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!
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!