This time last year, blogging was my therapy. We had recently gone into lockdown, life was turned upside down and things just didn’t make sense. So what I thought to be the most logical thing to do was to write about it. Share a piece of my troubled mind with the world, and essentially pay for them to read it. Well, pay for the platform they would read it on that is. So I tossed my journal, played around with the WordPress thing, typed a few intimate stories, and smiled. On May 27, 2020, GWS officially went live making this my 1 year blogging anniversary. What I didn’t plan for were the unexpected life lessons that would come with the journey.
Looking back at the year that was, there are so many things to be proud of. There have also been many frustrations, fails and even moments that I felt like throwing in the towel.
For anyone who has been on this journey, or is looking forward to completing a year, here is a snippet into my first year as a blogger. It wasn’t always pretty, but perseverance is what makes you a successful blogger, right?
Personal growth comes with every missed win
We’ve all looked at how far other bloggers have come with their blogs and wondered why our own growth isn’t as exponential. I’m no different. I’ve even set unrealistic expectations for myself based on … well, nothing really. But one year in, I’ve come to realize that growth comes in many forms, not just a bigger following and more views.
So I didn’t get 5,000 followers by the end of the first year, but I did gain something else.
Blogging has helped me to identify what is troubling me and put it into words. It may not seem like such a big deal, but once you can actually reduce a problem into a few hundred words, solving it doesn’t become as challenging.
I’ve also learnt a little more about how the internet works, and what goes into running a successful website. For someone who hopes to become a business owner in the future, this marketing experience is invaluable.
Blogging has also connected me to very like-minded individuals that I would never have met otherwise. They have been there when I felt discouraged, listened to real-life problems, and even taught me some valuable lessons. Some may call these blogging besties, I call them family.
Sticking with the commitment is a display of character
We all believe that we can do it all, especially when part of the ‘all’ includes something we love. And after trying to be superwoman for so long, I admit that sometimes doing everything means not putting 100% into each thing.
Life outside the pandemic has been busier than I remembered, so keeping up with my passion is not as easy. I’ve admittedly pushed blogging to the bottom of the list and even skipped a few days. However, as much as I am drowning, it is a commitment I refuse to give up on.
Blogging has been such a rollercoaster ride, with both ups, downs, and loops. Right now, I believe I’m on a ‘downward stretch’ on my blogging journey – mentally that is. I am struggling with my unrealistic schedule of posting 4 times a week. Also, quite a bit of what is happening in life right now is work-related. And as much as I would like to pen this out, the biggest problem is that over-sharing even just a little could cost me the job that pays to keep my blog running.
Making money isn’t as easy as one, two, three
When I first started my blog, I hoped to reach a point within the first year that the money coming in would cover the cost of running the blog. In my head, it meant that at the minimum, I needed to make enough to cover the WordPress costs.
One year in, it did reach the target but at a horrific rate.
Making money from a blog isn’t easy. If you have tried to monetize your blog, you know the struggle. I recall being excited to get WordAds on my site, only to deactivate them six months later. My next biggest win was being accepted into Medianet’s ad program… But I ditched it about 2 months later. Finally, I got accepted by Adsense, but getting ad clicks is more difficult than I ever imagined.
So, have I made money from the blog? Yes. Was it easy? Heck no!
I’ll share the full story in another post, but for now, just know that I’ve had to co-write and sell a blogging strategy plan, apply for several paid writing opportunities only to be selected for a few, and watch the ad revenue creep up painfully slowly. But yes, it is possible to make money from a blog. You just have to be ready for the punches that come with it.
You may be interested in: 5 Ways my blog changed in the first 6 months
But were these unexpected life lessons worth the challenge?
If there is one thing I have learnt from being alive for so long, it’s that learning is inevitable. Sometimes the lessons we learn aren’t always the easiest. At times, we could have done without them… But my perspective on this has changed recently. Every lesson is valuable, regardless of how little it seems to add at the moment.
I also recently found out that once you stop learning, your brain starts degrading.
How long have you been on your blogging journey? What are some unexpected life lessons you’ve learnt?
Pssst! Let’s hang on social media!