What I have learned in four years of blogging

Today is my four year blogging birthday. Four years of blogging has had it’s ups and downs but I can honestly say that I still love blogging now as much as I did when I started. I love writing the posts, typing frantically as I get my thoughts and ideas out onto the screen, and I still experience that little buzz that comes from publishing a post. So today I’m going to share with you the things I’ve learned in my four years of blogging.

What I’ve learned in four years of blogging;

Be yourself. When I started blogging it was easy to be myself, I typed my thoughts and feelings in a very honest way, like in this post from my first month of blogging. However I soon became part of the growing blogging community and found other blogs which inspired me, and I felt like I needed to be more like them.

This path led to overthinking, and stilted, trying to hard, blog posts. I lost my authenticity for a while. For me blogging is all about the blogger, the voice, so now I blog as me. I may not be the coolest, I may not have an enviable lifestyle, but I am always authentic and I definitely glean more enjoyment from blogging this way.

I don’t worry about stats. Sure, it’s a good idea to pay attention to analytics to figure out what kind of posts are working, and which direction to go in, if growing is your thing. But don’t let stats ruin your fun.

I’m talking about worrying about your rankings in blog charts, crying over lost Instagram followers, or feeling like you’re irrelevant if you don’t have thousands of hits each day. Don’t sweat it. Keep doing what you love and keep in mind that high volume traffic doesn’t necessarily mean high engagement, nor does it necessarily mean high quality.

I don’t bother with blog awards; 

Don’t misunderstand, I’d love to stand on a platform, collect a shiny trophy and feel the love for my blogging work. Unfortunately it’s never going to happen to me, plus it’s usually just a popularity contest anyway, and popularity was never my thing. I’m a particular taste and those that enjoy it are all I care about.

When I engaged with blog awards all it brought me was disappointment and heartbreak, so now I don’t, simple.

I do protect my families privacy;

 In the beginning I blogged a lot more about the children. I even used their real names. At some point this started to feel invasive. I don’t have the right to share the private moments, issues and feelings of my children. So now I don’t. My own I’m much more open about, but that stuffs mine to share if I choose.

I never blog for the sake of blogging; 

We’ve all been there, that feeling that we must produce some content, the blank screen staring back at us and the dross that tends to get published for the sake of it. Now I only blog when I have something to say, or share.

I love it and if I don’t I work it out; 

There have been times when I’ve felt disheartened, and struggled to see the point in blogging. It’s ephemeral, fleeting. The rush of a successful blog post is soon past, and at the end of the day my typing and sharing my thoughts doesn’t achieve very much globally.

Those are the times that I have to remind myself that I’m doing it for me. For the therapy of getting it out. For the connections I’ve made, the experiences my family have enjoyed. So I may not be a big name blogger with a career off the back of my blog but that doesn’t make it pointless.

As long as I remember my purpose in this blogging world I love it, and when I get distracted and disheartened then it’s easy to remind myself why I’m here.