My Blogging Journey #2

My Blogging Journey And Why I Decided To Share It

You guys may remember but a while back I took a survey and asked you guys what you wanted to read on lifesfinewhine 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 lifesfinewhine looked like back in the day and how it’s changed over the years and I got a lot of great comments on that and also some asking to elaborate about my 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 blogging. 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. 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.

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2016- I Finally Start Figuring WordPress Out

So 2016 was kind of a crazy year for me. I had so much going on with my personal life and I was mentally and physically exhausted by the time I was done with everything. It was also the year of personal growth and acceptance for me and in many ways this was the year I finally began to find and accept my true self.

For the first six months of 2016 I was super preoccupied because I was preparing for my A Level exams. It was quite stressful even though I was doing three subjects- History, English and Psychology. Anyone who has done A Levels will tell you that it is no joke. I had some tests and exams in Jan and Feb so I did not write much during those two months- I still did try to write occasionally and ended up writing more often than I had in 2015 but still my views were pretty low because I rarely posted and if I did it would be randomly without much of a schedule.

By March, I had realised that this whole blogging hobby was here to stay and that it was going to become a thing. I had also figured out a lot of the technical things by this point as well and by now I had learnt the most important lesson you can learn when it comes to blogging- BE ACTIVE. You need to be active both on your own blog and on other blogs if you want to remain relevant and make sure your blog is growing consistently. I tried really hard to concentrate on my education but also stay active on WordPress. I’m not going to lie- it was definitely a struggle.

My school ended in April and I had most of April and some of May off for reading break and so I was mostly at home which made it a bit easier to both revise and blog. My views went higher during these March and April because I was spending more time on my blog and I was so excited to see my hard work pay off when I got over two thousand views in a month for the first time. This was such a big deal to me and it also told me that what I was doing was working for me and that I should continue with blogging. Unfortunately, my views in May and June got lower as I was more preoccupied with my exams.

From July till December my views continued to grow and so did my followers. I was so absolutely delighted and I was extra happy because I had started to make blogging friends which as you guys know is a big part of why I enjoy blogging. I had begun meeting like-minded people and socialising a lot more now that I was getting more comments and was following more blogs and leaving comments on these blogs. I think most bloggers can understand the excitement you feel when you get a new notification or a new comment on one of your posts. It’s just such a rush!

Unfortunately, as my blog grew my mental health was deteriorating and my anxiety was getting worse. I had finally figured out how to control my depression as best I could and then having to start all over with anxiety was a lot to handle. Mental health problems are constant and they can very exhausting. By the time I was done with my exams I found myself too exhausted to think about university especially because I wanted to go abroad to study. My parents realised this and suggested I take a gap year which I did and honestly it was the best decision I made.

During the next few months I did as much research as I could on mental health and in particular on anxiety and depression and I looked for ways to deal with both or at least ways through which I could control them enough to continue to pursue my dreams without being constantly pulled down by my mental health problems. I learned my triggers, I learned how to control my triggers and how to best deal with the symptoms of anxiety. It was difficult but it was worth it because the things I learnt in this year are things I still use to control my anxiety. I have mentioned with before but when it comes to mental health problems you never fully recover- you kind of just learn to deal with the symptoms and carry on despite them.

Before this post gets too depressing I also want to say that it wasn’t all doom and gloom. As always this blog and WordPress kept me sane- it helped keep structure in my life and in case you can’t tell I am one of those people who needs a lot of structure. I thrive on organisation and planning and blogging taught me a lot about both. I also decided to use my gap year to my advantage as best I could and do a bunch of stuff I had been meaning to do but never found time to do because I was always busy with school. I tried new foods at new restaurants, I did a lot of art, I redecorated and best of all I got my first tattoo! It was a tiny little tattoo but it’s still my favourite thing ever! I also traveled but that was mainly in 2017 so all that will be in the next blogging journey post which will go up next week.

By the end of 2016, I had finally gotten the hang of blogging (or so I thought…) and I had figured out how to grow my blog (I kind of had!) and I celebrated one of my biggest milestones in August of 2016- I had gotten 500 followers. I was surprised and honoured that out of all the thousands of blogs out there these 500 people had chosen to follow my tiny little baby blog! Maybe people actually did like my writing and maybe I should continue blogging (spoiler alert- I did!). Although, as I mentioned in my last post, blogging for me was more of an outlet than anything else it was still amazing to know that people were actually reading my writing. I was so honoured and thought I was a mini-celeb hehe (spoiler alert I wasn’t and still am not…)! So yes, 2016 was a crazy year for me filled with a lot of change both negative and positive. A lot happened and I learnt a lot of things about blogging, myself, my goals and what I want this blog to become in the future.

You can check out my posts from back in 2016 if you’re interested by clicking here.

I want to end this post by thanking everyone who took the time to read and comment on the first post I did about my blogging journey where I talked about my experiences in 2015 as a new blogger. I was so overwhelmed by all the sweet and amazing things that everyone commented and it’s so nice to know that so many of you found it relatable. So thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope you continue to enjoy and support my posts about my blogging journey. If anyone wants me to write about anything specific about my blogging journey let me know in the comments below and I will try my best to include it.

Thoughts

If you have been blogging for over an year did you second year of blogging have any similarities to mine? Does you blogging journey have any similarities to mine in general? Why did you decide to start blogging and how has blogging changed you 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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129 thoughts on “My Blogging Journey #2

  1. Hi Pooja, thanks for sharing all those wonderful details about yourself here on this blog of yours. They say that if you read you gain an unknown friend, and after reading your blog I have the feeling I’ve known you for a lifetime. Wishing you all the best! With Love, Debby 😘

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Pooja, this was amazing, you went through a tough year in 2016 and that’s a breakthrough. I’m glad you still pushed blogging otherwise we wouldn’t have met 😅 Looking forward to your blogging journey in 2017!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Inspiring story Pooja. Blogging, writing in general is such a wonderful outlet – especially for dealing with depression and anxiety. To do it publicly and share your story is a powerful and meaningful endeavour. As regards your comments on mental health – I agree – you actually learn to make friends with – even love that part of yourself. If you can say hello to depression and anxiety in a jovial way when they pop up, you send a powerful message they don’t have control over your life. Over time they begin to loosen their grip. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Pooja, please know that I am so proud of you! I know how hard it is to struggle with depression and anxiety because I am also going through these. Reading your journey is very inspiring and made me want to keep going more.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Heyyy! Firstly hats off to you for battling depression and anxiety. I too have struggled with these and it can be so incredibly challenging to get through so well done! I’m in my second year of blogging and right now, I’m also figuring out how to grow my blog and now take it more from just writing content to something a little more established. I’m heading towards the 500 followers milestone and honestly every time someone likes my posts, comments or follows I throw a mental party because it’s just so exciting that these people enjoy my content this much. My blogging journey has been a bit all over the place but I essentially started to share advice and also create a safe creative space for myself and others where I could share the experiences of my life and offer tips/advice to others who might need it. I just hope one day my blog becomes as established and successful as yours xxx Thank you for always being such an inspiration to me xxx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you! Yeah the first year is a little all over the place for most bloggers because it does take a while to figure things out and learn all the technical stuff. I love your blog and I’m sure you’re going to continue to grow and reach all your goals!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As you might know (or not, because you have so many followers) I’m still at the start of my blogging journey. Your blog was one of the first I started following. I’m still trying to figure this all out – and find out what works best for me. Your posts are quite helpful there.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I think it takes a lot of courage to be so open in sharing your mental health struggles – and I really related to this. Even though you dealt with some hard times, I think it’s wonderful that the blog was a good outlet for you during that time! 💜 I know it is def a major outlet for me, too! 💗

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! I always try to be honest because I know a lot of people may be going through something similar and knowing other people are going through this too may help them. It really is a great outlet!

      Like

  8. Six years is a long time. It’s interesting to hear your thoughts on blogging. I actually closed my blog for a bit over a year and then returned late last year. This time I have connected with more people and formed many relationships with bloggers that I look forward to reading and hearing their comments on my own. Great post, looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! Yes it’s been six years but I have only been blogging regularly for about 3 years now. Meeting bloggers and getting to know them is the best part so it’s great you have formed relationships with other bloggers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Getting there. It takes a little while to settle in to blogging and once you find your own rhythm to begin tuning into others. I think I’m doing that now and it is lovely. Like most things in life you get out what you put in and I’m finding that little bit of extra effort so worthy.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I started blogging to practice writing. It’s been a lot of learning for me since I had never done anything like it before. One thing I really like about it is the fact that I’m constantly learning from other bloggers and finding people who are like me. Just like you I love getting comments and reading other bloggers posts.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I very much relate to knowing that depression never fully goes away. One morning I’ll just wake up, and not know why I am feeling terrible. It’s then that I must open my mental health toolbox and find the right tool for that time.

    This was the initial reason I started blogging, to show others they are not alone by offering a window into my life of managing depression while playing ultimate (frisbee), writing poetry and stories, and paying and recording music. It has evolved a bit since then, but if I’m being honest it has not grown as much as I sound have hoped. This will partly be due to me not figuring out how best to do this and putting the effort in – yet.

    Thank you for sharing and offering insights into your very interesting blogging journey! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!

      Yes I think with most mental health illnesses there are good days and bad and we just need to learn how to deal with our symptoms the best way we can.

      It takes a while to get the hang of everything and evolve- it took me years but you will get to your goals eventually and it will all have been worth it.

      Like

  11. My blog is relatively new and therefore I’ve only caught up with your blog in the last year too. It’s been fun today reading how and why you started your blog Pooja, and my how you’ve grown. Of, I’d love to be where you are one day 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Congratulations to you! Wow! 6 years! That’s a lot of determination, experience and learning altogether. I’ve only been here for like over a week and I’m building up the habit of continuously writing, reading other blogs and making genuine comments and finding a “community”, and I always like your posts. I hope I can celebrate such a milestone someday too! Keep on writing. Kudos to you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! Yes haha it’s all about the comback! I love how inclusive and supportive the WP community is- I think more than anything that’s what made me stick with blogging. I feel like other places are kind of too toxic and I can be a bit sensitive about stuff like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Waaaay back when I was in college, I did a paper on depression and the creative mind. It seems that people who suffer from depression are usually very creative and when you take the depression away, sometimes you take the creativity away as well. I found that fascinating. Not that I think you shouldn’t treat your depression. Heavens no! Just an interesting thought to ponder.

    I too suffer from depression. It can be a scary, dark, and terrifying place. Reaching out and finding friends to see you through it is the best way (after you see your doctor!!!). I’m glad you’re here, that I found you and your blog, and I feel like I’ve gained another child who’s just a little farther afield than my four! God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very interesting! I’ve read that too and I’ve actually experienced it first hand. One of the main reasons I don’t take medication for my anxiety and depression is that when I do take medication I feel numb and my drive just kind of goes away. I totally agree you should definitely seek help but just from personal experience I try to avoid any medication.
      Aww thank you so much- you are such a wonderful person and I’m so glad we were able to connect through blogging as well!

      Like

  14. I’m loving this series Pooja. I can relate to every word you have written here. Your blogging journey part one is my present situation right now. I was so elated to read part 2 and how you grew as a person and blogger in 2016. Everything that you’ve mentioned about depression and anxiety is what I’m working on right now. All I want is for them to disappear from my life and the phase of this earth. I have so much suppressed energy and passion for life which I struggle to unveil because of my anxiety and depression. I desperately want to be the person who is in love with every aspect of their life. I hope to become that person as soon as possible. Career is the biggest aspect of every human being’s life and I absolutely hate the fact that I’m unable to derive fulfillment with my career choice. I hope to resolve this mind conflict soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I can really relate to how you are currently feeling because that’s how I felt. It feels like you are trapped in your mind even though you want to get out of your comfort zone and just live life. I hope you feel better soon and if you ever want to talk about anything please feel free to reach out.

      Like

  15. I also took a break after secondary school but let’s call it a gap year. It wasn’t as packed as yours, I only read other blogs and scrolled through social media but there’s no time for regrets. I’ve never thought about looking up about my anxiety and depression and how to cope and handle them. I just kind of figure I’d do things that keep give me peace, like cleaning and tidying, art or listening to music. That said, this my blog would be a year old next month or on November, I think…I’m not too sure😅. If it weren’t for the quarantine, I’d probably still be finding it hard to combine school and blogging. I’m so thankful for this opportunity, while I haven’t made the best of it, I hope I do so before I go back to school again. It’s been really refreshing being more active and discovering new blogs and being discovered as well.

    The reason I keep trying to show up is because of people like you who inspire me to and because I want to connect with other people who have the same interests as me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think taking a gap year can really help give you some time to do nothing after years of just being busy with school/work etc. Doing things that give you inner peace is a good way to go about dealing with anxiety and depression- I do that a lot too. I’m glad you came back to blogging and socialising is probably my favourite part of blogging too. I’m not very social in real life but I do like talking with people so this is a good way to connect with others for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hai I liked your post about your blogging journey. You have given admirable thought that is in midst of adversities you have seen this opportunity and you also mentioned struggle has been your path which is very true for everyone. i came to blog to write about me. when i read some blogs i felt i will write about blogging because we are never alone. i liked your blog. i sincerely appreciate the way you wrote . whenever i like some points i mention the source and some are yours . i hope you wont mind.

    Liked by 2 people

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