Lessons Learnt in Blogging
If you are a newbie blogger or just clueless like I was (well still am), then I think that you will enjoy reading the posts that I wrote for my first and second blogging anniversaries. I have learnt a lot and it really can't all fit into this one post. I will still highlight some of the information from those previous posts, in this post, as I try and sum up three years of blogging fun. This is blogging 'Personal' stylee, not making money, not professional writing, blogging tips or anything like that. This is just my little journey through HTML hell, troll dung and template tiffs.
The blog looked like thishere, thanks to the Way Back Machine (records all your old horrors). I have no idea how it works, but maybe you should check to see if your blog is there? Wayback Machine
The first actual incarnation was a horrid green spotty classic template (no offence to those that have the horrid green spotty one, although you could change it). There are No screen shots of that, because I had no clue what a screen shot was.
Main lessons learnt after year one: Posted like crazy, several times a day, twas a bad idea. Tried paid posting, it got boring,fast. Horrid template at first, messed the HTML, did a million memes, got bored.
The blog looked like this
The wonderful Design Bug designed this for me and I loved it, still do.
Main lessons learnt after year two: Started doodling again, twas a joy, found more of a 'style', posted a lot less. Made some great friends, not all people on the internet are scary. Rediscovered twitter, found it vastly appealing. Twitter also led me to connect to people closer to where I live.
Keep Reading for more wonderful insights........
Here I am now three years on, how would of thunk it!
Well it has been three years, so I must have some words of wisdom to share with you all?
Blog Appearance: Well as you can see it is now a vision in doodles, with less clutter and easier to navigate (I hope?) Again I called upon the talents of Design Bug, who just read my mind and turned it into the blog template I wanted. I loved the previous design, shown above, but it just wasn't working for me anymore. Also I thought I deserved a three years of blogging treat, so voilà here it is. If you are from the UK, the exchange rate really works in your favour, although to be fair, it is a bargain in dollars too.
What Tools do I use now?
I mean blogging tools, don't be thinking rude thoughts.. Oh just me?I have continued to use BlogCatalog, it has its up and downs, mainly downs of late. It is changing though and soon it will be a real asset for blog promotion. Like any social networking site, you have to sieve through some shit to find the real gold nuggets.
Twitter- It is the marmite of social networking, you either love it or hate it. I happen to love it, because of a few things. It has connected me to local folks and that has been a joy! Who knew there were bloggers and tweeters so close to me. I have used it to build up a fantastic set of mental folk, by mental I mean those that tweet with a 'mental health' kind of theme, which has been invaluable to me. It is networking with like minded folk, who you can bounce ideas off, whatever time of day or night it is.
People - They are most valuable tools and the thing that keeps blogging alive. Whether you find them via blogcatalog, google, reading blogs, twitter etc, hopefully once they arrive at your blog, they then get hooked and want to stay. You have to make an effort though, a selfish blogger is no fun at all! Sure you can have a large cranium because people visit your blog and comment, but don't be pompous arse about it. If people bother to comment or reach out in some way, then try to respond in some way back. Some folks consistently reply to comments, some email, some twitter talk, some facebook, some do all! I try to do at least one of them, but at times I have been an ignorant sod.
Friends - Not something I even thought about when I started blogging, not that I was thinking much about anything. Some of those people that you trick into reading your blog, via whatever means, end up being rather friendly people! I know, who would of thunk it?
Other ThoughtsBlog-Roll - I axed the blog roll a while back. Why is that? It was getting long, nobody was using it and it doesn't actually do anything for your stats. All the good stuff is stored in my google reader. If someone writes something that needs to be shared, then I may include a link in a post, tweet it, stumble it, broadcast it, etc etc.I do check other peoples' blogrolls, but of late the interesting folk have been in their comment boxes too and it is those folks that you really want. The question arises quite a bit in blog world 'Are you a reader or a writer', I have always answered 'both'. I love reading other people's blogs, they are entertaining, inspiring, informative, creative and I could go on and on.The Blog Roll use to be a way of keeping all those cool folk in one place, but as your blogging habits evolve, so does your reading habits.
Personal Development- I was just at the start of my counselling studies when I started this blog and now I am right at the end, well for this level anyways. Blogging has been immensely helpful to me for college stuff, from the stuff that I written here, to thoughts I have bounced off people on twitter, to the people that have commented on the 'counselling' posts. Having a creative outlet for all my random thoughts has been a unique experience and I think that is what has proven to be the most addictive thing about blogging.
Here is too another three years of headaches, fun, friendship and a whole heap of other bollocks.
/raises a glass to all those read this, cheers!
(by glass I mean a humongous mug of tea)