13 Things I Learned After A Year Of Blogging
On March 23, 2020, I wrote my first blog post. If you have read my previous posts, then you know my story about blogging. I started my blog during the COVID-19 lockdown a year ago. I wanted to do something to spend my time productively. Blogging was something I always wanted to do. So I went for it.
A year later, blogging has changed my life (well, almost!). I have had a completely different outlook on what I want to do in life and what I am passionate about. Before starting my blog, I had never written anything online. Now, after a year, I have written almost a hundred articles on several platforms and published my first ebook.
Blogging has taught me many things about life. I got to know myself better because of it. Today, I not only love blogging, but it has become a part of my life. Hitting the "publish" button has become one of the most satisfying things in my life.
In this article, I want to share the things I have learned after a year of blogging. I hope this will be an inspiration for aspiring bloggers. It will also help people in general who want to achieve their goals in life.
Without further ado, here are 13 things I learned after a year of blogging.
1. Do It For Yourself First. Then, For Others.
It might seem that the purpose of a blog is to inspire, teach, and share stuff with others. After all, it is other people who are going to read our blogs. I used to think the same. But I came to understand that blogging is actually for yourself, especially in the initial phases.
When you are new to blogging, no one is going to read your stuff. It is hard for people to read and engage with your content. As a result, it might get frustrating. So it would help if you did it for yourself before you do it for others.
Blogging makes me feel good. I love to express myself through my words. Even though I get very few visitors, I still enjoy writing articles. My goal isn't to get hundreds and thousands of traffic. It is to inspire a few genuine readers.
2. Value Your Readers
It is crucial to respect and value your readers. One of the best feelings in the world is when someone notices and complements your work. As I said, it is difficult to get genuine readers on your blog. When you find some, value them.
Whenever someone comments and shares my posts, I reply to them and acknowledge them. I also feel incredibly grateful for my email subscribers. After each email, I thank them for reading my articles. Also, when I publish new material, they are the first to receive it.
If you haven't already, then subscribe to my email list here for updates and new content from me directly to your inbox.
3. Knowing Technology is an Advantage
The world runs on technology. So it is always an advantage to know the basics of technology. Luckily, I am from a technology background, and I am always curious to learn new things related to the field.
In blogging, it is advantageous to know how to build a website with WordPress, purchase a domain and hosting, set up WordPress on cPanel, work with plugins, etc. It will save you a lot of time and money. I knew how to do all these things. So it was easier for me to set up a blog. Plus, there is YouTube now—a platform where you can learn almost anything for free.
4. Money Should Not Be The Goal
We have seen and heard that people are making thousands of dollars online from a blog. Why wouldn't anyone start a blog if they can make $3,000 per month from it? If it were that easy, everyone would quit their jobs and start a blog.
I was never in it for the money. And, trust me, it is not easy to make money from blogging, especially living in Nepal. Even though I have monetized my blog with Google Ads, I hardly make a good income from it. But that doesn't bother me because money was never my goal. Blogging should be a passion. If you work hard and persist, sure you can make a decent income from it. But if money is your only goal, then you are in for disappointment.
5. Consistency Equals Growth
To achieve success in anything, you have to be consistent. Consistency can make you a better learner. Consistency not only helps you create new habits but also helps you change your identity. This is the power of consistency.
In blogging, consistency is essential. If you are consistent with writing articles and improving your website, you will build your skills. You will become a better writer, your skills will improve, and you will attract more people to visit your blog.
6. You Don't Have To Be A Writer
Many people fear that they do not know how to write good articles. So they are not sure about blogging. When I started writing articles, I did not know anything about writing. I had no previous experience in writing. But that did not stop me.
Blogging is a constant learning process. Your writing will improve as you go along. But if you don't start at all, there is no room for improvement. You might suck at writing at first. But if you don't suck, you will not learn. This brings me to my next lesson.
7. You Will Suck At It
When I read my first few articles, I realize I sucked back then. I did not know how to write appropriately, my grammar was not good, and my paragraphs were long. I honestly had no idea what I was doing.
My blog's design was horrible too. I started first on Blogger with basic templates. When I shifted to WordPress, I still had a terrible theme. My homepage, menu, fonts, and color choices—they all sucked.
If I had stopped back then, thinking that I suck, I would have never made the progress that I did. Now, my writing has improved a lot, and my website also looks good too.
8. Your Skills Will Improve
Blogging requires many skills like web design, writing, content marketing, affiliate marketing, SEO, and research. Again, you do not need any of these skills when starting. You will learn them along the way. But you have to be consistent.
I had none of those skills when I started blogging. Now, I have good knowledge about them. Having these skills has given me a lot of advantages to improve my blog. I also get more opportunities because of these skills.
9. Don't Be Afraid To Share Your Work
It is essential to share your work with people. When you overthink what people will think of your work, you hesitate to share. Sharing your work can help you improve more. You will receive feedback from people. Learn to accept both positive and negative feedback.
Appreciate the positive feedbacks and do not dwell too much on the negative ones. Instead, focus on improving. Share on all social media platforms. I would recommend LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Pinterest and Reddit are also good. However, do not limit yourself to social media. You can send your work directly to some friends and colleagues and get their feedback as well.
It is also essential to build an email list to share your work with the subscribers.
Re-sharing also plays an important role in blogging. You can re-share old articles several times. Tim Ferriss does this too. So why not you?
10. Know Your Purpose
I honestly did not know my blogging purpose at first, and that is okay. But once I started doing it more often, I knew what my purpose was. I wanted to impact people's lives—inspire them, and help them become better versions of themselves.
Knowing your purpose can help you build strategies. It will help you identify your audience and create content for them.
11. Blogging is About Expressing Yourself
Writing, in general, is expressing your ideas, thoughts, and feelings on paper. When you are writing a text message, tweet, or Instagram caption, you are expressing something. It's the same with blogging.
The more you can express yourself, the better you will be at blogging. When people ask me how to write more, I tell them to start by journaling. Journaling is the easiest way to express yourself. You will not feel judged. You have to freedom to write whatever you want.
Once you are comfortable with journaling, shift to blogging. It will be more accessible, and you can express more.
During the one year of blogging, I learned so much. But I have no regrets, except one—I didn't start it sooner. When I think about it, I wish I had done it sooner. Never mind, I am still proud of my achievements.
If you are overthinking whether you should get into blogging, here's a piece of advice—start. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to know anything. If blogging is what you want to do, do it. Once you do it, you will start learning. It is a constant learning process. I learn something every day.
Just start. Learn about blogging. Follow other bloggers and ask for their help.
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." —Martin Luther King Jr.
13. Don't Give Up
In my initial days of blogging, I had zero readers. I had no clue why I was even writing these articles. Sometimes I used to think that all my hard work was for nothing. But even when I had zero readers, I enjoyed the process. I never even thought about giving up.
If you quit, you will never know the possibilities. But if you continue, you will see the opportunities. When you think of quitting, go back to the first point of this post. There is a saying that quitters never win and winners never quit. If blogging is what you really want to do, you should never quit. Failure is a part of success. Instead of quitting, fail. Fail again. Fail better. But never quit.
I have completed one year of blogging, but for me, this is just the beginning. My journey has just begun. I still have a lot to learn and do more awesome things. Blogging has become a part of my life. I wake up every day thinking about what I want to write and what impact I want to make on others today.
My purpose is to inspire others. That's the reason I write primarily about personal development. When people message me saying that they loved my article and it helped them somehow, that is success for me. Like I said, I was never in it for the money or fame. I did it to make an impact on others, and I know I am doing precisely that.
Finally, I want to thank all my readers for being with me in my first year of blogging. My blog has taught me a lot of things, and it has brought many opportunities. For this, I am very grateful. I am also thankful to my email subscribers. They have trusted me, and I promise to deliver my best content to them so that it can add value to their lives.
Here's to many more years of blogging—cheers!!!