Happy Birthday to My Blog! 10 Things I Learned in My First Year

Birthday

Hello dear reader! September 1 of this year marked the first birthday of my blog. Thanks to all who read and contribute!! It means more to me than you know. In this piece I would like to share 10 things I learned in my first year of blogging in no particular order.

1. Content creation is only the beginning

I discovered that actual writing was only the start; the rest was marketing, figuring out technical stuff, and how to make the blog look good. Getting in a writing habit was an important thing, as it was a new habit for me. I had to figure the technical stuff on my own; Thankfully BlueHost makes most of the technical stuff easy. With the different plugins and such they offer I now have a good handle on things.

2. Some people won’t get your blog or its birthday

When I told a few people that I blog, they turned up their noses at my content and theme. “Mental Health? BAH!” “You need to pray more to the Holy Spirit.” “This blog is a waste of time.” The important lesson to learn is that it’s ok that people won’t get your blog. Mainly because there is a whole community of bloggers out there who are waiting to connect and network with new people. There is always more to learn and to read!

3. Do. The. Research.

There are proven strategies as to how to make a blog successful. I wish I spent the time sooner to look into SEO strategies, how keywords work, ect. Do yourself a favor and look into these things. There are literally tons of free resources available to you, plus the previously mentioned communities of bloggers who want to help.

4. Look to social media from the beginning

Facebook is one of my main distribution sources. It wasn’t always this way. Before I was relying solely on word of mouth and my email distrobution list. Not a sound strategy and a mistake on my part. Now when I post things I can post to blogging groups and post to my Instagram and Twitter accounts as well. This has majorly helped my following in the long run. The blog’s birthday got many hits!

5. Set healthy boundaries

It is easy to feel burnt out on blogging after a few months. This happened in my case as well. When my aunt died I really and truly didn’t feel like blogging anymore. I knew that this feeling was temporary and all I needed was a short mental health break. Mental health breaks are good; just make sure they are only temporary! The blog’s birthday was a good day for a comeback.

6. Get the writing done!

Your writing dosen’t have to be perfect. To try to measure up to someone else’s blog or following is an exercise in futility. You can only create the best blog content YOU can create. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not “as good” as someone else’s work. If anything, try to learn what you can from others. Networking is essential!

7. Keep your own voice

Never forget the reason why you started blogging in the first place. In my case, I wanted to give back to the world some of what God had given me. Your reasons may vary, but you have a unique voice to offer the world in whatever subject you blog about. Keep at it and keep improving with every piece. Readers can tell when you are writing about something you are not passionate about.

8. You lose nothing by asking

Most members of the blogging community want to help newer members. However, they are not mind readers. Don’t be afraid to ask very specific questions about what it is you are trying to do. What’s the worst that could happen?

9. You get what you pay for (especially on the blog’s birthday)

When I started The Behold Project, I knew I wanted to carve out a small piece of the Internet for myself and have my own domain name. It would make things easy to remember plus I can have more control over what my site looks like. However, this is not a free option in BlueHost. I am very happy with them as a provider; just be prepared to pay money if you want the best options and tools while blogging. The blog’s birthday is not terribly expensive thankfully.

Bluehost can be found at https://www.bluehost.com

10. Yay Moral Support! (and birthday cake)

I am very thankful to have my lovely wife’s support in my blogging endeavors. I would be hard pressed to find a reason to blog of she didn’t approve. Yes it does mean I have to juggle my time and make a time and space for her, but that is as it should be. In your blogging please don’t ever lose sight of the important stuff! We even celebrated the blog’s birthday with ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.

So there you have it dear reader! I hope you found this piece informative and insifghtful. Here’s to another year. Don’t forget to visit our Resources page at https://www.thebeholdproject.com/resources. God Bless.

-Brian Caley