This is quite a random threshold, the kind that doesn’t necessarily deserve to be celebrated, but I felt like feeling grateful, so yeah… three thousand posts on WordPress.
But this is not just about me bragging. No. The idea is to write about what I learned, which is somewhat synonymous with offering you the kind of advice I wish I knew about before I set out on this journey six and a half years ago.
I’d say that I did a decent amount of blogging. Could I have done more? Sure. More is always the answer when it comes to how much work one can do. I could have written better posts, developed my projects better…
But the truth is that my writing has developed a lot since I wrote my first post on this blog, back in April 2012. For those of you who do not know this, English is not my native language.
I’ve also learned a few other things that I’d like to share with you.
Inspiration is everywhere
If you’ve been blogging for some time, you must have faced this challenge. How do you get inspired? Where do you get ideas from?
The thing is that ideas come from connecting the dots. It’s that easy. Ideas come from past experiences , books I have read, conversations I have overheard. The obstacles I had to overcome.
Strong emotions inspire great ideas.
Did something happen yesterday that pissed you off? Good. Write about it. Explain why. Odds are that if you feel strong emotions about something, someone else will relate to you.
Maybe something about our society needs fixing. Maybe there’s something you wish more people understood about your job, your passion, or something important to you.
Sometimes, ideas just flow. It’s effortless. It’s wonderful. Other times, I’d much rather do nothing at all.
If you look in the dictionary under the word “procrastination,” you’ll likely find an old photo of me. But I do force myself to write quite often. I have to write something every day, unless I risk going mad or something.
Blogging is about living life
Blogging has also taught me that you need to do your best to find that spark that ignites your soul. To go out there and live. To get your heart broken, to try to fix yourself, to fall down, to try new things.
The more you step outside your comfort zone, the more creative you become.
Bad experiences tend to make for great stories, and some pretty amazing blog posts.
And, yes, yes, some of my best ideas come from me staring at a point on a wall until I can feel myself dissolving into it. Oh, I also think about ideas for posts. Sometimes. Other times, I just stumble upon a cute quote and that alone inspires an entire post.
Read, read, read
The idea is that you should read books, other blogs, magazines, and pretty much anything you can get your hands on.
In day to day life I’m kind of funny because I was this socially awkward (to be read inept) kid at school and all I knew to do was read a lot of jokes and then tell them to other kids at school.
So, yeah. Read everything you can get your hands on. Good books, bad books, great blogs, awful blogs.
I’m not just talking about what other bloggers are doing, even though it’s important to check the competition out, to see how they write their content, how they deliver it, what posts engage a certain audience enough to make them want to comment.
But I am talking about observing life. Like being in the back seat of a car. Just… witness. Everything around you. The people, the places you have seen maybe a thousand times before… I doesn’t matter.
The more you stare at something, the more you notice.
Experiment. Not everything that works for other bloggers works for you or me. It’s okay if you write something new and different and your post only gets 16 views.
You can always recycle content. After all, if you have a few main themes, you’re bound to tackle them a few times. If it’s something you care deeply about, you’ll be writing about it more than once.
This is one that most bloggers forget about. Heck, even beginners forget about it after about the sixth post.
Why do something if it doesn’t make you smile?
Oh, you’ll smile when you’ll have the kind of success you’re hoping for? Not really. You’re just training your mind to be happy some time in the future, but not now.
And guess what’s going to happen when that time will come?
You won’t be happy. You’ll come up with a new day, new goal to achieve, and then you’ll be happy.
So, yeah. Have fun. Enjoy writing just for the sake of it, for the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas.
Having a schedule is important. Like really important.
Posting regularly matters a lot. Not often, maybe not as often as I do, but keeping to a strict schedule makes sure that your readers know what to expect from you.
It takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to build a community
This is the last thing I learned.
It takes more…
It just takes more to build a readership than you thought possible in your most pessimistic thoughts. It takes a lot more effort, a lot more interacting with folks, writing posts that barely get one or two comments, it takes more of everything…
Just like that cliche with building a wall. Brick by brick. Will Smith said something about building walls…
I guess what I am trying to say is that you can’t rush it.
Posts get written one word after another, and a successful blog is built one post at a time.