One thing I’ve learnt in my fifth year of blogging

Why authors should blogI missed my blogaversary! On January 22nd, my blog turned five. Five. How did that happen? They grow up so fast, don’t they?

Every year around about this time (oh, who are we kidding? Usually on January 22…), I write a post about all the things I’ve learnt about blogging in the previous 12 months. My first two years were huge and steep learning curves, and then things tapered off a little bit – but there’s always something new to discover.

To give you an idea, you can read all my other lessons here:

Four things I learned in my fourth year of blogging

Three things I’ve learned in my third year of blogging

12 things I learned in my second year of blogging

12 things I learned in my first year of blogging

This year, I’m sticking to just one thing. When I started my blog, way back in the dark ages, I didn’t really have a clear plan. I started it on a dare, because a good friend told me that I should. She knew that I wanted to write fiction and have it published. She told me that I need to get online and make a home for myself. So I did, because she’s a very forceful kind of friend who always has my best interests at heart.

As the years went by, my home changed – I redecorated a couple of times, I changed my visiting hours (going from daily posts to less frequent as other writing work took priority), I even moved house, from the Pink Fibro to here – but my commitment to my blog and the community that has gathered around it didn’t waver. I try to share what I know. I try to share what I see. I try to share the little things that go on around me.

Over the years, I’ve had many authors ask me the same question over and over: why? Why do you do it? Do I need to do it? (Yes, technically two questions, I know, but go with me on this).

So here’s the one thing I’ve learned in my fifth year of blogging.

It’s worth it.

As an author, it’s worth all the effort and the (sometimes) pain and the fitting it in and the social media whirl that surrounds it.

When The Mapmaker Chronicles hit the shelves last October, and my blogging community rallied around me to cheer and share the word, I knew that all the hard work – and consistently maintaining a blog is hard work, make no mistake – was worth it. It’s worth it for the people you meet, the thoughts they share with you, the sense of community and connections you make when you venture out online.

So, thank you – and here’s to another year.

Oh, and you can read more of my thoughts on blogging for authors here:

Why blogging is not writing

Blogging for writers: how to blog smarter (not harder)

Just another blog post about blogging (and ducks)

Social media for writers #1: Blogging

What to blog about: 5 top tips for new and aspiring authors

You do what you do

Comments 18

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  1. This is a fascinating topic for me as an unpublished author and fan of your work. Author-bloggers are often advised to reach out to fans–but your awesome blog posts aren’t exactly lures for adventure-loving kids. Have you intentionally reached out to a particular blog target market? Thanks in advance for any extra insight!

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      Hi Chris, I do have some adventure-loving kids along for the ride (Hi Hamish!) but when I began blogging I did not know I would be writing for children – I was concentrating on adult fiction. Fortunately, I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of like-minded people along the way – writer, bloggers, readers – and many of them are parents of adventure-loving kids, so that was an excellent coincidence. I don’t think it’s a matter of setting out to write for a target market per se, but rather gathering up kindred spirits as you go. That’s been my experience anyway. Other people may approach it all very differently. 🙂

  2. Well done on the ‘blogaversary’! Glad to hear you feel it’s worth it (I definitely feel your site is worth it!)

    I have a feeling you have written about this before, but the social media ‘whirl’ as you have described it seems to be a big part with you too (with the podcasts, the pink fibro book club, the twitter updates, facebook, etc). How much do you think is the blog, and how much the surrounding? (I think they seem to all mutually support each other, but they must individually take up a lot of time, as well as collectively)

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      Hmmm. It’s all integrated, Helen, and it’s really important to remember that I didn’t do it ALL at once. I started the blog, and then got on Twitter. It took me another year to take Facebook seriously, and then not really. The podcast, book club and newsletter are all relative newcomers – over the last 18 months or so – and even then, one at time, bit by bit. The blog is the essential home base for all of it, and then I’ve added layers over the years. Five years is a long time on the internet…

      As for time, the longer you’ve been ‘out there’ the less time it takes because you’ve got your base nice and solid. Bit by bit. That’s my advice. Bit by bit.

  3. Happy Blog Birthday Allison! I often wonder what would have happened if I kept at Wordsmithlane when I started it that day in May 2009. Like you, I didn’t have a clear direction. I didn’t have a plan. I just started it one day and went from there. Unlike you, I didn’t have focus. so my commitment wavered a lot. I am going to go through and read all your lessons that I have missed (especially the ones from the first two years) so that I can give my blog a better chance this time around. Congratulations on five years of awesome work and effort.

  4. Happy 5th birthday to your blog! It won’t mind that you missed the day; I think it took me six years to start remembering my poor blog’s birthday. Blogs are way more forgiving than children. I love your annual “what you’ve learnt about blogging” posts and they always get a plug in my blogging courses – now I have 5 more minutes of material so thank you! xx

  5. Happy 5 year blogiversary!! I am in my 3rd year (and second blog) and still have SO So so much to learn! It is a lot of hard work and it takes up so much time but I do love it and I love the people I have met and the blogging community. I enjoy learning so will be sure to click on all your links to soak up all you have to share. 🙂

  6. You make it look so easy, but as a long time stalker, I know you’ve done the hard yards. I love that all the way along you’ve been so willing to share your ups and downs as well as your hard earned successes – that gives me hope 🙂

  7. Congratulations. I think like new business ventures, so many blogs fall by the wayside in the first year or two, so hitting the five year mark is huge victory/milestone.

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