What I’ve learned in two years of blogging

The blog is two years old today. I KNOW. This was just supposed to be a bit of fun that no one was ever going to read. If you told me it would still be going in 2013 I’d have been very impressed. And weirdly, this is also my 200th post – it’s as if I planned it.

I have learned a few things along the way. None of this is rocket science but it’s the kind of thing you don’t know when you start out blogging.

1. Have a topic. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, but if you don’t have one it’s very hard to develop any kind of readership. Although your daily life is interesting to you, it’s really not interesting to read about – so you’ve got to have some kind of focus.

2. It’s ok if the topic changes.  Your readers will stay with you. And a few random posts about whatever else is going on in your life is ok too. You just can’t have a blog that’s nothing but random posts. Or at least if you do, it’s called a diary that no one wants to read.

3. Keep it going. So many blogs I have read just fizzled out. In fact most of them do. If you don’t post regularly when you start, it doesn’t become a habit, which means you don’t build a regular group of readers, which means it isn’t very interesting for you as a writer, which means you fizzle out. I made a point of posting 3 times a week for at least six months when I started – I don’t know how I did it now, but it was worth it.

4. Become high in a list of search results. Unknowingly, by following point 3, I managed to end up quite high in Google searches on Iceland. This led to more readers, which also ultimately made this become more of a travel website than I had intended originally.

5. Be kind to your fellow bloggers. They are the only ones that will bother to comment on your posts, which means a lot! Some of my most viewed posts are the least commented on, as they have been read by random people who don’t blog and don’t realise how much some input helps you as a writer.

Two years down the line the blog has a become a place for me where I can visit Iceland every day.

Random loveliness

Random loveliness

The online community means that I don’t just get to go to Iceland for a few days at a time. I can keep up with what’s going on, meet other Iceland obsessives and even feel like I’m there by looking at live webcams. I can do all this every day if I want to. If I stopped blogging now, I would lose part of this community.

Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me for a while and to the more casual readers for continually challenging me with your questions and helping me to learn more about Iceland in the process! Any suggestions for content are always welcome.

I’m curious about other bloggers – why do you blog, and can you sum it up in a sentence?

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21 thoughts on “What I’ve learned in two years of blogging

  1. Sorry, technology malfunction!! My reason to Blog is to share some of my adventures and pictures. Congrats on 2 years and I liked the information above. I will try to remember them as I learn how to Blog. Thank you

  2. I started my blog for a variety of reasons, mostly because it seemed like fun and a good way to connect. I haven’t posted for months now. I can’t seem to find a regular schedule that works for me. I started out with the postaday challenge and stuck that for maybe half a year, but it was hard and too many of my posts were of the ‘I can’t think of anything to say’ variety and there are only a few ways you can say that in a witty, amusing and entertaining way! But my sense of time is such that if I don’t do something every day I lose track and I might feel it has only been a couple of days when in fact it is a couple of months…

    Yeah, excuses! 🙂 I do hope to go back to blogging and I also have an idea for a more focussed subject blog. I had intended my blog to have the focus of runology, but that never happened because of my health forcing me to give up that course of study. Until then, I still enjoy reading blogs and occasionally commenting 🙂

    • It’s hard coming up with new content all the time, but continuing to read friend’s blogs is still a good way of staying part of the blogging community. I’m sure that one day you will find there is inspiration again and suddenly you have lots to say. I am quite disciplined in other parts of my life and it’s a bit the same with blogging where I tell myself I have to do it and somehow that is enough to keep me going. 🙂

  3. “… why do you blog, and can you sum it up in a sentence?”

    Not in a sentence. Not even in a blog-post. I’m coming up on my tenth anniversary of the start of my blog and the reasons aren’t getting much clearer. It is important, however, to have some kind of goal or definition of what you want the blog to be. Ppost it on your “about” page to let people know what your intentions are (and to remind yourself), just don’t make it too rigid. My blog has been very good for my personal development and has gone in many directions which I didn’t expect, and for much longer than I had ever imagined.

    Your first three points are very good – they are the ABCs of blogging fundamentals.

    I wouldn’t get too hung up on #4, if you are posting original material regularly you will get readers. Just remember to keep your blogging in perspective— having a well-rounded life is more important than getting a bunch of hits. Too much of anything is a recipe for burn-out.

    Your fifth point is great, the empathy and interaction between bloggers is what it is really all about.

    • I’ve got no idea how you’ve kept it up for so long! I’m proud of two years but I can pretty much guarantee this won’t still be going in eight more. I agree that having a mission on your “about” page is useful. I lose interest in a blog pretty quickly if there is no “about” page at all (surprising how often that is). I agree re point 5 – again surprising how many blogs I’ve come across where there is no interaction between blogger and readers – what’s the point??

  4. Hi! New reader here. Congrats on the two years:)
    I have one of those blogs full of random posts that no one wants to read! I don’t mind so much, though, because i love to write them. I haven’t been blogging consistently for very long though and I feel that my blog might just morph into a themed one somewhere down the line, when I’ve figured out what I like to write about the most. We’ll see.

  5. Now you tell me….and all this time I’ve been blogging about my not so interesting life!! 😛
    The reason I started bloggin was because I liked reading other blogs, to she what others were knittin. Idont have many people around me who knit and blogging makes me feel a part of the knitting world out there.

  6. Congratulations on your 2nd anniversary of blogging, and on the succinct wisdom of your guidelines re blogging. And… ‘way over the top congratulations for the photo in this particular post. It is stunning.

  7. Yes, my topic is mostly photography, but the whole blog is pretty random. It’s not a diary either, but somewhere in between I guess. A little bit of travelling, some recipes, tattoo history (like you, my experience is that those are my most viewed posts, but there’s not a lot of comments on them).

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