6 Things I Learned in 6 Months of Blogging

Photo Credit: lapideo via Flickr

I recently celebrated my six month Blogoversary and, wouldn’t you know, my website chose that inopportune time to malfunction. So here is take two on my blogoversary post.

For those of you who take the time to read my blog – whether regularly, occasionally, or sporadically – thank you, thank you, thank you! And to all of you have taken it a step further and shared your thoughts, advice, and encouragement, I am sending you a giant virtual hug. Your support is a lifeline that keeps me going when doubts, questions, and criticisms threaten me.

The past six months of blogging have been one bumpy and exhilarating ride. The things that I have learned about writing, blogging communities, and myself have far exceeded my wildest expectations. Before I started blogging, I was still somewhat in the dark about what went on in this strange land of the Blogsphere. Of course, I knew what a blog was (in fact, I have been freelance writing legal blogs for some time now), but I was a bit uncertain about what went on in the subculture of personal blogs.

There is still a part of me that finds blogging to be rather odd and a bit narcissistic, and there is still so much for me to learn when it comes to writing and blogging. If you have any suggestions or advice, I am all ears. Really. But in honor of my six month anniversary and my recent induction into the BlogHer Publishing Network (yay!), I thought that I would share a few of the things that I’ve learned in this Wild World of Blogging.

Heck, these tips just might have universal applicability beyond blogging. You tell me.

  1. Write freely for an anonymous audience. I have found that by imagining my readers as nameless, faceless people who only exist in the blogosphere, I am able to write from my heart without worrying about the opinions of others.
  2. Edit your work like your mom will be reading. After pouring my heart out in a first draft, I always ask myself if the post is something that I would be comfortable sharing with my mom. If not, edits are probably in order.
  3. Be true to yourself, but experiment. I would love to be able to write witty posts that are dripping of sarcasm and humor, but alas, that is just not me. So I strive to find new and interesting ways to hone my skills and learn from others while still keeping my own voice. I am, however, using my blog to step out of my comfort zone and experiment a bit with different writing styles, such as freeform poetry.
  4. Content matters. Not content that you think matters to others, but content that matters to you.  If it is something that touches your soul and inspires you, the content will likely ring true for others.
  5. Put yourself out there and take a risk. Submit pieces to other websites, make      pitches to other publications, and talk about the things that you are scared to talk about.
  6. Develop a thick  skin.  There will be lots of ups and downs. I have come in at the bottom of online link-up competitions and I have poured my heart out in some posts only to hear crickets after posting the piece, all of which left me feeling demoralized and dejected. Then again, I am slowly gaining followers, I was recently accepted to the BlogHer Publishing Network, and I have      had people confess to me that certain posts moved them to tears. While the writing contests, comments, and site traffic matter (I’d be lying if I said they didn’t), it is so much more satisfying to know that a post has touched someone in a personal way and this alone makes the highs feel higher than the lows feel low.

Thanks for reading, y’all! Here’s to another six months of Random Reflectionz.

I want to hear what you think. Really. What suggestions do you have for improving Random Reflectionz? What topics interest you most? What would you like to see more of or less of? And, of course, please help spread the word and share the love. You can follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page.

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4 Comments

  • Wow 6 months! That flew by. Don’t worry about the crickets, I always read but don’t always comment for a variety of reasons: time, not knowing what to say, writing something only to leave and realize the next day I didn’t send it, blah, blah….but your posts always brighten my day. It’s refreshing in the blog-world to have a blog that actually talks about personal stuff and stuff that matters. Keep it up, I love it!

    • Thanks, Lori! I always love hearing from you. Your comments brighten MY day. Thanks for reading. See you at the Badger game this weekend?

  • I just celebrated my 6 month blogoversary too, and I completely agree with everything you said. Blogging is nothing like I imagined it to be, and I was surprised how quickly it came to be something I needed to do, instead of something I just wanted to do. I have loved becoming a part of this wacky online blogging community, and can’t wait to just keep on writing. Congratulations on BlogHer!

  • Christie, congrats on the BlogHer and the 6 months. I’m on my 6th month too, as you know. I need to take your advice about submitting to other websites. I think about doing that, and then I don’t. And the rest of your advice is spot on!

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