five years later – what I’ve learned while blogging.

My blog is 5 years old today!

Wow.

My first blog post was on December 6, 2011 and it seems crazy that I have had this blog for five years. I started this blog at the end of 2011 after having moved to Seattle a few months earlier. I always had the idea of starting a blog in the back of my head and I finally took a shot at it.

Five years later, here are 7 things I’ve learned about myself and blogging:

1. My blog has gone through many different themes.
When I first started my blog, I wanted to document life in Seattle. I thought the blog would help me to explore my new city. I’ve always been a reader so I also knew I wanted to write something about books. However, over the course of five years, the focus of my blog has changed many times. For a while I was really into quotes and had the idea to post quotes every month. I got on a baking kick and thought I would write about all the yummy things I had baked. I tried to be witty and write about what I thought were “important” book topics. When I look back at my earlier posts, I cringe.

Gradually the focus of my blog has settled onto book reviews. I enjoy writing reviews and try to sprinkle in posts about topics I find interesting. I haven’t posted a lot about living in Seattle lately – maybe that will be a focus for 2017!

2. Blogging is hard!
When I started my blog, I thought it would be easy to come up with ideas and write posts, but it’s not. It takes a lot of time and discipline. I have a lot of respect for people who post every day and come up with all new blog topics all the time. I am constantly running out of time to write or running out of interesting ideas to write about (more on that below).

3. As much as I love taking pictures, my photos are not the best.
When I first started blogging I didn’t include pictures with my posts. I wasn’t good at taking pictures and I could never figure out which ones to use in which posts. But the blogs that I love reading are usually the ones that have pictures so I pulled out my trusty camera and started snapping away. Unfortunately, the pictures don’t always turn out so great. The lighting is wrong or something is out of focus or you can totally see my dirty laundry pile in the background. Sometimes I take upwards of 10 pictures before I find one that looks good. But I’ll keep practicing. (Notice there is no picture for this post – I took about 20 pics but the lighting was wonky in all of them)

4. Many of my blog post ideas don’t actually make it onto the blog.
I can’t tell you how many draft posts I have saved on my computer. I’ll come up with an idea to write about, sit down to write, and will only be able to write 3 sentences before I run out of thoughts. Sometimes I will write down an idea or start a post only to leave it so long that the idea is no longer relevant when I come back to it. I have many draft blog posts and ideas for posts saved in my folders and written in notebooks.

5. Sometimes I am super organized and write my posts weeks in advance. However, sometimes I go months without posting.
There are times when I will go on a writing spree and write a bunch of blog posts at a time. Then I space them out and will schedule posts for the next couple of weeks. However, sometimes I get super busy with life or I can’t find anything interesting to write about and I will go months without posting. I know that some bloggers have editorial calendars where they write all their blog posts and when they will be posted and plan everything out months in advance. I’ve tried that and unfortunately it doesn’t work for me. I usually find myself sitting at my computer, hurriedly writing something because I haven’t posted in a while.

6. It’s not about the numbers.
It’s hard not to get discouraged when I come across blogs that have been up for less than a year and they have three times as many followers as mine and hundreds of comments and likes. It’s difficult not to compare myself to other blogs. It’s tough when I write something I really like and think is good, but get no likes or comments. But this doesn’t mean that I’m not a good writer or that my posts are not interesting. There are times when I’ve read other blogs and have thought a post was great and then realized that post has no likes or comments. I’ve learned that all writers and readers are different and that it’s not about how many likes a post gets or how much blog traffic you have because…

7. I’m just having fun.
Right now, I’m enjoying writing about books and anything else that catches my fancy. Maybe one day this blog will make me money or a blog post will go viral or something fabulous will happen. But until then, I’ll just keep writing in my little corner of the internet and hope that you all enjoy what I have to say.

Thank you to everyone who is reading my little rambles!

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2 thoughts on “five years later – what I’ve learned while blogging.

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