My Blogging Journey And Why I Decided To Share It
I would recommend reading part 1 and part 2 of my blogging journey before diving into this post so that you can understand this one better. I would also like to give all my readers a heads up because my blogging journey posts tend to be a little longer than my regular posts so if you don’t like longer posts this may not be for you.
You guys may remember but a while back I took a survey and asked you guys what you wanted to read on lifesfinewhine and what I should blog about and I got so many amazing responses. Some people suggested that I should write about my blogging journey over the last six years. I thought this was a really great idea and a while back I did a sort of mini throwback post where I used a site to help me see what my blog looked like back in the day and how it’s changed over the years. I got a lot of great comments on that and again I got some people asking to elaborate about my blogging journey and talk about the changes I’ve made, how I’ve made them and what inspired me to blog and to continue blogging, etc.
I’ve decided to write six posts on my blogging journey. Since I began blogging almost exactly six years ago (it will officially be six years in about a month) I thought I would write one post a week talking about my blogging journey during each year as well as what was going on with my life and how it effected my blog. I will also be talking about the technical things like the updates I made, what plan I use, how I customize my plan, the SEO work I got done and more. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing it with you guys and I hope it helps newer bloggers on WordPress as well.
2017- Everything Starts Coming Together (And Then Falls Apart)
Just to give you guys a small recap- in my last post about my blogging journey I talked about 2016 and how I was suffering from anxiety and depression by that point. I had been suffering from depression for a while so I had figured out how to manage that but my anxiety disorder had just started to that was something I was still trying to figure out. I had also decided to take a gap year after my A Levels and spend some time working on me before I start university and everything gets stressful again. As for blogging, now that I had some time off and was not preoccupied with school/exams I could spend more time blogging and kind of getting the hang of thing. Blogging is a lot of fun but it’s also a lot more work than anyone expects and there are definitely some tricks you need to pick up before your blog starts growing at a consistent rate. By the end of 2016 I had finally gotten the hang of blogging and had figured out a schedule that works for me, my optimum time, how to use the tags feature– but not correctly lol- and that the key to growing your blog is being active on other blogs. I had also gotten more used to my anxiety and was learning how to deal with it better as well as what eases my symptoms.
One of the things that I really wanted to do during my gap year along with work on myself was travel. I had always loved to travel but didn’t have the resources or time to do so when I was in school. But now that I had all the free time in the world for a few more months and my anxiety was becoming easier to handle I realized that I needed to do some travelling before I start university and that becomes my priority. Unfortunately, I was not able to travel abroad due to a number of reasons but my dad, sister and I decided travel in the country and go to Mt. Kenya. I actually wrote a post about it when we got back too that you can check out by clicking here. It was such a great experience and gave me something to blog about which is always a plus!
My blog was also doing a lot better now that I was starting to get the hang of everything. No, I would not say I had completely gotten the hang of blogging because there was still so much I did not know. I mean I look back to some of my posts now and think “wow, did I really post that” or “I should have edited that differently.” I had however gotten the hang of some stuff like how to get traffic and followers organically and I was trying my best to grow my blog as much as I could. It was working too because I had started getting much higher views than I had gotten in 2015 and 2016 and I was getting at least over two thousand view a month which felt like so many to me back then. I was so happy and I remember feeling more and more like this was it. Blogging was something that the universe had given me and that it was supposed to be a part of my life. I had just reached 500 followers and than 1000 followers in 2016 and I could see my little baby blog growing before my very eyes. It was exhilarating and for a bit I was kind of addicted to the feeling you get every time your notification bell gets that orange dot. I would keep refreshing the page waiting for comments, likes, follows or shares.
I had a lot of things to celebrate in 2017 when it came to blogging achievements. I celebrated my 2 year blogiversary which if you know me is a lot. I am not usually someone who sticks with something unless I am very passionate about it. I get bored very easy and if I don’t enjoy the writing I get writers block pretty easy too so to have been writing on this blog- admittedly on and off but still writing- for two whole years was a huge achievement for me and yet another sign showing me that this was my path and that I was going in the right direction.
Another achievement was reaching two thousand followers and than three thousand followers. I was so super happy and honoured to have so many followers. I never dreamed that even a thousand people would want to read my work let alone three thousand. I remember taking a picture of my follower count and sending it to my friends and just being so super excited!
Something else that I achieved was that I made a bunch of online friends! As a millennial I was repeatedly told as a child not to talk to strangers so I went out of my way to do just that as an adult (we’re such a weird generation but like in a good way sometimes lol). I’m kidding by the way if any kids are reading this (I highly doubt it but you never know these days…) please don’t talk to strangers especially on the internet!! Anyway I had made a bunch of blogging friends and was really starting to feel like I’m part of the WordPress community. Blogging also made me come out of my shell a lot more and become more confident and comfortable with talking to new people- something I had always struggled with. It also made me want to explore new things, try new things and do more just so I can share my experiences with you guys. I still feel like I am way more creative because of blogging- there are SO MANY things I would never have done had it not been for blogging which is kind of scary to think about. I started learning German (I also started learning German again this year- some things really don’t change lol) and I began sharing that journey on my blog. I also started doing art which I also shared on here.
Everything was all well and good until I realised that it was time to start adulting again. I applied to university in Canada and decided to major in History- I had earlier wanted to major in Psychology but decided to go for History instead. I got into the university of my choice and before I knew it I was applying for my Visa, doing a bunch of tests needed for the Visa, I was packing, I was planning and soon I was ready to go to Canada. We left in August and I found it too difficult to continue blogging because I didn’t always have access to the WiFi and to be honest I just wanted to enjoy the experience in the moment. I was also super stressed out about all the change and literally did not have the time to blog so that didn’t help the situation. I did blog a little after coming to Canada but it was not very frequently. I also posted at random times and was not able to maintain the schedule I used to have because of all the university work I had to do.
Since I did not post much for about four months I obviously lost a lot of traffic and a couple of followers. I did try to stay as active as possible on my blog and continue to visit other blogs especially the blogs of bloggers I was friends with because I really wanted to continue supporting everyone who had been so kind to me and had earlier supported me. My views were still over a few thousand but were significantly less than the months before which was to be expected because as I always say in my blogging advice posts staying active is a large part of growing your blog.
Unfortunately, just as I was getting the hang of blogging and had come up with a schedule that worked for me everything in my little blogging world kind of fell apart. Things were going great in real life- I was having new experiences, meeting new people and really enjoying the courses I had taken especially Sociology which was so eye opening for me. However, my blogging life kind of felt like it was falling apart and to be honest after coming home from a long day at school and having a bunch of assignments and stuff to do I was not in the right mindset to blog regularly. I’m also a creature of habit and I think I had fallen out of habit when it came to blogging. I did still want to blog- I just needed to figure everything out again and readjust everything. With the time difference I had a new optimum posting time, traffic from different countries, different topics I wanted to write about and so much more.
I went home to Kenya in December for a few weeks and ended up realising that my blog was kind of falling apart and that if I wanted to continue blogging- which I desperately did- I need to get my
shit life together. I began doing my research and figuring out how I can continue blogging while keeping my university stuff in order. I made up my mind that 2018 would be different. I was going to be as productive as possible and I was going to make sure I blog much more regularly.
I’m going to end this post here- it went on way longer than I expected but 2017 was a major year for me. So much happened, so much changed and in a way this was the year I really made the decision to blog seriously and try to turn this hobby in at least a part-time thing. This is also the year I really found myself and consequently I found out exactly what I want this blog to be too.
If you want to read my posts from 2017 you can do so by clicking here.
Does you blogging journey have any similarities to mine? Have you faced any obstacles in your blogging journey? If yes what obstacles have you faced and were any of them similar to mine? Do you find it difficult to balance blogging with school/work/life? What’s your blogging journey/story? Let me know in the comments below I would love to hear your thoughts and your story!
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