It’s been three months since I started blogging regularly. Here are some things I’ve learned about myself and about social media:
1) Just because you blog, doesn’t mean people read it. Even the people you expect to read daily won’t actually read it regularly.
2) You have to get your blog out there to get readers. Advertise your postings on Twitter and Facebook. Remind people to read your blog.
3) Even if you have readers, that doesn’t mean they comment.
4) If you want comments, you need to ask questions of your readers, assuming you have readers.
5) Comments can be misinterpreted, or your response to comments can be misinterpreted. Typing doesn’t have inflection or sarcasm, be careful what you type.
6) Blogs can be big business for some people. If you want your blog to become a business, you have to spend time on it, work at it, and focus on it becoming what you want it to be. If you aren’t willing to put in that time and effort, you won’t succeed. However…
7) …if you are just blogging for enjoyment, don’t stop. Blogging is a good outlet and it might get noticed one day.
8) Don’t be ashamed that you blog. So what if no one else you know IRL blogs, show them how it’s done! You won’t get readers unless you open yourself up for rejection.
9) Don’t gripe. My first few postings were me complaining and stating my –unwanted- opinions about random things. That’s not interesting. Not really. If you must gripe, put it into context to make a lively conversation in the comments section.
10) I’m having fun. I’m enjoying myself. Unless you are just not enjoying the work it takes and the time and effort you have to put into it, then keep going. Even if blogging doesn’t pay off for you monetarily, it can be therapeutic.
11) Don’t be stupid. Use your brain and don’t post things that can get your fired from your full time job or cause you to lose friends and burn bridges. Who knows, you may want to run for office one day, so don’t be an idiot on your blog.
12) Successful blogs seem to all have themes. Mine doesn’t. I’m working on getting there, but for now, my structure is loose and that’s okay.
13) Read other blogs! Comment on other blogs! Read to see how it’s done elsewhere. Comment and leave your blog address so people who think you have something interesting to say can check out your blog and possibly become devoted readers.
14) Have integrity and be yourself. Don’t be fake. Don’t try to be someone you think people want you to be.
15) Be friendly, but not annoying.
That’s what I’ve gathered from these past three months. I think it has been a great lesson and it is interesting how many of those things can be applied to life outside of blogging as well.
I’m still learning and working on what I want my blog to eventually be. If it doesn’t ever make it there, so be it. I’ll be proud of my efforts and I will have learned a lot.