I don’t know what it is this week but I’ve been in a blog subject type of mood. Every article post idea has been about blogging. Could be the excitement still emanating from my radio show feature with Annette earlier this week –listen here- or it could be the excitement over reaching the 1,000 subscriber mark (and the crowd goes wild…. or not), but I thought I’d share my first experiences as a new blogger two years ago.
I started this blog in 2014. This post’s conception was thinking back to the early days, where I praised reaching three hundred and four hundred followers. It was fun! I even monitored the international support I received, and I was really excited about it, and I suppose before we get into it, gratitude is the real first bullet-point. My focus was on my own growth, and I celebrated that increase regardless of how other bloggers were doing.
My first blogging experience with The PBS Blog, specifically, got off to a good start, and I managed to reach 300 followers in my first three months. Here’s some of what I did. Will it work for you? Possibly, but everyone has to find their own way eventually. These points are just here to give you a start and some encouragement.
1. Resurrect Old Writings
When I started this blog, I was still blogging on WordPress under a different account. The name of that blog was A House of Poetry (you can find my silly post about cheating on that blog with The PBS Blog here), and it was a blog dedicated entirely to poetry. The thing is, it didn’t go anywhere, and I wasn’t committed to it.
When I started this blog, I started by transferring many of my published poetry from the old blog to this blog. I also tore into some old poetry books, rewrote some older poems, and added them to this blog. My goal was to introduce myself by showcasing something I knew was a strength: poetry. Every day I published a new poem, and the faucet was on.
I knew I could not survive too long by publishing only poetry. I had already tried that, and it didn’t work.
I got organized and, admittedly, a tad bit crazy, but I’ll speak on that next.
I decided to incorporate some features into this blog. I decided to publish three posts a day, all covering three different themes: One poem, one article or creative writing piece, and one quote.
Every day I published these to attract more than one kind of reader. Some people liked the poetry most, others the quotes, and others the written piece. I was on the road to creating variety with my blog, which is what I wanted. Many people say to have a niche, but that has not worked well for me. What I needed was quality content and to better connect with others.
As I said, I got a little crazy on this blog.
I was publishing three posts every day, six days a week. I knew I could not keep up this momentum for long, but I felt it was essential to initially establish a presence, so I tried to achieve consistency. Beginnings are difficult and challenging, but character is critical for blogging, which is developed by consistently producing valuable and relatable content.
Even if you post once a day or even once a month, it can make a big difference.
It’s important to remember my first experience with blogging was not this blog.
“If at first, you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.”
I have had two blogs before this one. With this blog, I have learned how to stay true to myself while incorporating my passion into something relatable to other people. Preach art all you want, but people need to feel and relate to what you say to truly understand it since people rarely give ear to what they do not understand.
Posting a lot does not mean that I was getting feedback. All of these beginner posts got anywhere between zero to five likes and no comments. I was not sure how to engage, or what it meant to produce quality content. I knew that I had something to say and that I needed to get a good foundation under me as a beginner. What it helped me to do was to be humble. I learned to always respond to comments and to rejoice at whatever growth I got. Ten likes were golden, and because of this experience, it still is. I even take the time to open every email notification of a new like or comment. I know which of you will like what based on your like habits! Yes, I’ve gotten to know you better too.
The most effective strategy was networking, or as I like to call it, the bonding process. The posting was not, and I do not think it will ever be enough. My first time seeing real feedback was when I started to follow other blogs, comment on other blogs, share content from other blogs, and interact in challenges. This is when I saw real growth. I noticed one hundred followers in one month, then another hundred, and then another. I noticed that I was getting one hundred followers a month, and by the end of my first three months, I had a lovely three hundred under me.
I am not sure if there is a standard with blogging, but three hundred followers were mine initially. For a long time, I considered ending this blog. Over time, I decided it may be worth keeping. As I made this decision, I also had to consider building. The building meant paying attention to many technical things I had not paid attention to before, tags, content, images, social media sharing, and networking.
No longer was it sufficient to post anything, now I had to consider a lot of background work that may help build a more significant blog. In the beginning, it was posting, the equivalent to getting myself out there, but now, if I was to continue to grow, I had to continue to do more than just post. I had to consider how important blogging was to me and how much time I was willing to dedicate to it. Now it was about more than just posting; it was about doing the work.
Here’s to another one thousand. Maybe someday, all of this work will pay off, and I will be writing and blogging full time. Here’s to endless possibilities. Cheers.