How time flies! It feels like only yesterday when I decided to go self-hosted. The idea had been in my head for a long time and I felt 2020 would be the perfect time to do it. I did try going self-hosted earlier but that only ended in a disaster. Taking what I learned from my previous attempt, I bought my domain and set up “ThatZenBlog” on 03rd January 2020. Here’s to my first blogging birthday!
Now, I know a few of you might ask “But how is this your first blog birthday? Didn’t you have a blog earlier?” Yes, I did. In fact, I have been blogging since 2013 after graduating high school. I started out on Blogger, and then shifted to WordPress after a few years. Over the years I learned and unlearned various strategies on how to blog, but I was never pleased with what I did. So will I be counting those years in my blogging story? Yes and no. Yes because whatever I know now is because of what I did back then. No, because well, this is my blog now and I have been blogging at ThatZenBlog for only a year.
So what did I learn in my first year blogging? Read on to find out.
Think About What You Want Before Taking The Plunge
The reason why I failed at my first attempt at going self-hosted was that I honestly had no idea where I wanted it to go. I had no vision or goal and this left me swimming in a sea of obscurity. I did not know what I wanted to blog about, I did not know how often I wanted to blog and I kept going on hiatus after hiatus. This led to severe financial loss because paying for your own hosting is expensive! So this time, I made a vision. I sat and contemplated and decided where I wanted this to go. Knowing what I want has helped me a lot this year. And each time I felt lost, I’d go back to the vision and read through it again.
Quality Means More Than Quantity
If you go through my archives, you may notice the variation in the number of times I have blogged this year. In some months I blogged more than others, whereas in a few I only blogged once or twice? Quality means more than quantity. I learned that it’s okay to not write when I didn’t feel like it and to not post something just for the sake of posting a blog post. Take time out and plan your posts, proofread them, and edit them before posting them online. Good quality content will draw your audience back to you over and over again. And it’s alright if you post once a week or even once a month!
It’s Important To Take Time Out For Yourself
Creating content, managing your social media and a full time job can take a toll on you. It’s okay if you can’t manage it all and it is always good to take some time off to rejuvenate. In my first year of blogging, I think I took one mini hiatus and one month long. Life can get in the way of your blogging schedule which can lead you to getting overwhelmed. It did get to me which is why I decided to get away for a bit. And trust me when I say this, after a hiatus you return feeling so much better.
Don’t Rush Into Everything At Once
While having a social media presence is important for your blog. It’s okay to not rush into everything all at once. Give that Instagram account a break if you can’t manage it as much as your blog. I suck at Instagram. As much as I try to be active on there, I just cannot produce that much content. And it’s okay? I think it is better to learn the workings of each platform one at a time and not jump right into the middle of it all.
DO NOT COMPARE YOUR BLOG TO ANOTHER
This is a very important rule I learned this year. We are all on our separate blogging journeys and it’s not fair to compare our work with another person. Each of our situations is unique to us. We do not know what another person is going through and neither do they know what we are. Do not compare the numbers. So what if someone else has more views than you? It does not matter if someone has more likes and comments or follows. If we compare, we get unhappy. And if we are unhappy, well what’s the point of blogging then?
So what were a few of the highlights of my year?
- * I crossed 500 follows on both my blog and Instagram in July.
- * I was part of the judging panel for BBNYA 2020.
- * I met with and interacted with amazing people from all over the world!
- * I crossed a 90% reading ratio on NetGalley.
- * I read 45 books! This was a great increase from my usual 12?
This past year blogging, I have had my ups and downs of course but I look forward to the next blogging year! And who knows? I might even make a schedule and stick to it?
Here’s to the next year and many more blogging birthdays in the future!