Happy 1st Blogiversary Procrastinating Mum!
Is it weird that I just wished myself a happy Blogiversary? Today marks 1 year since I started The Procrastinating Mum and what a year it has been! I’m going to say it – I am really proud of myself! (I can just hear my dad now – ‘self-praise no praise!’) I am proud that I have managed to keep up with this for a whole year – with a lot of motivation from my husband!
I’ve discussed my blogging journey before and explained why I started so I thought today I would discuss what I’ve actually learnt from my year of blogging.
Please note – this will not be a technical ‘how to’ guide (that’s for another day), but more of a personal/emotional what I’ve learnt from blogging post.
I Was Naive
I treated blogging as an online diary when I first started (which is fine if that’s the way you blog!) Obviously everything was spell checked and had a title. I knew that I needed a subject to write about and have a beginning, middle and end. But that’s it. I just assumed that I could just write a post and people would find me and my little blog.
I shared it to Facebook and waited to become famous.
Yeah, blogging doesn’t really work like that.
Blogging Is Hard Work
Like, really hard work
At first, I thought that blogging was relatively easy. I would spend the week working on what I wanted to write and that was it. But there is soooo much more that goes into it and to learn it can feel overwhelming.
I was extremely lucky when I started blogging as I had HUGE help from Lucy from Real Parent. She helped me with my website and theme, told me about SEO (search engine optimisation) and DA (domain authority) and what I need to do to improve my scores. She still answers all of the questions that I have now and is so patient with me!
Lucy’s help and Jenny’s guides have made my journey so much easier!
Blogging Isn’t Just Writing
There is so much that goes into blogging behind the scenes! You can’t just write and be done with it, oh no:
There are pictures, headings, internal linking, external linking, paragraph length, sentence length, keyphrase, categories, tags, promoting on social media, creating Pinterest pins, keeping your website up to date, checking for broken links, alt descriptions, pictures, fact-checking, making sure that old content is up to date, buying your domain name, picking a hosting platform (honestly, I feel like a technical genius!) 🤯…the list really does go on, which takes us onto the next point.
Blogging Takes Up A Lot Of Time
Doing all the blog maintenance takes time! Writing also takes time! Like I said above, there is so much that goes into it and they’re not 5 minute jobs. Once you’ve actually finished writing and doing the maintenance on your site, you then have to schedule the posts to go live, reply to comments, promote it, take part in comment swaps.
Then there are the courses that you can purchase from other bloggers and experts. To have a successful blog you need to have the knowledge. So when you’re not working on your writing, you’re completing a course.
Or you’ll be having a shower/washing up/reading a book/about to go to sleep and suddenly an amazing idea pops into your head. Well, you need to act on that before the idea floats out of your head.
Or you’ll be taking photos for your blog or sourcing stock photos and cropping and editing those for your blog.
But then thats also the amazing thing about Blogging – you can be so flexible with your working hours!
You’ll Spend Money
I started off blogging on a website called Blogger. It was fine for just starting out, I didn’t have to pay for anything but it didn’t do everything that I needed it to do to look ‘professional’. So I moved to WordPress on one of their free options which I preferred.
You then need to pay a hosting company to actually host your website. I’m probably going to sound a bit silly now, but I didn’t actually realise that this was a thing. I thought that once you have your website and made it live, it just ‘went’ onto the World Wide Web. This also needs to be renewed every year.
You’ll then start paying for ebooks, courses and anything else that will help you with becoming more knowledgeable and a better blogger. Before you know it you’ve spent a fortune so make sure you try and stick to a budget!
You’ll Become Obsessed With Stats, SEO And Increasing Your DA
Seriously, you can blog for fun as I do, but that doesn’t stop you from checking your views every 20 minutes when you’ve just published a new post. You’ll tell yourself it doesn’t matter how many views you get but you really will become obsessed with checking.
DA – For my non blogging friends, here’s a little bit on DA:
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages.
For example, Facebook is probably 100 whereas new websites will start at 1. So, the better your DA, the more likely your website is to appear on the first page of Google.
But it’s not just DA that determines that. It also how strong your SEO game is on your content that you’re putting out.
What is SEO:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing content to be discovered through a search engine’s organic search results.
Good SEO is pretty much what I mentioned above in ‘Blogging Isn’t Just Writing.’ But, like, A LOT more goes into it!
Say you google ‘How to Distract Yourself from a Panic Attack‘. Well, depending on how well you’ve focused on SEO and the better your DA, the more likely you are to be on the front page of Google (currently, I’m on page 2 for this example). And getting onto that first page of Google is every website owners dream! How often do you scroll to page 5 or 6 of Google when you’re looking for something? Exactly.
So trying to increase your DA is super important but also super difficult! You’ll work your hardest to try and increase your score but it is not easy. I’ve been stuck on mine for about 6 months now. AND IT WILL NOT BUDGE!
I can’t even begin to tell you how it feels when you’ve worked really hard on a post, put your all into it and you’re super proud and it doesn’t get the views you were expecting.
Or when you’re on Twitter and new bloggers are saying how they’ve reached all of their goals for the year in 3 months and they’re earning mega £££. It’s great, it really is! It’s amazing that they’re doing so well already! But it does make me jealous.
It makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong? Why aren’t people liking and sharing my posts? Is it what I’m writing? Am I not writing about the right things? Maybe I’m not funny enough or relatable? Maybe people don’t like my advice or take on things? You really do start to doubt yourself and you’ll wonder if it is actually worth carrying on? But then the idea of not blogging is so horrible that I know I could never just give up.
The Blogging Community Is Lovely
When I joined Twitter in November 2019, I had no idea what I was doing but I thought it couldn’t hurt. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve started to use Twitter more and I am so glad that I did! As it turns out, Twitter is where all the bloggers hang out and I cannot begin to even tell you how kind and welcoming they are! You need a boost, advice, anything and they’ll be there to help if they can.
I was never particularly interested in (or any good at!) writing when I was at school, I preferred reading. But I cannot tell you how happy I am that I discovered blogging.
My dream would be to become a full-time blogger. Is this possible? I’d like to think that it is, as long as I stop doubting myself and start putting myself out there! Like I said above, blogging is hard work but it has also been so rewarding.
And finally a massive thank you to you for reading my ramblings each week. I really am so grateful!
Before you go, would you please do me a favour? If you liked this post, would you mind just giving that little heart down the bottom of this page a click? Or maybe give it a like and share on social media? Or even leave me a little comment below. It really does make such a difference and you have no idea how much I would appreciate it! Thank you.
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All photos from Ivory Mix