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It is overwhelming. The shear volume of information available about blogging could fill an entire library by itself. I would describe it as a tsunami but that word may not be a big enough metaphor.
If you are thinking about starting a blog you should do it. Anyone can do it. You can do it. I believe that wholeheartedly. Like achieving most things of value, a successful blog requires lots of time and hard work. And, as this blogger is finding out, lots of learning.
In the past month I have spent over 40 hours just learning about blogging.
Four items stick out in my mind from the last few weeks. I wanted to share them with you today.
1. Blogging About Blogging is Not for Me
While I am very interested in sharing my journey as a blogger, I have decided I do not want this to become a blog about blogging. This may be a crazy idea as there seems to be a lot of money in blogging about blogging. My passion doesn’t spring from writing about blogging. If I let blogging become my niche, I fear I would quickly run out of enthusiasm.
Fiction writing is my true passion. Second to writing is reading. I love books. I mean I really love books. I have more book cases in my home than all the other furniture combined. And still some books are piled in corners around the house.
Great writing and reading are the identity I want for my blog. My intention is to hold true to that vision.
This does not mean that I am going to end the Tale of a New Blogger series. I enjoy writing that post once a month. It gives me a chance to take stock of my progress and to renew my enthusiasm about my blog in general. Look for that series to continue.
2. SEO Requires Real Effort
The letters SEO meant very little to me just four months ago. I knew they stood for Search Engine Optimization but little more than that. One of my projects for February is to learn more about SEO and to update my existing and future posts accordingly.
But WOW. You won’t believe how much there is to know about SEO.
First of all, there are some 200 rating factors Google uses in SEO. 200! I had no idea. As I read through the list, I knew about five of them.
Just reading the complete list took considerable time. Brian Dean does an excellent job listing all 200. He gives a brief description of each item making it easier to understand all the rating factors.
The good news is that now I can honestly say I understand SEO.
Well, sort of.
The time and effort comes in with using SEO correctly. The best way to increase your SEO results is to do research before you write your post. That will take some time, especially when you are first starting out like I am. This is an item I will come back to in future posts when I am better qualified to offer advice on the subject.
Another great SEO resource is Gundi Gabrielle’s The Sassy Way to Ranking #1 in Google – when you have NO CLUE!: A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization. This is book 6 in her blogging series. I have read four of the books, including this one, and they are full of valuable information. If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read them all for FREE.
3. Social Media Takes Time
Yeah, yeah, we all know that. Who of us hasn’t wasted an entire evening catching up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Trying to grow a blog following on social media is even more time consuming.
I am thrilled with my results so far. I have grown a considerable number of followers in just a few months. That said, trying to keep up with commenting, pinning, liking, sharing, etc. is more than a bit daunting. It can easily take up the whole day.
Ana from The She Approach just released a great new FREE 5-day affiliate marketing course. If you are looking to monetize your blog, this is the advice you need. I’ve learned so much from her that I have to recommend it to others.
Setting up time limits seems to be helping me keep social media under control. If I know I only have an hour, I don’t spend a lot of time writing lengthy replies or looking at kitten videos. Yes, baby animals are my weakness.
4. Writers Need to Write
This blog has taken up the bulk of my time for the last two months. I am not complaining. I love writing blog posts. And I love learning new things so learning about blogging is a fascinating adventure. But I don’t want my fiction writing to ever be sacrificed for the success of my blog.
I love to write. I NEED to write. That is the number one priority.
I haven’t really given a writing update for a while. I am currently working on two novels. Plans are also rolling around in my head to write a non-fiction book on mental health experiences. And I want to turn my I’ve Learned series into a Kindle book.
My goal is to publish all four books this year.
This year? I know that sounds crazy, but we’ve already established that I am crazy.
Bear with me a moment. I have the circumstances right now to write nearly full-time. Some of my time is going to freelance gigs. It probably doesn’t have to be, but part of my brain is panicking about no money coming in. But the majority of my time is free for writing.
Since that is the case, there is no excuse for me not writing.
I was disappointed to realize last week that I had not worked on my primary WIP since January. For over two weeks I had not even opened the file. The books I am planning will never get written at that rate.
Toward the end of last week, I set out to rectify that problem. On Friday I decided to write before I did anything else. I wrote for less than two hours but knocked out almost 3,000 words! I am ecstatic about that.
It proves to me that my true love doesn’t need to be neglected for the success of my blog.
To give myself some accountability, I will share my goal. I intend to have the first draft of my sci-fi adventure completed by the end of March. In future posts I will comment more on that writing journey.
What lessons have you learned recently? Please share your comments below.