overdo anything, given the propensity to try and do everything at once. The problem is you end up exhausted and overwhelmed if you do.
Don’t chase numbers. Work on relationships. These are invaluable.
6. Keep some parts of your life private
As a blogger, it’s easy to fall into the trap of documenting every aspect of your life. Pause, step back and keep some things private.
The world doesn’t need to know everything. Some of it should be kept under wraps. These are for both security reasons and for reasons of self-awareness.
We grow by sharing our stories but we also grow by choosing what to share and how much of it we make public.
7. Plan for today
Bloggers can get tired if they are juggling a full-time job and blogging too.
For this, I have a simple rule. Make an editorial calendar for the month ahead, but blog for today.
This means you should work well and write well , even if it is just one post that you are working on. Give it your everything.
8. Make time for yourself
Blogging can cause burnout if you aren’t careful. So ensure that you are taking time for yourself, doing things that you love, off social media.
The blog is important and needs to be nurtured. But your health and well-being are paramount.
Never compromise, especially on health.
Eat right, work out, sleep well, go out and meet other bloggers and spend time with your loved ones. Then, blogging remains a pleasurable activity.
9. Say No
As a blogger, you will come across many situations: brands that will want to collaborate, businesses that want free promotions and people who will want you to write for free on their platforms.
Say No to the ones you are not comfortable with. Make a decision and stick to it. Do what you want to and don’t follow the herd.
Work on building a brand that stands out.
10. Say Yes
Always say yes to offers of help and to people who need your assistance.
Say Yes to things that make you proud, such as writing something for a noble cause.
Say yes to writing on topics that will help other people, such as fellow parents.
Say yes to books that make you think, writing that makes you happy and relationships that gladden your heart.
Thank you for reading me.
Thank you for making this space a place I treasure and love on the internet.
Thank you for always being there, dear readers and fellow bloggers.
*Featured images: Shutterstock