This week is a very special time for my website: its first anniversary! That’s right: this Thursday marks one year since I started blogging! It’s been quite a journey so far, and I’d like to take this time to briefly reflect on everything I’ve learned in the past year. Enjoy!
Serious blogging requires discipline. A lot of it.
Blogging is definitely fun and a great way to express yourself, but if you really want to build your identity, you have to dedicate yourself to it. Before I started, I set a goal to post at least three times a week, and so far, I’ve stuck firmly to that schedule. Because of this, I’ve learned a lot about discipline and commitment, and now I’m able to run a blog that I can be truly proud to call mine.
Blogging is one part content, two parts networking.
It’s not enough to just write good content (although that’s always important). You also need to get out there and connect with other bloggers. Share your posts on social media networks. Comment on other blogs with content similar to yours. Follow writers on Twitter and interact with them often. About 90% of my following has come from building connections with fellow writers outside my blog. My posts are accessed daily through search engines, but my regular readers are the ones I actively connect with.
I’ve also noticed that blog events are very helpful for my site. Participating in Writers Reveal has brought in more traffic and sparked some creative ideas, and my most viewed post to date is an interview with Jennifer Zeiger for my Indie Writer Spotlight segment. Blogging and networking combined! What could be better?
Patience isn’t just a virtue; it’s a necessity.
Even if you write interesting content every week and actively promote your blog on social media, it will take a while to gain a substantial following. I didn’t get my first readers (outside my real-life circle, that is) until I’d been blogging for a couple of months. Yes, I was a little anxious in the beginning about getting my writing noticed, but I stuck to my commitment, and before I knew it, I had a handful of regular readers. The important thing is to not get discouraged. Keep working hard, and it will eventually pay off.
Writers are the most supportive people on the Internet.
I was pleasantly surprised when I joined the online community of writers. I already knew that good bloggers in general are supportive of each other’s work, but those involved in creative writing seem to take it to a whole other level. Writers frequently visit each other’s blogs. They actively network on writing community sites. They share their work and exchange critique. They retweet each other and constantly promote each other’s books. And they reassure each other that no one in the community is ever really alone. They’re all like one big family.
Maybe it’s because creative writing is different from other “businesses”. Compared to other fields of marketing, there’s significantly less competition among writers (that isn’t to say that there’s no competition at all, just that it isn’t quite as cutthroat as between traditional enterprises). In fact, the opposite seems to be true: the more you promote other writers, the better it is for you. In other words, you get back as much as you give. I can see the logic in that; there’s fierce competition to sell products that people only need one of, but stories never need to be enough. There’s really no reason why one can’t read stories from several different authors, because unlike products that take up space, stories are collected in the virtually limitless mind. Of course writers want to support each other; sharing our art makes it all the more enjoyable!
If you’re truly passionate about it, you’ll always love what you do!
To be honest, I have a tendency to lose interest in activities fairly quickly. That’s why when I started blogging, part of me was worried that after a few months, my excitement would fade and it would all start to feel like work. To my surprise, I’ve found that blogging is still as much fun as it was when I started. In fact, in some respects, it may actually be more fun, now that I have active readers and a better grasp of what I’m doing. After a year of blogging, I’m now confident that I can continue at this pace, and that I’ll keep on having fun with it.
So here’s to a whole year of blogging on The Wolfe’s Den! May there be many more to come! Thank you kindly, dear readers! Bless you all!