I have learned many lessons since I first started blogging way back in October 2011. First and foremost, I now know that blogging is hard work, and involves a lot more than just writing.
1. Social Media and Marketing
You must write, and write plenty, but that’s just the beginning of a blogging journey. Nobody will stop by to read my brilliant, and sometimes not-so-brilliant words of wisdom, if I don’t let it be known I’m sharing my insights.
And how might I ask do I do that? Why social media and networking of course. The very words put the fear of God in me.
Yet over the past few years my website has come a long way. Thank you to all my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest followers. This little blog would NOT be possible without YOU.
But as we spread the word about my writing, a never-ending cycle begins …..
The more you market and publicize ……
….. the more visitors come to my site.
The more visitors come to my site…..
…… the more server space I require.
The more server space required ……
……. the more money it costs.
The more money I don’t spend ……
……. the more my site crashes.
The more my site crashes……
……. the more visitors I lose.
And that’s where I must end this cycle. I don’t want to lose you, my readers.
If I don’t address problems, and sometimes throw money at them, all of my hard work could be for nothing.
2. Technical Glitches:
Now don’t worry, I’m an optimist not a pessimist, and I truly believe that for every problem there is a solution.
But in the interim …….
I’m never surprised when things go wrong.
I knew that at some point on my blogging journey, technical difficulties would inevitably raise their ugly little heads. Don’t forget I’m Irish, with an inherent respect for Murphy’s Law. That’s when I want to curl up in a little ball and cry out:
“But I know nothing about computer programming.”
Faced with the dilemma of whether to give up, or move on, I always choose to try to master new skills. Success is never guaranteed, teaching this old gal new tricks.
But, I’ve come too far to give up now, even if technical glitches try my patience. For example take a look around at my beautifully blue site.
Not very fitting for an Irish themed blog 🙂
But rest assured, I don’t particularly want blue backgrounds and fonts, but I completed a theme upgrade for my site and everything turned blue, including me. I’m trying hard to change it back to green. I won’t bore you with my trials and tribulations with plug-ins and widgets, but I know for sure, I’ll never earn my living as a WordPress programmer.
So while I’m working out how to go Irish green, bare with my blues. I was born in Dublin, so I suppose I can claim to be a “true blue Dub.”
3. The Business of Blogging:
All of these challenges have taught me a valuable lesson.
Blogging can turn into a little business in the blink of an eye.
As a little blog baby grows and grows, who feeds it? A growing blog needs marketing support, technical back up, accounting, security, policies, artistic creation, socializing, business development, advertising ….. I could go on and on.
Blogging turned into a little business for me before I knew where I was, and guess who tries to fill all the business roles in my little company. Yes! That’s me, and half the time I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, just learning to fly by the seat of my pants.
I started this blog for fun, but with increasing traffic I now need to pay for more server space, which means I need to do something to generate a little income, if I don’t want to totally raid my kids’ college funds.
Luckily, my little blog doesn’t need to generate income to feed my family. Phew! Right now it doesn’t even cover overheads, so we’d be starving if I was hoping to feed my hungry boys.
And so, when you see a few advertisements flashing away on the side bar of my site, please understand I’m just trying to keep the lights on.
Heart failure struck a few times, when I saw some wiggly, jiggly belly fat ads before my very eyes. Then to make matters worse, my mother reported some soccer betting ads were popping up on her side of the Atlantic, especially around the time of the World Cup.
I’m working with my advertising agencies, and fingers crossed all ads will be of a higher standard in future, but in the meantime, if a wobbly belly appears on your screen, I really do apologize.
4. Coping with Blog Anxiety:
My audience has started to grow, and I cannot thank you enough for visiting my little corner of the world wide web.But let me confess, that makes me feel a little nervous when I realize:
Readers want to read MY STUFF!
When I work on a post for a few days, and time comes to hit the “publish” button on my blog, my stomach goes a little queasy. I guess I worry that my ramblings may disappoint some of the wonderful readers who revisit my blog over and over again.
But then I think of what my granny would have said:
“Ah, just get over yourself!”
Believe me – my granny was a very straight-forward, no-nonsense kind of Irish gal. She milked over 60 cows on a daily basis. Now in the latter years she had a lovely milking parlor to make life “easy”, but she was milking cows right into her 70’s. When we would fuss about homework, her motto was:
“Just clap it down, and get on with life!”
So guess what? Granny’s advice wins out every time. I do just as she would tell me, and get over myself.
No more worrying! No more anxiety! And if today’s post isn’t good enough, then hopefully tomorrow’s will be a little better.
But believe me, your heart warming comments and e-mails go a long way to keep me motivated. It’s lovely to read your two cents worth at the end of my ramblings. Your heartwarming words are what makes all this hard work so worthwhile.
THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom