Three years ago, I published my first blog post and held my breath. It was the first time I’d taken on my new persona, writing under my pen name (or can I say “Nom de Plume? It sounds so elegant…) It was almost like waiting in the wings to go onstage, although it was a bit of a disappointment at first to find the “theater” mostly empty.
I’d actually written several posts in advance, to be sure I would have enough content to keep going. Blogging was being touted back then as the thing to do if you are a writer, although it seems to be an option now rather than a must-do. I can certainly understand why most people don’t want to take on a regular blog, and not everyone should. So when I started, my greatest fear was not that no one would read it (though that did cross my mind), but that I would run out of things to say.
This post is my eighty-sixth, so I guess haven’t had “Blogger’s Block” yet! So what have I learned from crafting and publishing all those posts?
It’s not as scary as you think it is when you start. Mainly because it takes time to develop a following. Unless you write about controversial topics or have a well-developed platform on social media, or are already well known, your posts probably won’t get much attention in the beginning. That’s okay, because you are still learning, still putting your words out there, still developing your voice. By the time your posts start getting some attention, you’ll feel less awkward.
Blogging routinely develops your writing skills. Sure, it’s only a 500 word post, but you still had to come up with idea, research the topic, write it, re-write, and edit it until it was ready to be unleashed on the world. If you post regularly, it becomes a habit. You are able to produce content on a regular basis, not just when the mood strikes.
You never know who might read your posts. I have had comments and received endorsements by some well-known authors, which was thrilling. But all kinds of people from all over the internet have commented or “Liked” my posts, sharing them on various social media. A few posts have even been picked up by internet “newspapers”, which cater to various interests. It is a form of networking in a way, and it just plain makes me happy that someone got enjoyment from my work!
It can be fun! Sometimes my posts are humorous, sometimes even frivolous. Sometimes they are serious or sad. Most of the time they are informative- I’m not an expert at anything, but I can always write about my experiences, in case someone else out there may benefit from it. My posts are usually writing-related, but not exclusively. So throwing in a fun post now and then keeps you from taking things too seriously.
You learn whether or not blogging is for you. I have heard of some writers who started blogging because they were told they ‘had’ to, but didn’t enjoy it, so they stopped. If you want to use your blog just to share news about your books, that’s fine. No one should blog if their heart isn’t in it. There are so many ways to build a platform and get noticed these days, and you need to utilize what works best for you. Forcing yourself won’t make it any better or easier. Blogging would probably be hard to outsource, too, though I’m sure someone has tried it. So if you find it becomes a drudge to blog, it may not be for you.
The most surprising thing I learned about blogging is I enjoy it way more than I thought I would. I haven’t run out of topics yet, and I’m crossing my fingers that I never do! Thanks so much for reading, and I hope to entertain and inform you for many years to come.