Two months into blogging and sometimes I feel the same way I did almost 2 years ago when my daughter was born: tired, worried, anxious, wondering why nobody told me about most of the motherhood challenges. So here I am now, wishing I knew these 8 bits of information about blogging before diving into the blogosphere:
Blogging is addictive
Blogging is more addictive than web surfing, than game playing, than anything I’ve personally experienced so far. First thing in the morning I check my blog site’s statistics, RSS numbers, approve comments held for moderation (and post replies), visiting my readers sites, checking the referral links, etc. In fact, I’m keeping an eye on my blog statistics all day round. I post one article and I already think what would I be writing next, collecting my thoughts and resources together.
Blogging requires lots of time
Blogging successfully takes more than just 20 minutes, or even 2 hours a day (as many bloggers claim) unless it’s a personal blogging. Well, I guess once your blog gains the success and popularity comparable to the one the A-listers enjoy, then you can relax and post something just for the sake of posting: it can be anything – one line question to your readers, a link to someone’s else article with a brief summary, or a funny video/images. But until then you must sweat a bit and write quality posts to gain your reader’s respect and attention. This particular post, for example, I’ve started yesterday and still working on it today. Of course, I had other duties and responsibilities in between: a job that pays and the family that needs me.
There’s a new disease, called Blogging Anxiety, and I apparently suffer from it as well. Some of the symptoms: will my today’s post be interesting and helpful enough to get some comments; will my blog get more traffic today than yesterday, will my RSS subscribers number increase or decrease, will my comment on someone’s else blog be noticed and replied to. For more blog anxiety symptoms be sure to check Ronalfly.com.
60% of Blogging is Marketing
Now, this is the most important piece of successfully completing the blog puzzle. As I found out later, blog’s popularity, high traffic and a large number of RSS subscribers don’t directly correlate with the blog’s high quality posts that readers would really benefit from. Most often achieving the blogging success is the result of an effective manipulative cut-throat marketing. Some people are just not made for that. I know, I’m not. So I’m finding my own ways to market my blog. It’ll probably take a longer time but at least, I’ll stay true to myself without taking advantage of others.
An eye and mind for blogging
Everything you read, you hear, you see will have to be absorbed differently now – from a blogger’s perspective. I see many bloggers collect a bunch of content from other sites, from media, from the daily conversations with their friends, colleagues, etc. and simply add their own twist to the stories and present as originals. I’m not saying that’s unacceptable, I’m just asserting that it’s one of the things I’m still learning about. However, in my personal opinion, high quality blogging should be more genuine than that.
This goes hand in hand with my previous point. Some successful bloggers are amazing with the blog talk – they manage to write about some obvious facts and present them as ingenious tips everyone applauding to, pondering how come they didn’t think about that. I myself commend their quick wit, and try to learn from them that not everything that’s obvious to me is evident to others. How many times did I read in “blogging tips” that bloggers should always reply to their readers comments. Well, of course I knew that – to me it’s indisputable, it’s like someone is talking to you and you’re ignoring his/her comments? But add to that recommendation: “replying to your reader’s comments will increase your blog’s traffic”, and you get a great tip that’s worth a standing ovation.
Oh, how naive was I thinking that at least in the blogosphere everyone is equal. Well, guess what, it is as corrupted as the real world – Blog Mafia rules. Or if you prefer to call them Blog Elite? To me it’s the same thing. All they care about is Money, Prestige, High Traffic and High Technorati ranking, they link to each other and look down on others, and their tips and recommendations are just that – tips – here, take these 2 cents, my poor blogger, and good luck with trying to follow my path to the top.
Blogging involves lots of writing, so no wonder that bloggers suffer from the writer’s block as well. That’s where other bloggers and readers come to the rescue – read their posts, visit their sites and get inspired, unlock your block.
Had I known about all these things before I started blogging, would I turn it down? No, I would not. Just like I never want to go back in time when I didn’t have my daughter with us. But I would’ve probably done some things differently.
So those of you who are just contemplating about starting your own blog, think about all those challenges and obstacles and play wisely, move in the right direction. And those of you who are already blogging, what are the things you wish you knew before taking part in this modern day craziness called blogging?