Ten Things I’ve Learned In the First Three Months of Blogging

I’ve learned that:

  1. The people at WordPress are very, very smart. Something went wrong on the third or fourth post I made: pictures that I had embedded into the blog began to duplicate themselves. Luckily, help was just a few taps on the keyboard away. I had the above mentioned very smart person stumped for a few minutes but not for long.
  2. Taking an online blogging course is worth the time and money. The six week course I took was just right for me. It walked me through startup to the finer skills of improving and maintaining an online presence. I also loved the private Facebook Page that was set up for the people taking the course. It was a chance to see other people’s work, share my own stories, and ask for feedback. At the end of the course, I had set up my blog and was ready to get started.
  3. Self promotion is not easy or natural for me but is a necessary part of the process. I began tentatively sharing with friends, then progressed to Instagram and Twitter. I have only recently begun posting new blog posts on Facebook because many people who follow me are neighbours and acquaintances and not necessarily people who would be interested in my blog. Creating a Facebook Page just for my blog might solve this problem.
  4. Checking stats on WordPress is addictive. It is fun to see how many people are reading the blog and from where. The bar graphs are also nifty, but is this really what I should be focussing on, especially at the beginning? I began a blog because I love to write and as long as that remains my focus all should be well no matter how many people are following me.fullsizeoutput_1e8
  5. My trusty Warriner’s English Grammar And Composition is coming in really handy. If people are going to be reading what I’m writing, I can do them the favour of having it well punctuated and grammatically correct. I have been looking up far more in this book than I thought I would be.
  6. Having a designated writing time is critical for me. I have been setting my alarm for six or six thirty and do my writing before the rest of the day begins. On many days the early start takes some discipline but having this creative time before the busy-ness of the day feels right and good.
  7.  A trusty supply of index cards is very useful. Most of my creative ideas do not come to me when I am writing. They come to me when I am on a long walk, or falling asleep at night, or driving in the car. I jot down these ideas on index cards, ready for the morning when I can develop them into a blog post.
  8. Blog posts that are photo based seem to generate more interest than word based posts, so I try and alternate photo journal type posts with longer more reflective pieces.
  9. Writing a blog is great creative fun and it is also another “pot to stir on the stove” so to speak. Be prepared for the time, effort and thought that goes into writing a blog on a regular basis.
  10. The visuals in a blog are really important. I have learned that taking a picture in the right light makes a huge difference. I am not a big fan (yet) of all the filters. I love a good picture taken in natural light and that often means taking them in the early morning or just before dusk. (But I’m not sure I’m a good person to be taking photo advice from because I’ve been taking all my pictures on my iPhone 6s.)