7 Things You Fear Before Turning 30

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  • You can no longer blame the childish things you do on your youth. You think of ways to be as immature as possible before leaving the 20s club.

 

  • You’ll get fat. You’ll definitely get fat. You picture yourself grossly overweight with eight kids. You work out as much as possible before your birthday.

 

  • Kids will call you old. You try to say something hip to sound cool. You forget hip went out ages ago. You just said hip and ages in the same sentence. Your nieces roll their eyes. Your nephews shake their heads. You walk off in shame.

 

  • You wear a smirk at the possibility of catching up with your husband’s age. You’ll both be in the 30s now. You think you’re winning. You forget he’s nine years and four months older than you are and is on his way to the 40s club.

 

  • Speaking of 40, birthdays will never be the same again. You’ll have to wait ten years before getting the spark back. I mean, 31? No one is ever excited about 31. You consider ways to slow down time.

 

  • You fear you won’t actually sound 30 when it gets here. You realize you don’t know how 30 sounds. You consider asking your husband. You forget about the immature thing. You wonder what’s mature and what’s not. You overthink it.

 

  • You hide 20s memorabilia. You’re afraid you’ll miss it. You re-watch chick flicks and cartoons as much as possible before your birthday.

 

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The First 300: How I Reached 300 Blog Followers in 3 Months

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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 so to just be making it to the thousands may not be all that significant to some but this is huge for me. The conception of this post was thinking back to the early days where I praised reaching three hundred and four hundred followers. Why did I stop doing that? It was fun! I even monitored the international support I received and I was really excited about it. Yes, life gets busy but I’d hate to become proud as if I’ve made it somewhere when I’ve not. That is when I thought, “Well, share your experience with starting the PBS blog.”

I remember my excitement over my first one hundred! In fact, my first blogging experience on this blog got off to a pretty good start far as subscribers are concerned. I managed to reach 300 followers in my first three months. Here’s some of what I did. Will it work for you? Possibly. I caution however that blogging is a funny thing. Everyone has to find their own way. Here’s what I did:

1. Resurrect Old Writings

When I started this blog I was actually 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 completely to poetry. Thing is, it didn’t really go anywhere and I wasn’t dedicated to it. When I started this blog I began by transferring a lot of my published poetry to this blog. I also tore into some old poetry books and rewrote some older poems and added them to this blog. My goal was to introduce myself to the blogosphere by showcasing something I knew was a strength: poetry. Every day I published a new poem and the faucet was on.

  1. Get Organized

I knew I couldn’t go on much longer with just poetry. I’ve already tried that and it didn’t work. So, I got organized and a tad bit crazy but I’ll speak on that in the next point. I decided to incorporate some features into this blog so I decided I’d publish three posts a day all covering three separate things: 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. Since my poetry blog, focusing on a niche has never been my thing. Yes, I know, many people say to have a niche. Truth is, I don’t think you need one to be successful at blogging. What you need is quality content and interaction with others, but I digress.

  1. Consistency

Probably by far the most influential, I got a little crazy. I was publishing three posts every day, six days a week. I know, but that’s the kind of person I am. Dedicated. Loyal.  All or nothing. I knew I couldn’t keep up this momentum for long but I felt it was important to establishing a presence in the beginning. At the end of the day, what I was trying to achieve was consistency. Beginnings are difficult and challenging but when it comes to blogging, consistency is important. Even if you just post once a day (or even once a month) it can make a big difference. Again, I think it’s important to remember that my first experience with blogging was not this blog. I’ve had two blogs before this. I’ve tried preaching to the choir. I’ve tried the staunch “staying true to my art”. Been there and done that. With this blog, I’ve come to learn how to stay true to myself WHILE incorporate my passion into something  relatable to other people. Preach art all you want, but people need to be able to feel and relate to what you’re saying to truly understand it (people will never give ear to what they do not understand). Otherwise, your  blog is not going to attract new faces. Oh? You don’t care? So what are we here for? Personally, I am not here to smile and look “deep”. It’s time for new levels.  How powerful is my message if it never reaches anyone? Exactly.

  1. Persistence

Just because I was 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 wasn’t sure how to engage or what it meant to produce quality content and all that. I just knew that I had something to say and that as a beginner I needed to get a good foundation under me. What it helped me to do was to be humble. I learned to always respond to comments and to rejoice at whatever little growth I got. Ten likes were golden and because of this experience, it still is. I still take the time to open every email notification of a new like or comment. It’s to the point now where I know which of you will like what based on your like habits! Yes, I’ve gotten to know you better too.

  1. Networking

Probably the most effective was networking or as I like to call it, the bonding process. The posting was not and is not 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 really started to see blog growth. In fact, 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 nice three hundred under me.

  1. Building

I’m not sure if there’s a standard with blogging, but three hundred followers was mine. For a long time, I considered ending this blog. Over time, however, I decided that it may be worth it to keep it. As I made this decision I also had to consider building. This meant paying attention to a lot of the technical things I hadn’t paid attention to before, tags, content, images, social media sharing, networking. No longer was it sufficient to just post anything, now I had to take into consideration a lot of background work that may help contribute to building a greater blog. In the beginning, it was posting, the equivalent to getting myself out there but now, if I was to continue to grow then 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 (not trying to spend a lifetime here or anything but by time I just mean at least a post a day). Now it was about more than just posting, it was about doing the work.

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Here’s to another one thousand. Maybe someday all of this work will pay off and I’ll be writing AND blogging full time. Here’s to endless possibilities. Cheers.

S / O to South Africa!

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So yall know every now and again I check to see who stopped by the PBS Blog from across the water. I say every now and again because I try not to get too caught up in the stats every single time I post. I just don’t want to get distracted. I prefer to be lead naturally toward post ideas without the influence of how little or how great the views are. So I’ve organized my thoughts to take a look at them only enough to stay in tuned, to stay aware but not to depend on. So anyway, when I noticed more views from outside countries I did a blog series where I gave them a shout out. Only because other countries don’t get the same representation as America does. I decided then to shine some light on my viewers from across the water, those outside of the U.S. Make a long story short, I’m sitting here in the late hours drafting tomorrow morning’s post and decided to stroll on over to my stats. This is when I noticed I’ve received a total of 65 views from yesterday (7 / 30) from South Africa alone. Now yall know they deserve a shout out! I know some of you veterans out there are used to this but I’m really excited to have so many people from one place to support this blog and from Africa of all places is icing on the cake! I guess you can call it a milestone. I didn’t set out for this specifically, but I am always excited to reach as many people as I can. Even if their eyeballs slightly brushed upon the page its really cool to see just how many people viewed your blog and I want South Africa to know that I appreciate your support. I also appreciate everyone who supports this blog by sharing my posts, participating, commenting, and reading in silence.