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 that 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.
HOWEVER – there was one other blogger who participated, but since I decided to focus solely on female bloggers, his responses weren’t included. They’re really good, though, so I’m including them as an extra feature in my upcoming June Newsletter. Make sure to subscribe here!
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. 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.
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, but it’s another “rule” that I have 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!
And, as always, thank you for reading! It genuinely does mean a lot to me. If you’re not yet subscribed, make sure you do that to get my upcoming monthly newsletter!