Things I've Discovered Blogging and Reader Survey
I blog because I love it. I take pictures because I love it. I write as a compulsion, keeping words inside me is not possible. I work hard at this space. It's not perfect, it's not eloquent, but it's a version of me I am proud of. Each change shows a moment of growth that reflects me coming deeper into who I am. I would do this thing, whether people read it or not, but the people who do read this make me better. They make me stronger, happier, and help me grow so much.
I do this for free. I have not once made money off this space, I have received free things in exchange for a review. However I have strict rules when accepting free things. Those things must allow me to stay authentic to myself, because after ten years of blogging, authenticity is a huge part of who I am. In those ten years I have seen the blogging world evolve from a close group of people who write because they had a need to say things to an environment of advertisements and making money, inspiring millions of people to write. The evolution has been good and while I am not a huge fan of advertisements, it's good to see people inspired. I think blogging should be done because you love it and over the years I have seen people come and go. I have fallen in and out of love with blogging, but it has always stuck with me. I write, as I said as a compulsion, a need, a drive, overall I am far more comfortable in the original blogging world than I am in the evolution. Being a shy, introverted, and socially awkward person makes it hard to find consistent success in the new world.
Because of that, I am creating my first ever readers survey and I hope you'll participate. Along with my survey I want to share some things I've found since I've started blogging. Please click open form to participate!
Things I've learned in my years blogging
- People come and go.
People I thought would be blogging forever, stopped, and I lost track of them. Sometimes I was lucky and was able to friend them on Facebook. Other times not so much. I am a terrible networker, something I really need to work on. But as people grow and evolve, life happens and prioties change. It's good, sometimes sad but always be open to people's paths.
- Quality over quantity matters today, but it didn't always.
I used to blog 7 days a week and get the same amount of comments I get now. Now I work hard for those comments and I post 2x a week, putting hours of work into each post.
- RSS Feed.
Not everyone knows what an RSS feed is. Not everyone understands what an RSS feed does. Not everyone knows that there are harmful RSS readers out there.
An RSS feed is a way to read a person blog using a service, like Feedly or Bloglovin'. It sends you a notification every time a new post is uploaded.
It's quite handy when it comes to reading blogs and is my preferred way. That is until recently when the feeds began to make changes. Bloglovin' added advertising and comments to their reader. Neither of which is bad in it's self, until it's applied to a blog. Because the posts no longer open in the bloggers platform, the advertising credits are paid to bloglovin' and not the author. If you read my blog through bloglovin' and see advertisements, please know that they are not mine. I have no ads on my space. Comments done through bloglovin' are also something that I can not see or respond to. For more details check out this post.
- You will hate it, you will love it, you will cry over it and you will grow.
Blogging is not easy. Creating content is not easy. Sometimes comments are cruel and cutting, sometimes they are warm and loving. And sometimes, no one reads what you write. Through all those stages, you will grow, make friends, and have you ideas change. I personal love it, but it's not for everyone. In fact when someone asks me if they should get into blogging I generally tell them no.
- Email lists.
This is new to me and so important. I wish I had created one sooner. Being able to connect with readers on this level is so much better than an RSS Feed. However, I don't personally use email lists. I get dozens of emails a day and don't want more. So I am conflicted on to better handle email list (if you have tips, please share!). At this time, my email list is exactly what you see here, my posts. I don't send out extra items, however if you respond to the email you will get a more in-depth conversation with my than you would otherwise.
- Follow who you love.
Don't fall for this follow for a follow thing. Don't do it for the numbers. Do it out of love, love of the content, love of the artist, and love for yourself. Don't engage in content that does not bring you joy. The things you love will evolve over time and that's okay. Just be true to who you are.
And those are my basic discoveries. I'd love your thoughts, so leave a comment!