What I Learned In Three Months Of Blogging

Get comfortable, you’re in this one for the long haul! Nothing could have prepared me for the world of blogging. I was under no illusion that it would be easy to consistently post to the website but starting out that was about the extent of my concern. How quickly I learned that this was not to be. Sass & Shamrocks is 3 months old today! To be 100% honest (because I don’t see the point in being any other way), thus far the negative aspects of running this blog outweigh the positives but I’m optimistic in thinking that won’t always be the case.

What I Learned in Three Months of Blogging

Blogging is EXHAUSTING, it infiltrates your entire day, consumes a great deal of your thoughts and gobbles up vast quantities of your time and energy. In the beginning when I was desperately trying to teach myself how to do everything at once, I skipped meals and hardly slept – thankfully it isn’t like that anymore. This is the number one stinger for me; I am a perfectionist. A perfectionist who is excellent at organization but terrible at time management. Instead of separating tasks and adhering to a strict schedule I like to think that I can juggle 50 things simultaneously. I always know exactly what needs to be done but do not have the patience to do them separately. I am slowly learning to complete tasks, one action at a time rather than half a**ing everything I attempt to do at once. Blogging has taught me that it takes far less time to compartmentalize than it takes to sort through a huge mass of chaos. Good old fashioned pen and paper lists have become my saviors.

Pen and paper

One of the first things you will learn about writing a blog and building a following is that you must post consistently. This does not mean that you have to post every single day to keep your viewers interested but you should post on a fairly consistent schedule. Whether it is once, twice or three times a week your subscribers will come to know your posting schedule and expect new content on those days. The key is to post according to your own capabilities, i.e. how much time you have to commit to writing, posting and promoting your work. The other and most important point here is quality. You can post every single day of the year if you wish but realistically how good or unique will those posts be? Strive to publish your best pieces and if this means only once a week then so be it. I am not claiming any expertise here and my blog is still in its infancy but I have made these mistakes and posted thrice a week only to churn out utter rubbish. I have since removed content that A) I did not put my best efforts into B) Does not fit into my niche C) Had little to no views/engagement.

Which leads me to my next point, write about what you want, using your voice/personality and what is inherently YOU. I post about my personal journey, things that interest me and that are relevant to my life. Through that I connect with like-minded people experiencing the same and building that network is a dream. I have seen blogs start around the same time as mine and have been following their blogging adventure as much as my own. I have seen some shoot to success from day one, I have seen others grow at a snail’s pace and adapt to their niche as they find their feet in the blogging world just like me. I have even seen some disappear into the internet abyss never to be heard of again but I have also seen others sell out quickly to affiliate programs and brands that seemed to be nothing to do with their overall blog mission. Monetizing your blog is possible through EXTREME hard graft. Some are lucky and soar almost directly into a financially cushy blog spot, others kill themselves for cents per month. In April I applied ads to my site but the monetization of Sass & Shamrocks was not my reason to launch. I truly write for release, fun and the connections/friendships made along the way.

Writing

Let me tellΒ  you about some people you will endure experience on your blogging journey. People can be flippin’ terrible. It is wrong of me to tar a portion of the population with one brush so I’ll illustrate this via anecdotes about actual negative interaction on Sass & Shamrocks. Does anyone have frenemies? Y’know the ones you thought you left back in high school – the types who smile at you in the street but for some reason have an inward distaste for your existence, well if you promote your posts through your facebook page you will see that there are a few lurkers. Facebook insights are revealing. Very revealing. For example, the single person who consistently hides my posts regardless of what they are. The person who hides every post relating to my trip home to Ireland. Baffling considering they could just ‘unlike’ the page and never have to suffer such awfulness. As a side note here is why these people SHOULD unlike your facebook page by Alyssa (a gem I’ve met through this wild trip).

Following to unfollow. Frustrating and fruitless! I am not a mass follower. I follow people in stages, over time on different social media platforms because A) I like them B) They fit into my blog’s niche. If I don’t get a follow back, I still follow them – after all, I chose to follow them. If however their content no longer interests me or I realize that maybe they don’t fit into my niche as much as I thought and therefore have no engagement then I will unfollow at a later date. It’s not personal. I do not like the follow for follow mentality where I wake up to 30 new followers who unfollow within 24 hours because I haven’t returned the favor. This isn’t a game of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. With social media’s new and complex algorithms it is not beneficial to follow and have followers who do not interact with you. It damages your reach and you will find yourself and your content buried at the bottom of the ‘popularity’ pile. More gold I have learned through this experience.

Blog comments. This s a source of contention for me for two reasons. The first being negative comments. I’m all for constructive criticism and debate on my posts but telling me I am ‘stupid’ and ‘selfish’ (yes people take the time to write and publish comments like that!) is unnecessary. Not to mention, I am not going to approve such comments and display them on my blog. The second peeve here is comment threads. I participate in forums whereby I read other bloggers’ posts and leave a comment on them. The deal is that you read the post thoroughly and leave a genuine, intelligent comment. The aim of this is to support others’ blogs, discover new bloggers and build a network. Unfortunately a large amount of participants enter these threads merely for the number of views to be gained (and I assume, money). They use it as a tactic to heighten views and you will find comments on your blog such as “great post, thanks for sharing” or “great tips” only to have spent five minutes writing an essay on theirs while it is evident they didn’t even read yours. It’s as disheartening as it is false and a big lesson through this has been learning the importance of genuine engagement on my blog. I just stumbled on this excellent article by Gary Vaynerchuk explaining why your view count and social media popularity really means crap. When I first started blogging, the stats were the be all and end all for me. Now my main aim is connection and genuine interaction. I have cut back to only viewing my stats once a week to assess where I am going wrong and work on correcting those issues.

Plagiarism. My soul hurts as much as my brain does when I see a blog post that is identical to mine days orΒ  just hours after publishing. This has happened to me three times in these past three months. I suffer from writer’s block often. Evidently so do they since they read posts and regurgitate them on their own websites with no credit. I don’t have the energy to battle it out with these people. But one in particular was someone who had a massive following. It’s incredibly frustrating knowing hundreds of thousands of people are actually reading your content that someone else has hijacked. Where is the integrity? The blogging world is over-saturated, we all know this but I firmly believe that using our own voices, ideas, opinions etc. can result in something entirely unique. I’ve learned there will always be someone lurking, waiting to use your achievements for their own ego boost and the hard part is rising above that. If it becomes more sinister or repetitive, action may be taken and here’s how.

That is seriously enough about the negativity in blogging. I find it draining to even talk about it but these are the facts of the last three months. I need to give major props to the positive, warm people I have come to know over the last quarter. I struggle in Georgia to make friends even in a military community. Whether it be cultural differences or the limitations of my visa process, I spent a lot of time on my own. One of the reasons I launched the blog was to put myself out there and open doors to new experiences. That definitely happened and although I have come into direct contact with more negativites than positives, it is the elation of the positive experiences and words of the wonderful, supportive people out there that keep me striving towards something greater.

If you want to test out your range of emotions and experience all of them at once I recommend that you start blogging. It is fun, it is draining, it is therapeutic, it is enraging, it is amusing, it is jealous, it is liberal, it is passionate, it is ignorant – to list but a few. You are placed in a little corner of the world wide web and given a voice. You can use that voice to inform, help or upset others. You can change a life. I’m not saying I do but you are in this unique position to be heard which is sometimes difficult to achieve in ‘real’ life. Sharing this piece of myself is scary but rewarding when someone says “I get it”. You can be as transparent as you like and conversely, as private as you wish. You can be a light or you can be the dark. The most important thing is that you are you.

Embrace the Journey

Some days I still want to figuratively, flip over the table that is this blog and say F this crap! (*Amy OUT* Obama mic drop, style) other days I feel like I want to change the world. It’s only been three months. A lot has happened and lot still hasn’t. Watch this space.

 

 

 

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88 Comments

  1. Oh goodness I can’t related more than I already do to this post! I started my blog at the very end of Jan so I’m a newbie too! Having only started for it to be a writing outlet I knew nothing of how hard blogging can actually be! There is so much to learn/know and it takes an incredible amount of time writing content and getting that content seen! I also can’t stand those comment threads where people obviously haven’t read your post and it drives me insane that people can’t be bothered to read but expect it back! Also I found it interetesting when you mentioned tour work has been duplicated on other sites… Firstly its appauling that people do that and secondly how did you find out?? I hope the perks of blogging start to reveal themselves to you and outweight all the negatives soon! http://Www.mylifeinrosetintedglasses.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read such a lengthy post! The way I found out about the duplicate content was actually from threads and forums. I literally just stumbled upon them as I try to read as many blogs as I can. It’s a shame but such is life, I guess. Good luck on your blogging journey and kudos on all you have achieved thus far πŸ™‚

  2. I just finished reading this post and it’s so true. I started in January but have already taken one break just because blogging can be *so* draining. Your lessons learned (even the negative ones) are absolutely accurate, and I have struggled (still struggling) with the same things. I haven’t posted in about a week because a) I haven’t had time and b) I’ve had bad writer’s block too. The struggle is so real!

    I love your blog, keep up the great work! I still have to finish my post on planting succulents; you inspired me to get them after I read your post on planting/caring for them! πŸ™‚

    – Hannah, http://www.thecatsandcoffee.com

  3. Great post! I feel your pain on many of your points. The blogging world is a lot of hard work and you have to deal with a lot of people that are simply not nice. By the way, I came to this post from subscribing to your blog and I’m so glad I did. I love that you’re genuine and we share that quality πŸ™‚ Keep up the great work!

  4. It’s time consuming and yes when I started it was exhausting cause I wasn’t focusing on something I like. Now I can easily say I enjoy it.
    I still find it hard to post consistently though.

  5. I understand how you feel about the Facebook issue. Once I started to promote my blog via that platform, I felt unsure about what I was doing. I am also from the south (Tennessee), and I feel like blogging is something that is not done around us too often. I feel like people think it belongs in larger cities, which is not the case. I luckily, have not has as many negative experiences with blogging, but I know they are bound to happen eventually. Like you, I do my blogging for me, and for my own creative release. If I somehow make money off of that eventually, awesome, but I am definitely not sweating that. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, and if something I write makes someone’s day better, or makes them feel good about themselves, my mission is done. Keep up the amazing work! Definitely coming back to read more in the future!

    Ashlee Liz
    http://www.ashleeliz.com

    1. Thanks Ashlee! Great to hear you’re happy where you are at with your blog right now and thank you for the nice words and taking the time to read the post πŸ™‚

  6. I only launched my blog in December so I’m a newbie too! I’ve experienced a lot of what you’ve talked about but we just have to put the negative aspects aside remember why we’re bloggers. But the fact that people have stolen your content and troll your posts is utterly disgusting! Hope your blog continues to flourish in the way you want it to and I look forward to reading more of your posts πŸ™‚

    Rosie | http://www.rosieromance.com

  7. I could so much relate with your post. I have been blogging for 4 months now and I too have experienced somewhat similar feelings. Sometimes, I do struggle to pen down my thoughts but still, I was never so happy writing ever.

  8. Any real experience is always welcome, I am a new blogger and I am learning each day so this kind of stuff is super helpful. Awesome content! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  9. I am going into my 5th month of blogging and could relate to all of this! I agree, follow for followers are frustrating! The social world should be built on relationships not numbers. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I didn’t realize all of this was happening! The plagiarism really bothers me and it is so annoying when you have worked so hard! I am sorry that you had to deal with it. I think you are doing an awesome job! I would have never known that you have only been blogging for three months other than through the blog! You are amazing! Keep it up!

  11. I can relate to much of this! I have been thinking about deleting some of my earlier posts for the reasons you mentioned. When I started, I thought I would post more easy recipes and more tips, but I tend to gravitate toward the inspirational. I think that’s more where my talents are, so after reading this, I think I will delete some of them. I hope that people will be inspired to write something new based on things I’ve written that got them thinking differently, but to have people steal posts would be beyond frustrating. What’s the point? Isn’t it much more gratifying to achieve something on your own? I guess just take solace in the fact that they have to live with themselves, which probably isn’t all that much fun! I’m sad that your experience has been more negative than positive. I hope that turns around soon, because I enjoy your blog!

    1. I think your blog can grow just like you. Nothing has to remain stagnant, if you started in one niche but excel in another then so be it! Reach out into the other and keep one foot in the old one. Or leave it altogether – rebrand and reinvent your blog as something shiny and new. It’s all your choice and that’s the beauty of it. It’s entirely a reflection of who YOU are.

  12. Amy! I feel for you! I understand how hard it is to get find your inspiration and write sometimes. It must be equally devastating when your work has been taken! I truly enjoy your posts! I love your take on the South seeing as it is new for you! By the way I have friend who is a military wife on a base in Georgia! I could virtually introduce you! πŸ™‚

  13. I can’t believe you have only been blogging three months, your blog design puts mine to shame and your content is excellent. Blogging is time consuming and like you my time management is not on par with my organization skills.

  14. So true when you say “Blogging is EXHAUSTING, it infiltrates your entire day” Sometimes you just feel there’s so much to do and there’s really no time..
    Loved to read your experiences and will be watching your blog.

  15. Some really good points you mention there. I am, for the first time, participating in exchange of blog comments (as you know), and I can understand what you mean. Even though sometimes it’s difficult to know what to comment, specially when I don’t relate to certain posts, I always take the time to read them.

    I’ve had several blogs in the past, but I never really made an effort to promote them. I think I mostly blogged to myself. Then met a few bloggers along the way, started interacting. It’s amazing to interact, but when it’s not reciprocated, it misses the point, I think, in my opinion. I think it’s important to connect, and to connect, reciprocation is needed.

    In any case, I have only recently started to put some more effort in promoting and interacting more. It’s amazing to blog, but it’s even more amazing to share your insights with everyone, I think that’s the main point of blogging. I never made money with any of my blogs before either, I do it only on a personal / leisure way at the moment.

    Needless to say, I am super jealous that you have achieved so much in 3 months! I have had my Book Blog for almost a year now, and last month I have started my first blog with someone else (I’ve only blogged on my own before). In this case, my boyfriend. We basically wanted an outlet to talk about whatever topics interest us. We really do it for us, and it’s amazingly fun to do it. But we want to share our interests with others too, and there it comes…the interaction.

    Anyway, all of this to say, amazing work you have done here, and congrats on your 3 months:)

    1. To have a creative outlet or just to release your opinions/thoughts is reason enough to keep your blog. I think too many people think blogs just automatically make 6 figure sums and that is CRAZY. I really don’t plan to monetize my blog in any serious manner – my adsense only makes CENTS. I just like to write. To be consistent with no reward is difficult but only if you want that reward to be cash. For me, the engagement and connections made along the way are rewarding enough for now! It’s great that you do this and support one another. It’s lovely to share a passion! Best of luck with it, I’ll be following your journey, Nya.

  16. Hi Amy,
    I’ve been a fan of yours for a little while now, and I guess I never really paid attention to the fact that you’ve only been blogging for a few months! I started my blog in January, and have experienced most of these issues too. I’m always exhausted, and I want to do everything at once! I’ve had to really step back and prioritize, so I don’t make myself crazy. Lol

  17. So great to read at post like this and know I am not alone. Blogging is hard, we put in so many hours and sometimes for no rewards, but I do love the creative outlet that it gives me… So for now I trudge forward determined! ❀️

  18. I can’t believe your blog is only three months old! It looks amazing and you have fantastic posts! It’s so frustrating sometimes, but keep up the hard work.

  19. The fact that your blog is only three months old BLOWS my mind! It’s so professional! I wish I had had that sort of insight into blogging when I first started. I hate plagarism and it always shocks me when I read that others are struggling with people who steal their work. That would drive me nuts. In-fact, I even know one blogger who lives in the same city as me and was copied by ANOTHER local blogger – shocking and AWFUL.

    Bree || http://www.theurbanumbrella.com

  20. You’ve basically just described my entire blog journey in one post! I think we all go through those similar sort of motions and have similar experiences when trying to find our feet. I’d like to say it gets easier but I don’t know how true that would be, maybe we just get better at handling it everything!

    I don’t know why you were worried about this – it’s fantastic, it’s honest and authentic!

    Thank you for the shoutout also, that’s really kind of you. I’m just glad to have been able to help πŸ™‚

    1. I worry too much about every thought I have in my brain haha. No problem I owe probably 80% of my lessons to you. I have learned so much in the group!

  21. Blogging is defiantly self paced and can seem frustrating. I can relate to the follow and then unfollow. What is the point of that. If I follow you I like you. I hate when people follow you and then when you follow them back they unfollow you.

  22. Three months in looks like you’re doing pretty good. I also hate the follow for follow mentality. Follow people who you enjoy content from, don’t follow people just for a follow, or to unfollow them once they follow you to boost your numbers. That is so wack.

  23. This post hits the nail on the head. I had no clue what I was getting into and it has been quite the journey. What I notice most about these threads is that many people will never genuinely reciprocate. I also notice endless posts about the same thing anytime a holiday rolls around. I try to tell myself the Internet is a vast place and there is room for all of us. Just remember no matter how many times your content is copied, you are offering much more than just that single post to your readers! Xo

    1. Absolutely, sometimes the monotony can be draining but you’re right – there’s a place for us all.

  24. So many good points here. My blog just recently turned 3 months too (hey we’re almost blog twins!) and nobody told me it would take over my life. I have a full time day job too so I blog at night, weekends, when I’m exhausted, you get the point.

    I’ve since learned to take a step back though. To not obsess about numbers so much as engagement. And just always remind myself why I started blogging in the first place.

    And when it’s starting to get awful again…there’s always wine πŸ™‚

    Hang in there! Someday we’ll look back at this time and have a nice laugh.

  25. Great post, thanks for sharing…just kidding!! (before you start to virtually curse me!)
    I also can relate to a lot of things you’re saying here–When I first started my blog last fall I didn’t know anything about blogging yet made it a goal to post everyday for 30 consecutive days. Talk about burnout…Needless to say, I took a break, reevaluated my approach, and now I’ve been writing again consistently for the last couple months at a much less hectic pace. Like you mention, it really comes down to what you can handle and incorporate into your own schedule.

    1. LOL! I’m just surprised you’re the only one who had the nerve! JK! Holy moly a 30 day blogging challenge…That is a LOT! Glad you found your balance.

  26. Yes, Amy! I feel the exact same way. You are on point. You’re site and content are beautiful and you’re doing a fantastic job! It can be so tedious and daunting at times, especially in these early days. But the inspiration and difference we can make, is all worth it! Keep it up!

  27. Blogging doesn’t have to be exhausting and honestly, if you think it is, then you need to cut back! I have found an equal balance that works perfectly for me. It doesn’t take over my whole life but it allows me to make blogging my fulltime job!

    1. Well it was exhausting to begin with. It’s still extremely time consuming but I have already cut back. As I said, lessons learned. On a journey to find what works best πŸ™‚

  28. Those are some good lessons you’ve learned and unfortunately, “people are bad/gelouse/nasty” is a truth. Just ignore them, they are not worth your time.
    I do agree it is important to write consistently, I always find myself struggling to do it when I’m traveling. I try to post once a week, as my articles are pretty long and require a lot of work. I don’t know what I would do if someone would steal them, or my pictures. I would probably sue them to teach them a lesson.

    1. The times during my travels are the most stressful blogging times. It’s very hard to keep up with a schedule when things get turned upside down!

  29. Only 3 months but you achieved so much already! It’s really great Amy, even with all the bad stuff happening. I can’t post often but it always gives me a smile when someone stops by to comment or says hi on Facebook. I am very isolated where I live and I have disability, so it can feel very lonely and blogging is like a window on the world. I am thankful that my niece helps me with English and running the blog, I hope I can do this for more years (I started my blog in 2008). Keep writing & I joined your FB page!

    1. So glad your blog gives you and avenue to speak your mind and tell your story. Thanks so much for the follow and nice words πŸ™‚

  30. Wow only three months and you are half on your way to be a pro, not everyone can do this. My three first months were really horrible , but only because I had to learn how to film and edit videos. Oh God! And I am still learning. Keep it up!

  31. I completely see where you’re coming from Amy! Also it’s pretty amazing that you’ve only been blogging for 3 months. My blog was still on wordpress.com at that point and I was taking awful photos and didn’t promote at all, so good for you in that regard! I also completely get the desire to want to say F this sometimes and just go back to not having the stress of all the work that goes into creating blog posts and then promoting them. I completely agree with a lot of what you’ve said – plagiarism sucks. I can’t be sure if I’ve been plagiarized but I’ve definitely had some suspicions. Also, the lack of a thoughtful comment is also really frustrating. I definitely make an effort when I participate in comment threads and it’s pretty demoralizing when you spend hours writing a post and then someone comments with something that you addressed in your article already. So far, I don’t think I’ve had any negative comments, but maybe it’s just because my blog isn’t popular enough, or no one is bothering to read the posts πŸ˜› Anyways, I enjoyed reading your thoughts and love to know that someone feels the same way as me!

    1. It’s always good to know you’re not alone! Your blog definitely isn’t unpopular. You’re branding/layout is fab and your posts are top notch. You seriously are one talented lady!

  32. Hi Amy,

    I’m sorry the negatives are outweighing the positives at this point. I have no doubt that will change real quick, there’s such a steep learning curve while you’re establishing a blog and, as you say, it infiltrates your entire day.

    I’ve heard other people who’ve had to deal with plagiarism, that must be an awful feeling. The thing is, someone can steal your words but it’s not going to help them much–they’re not you and they can’t write a follow up post that will match it.

    Your blog is beautifully organized and well written, it’s amazing that you’re only three months in. You have a unique voice and I enjoy reading your posts!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read Dave and for the kind words. Your blog is excellent and I find a great deal of comfort in your posts!

  33. Running a blog, especially promote it, is not an easy task, but you managed to achieve your goal and have success in such a short period of time! Wow! You did a really great job! Blogging is full of challenge and hard work, and it’s time consuming, but if it is your priority and passion you can always find time!

  34. Following to unfollow!! Ahh! I hate that to the core. I have faced this a lot, specially on Instagram (and Twitter to some extent). So I have decided to use some tools and track and unfollow them.

    I haven’t faced the other two points yet, but I can imagine how frustratin it can be.

    1. I really don’t mind people unfollowing later on if they aren’t interested. It doesn’t benefit them but mass following to gain views and give nothing in return is so annoying. I have tracker apps now too!

  35. YES! I honestly felt so validated when you mentioned the early stages and lack of food. I am right there with you. The mass followers bug me so badly. It just seems like a waste of everyone’s time and energy. I do have to admit though, I have those follow tracking apps and it is satisfying when I can unfollow someone who just followed me for a like.

  36. It’s frustating, spending hours or even days to write a post, and some people just deliver a simple comment like you mentioned “great post”. I think finding a group which all the participants in group are really commit to support each other is important. I love the way you write. You gain one follower here. Keep blogging and have fun.

  37. I can relate to so many things that you pointed out, especially the consistence part, that can be hard sometimes especially if blogging is not your full time job.

  38. Haha is it odd that I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I love the creative process but the handwork behind consistency and self promotion is my biggest nemesis. Regardless it’s something I cannot live without.

  39. First of all, many congratulations!

    Since 8 months of my Blogging journey, I have realized that its not everyone’s cup of tea. You’ve to always be on your toes and make your regular new rich content for regular traffic. You are doing multiple jobs at the same time of being coder, content writer, managing your own PR and marketing of your blog. At times, I feel that I don’t have enough time for anything else!

  40. Nice article, and congrats on 3 months! It looks like you learned a lot in those 3 months, whether it’s good or bad! Writing is a full time job, isn’t it!?

    I started in Oct, and I have been posting in my blog as much as I can. Coming up with new ideas is hard! I keep a notepad of ideas I have πŸ™‚

    Congrats, and I hope you succeed to see 3 years!!!!

  41. I understand completely! I have the same problem with time management, and in three months, my blog had three different posting schedule – the first month I tryed to post six days per week, and at the end of the month I stoped writing. The second month I didn’t write a word, until two weeks ago, that I decided to publish 2x per week. Just to see if it works. I do share my content on facebook, but only in blogging groups, my friends don’t even know I have a blog, just to keep the frenemies away! Well, anyway, I think you’re doing a great job and congratulations on your third month anniversary!

    1. The unfortunate thing about the friends is, despite a nice relationship people can become jealous when they perceive you are getting more attention than them. It’s childish and unfounded but it happens that they show you bitterness and the relationship breaks down. If you think your circles have people like that then sure, keep it elsewhere but I bet some of your friends would love to read your words πŸ™‚ Thanks for taking the time to read!

  42. Thanks for writing this article! I am just over 3 months in and have gone through some of your experiences – not plagiarism though. That is wow! I am so sorry someone did that too you.

    I honestly cannot believe how hard blogging is, how much time and effort it really does take up. I started off just for fun – still just for fun. As a night time sort of outlet after my daughter has gone to bed. However, I quickly found, I wanted to be better, I wanted to know how everything worked, how to promote, how to take photo’s, how to use pinterest – all of the in’s and out’s and there really is a lot to it!

    Anyway, thank you for sharing, it is nice to know we are not alone (if that is ok to say).

    Best wishes!
    Cally

    1. I think the best part of writing this and for people reading it so far has been that we all realize we aren’t alone. As bad as it can be some times I think I am becoming addicted! Thank you for reading, it’s a long one!

  43. I can totally relate to this one. It took quite a while for me to realize that I’m in no competition with other bloggers and I simply have to write things that I’m really happy about. Makes my heart and mind at peace each time.

    Thanks for sharing!

  44. Great perspective on blogging. I can certainly relate to the up and down struggles. You have a great blog! I’m glad you’re celebrating your three month anniversary!

  45. Really great post! You’ve put everything I think about blogging down in words – it really is exhausting! People think it’s all fun and freebies but it really, really isn’t >.<

  46. I am subscribing to your blog… Because after reading this post, I am CONFIDENT the rest of your posts are amazing (which I will be catching up and reading the other posts!) LITERALLY just today I decided to only subscribe to blogs that I really want to read. Even if it is content I wouldn’t necessarily write about, but if it interests me, I will subscribe to them. You just really hit on SO many points in this post!
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for your honesty and transparency!

  47. This is a really good post. I like how honest you are. I have to say that there’s really nothing I disagree with here even though not everything you describe has happened to me (yet?). The follow to unfollow a day later thing is a pet peeve of mine, but at least I’ve learned to identify these people well (especially on Instagram… I’ve got it down to a science who will do this haha). I’ve been at the blogging thing a bit longer than you, but I’m still learning and still trying to get organized. With a food blog and full-time job, it definitely isn’t easy! And add to my struggle learning how to take awesome food photos… that is difficult and time-consuming and never-ending. And comparing myself to others. This is huge for me, and something I really need to snap out of.

    1. It’s understandable. There’s no denying that some people are extremely talented! But you must remember they live entirely different lives to us also. They perhaps have better cameras, better education on the subject, even more money to pump into the blog. Although I am envious of all of these things I won’t fret. If we keep on pushing forward we’ll eventually be there as well! You have a fantastic blog and should be very proud of your work so far πŸ™‚ You can tell you put a lot of effort into it!

  48. Wow Amy this is such an informative piece. I have been thinking about starting a blog since I am transitioning from the Army this summer, and finally focusing on and getting involved with the things I really care about. I decided to re-look your blog through a potential blogger’s lens, because I think its incredibly well written and fun to read, and then I serendipitously found this exact post. After reading, I am both inspired and scared. My motivation is similar to yours; writing as a release and connecting with people whether through similar interests or inspiring them on their own journey. I didn’t think about the massive amount of time it requires to have a SUCCESSUL blog vs. just a blog. With grad school and working part time I see myself more like a once per week poster. How much time do you truly spend on one post and how is that broken down between writing, editing, designing, etc? Also, how much experience did you have or need to gain with HTML and coding? I really appreciate your insight!

    1. Firstly, I think you would make a fantastic blogger. You have a great, eloquent way with words and are one of the most intelligent and open-minded people I know. You are definitely in a position to motivate and inspire. Your military, sporting and travel experiences already provide you with a vast amount of content, not to mention the upcoming journey through your graduate career and beyond.

      When it comes to my writing I know I can absolutely be a better writer and I work on that in dribs and drabs. But right now I am purely writing about things that are on mind or that I’m currently into and enjoying. I will admit that sometimes the biggest flaw with my actual writing skill is just half-assing it because there is a LOT to do besides the writing. Of course the quality of your posts should be your number one priority but sometimes I am so overwhelmed, the post plays second fiddle to the other stuff.The ‘other stuff’ being creating images (Pinterest is a huge traffic driver & the algorithms love vertical high quality images and so it’s valuable to create them for your posts), scheduling posts to social media platforms, engaging others on social media and promotion of your blog. Promotion is tough. It’s hard at the start to get over the hump of shameless self promotion but if you don’t, nobody visits. There’s an array of FB groups to join for promo. But as I said, a lot of members are just stat hunters who promptly cut you when the thread is complete. You need to eat through many weeds before finding genuine like-minded, engaging followers. I can tell you more about what I use for images, what groups to join and social media stuff if you decide to go for it.

      When it comes to making a post I usually aim to have 2 to 3 weeks worth of content drafted or complete and scheduled in advance. This is a life saver. I used to post 3 times but it was draining the life from me. I now do two and am actually engaging with far more people and seeing my traffic double! Depending on how inspired or blank I am feeling I could write a post over 30 minutes or 3 hours. When it comes to food or DIY things I draft up the instructions and spend the most time on taking good(ish) photos (another must – which is why I am finally pursuing my photography course ambition!).

      I use WordPress but have a self-hosted (using Blue Host) site. You will want to get a self hosted site as it’s far more difficult to transfer the site later on and also has far less restrictions (you will be able to apply for Google Adsense and affiliate/sponsored networks if you ever have the desire to monetize your blog). Again there’s other options for self hosted sites but this is what I went with and was easy to set up. As for HTML and coding I don’t have to deal with that at all, really. I make minor adjustments to my layout when the mood strikes me but nothing major. WordPress is very user-friendly!

      I could go on and on! There’s a lot and just when you understand one thing, 10 more pop up. It’s an endless learning curve with a lot of BS and frustration but there’s a lot of great things too. Maybe start slowly with a post every fortnight or even less and ease in.

  49. Hi Amy,

    I really admire your honesty, especially when it comes to frenemies. The whole point is to spot them. How I do that? It is pretty simple by the way they reply to the blog posts.

    So there is that comment “Great post!” and this comment that has at least 2 or 3 lines that are related to your content. Frenemies do not care about your post but about their own fame and attention when they visit. This is my experience from blogging.

    Now when it comes to time consumption, it is true that a blog takes lots of time from our lives since there are so many things to do. It is not only the posts but the plugins, the photos, SEO to name some of them. At least it didn’t take toll on me, I always made sure that I am eating healthy and not skipping meals. If I did, I would be exhausted and had no energy to continue working.

    Thank you for this amazing post and for sharing your wisdom. I totally love your blog, keep it up with the excellent work!

    Zaria

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