Category Archives: Blogging

Thoughts on the Privacy of my Blog

My writing is very personal to me, therefore so is this blog. And that is something that poses a very strange dilemma for me. On a certain level, I’d like to have a lot of visitors and followers, but at the same time that is a very scary prospect. Do I really want to open myself up to all of these strangers?

I currently feel safe among my small, rather close-knit blogging community. I don’t have to worry about ridicule and rejection; I know that my blogging buddies will be kind even in disagreement. Can the same be said if my blog were to have much more traffic? I feel if it were, it wouldn’t be the same. I wouldn’t have the same freedoms, constantly be doubting my words and conscious that so many people were to read it. I don’t feel like I could wholly open myself up.

I can list on one hand the number of people in my every-day life that know of this blog: my best friend, my husband, and another close friend (this is all excluding online friends). That’s it. It is extremely difficult for me to share this personal part of me with my family. I truly love my family, but oh my goodness, I can only imagine the amount of teasing I would receive if my brothers or sister were to find my blog.

There is just something that makes me distinctly uncomfortable knowing that people who are close to me are reading my writing. I don’t have my blog linked to my Facebook or Pinterest, and only have it linked on Twitter because I (don’t use it very often and) purposefully do not follow a lot of people besides bloggers. I would like to create a board on my Pinterest for my blog to get it out there a little more, but I don’t necessarily want all of my Facebook friends to know about it. So, I thought, I’d just make a new account for my blog and post from there, but then that’s a bit of a hassle and inconvenience to have to jump between my personal account and my blog. And it’s silly to not want to promote your blog among your friends, right?

I keep coming back to the purpose of blog. It’s a creative outlet for me to share my stories and my life for others. I got the first part down, I just can’t seem to share this with the people in my life that aren’t online. It’s like I’m read to take that jump, to say “Hey! this is my blog! I am super proud of it!” but just can’t get past having to actually share it with people.

I don’t have anything to hide. I’m not ashamed of who I am. I don’t talk about people and I’m appropriate with my posts. In an ideal world, I would like to stop pretending that my blog doesn’t exist because it is something that I spend a lot of time on and am proud of, but it is so personal to me that I am scared of any teasing or judgement I receive. I want to share, but I want to keep it close to home. It’s the ultimate oxymoron that I’ve been struggling with for the last five years.

My mind is just a jumble of thoughts right now and this really isn’t the most put-together post. I’m just trying to wrap my head around everything and just make a decision.

Help?

5 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging

I was looking through my archives the other day and reading some of my older posts (watch out, some are kind of scary, haha!) and couldn’t help but notice how far I’ve come over the years. I’ve learned a lot, made a lot of new friends, and definitely think my blog is much better than it used to be!

I thought I would share with you some of the things I have learned over the years. :)

1. Always return comments. If someone took the time to read and comment on your blog, don’t ignore it! If you go to their blog and return the comment, it will show your appreciation and can bring them back for your next blog post. Then readers from their blog will be directed to your blog when they see your comment. Not only does this increase the traffic to your site, it creates new friendships! I love my readers and have loved getting to know them over time, and it all started with a simple comment.

2. Be consistent. This one is much easier said than done, but consistency is truly key. If you haven’t updated your blog in over three months, you lose readers. They will stop checking in to see that where or not you’ve posted something new. I am really bad at this when I get focused on classes and work and don’t seem to have a lot of time to devote to my blog. This is when writing posts ahead of time becomes so useful. If I seem to have a bunch of inspiration and write three or four posts at one time, I will save them for later at a time when I don’t seem to have any inspiration at all or any time. (This post is actually one I wrote ahead of time! Comes in handy!)

3. Always proofread. When visiting a new blog, the quickest way to make me leave is to not proofread your posts. You don’t need to have impeccable grammar, but it is really hard for me to read a post that has an abundance of spelling errors and run on sentences and grammatical errors and a bunch of unnecessary question marks or exclamation points and – is this sentence annoying you yet? When looking back at my own old posts,  it was so apparent that I didn’t even look it over before I hit publish. As tempting as it may be, don’t do it guys! Take the extra five minutes and look over your post.

4. Don’t be afraid to share your struggles alongside your triumphs.  One of my favorite posts to go back and read is one where I was really struggling with depression my sophomore year of college. I was having a hard time meeting people and making friends, and I didn’t enjoy my job or my classes much. So I wrote about that, which isn’t always easy when it seems everyone else’s college experience is perfect and you’re wondering why yours is so different.

But I received some of the most encouraging and uplifting comments from my readers and friends. I can’t even express how that made me feel. Even putting the love aside, it’s important for me to remember these raw feelings I had and the darker places that I’ve been. It makes me appreciate where I’m at and where I’ve come from.

5. Write about what you love. Of all the things I’ve learned, this is the most important. If you don’t enjoy it, then what’s the point? It will show if your heart isn’t in to whatever it is you’re writing about.  It might be the “next big thing,” but you are going to burn out. I’ve been there. There was a time that I felt like all of my blogging buddies (I still feel this way today though – haha!) were into web design, HTML, CSS, and could make their own graphics and themes.

I thought that was the coolest thing ever (still do, only got mad props for you guys) and I tried it. I tried making my own layouts and playing with Photoshop and tried to learn different coding – I hated it. It didn’t interest me. I was super frustrated all the time and it made me not want to blog. So I stopped and, lo and behold! I enjoyed blogging again when it was just me and my words. :)

Of all the things I’ve learned, this last one again is the most important one. I have grown to love blogging and I have part of that to owe to my great readers and friends.  :love: