12 things I learned in my second year of blogging

12 blogging tips for authorsWhen 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

Comments 37

  1. I loved all of these but I love #2 the mostest. When I look back at my old blog posts written more than 3 or 4 years ago (which I don’t do often as it kind of makes me want to punch myself in the face), I’m like “Who is this girl? That’s not me!”
    It took me FOREVER to develop my voice… and it’s still developing. I’m so grateful that blogging has helped me do that… and that nobody read my blog back when I first started. Man, that stuff was just embarrassing.

  2. Happy anniversary Al! I’ve been using a link to your first “12 things” post in my intro blogging course (it sums up so much I want to tell all the students so much more succinctly than my usual rambles) so I guess I will now need to point them to your second year of learnings too. I predict your tomatoes will get a bunch more page views shortly …

  3. Happy 2nd anniversary! I like your comparison to a relationship. I am nearing my first year anniversary, and my blog has been morphing into I am not sure what.

  4. When I was first starting last year , your post about the things you had learned then were a great help to me. As usual , your new post adds and confirms. Thank you and hooray for you. Two Years. Wow!

  5. Happy anniversary!! Think mine is in July…and I may be coming up to 5 years!! Have to check. This past year has been the first though that I’ve really jumped into it, written more, expanded, connected with other bloggers etc…so maybe I’m still in that honeymoon stage?!

  6. happy blog-aversary! 2 years! wow-ee. we started blogging around the same time…my 2 years co-incides with Australia Day – wow I can’t believe where the time has gone, but i love your 12 tips and look forward to seeing what your next 12 months will bring! xx

  7. Congrats on two years of really interesting posts, A! As a fellow writer-in-the-twigs, it’s amazing how often your topics align with whatever I’m being challenged by at the time (deadlines, balancing motherhood with creativity, personal writing vs commercial writing…).

  8. Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday dear Fibro,
    Happy Birthday to you!

    Now you’ve mentioned it, I think we may almost share a birthday…I think I started Fox in Flats a year ago. Better check that & get some champers ready…!

  9. Great list and happy anniversary. Thank you for the thoughts in our conversation last year. It helped me ponder about my blog and now I’ve decided about it (wrote a post too!). It feels good to be back and also be not back (does that makes sense?)

  10. Happy 2nd bloggy-versary! Still think of your “you do what you do” words of advice often. You are one wise wordsmith Al, love popping by the Fibro!

  11. Very well said. No wonder you are a successful blogger already in the short span of time in the blogosphere. May you continue to succeed and inspire more people with every post you write. Cheers! xx

  12. Good for you Al. Always a wise woman. I share your wish to take more photos. I am just shocking at it (I can’t even work out how to use Instagram!) Maybe I will start with my tomatoes? Happy days x

  13. Happy Blogiversary!! Loving your 12 things. I’ll look forward to seeing some of your photography work. Posting my own pics is one of my blogging goals too. Thanks goodness for Instagram. And even without the party, I hope you still popped some champers and toasted the Fibro!

  14. I thought you’d been blogging so much longer! Because you’re so good at it. Today I find out your blog is only 5 months older than mine.

    Happy Birthday!!

  15. Happy anniversary – I’ve had a bloggy hiatus, not by choice for the last 6 weeks, some call it the school holidays. hard to write with 3 kids watching me (waiting for the computer – not me I should clarify). Miss it like crazy. Looking forward to next years learnings from the Fibro as year no 3 rolls around x

  16. Well good for you, Al! You’re such a generous and approachable blogger that it’s no wonder you have garnered such a fabulous following in such a short time. Onwards, ever onwards, Lovely! J x

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