My Second Blogiversary and Other Happenings

Last week, WordPress wished me Happy Anniversary! I’ve been under the weather for a while so my celebration of this milestone was a mumbled announcement to my very supportive mother who knows that I blog, but has no clue what WordPress is. Since the gods have seen it fit to offer me a respite, I’m commemorating this achievement by reflecting on my journey so far.

I’ve actually been blogging for two years and four months. I started on Blogger in December 2015. I’m quite proud of myself for sticking with the blog especially since one of the courses I’d done early on predicted that most new blogs fail within a year, I think. My enthusiasm deflated hearing those odds but as I moved through the course I realised that those statistics were based on blogging to earn income. I didn’t start this blog to achieve Internet fame, become an influencer, or hang out with celebrities. I wanted to push my creative buttons and stretch my writing muscles. As far as I’m concerned, victory is mine!

Toast my success, bitches.

Late last year I took a moment to recalibrate. I was paying for my domain name, web hosting, and I’d purchased a theme. Neither was terribly pricey but my blog doesn’t earn me so much as half a penny. The hundreds of renewal notices crowding my inbox prompted me to migrate to a free WordPress site. I’m not beating myself up over my initial decision because what I learnt managing mintteaandelephants.com only added value to my tech skills. I tinkered with plug-ins and codes. I discovered Canva. I even did the Google Analytics for Beginners course. I’ve grown professionally.

Reading my previous ramblings about blogging (Musings About Blogging, My First Year of Blogging, A Few More Ramblings About Blogging), I realise that what I see-saw most on is the social media that I use to promote the blog. Once upon a time, I loved Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and I would access these apps every day. However, I fell out of love with social media before I even started blogging and that has made things tricky for me.

I would have already deleted my Facebook profile if it weren’t for the lone blogging group that I belong to – Big Up Your Blog. I scrapped my blog’s Facebook page because my followers rarely saw my links. The links I shared on my personal profile weren’t appearing in my friends’ newsfeeds either. I would never pay to boost posts and advertise my blog so I stopped beating that dead horse. I don’t have time to waste.

The main reason I established a Facebook page was because I wanted a business account on Instagram. That seemed like a good idea at the time. I still don’t care about flat lays or making every photo in my feed look like it’s been dipped in the same filter. From what I’ve read, users don’t click links on Instagram because they don’t like exiting the app. Speaking for myself, if I’m looking at videos of melted cheese, I ain’t coming out of Instagram to read anybody’s latest blog post. Instagram does nothing for blog traffic so I put in minimal effort there. I simply curate a feed that I enjoy.

I eventually made my way back to Twitter. I mainly use it to share the blogs that I’ve been reading as well as my own posts. Keeping my account focused on blogging has worked for me. I would like another platform for sharing and I’m wrestling with Pinterest as the most worthwhile option for that. Huge pinnable graphics have not grown on me (I hate them), and I’m still not convinced that Pinterest followers necessarily translate to increased blog traffic. I have a few thoughts swirling in my head. No clear strategy yet.

I’ve set myself a doable target of 100 blog posts by the end of 2018. I’m also exploring blog challenges that’ll generate new ideas and keep me on my toes. I never want blogging to turn into a boring chore. Cheers to another year!

30 thoughts on “My Second Blogiversary and Other Happenings

  1. The Facebook algorithm changes are just awful – you can’t see half of what you actually want to see and it’s so full of ads now! Happy bloggiversary though. I think your plan of sticking with what you know and like is the way forward and just concentrating on the content on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rachel! I’m enjoying stretching my creative muscles. The Instagram algorithm is just as bad. Ads, ads, ads. It got so bad I thought some of my friends weren’t posting anymore, only to realise their stuff wasn’t being pushed to my feed! So frustrating.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Blogiversary! 🙂 Every so often I think about creating a Facebook page for my blog so I can turn my blog’s Instagram into a business account, but honestly the small perks of a business Instagram do not make the FB page worth it [for me]. I am part social media coordinator (other part copywriter) for the company I work for, so I get enough Facebook headaches during the day without having to keep up with it for my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Ultimately, greed is ruining how effective social media is for small businesses and bloggers. They want us to pay to be visible to our own followers. I can only imagine your corporate Facebook woes…they keep changing the rules so that nothing ever works for very long.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done on two years blogging! Same here, or was in January! Traffic generation is a fascinating topic. You may see it in stats, but does it actually mean the referrer bothered to read anything, let alone engage? Some find chasing stats part of the excitement. I guess if you monetise then it is important. I think you are wise to stick with media you find works. Everyone has an opinion of which site is best for sharing. Thing is it has to fit in with, not only us, but our time scales.

    BUYB is certainly up on my list because I’ve met loads of like minded bloggers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gary, and congrats on your blogiversary! You’ve touched on something that there’s a lot of in the blogosphere – opinions. I certainly had my share of headaches trying to keep up with opinions until I decided to be me and do my own thing. Once you know who you are as a blogger, you should be able to figure out what fits with your blog. That’s my opinion. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heck yes, opinions are great if you can filter them. Hopeless if you have cognitive dissonance though. You can never decide on any then!! I think you hit it though. Decide on who you are as a blogger first or use the initial year to try things then you are better placed to be more at ease with it all. It’s taken me two years to figure out what I want in a theme having said that so I need to get on to that one and sort mine out!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s why I held back. I once looked at themes before I really knew what I wanted out of one and stepped right back as a result. Now I’m in a better position to consider it properly. At least that’s the theory!!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on being around for two years. I know what you mean about earning what we put in the blog – the hosting, the domain etc. I have been blogging for 5 years now and I too don’t make a cent. 😦
    But like you, I have learnt so much and I enjoy the process.. It’s fun to meet so many bloggers from around the world and BUYB is sure a good place! Nice to meet you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Melissa great post! I’ve been blogging just over a year and have learned so much (most of it by making mistakes) and have made ZERO. But I don’t care because it’s reminded me that I LOVE writing and it’s been great to connect with fellow bloggers all over the world (mainly through BUYB). So a very happy anniversary to you. Long may you continue. JIll x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on your blogiversary! It looks like we started our blogs about the same time and, also, struggle with the direction of social media. I have upped my Twitter game from Facebook (although I haven’t entirely left it behind) because engagement is so much better. I’m working on the whole Pinterest thing but it seems like A LOT of work and I’d rather be writing! Although not a social media platform per se, I see quite a few writers headed to Medium where you can share posts from your blog. I may give that a whirl. Good luck on your 2018 blog goals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s good to know I’m not alone. Medium was the hot happening thing a couple years ago but I resisted because I didn’t feel that my writing stature was as superior as it should be for that platform…I didn’t feel comfortable. If you like it, let me know how it goes. And I am STILL scribbling notes on to-Pinterest-or-not-to-Pinterest. Like you, I’d rather focus on the writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Melissa,

    Thank you for your reply!

    I found your post about your first blogging anniversary and have read your thoughts on StumbleUpon. I’ve noticed also the spike and the effect on bounce rate. Many seem to have already left the StumbleUpon train when I got on.

    I’ll subscribe to your blog so I don’t miss anything. I’ll see you on Twitter.

    Best,
    Sigrid
    http://www.lifenotestofile.com

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello Melissa,

    I here over from Twitter!

    I share your sentiments. In my case, I was out of Facebook even before I even started my blog Life Notes to File. I’m liking Twitter for its micro-blogging feature and I’m dabbling with Quora and Stumble Upon also.

    This week I’ve been toying with the idea of starting Instagram or Pinterest. I’m still not convinced and the points that you mentioned are really worth considering. The topic of my blog doesn’t seem to lend itself well to visual social media and to be honest the look of Pinterest pages confuses me.

    Today, I decided to stop worrying about it and to just continue on writing. Maybe time will tell.

    Best,
    Sigrid
    http://www.lifenotestofile.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sigrid! Congrats to you on your decision to just write. I think if I’d stopped to ponder blog traffic or how many followers I had, I would have given up my blog a long time ago. And I agree that it’s not always easy to capture the essence of a blog’s topic in a photo for the ‘gram. I’ve never looked into Quora other than to see what other people are saying about things I’m seeking answers to. Will make a note to investigate. I talked about StumbleUpon in one of my previous posts. Not going that route again. Thanks so much for stopping by ye ole blog! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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