This post is me taking up the challenge set by Raychael of Agent Mystery Case to blog like no-one is reading. You can blog on any topic but she suggested blogging about your blogging journey so far. I’ll go with that one! I’m sitting here typing with my eyes shut – like doing THAT means that no one is reading my blog post. Well at least I know my typing skills are still very efficient! Look no eyes! For this challenge, I’ve decided to write a letter to myself because that way I’m not talking to anyone but myself.
In September 2012 you did a Google search for “setting up your own blog” knowing absolutely nothing about blogging except for having read a few! You found WordPress and went ahead and set up your own free blog. You had no fears because you knew nothing! Ignorance is bliss!
You were quite proud of yourself for setting up your blog without too much fuss or worry. Having a background and long working history in the corporate world, you’re pretty good with computers and technical stuff (so you thought!)!!
Now lets look back at why you decided to start a blog in the first place. You’d been through an awful time and were in the process of healing. A friend had brought your attention to an article on Hailey Bartholomew and her 365 Grateful Project concept. You were a bit inspired and decided to try doing your own 365 Grateful Project just like Hailey did, by taking a photograph every day of something you were grateful for. You had that camera that your husband bought you for a birthday present years ago. What a great opportunity to learn how to use it! You decided to start a blog and share your grateful photo’s there. You thought it would be a nice little project – learn how to use the camera and start a blog. You really needed something to keep you occupied and busy because you were not used to not having goals and deadlines and things that kept your mind active!
Once your blog was up and running you discovered there was a ‘blogosphere’ – loads and loads and loads of other bloggers. Who would have known? When you’re in the concrete jungle year after year you’re not exposed to the blogosphere!! You learnt that you needed to link up with blog linkies and read and comment on other blogs, that there is a thing called blogging etiquette, and that you must find your niche and tribe. You were bombarded with information on SEO, stats, analytics, sponsored posts, product reviews, media kits and lots more mumbo jumbo much of which went over your head because – err brain overload!!
Lots and lots of blogging courses were brought to your attention all of which you wanted to do and all of which cost money so you didn’t. Suddenly your little project had turned into something much bigger than you had set out to do and more time-consuming than you had ever expected! You also had to face the hard reality that your technological skills did not extend to back-end blogging mumbo jumbo! This blogosphere you discovered was all very exciting but all-consuming and at times quite overwhelming!
You blogged at that first blog for just over 2 years but then decided to close it down, re-brand and start anew. Your first blog was a ‘project’ related to your healing and not professional looking. You were starting to feel embarrassed by it and anyway you felt it was time to draw a line under the healing phase of your life and move forward. You’ve since learned that we’re actually always healing, always riding life’s peaks and troughs, and always seeking balance and contentment.
One of the best things that came from that first blog was the discovery that you enjoyed photography. You did a little local course to learn how to use your camera off automatic. That whet your appetite and so you signed up to an on-line course for a Diploma in Professional Photography. You graduated with your Diploma in October 2014 and were quietly rather proud of that!
In November 2014 you launched your new blog ‘Write of the Middle’. It’s self-hosted and this time you invested some money and got some help in setting it up. You even got a logo made by a graphic designer. Woah – big spender!
You have good intentions with this new blog and there is potential for something great but I don’t feel like you’ve quite got there yet, and I know you agree! You’d like to marry up your love of blogging and your love of photography. You want to indulge your love of photography by using your own images (though not for this post haha) and perhaps eventually share some photography and Photoshop tips. You want to help fill a gap in the blogosphere that seems so glaringly obvious to you in a blogosphere packed to the rafters with young mums. Comparatively, there are not many ‘mature’ mothers (or even ‘mature’ women) blogging or at least you haven’t found too many of them yet. By the way Min I used the word ‘mature’ instead of ‘older’ because I thought you’d prefer that. You’re welcome! You want to find all the mothers of teens, young adults and even the empty nesters! You want to connect with like-minded people (both men and women) and women at the same middle-aged phase of life as yourself! You want to encourage all people, but particularly women, to take care of themselves and let them know that by putting everyone else first they may very well be sacrificing their own health and wellbeing! You want them to know that at some point if they continue to neglect themselves, it will come back and bite them in the backside so don’t wait – start taking care of yourself now! You want to share the wisdom gained from your experiences in life so far and that includes how important it is to listen to yourself, understand yourself and to seek balance of mind, body and spirit in the unique way that makes you feel happy and well. You’re just not always sure of the best way to do all these things in a way that is original and new and authentic to you, and not more of the same that has been seen and done by others before you.
You’re finding that blogging takes time away from photography and photography takes time away from blogging. You’d like to combine the two but is that logistically possible considering both are so time-consuming? You often wonder if you should concentrate on just one. You are yet to create a photography website though you bought the domain name 7-8 months ago. You wonder if maybe you should focus your creative energy into creating your photography webpage and then just have a little photography-focussed blog there.
How you feel about your blog is up and down all the time. Sometimes you think it’s going well and your vision is clearing and other times not so much. You know you’re not hitting any winning goal posts in the blogosphere but is that what you want anyway? When you started your first blog that was not your intention. Are you just being swept away in the flow of the blogosphere and not standing firm and listening to what your heart really wants? You often feel envious of the success of other bloggers and the great friendships and collaborations they have formed. That’s not an attractive thing to admit but in saying that I know that you’re genuinely happy for them, just a little envious that they have found the right formula, tribe and niche to succeed where you have been floundering for some time. Do you really need to belong to a niche to succeed? Is it bad to not have found your tribe?
You went to your first ProBlogger event in March this year, a one-day fly in visit to Brisbane and a glimpse into the ProBlogger world! It was exciting and you enjoyed it but it was a very big wake-up call to you. So much of what the speakers spoke about was foreign to you. There’s stuff you don’t know or understand about this blogging world! Many ‘bloggers’ are actually running full-on businesses through blogging. I know you don’t want that. You’d like to earn a modest income somehow some day (hopefully through your blog and/or photography) but you don’t want a highly demanding business. You want to do what you love and love what you do, earn a little in the process, and ultimately get the right balance so that you can live a happy and fulfilling life hereonin!
Three nights accommodation has been booked and a ticket has been purchased for you to attend the main two-day ProBlogger event in August. How exciting/scary/crazy for you! You know it’s going to be lots and lots of information coming at you and result in brain overload but you’re not silly and have booked a room alone so that you have a place to retreat to and recharge if need be. You often wonder – are you being delusional? Are you so far removed from ever really making your blog something of value and worthy of the time and investment you put into it? Does it make a difference? Is there any possibility of it earning some money for you? Is that what you want? This ProBlogger event – this is where you are going to find out.
Blogging can be a lonely existence and as you know only too well – it can do your head in! So many factors come in to play that contribute to your blogging experience. A beautifully worded, well thought out comment on a blog post by someone who has actually read your post can send your spirits soaring! No interaction on your blog’s Facebook page can make your spirits plummet (I know you know this one well). It’s an up and down thing, a bit of a roller-coaster ride!
So Min, after ProBlogger in August I think you will have a better idea of whether the investment of time and energy you put into blogging, and all that entails, is worth continuing or whether it’s time to focus more solely on your photography and/or other things. In the meantime Min – well done on losing over 5 kilos! Keep looking after yourself because you’ve had some rather unpleasant health hurdles this year but you know what – good on you for never giving up! Oh and before I forget, you mustn’t forget your word for 2015 – TRUST. Trust that things will be as they are meant to be.
Well this has got long! Far too long for a blog post but it doesn’t matter because no-one is reading it but you! Thank goodness for that because gee you’ve let out some stuff here girl!
Ciao for now,
[Note that the images used in this post are not my own. They have been hyperlinked to their source.]
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT