When the first anniversary of the Fibro blog rolled around, I was so excited I threw a party. I couldn’t believe I’d made it that far. Given the 98* per cent of blogs don’t survive their first year, I was thrilled with myself for staying the course. I even wrote a post about 12 Things I Learned in my First Year of Blogging, just to share my newfound knowledge. You couldn’t hold me back!
Today is the second anniversary of the Fibro blog. I only know that because tonight I said to The Builder “Hmmm, it must be nearly the second anniversary of the Fibro blog… I might need to write a post about that.” A quick check back to my embarrassing first post and, oh my, it’s today!
To mark the occasion, I thought I’d do exactly what I did last year, only sans party. So here they are. Twelve things I’ve learned in my second year of blogging.
1. Blogging is like any relationship. You graduate from sexy lingerie and the ability to go all night to comfy cotton undies and the knowledge that even things you love can become a chore.
2. Writing for blogs is different from any other kind of writing. It requires an intimacy of voice that can take time to develop. But it is also one of the most natural, rewarding forms of writing. And very necessary for anyone serious about developing a writing career today. Learning how to blog smarter, not harder, is essential.
3. Doing it less can be more work. Even regular bloggers can suffer from performance pressure.
4. If you don’t understand why you’re blogging, take a break. Getting confused about what you’re doing can result in a whole lot of churning, when what you really want is a smooth glide across the blogosphere.
5. It’s important to get off your blog if you want to build your blog. But every step you take takes time. A lot of time. Find your own rhythm with it all.
6. You will never know how a post will work until it does – or doesn’t. One of my most commented-upon posts ever was a picture of my tomatoes. Really. Well, they were awesome tomatoes, it’s true.
7. Instagram, hipstagram and all the other grams can make a photographer out of even the most visually inept person (aka me). One of my new Blog Year resolutions is to take more of my own pictures this year. Clearly this will start tomorrow…
8. You can blog for two years and still have no idea about SEO. Except that it’s meant to be important. And clearly I’m missing out.
9. Your blog will morph and change and take on an identity all of it’s own. When I started out, I hardly ever wrote about writing. Now I do it all the time. Why? Because that’s what I do. Because people ask me questions and I like to answer them. Because the Friends of Fibro seem to like them. Because I spend so much of my time writing that it’s hard to overlook. And because blogs are best when they’re true to what’s going on in the blogger’s life. Which is why I haven’t written about my tomatoes this year. Crop failure.
10. If you ask the blogging community a straight question, they will respond with a straight answer. So if you really DON’T want to know why a particular post was a dud, do not write a post like this one.
11. Blogging has given me the kind of record of my family, my writing and my life that I would never have achieved without it. I’m not a journal keeper. I’m not a diarist. I am, however, a blogger. And I am so very grateful for those snippets of my day-to-day life. It’s amazing what you forget. (Vale Alla Hoo Hoo.)
12. Simple advice is the best advice. You do what you do. Seriously, there is no better recipe for creating a great blog.
*this stat may or may not be slightly exaggerated