Last week’s post, the Multi-Blogger Collaboration, was a project I randomly thought of one day and decided it would be fun. And, guess what? It was!
If you didn’t already read it, definitely go back and check it out. Seriously, I’ll wait.
Alas, since I know that some of you probably didn‘t follow the directions, I’ll go ahead and give you a quick recap of the collaboration. I asked 11 lovely bloggers I follow on Twitter to answer two simple questions:
1. If you could only give ONE piece of relationship advice, what would it be?
2. What about for blogging?
There are so many great bloggers that I follow and I couldn’t possibly include them all, so I ended up asking the ones that I interact with the most or whose blogs I find inspiring in some way.
The post turned out great (in my opinion, although, I might be biased.
For one thing, I absolutely LOVED getting to hear everyone’s words of wisdom. And for another, I’ve had so much support from fellow bloggers and I wanted to pay it forward a bit.
But, lest you start thinking I should change my name to The Dating Saint, I also had a slightly selfish reason for doing a collaboration project.
You see, sometimes blogging is hard. Sometimes, I don’t have a good idea for what to write about on a particular week. Or, maybe I do have an idea, but I need more time to actually write the damn thing. Or, maybe I have the idea and the time, but I just plain need a break!
Whatever the reason, sometimes I don’t have a blog post ready. That’s where this idea came in to play!
If you read the collaboration, you’ll notice that I didn’t actually write much myself – aside from the introduction and a small blurb about each blogger, the only thing I had to do was put it all together. Which meant I got to spend that week just reading each of their blogs to find my favorite posts to share. It was fantastic! ?
And it gave me some much needed extra time to think about this post. A 6 month blogging reflection. Enjoy!
My Blogging Reflection: What I’ve learned about Blogging So Far
I started this blog in December of 2020. I had no idea how “blogging” worked, how hard it could be, OR even whether or not I’d want to continue. I’ve mentioned this before, but in case you don’t know – I’m a little bit… impulsive.
Which means that sometimes (OK, a lot of the time) when I get an idea, I just go with it. I don’t think about it too much – I just jump. Take the last blog post, for instance. I had the collaboration idea within 10 minutes, I’d reached out to everyone who participated. Same thing with this blog – I woke up one day and thought, “I should start writing a blog about relationships,” and then, just… did it.
And now, it’s been six whole months!?
So, to celebrate my 6 month blog-iversary, I thought I’d share SIX things I’ve learned so far.
1. It’s Not Just About the Writing
OK, so you might already know that (especially if you write a blog, too), but when I first started, I had no idea. I didn’t really do any planning or research. My “process,” if you will, looked like this:
- I wanted to start a blog – I had extra time on my hands thanks to the pandemic, I’ve always loved writing, and I needed a new creative outlet.
- I decided to write about relationships because it was a topic that A) I was interested in, and B) I felt I had enough background knowledge to do it justice. (Between my education, the number of self-help books lining my shelves, and my experience, I have a fairly firm grasp on the subject.)
- I created the blog and published my first post by the next day.
And that was it! I’ve been told many times before that I’m a good writer, and I’m pretty confident about my writing skills, so I figured that was enough.
Unfortunately, I was wrong…
2. Blog Promotion is at least 50% of the Work
I went into it with the mindset of, “if you build it, they will come,” thinking that if my content was interesting, entertaining, and well-written, people would naturally want to read it.
How I thought these people would magically find it in the first place, I’m not sure. But, I didn’t really concern myself with that.
Instead, I focused on writing. The only problem? No one was reading it!
It turns out that just building something isn’t enough to draw a crowd – you have to actually tell people about the thing you’ve built. ?
In other words, you have to promote it.
It takes a lot, and I mean a LOT of work to promote a blog. A good majority of my blogging time is dedicated to promotion.
3. Social Media is Insanely Important – Network, Network, Network!
One of the best and most effective ways to promote a blog (maybe even the only way when you’re going at it anonymously) is through social media.
As soon as I figured out that I needed to find my audience instead of waiting for them to find me, I set up social media accounts specifically for the blog. For those who aren’t anonymous, that might not be necessary, but if you’re not sharing your blog with friends and family, you’re going to have to rely on social media strangers.
So, yes, social media is important. Posting interesting content, engaging with readers, and, of course, sharing your latest articles.
And it’s not enough to tweet your blog post once or twice, you have to do it way more. Like, a lot. An almost annoying amount, actually. ?
But, you definitely don’t want to be that person who JUST hops on Twitter, spams the blog comment threads, and rushes off on their merry way. Seriously, don’t be that person. That person is the WORST. ?
Instead, actually engage with others. Don’t only tweet about your blog – that’s boring – tweet about your day, your observations, your thoughts, and, of course, OTHER bloggers!
I’ve gotten so much support from fellow bloggers – both from a more personal perspective (these are people who fully understand the difficulties of blogging, after all) and from a readership perspective.
4. Reader Reactions Really Do Matter
You know those super popular content creators? The bloggers with hundreds of followers or the you-tubers with thousands of subscribers? Have you ever left a comment on their content only to wonder, “Do they really care what I think?”
Well, I’m here to tell you that YES, they do. Or… at least I do.
I read every single blog post comment I get – and, sure, it’s easy for me to say that when I don’t have hundreds upon hundreds of comments, but… still. I pay attention to which posts people like the best and I use that to determine upcoming articles.
And whenever someone leaves an encouraging comment or compliments my work, it literally makes my entire day.
5. It Can Take a Toll on Mental Health
Getting positive feedback is great – like I said, it can really boost my mood. On the flip side, though, negative feedback (or even no feedback at all) can really take a toll.
Like I said, I pay attention to what posts people like best. That means that I’m looking at – and taking note of – a ton of numbers. Number of comments, number of likes, number of followers, number of subscribers, number of times I want to cry…
Kidding… kind of.
The truth is that we all want to be liked, and even though my blog isn’t necessarily a reflection of how much people like me as a person (after all, I am anonymous) it certainly does feel like it.
6. I’m a Hypocrite (sometimes) – And I’d bet other bloggers are too
Along with numbers and perceived popularity, blogging can also impact mental health in another way: imposter syndrome.
If you’re not familiar with the term, imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where you feel like a fraud, like you’re not good enough, or like any praise and recognition you get isn’t deserved. Basically, it’s a fancy term for self-doubt.
Part of that, at least for me, is feeling like I’m a hypocrite. But what do I mean when I say I’m a hypocrite?
Why I’m a Hypocrite
Hypocrisy can be loosely defined as saying one thing, but doing another. And that’s exactly what I mean when I say that sometimes, I feel like I’m a hypocrite.
Does that mean that I’m a hypocrite though – or, am I just human?
Obviously, I write about dating and relationships, and yet, I’m decidedly NOT a relationship expert. Now, I’ve also always been upfront about that, so that’s not necessarily “hypocritical,” although it definitely works to contribute to an overall sense of imposter syndrome.
What does make me feel like I’m a hypocrite, though, is the fact that I don’t always follow my own advice.
I’ve written about Retroactive Jealousy before, which is something that I still occasionally struggle with. On top of that, when I do have a moment of anxiety, I find it incredibly difficult to implement the coping skills I talked about.
No Contact is another big thing I talk about it a lot of my articles. It’s also another “rule” that I’ve had a hard time with. With Brad, for instance, I didn’t go No Contact until months after the relationship ended. In my last breakup, though, I was able to do the full 30 days…
However, I find myself still orbiting that particular ex from time to time. Yes, I know that I shouldn’t – I advise other people not to, and yet… I find that it’s sometimes too tempting to resist.
Conclusion: I’m a Hypocrite… Or am I?
When I think about those examples, I wonder, “Does that really mean that I’m a hypocrite, or does it just mean that I’m human?”
So many wonderful bloggers talk about ways of loving yourself and improving your self-esteem, but I’m sure that there are days when they, too, still feel insecure.
What do you think? Do you have moments where you give people advice that you, yourself, don’t take? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thank you for reading! It genuinely does mean a lot to me. And if you’re not yet subscribed, make sure you do that!
I pretty much never take my own advice haha! Giving advice is definitely easier than taking it. Your blogging journey looks as though it’s going so well, I was the same as you and didn’t realise how much promotion a blog would need. I love writing but personally hate the whole promotion part!
It’s definitely a shock – I had no idea that the majority of blogging is promotion and not writing!
You seem so accomplished with you blogging I did not realize you have only been at it a short time. You have great presentation on social media and your posts are informative. Thank you for pointing out things I am still learning as I am in my first year if blogging. It is comforting to know I am not alone out here.
Awe, thank you. Reading that really made my day.
This was a fun post to read :- ) I totally don’t take my own advice sometimes but I’m also glad I’ve shared some advice because sometimes it’s nice to get back to older posts and be reminded of stuff :- )
True – I think most people can give advice to other people more easily than they could take their own advice.
Congratulations ? is so true that writing is only half of what we do. I first started out and just wrote and barely posted online about my blog. I did not do much until this year where I got more serious about my blog. I have enjoyed social media and getting to connect with other bloggers. It’s great to get to connect with the blogging community. I have also felt the imposter syndrome when I first started blogging. Sometimes I still suffer from it but I have learned to not compare myself and just do me. I loved this post.
That’s so true! Comparison is the thief of joy.
Wow I didn’t realize you have only been blogging for 6 months. You definitely seem very seasoned. I’m two months in so this was very helpful to me as I struggle with the feelings you discussed and the work of social media promotion which is most of the work of blogging it seems! I’m hoping for the day people just magically stumble across my blog, read it, follow it, engage with it. Until then I suppose tweeting, pinning, and gramming will have to do! You do great work btw!
LOL, yes I feel the same way! I’d love for people to just find it on their own so I can focus on the writing and not the promoting. Alas, it seems it doesn’t work that way.
I actually don’t think any of this makes you a hypocrite. we’ve all been there (at least I am). Don’t be too hard on yourself, at least you’re learning. Blogging is hard, definitely takes sacrifice and patience. All you said was true. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Happy six months! I’m so shocked that you’re so new to this whole blogging space because really, you’re so polished! My six months was almost exactly a year ago now, and I dug back to find it after reading yours. Here’s mine: https://jacqueline-of-all-trades.com/what-i-learned-from-my-first-6-months-of-blogging/
You might be able to tell, but you sound SO much more like an established author than I did. You developed a voice, a personality, and a style. As far as I’m concerned you have the authority to write the way you do. You’re not at all a hypocrite. In fact, you’re so far from it – you’re an example!
I’ve loved watching your journey so far and it’s been an absolute ride to have found you so early. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!
Oh my gosh, too much love here I can’t!! Thank you so much – you don’t even know how much that means to me. I’m definitely going to check yours out – I love all the ways you write about your creative journey (the post about past failures was so cool!)
First off, Congrats on making it to six months. You seem like you’re a seasoned pro at this blogging thing so I’m inspired.
Secondly, I think we all feel like frauds and imposters from time to time. I know I do. I wonder why I even bother with writing when barely anyone reads it. I wonder why I spend some much time promoting my upcoming book. I feel like a hack. I also know that someone somewhere is being helped by my words. If I can help that one person, then I’m okay. Most of the time. Thanks for the post!
That’s such a good point – even one person can make a difference in how you feel about yourself. Thanks for your insight!
loved this post!! and happy blog-versary! i feel like a lot of us bloggers feels like hypocrites at times because we write in a way that shows off our best selves. even when i talk about minimalism and living with less, i know i’m not perfect with the lifestyle. but as you said we are all human. and i find blogging fun and a great way to express my creativity. and that’s that! 🙂
That’s so true. Sort of like how on social media, we all post pictures of ourselves at our best – on vacation, having a good time, with an exciting announcement. No one posts pictures of themselves having a terrible day lol.
Wow, I adore this post! Happy six-month anniversary. I am happy you made this website since I love your content. I am also looking forward to reading your June newsletter.
The bit here about feeling like a hypocrite really spoke to me. I have been blogging for less time than you have, yet part of my blog is giving advice on how to blog and social media tips. Sometimes, I feel like, who I am to tell anyone anything? Yes, I am clear on the fact that I am not an expert either, but I still fear that someday, I will say something that does not work for someone and they will get angry. I think that we have to remember that even though we are not experts, we know what we are talking about to an extent from our life experiences. Those are valid as well and as long as we are not straight-up lying and pretending to know everything, I think what we are doing is helpful. It makes a difference for others. People have told me this and I am sure people have told you this too. Even expert advice does not always work for everyone. All we can do is our best.
In addition, I do not always follow all of my advice either. I try to, I really do. I think all of us are more comfortable telling others what we know is the right thing to do, but then when we find ourselves needing to follow it, then it is easier said than done. Even for bloggers, as we are human and none of us are perfect. Be gentle with yourself! This is normal, not hypocritical. Great post!
Thank you so much! It is so hard to follow some of my advice, especially when it comes to breakups. You can know something logically and understand that you shouldn’t contact your ex, but then, when your emotions start to take over, all that logic goes right out the window.
I had no idea that you haven’t been blogging for that long! Your content is so well-done!!
Your blog is so amazing, modern, pretty, and entertaining. I think you’re doing a fantastic job with it and I can’t wait to see what you come up with in the future. When I read your blog it reminds me of reading a Cosmo mag, but actually more interesting in my opinion. I love what you do and I think you’re going to go on to do great things in the writing and blogging world in general.
Shyla – https://www.sinceremommy.com
Honestly, one of the BEST compliments I’ve ever gotten so far on this blog. You don’t even know how much that means to me!!
Thank you sooo much ?
I loved reading this post, Katie! The emotions and feelings were drawn very nice and well articulated! Also I love all of the emojis you’ve used to express yourself!
You and hypocrite? I don’t think so because, the price of advice you spread I always found it way too practical and such things could not come out without an experience! As far as I’m concerned, I look hypocrisy from different angle, like though I may not have implemented the advice which I give to others but so far life has lot to showcase and we can learn from others’ life too! This is how, I do learn from others and believe I’m spreading wherever required! Not sure, if it can defined as hypocrisy!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Amazing stuff, keep writing!
So true! The advice I give definitely comes from experience – so many times I’ve made mistakes or done dumb things in breakups/relationships, so a lot of the experience is “This is what I did wrong, Here’s what I SHOULD have done instead, Learn from my mistakes.”
You’re truly excellent, Katie! I like how you spread your learnings which you earned from your real life experience and mistakes!
Thank you!! ??
I think it appears that everyone gives advice with rose-colored glasses. You are definitely NOT a hypocrite because advice is an objective experience in the eyes of the advisor. People don’t always make the best logical decisions for themselves because they are human. Feeding your followers content and giving them perspective will influence those in need of guidance. You won’t always see the difference you are making, but you are.
Thank you!! That’s a good point, too. It’s easy to see things in retrospect, or even when thinking about the situation from an outside perspective – it’s a hundred times harder when it’s YOU.
I started my blog on January but did not actually start writing regularly until last month. I mostly write about life and even though there are times I am confident about some of my advices I sometimes rethink about them and adjust them cause I don’t want to feel like a hypocrite. I also write anonymously. At least this is how I am doing it so far. I don’t know what happens in future.
Thank you for sharing. What you have learned so far helps ?
I’m so glad that it helped you! I can completely understand wanting to change your writing. In my case, I don’t change what I’ve written most of the time because I genuinely believe the advice I give. It’s just that it’s so much harder to put it into practice.
Thank you for reading and sharing your insights!