ups and downs of new blogger
Blogging

The Ups and Downs of a New Blogger

I’ve been blogging for five months now and have to admit, there are good days and bad days.  I love the writing, but I also want to know that others are getting something from it.  It’s not supposed to be just about me.  I know my loyal followers are out there and I’m SO happy about that.  But I thought I’d share some of the feelings I have from day to day when it comes to my blog.  I just hope it doesn’t sound too whiny at times or a repeat of my earlier blog.  😢

The ups

One of the things that makes me feel good about blogging is the satisfaction I get when I finish a post that I think is really good.  To me, really good means it flows well, it’s entertaining, possibly informative, and maybe even tugs at your heart.  I know when one is good and I know when one is not so good.  It takes several drafts before I publish because I want each post to be the best it can be.  I’m also a disciplined proofreader so I hope you don’t find any mistakes.  (Let me know if you do!!)

I also love creating the featured images, trying to find just the right photo, whether it’s my own or one of the stock photos (free).  It’s sometimes challenging, however, to stick with the free stuff.  I may have to break down at some point and buy a subscription so I have access to better pictures.  Or, I need to become a photographer.  Yea, let’s add that to my plate!!

Another thing that makes me feel positive is the comments.  Your comments are great.  I probably check for them more than I should, but my goal is to respond to each and every one as quickly as possible.  Are you getting emails letting you know I’ve replied?  (You should, so let me know if you aren’t.)

I love getting new subscribers.  I’ve pretty much plateaued with that and haven’t added any for quite a while.  I know some of you are getting to my blog through Facebook without subscribing.  Is that because you don’t want to get emails?  I get lots of emails for blogs I follow and I know it can be overwhelming.  I tend to let them sit and then take one day to catch up on all of them.

And for some reason, I like getting a subscriber that isn’t someone I know.  I think it’s because I want to feel that what I’m saying is meaningful to anyone and not just my friends.  Would you like my blog if you weren’t my friend?

I’m so excited.  Last Wednesday, I noticed I had 100 shares!!   A milestone!!  Please continue to share.  The more my blog is “out there”, the more likely I am to snag new followers.  Note that I am also on Instagram – lra4085 – if you’d like to follow me there.  I use it primarily to post things related to my blog site and those posts are shared on my Retired Introvert Facebook page.  I haven’t taken my blog to Twitter yet and I’m not sure if I will.

The downs

I need to start off saying there are more “ups” than “downs”, even though the size of this section is bigger.  I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy the writing.  I don’t usually do much, if anything, with my blog on Tim’s days off (Sunday and Monday), so by Tuesday, I’m itching to get to my laptop.  And once my post topic on 6/15 surfaced, I immediately knew I needed to blog about it.  I sat down and wrote it in one sitting.  (I, of course, did review it and made a few tweaks before posting it.)

I try to plan my topics way ahead; I have a nice list to work from.  It seems when I’m doing other things (walking, showering, riding in the car, cooking, doing laundry, sleeping), all I think about at times is what I want to write about.  It’s hard not to sit down and write them all at once, but that’s not realistic.  But I’m afraid I’ll lose all those great (ha) ideas floating in my head.  I do tailor, and sometimes change, my schedule depending on what’s going on.  I sometimes let it frustrate me that I can’t sit down and write them all.

Much like when I started scrapbooking and let that guide every picture I took, as I now observe and listen to what’s going on around me, I think how I might blog about it.  I don’t think I’ll ever lack ideas!!

I also try to do whatever research will help validate what I’m writing about.  It’s not always easy to find what I’m looking for.  There’s so much information available it’s difficult to sift through it all and find what will help me.  I also want to present facts and so much of what’s out there is opinion and not fact.  It’s challenging to find information you can trust.

I’d say the biggest down for me is when someone unsubscribes.  I’ve had two of those so far.  I’m not saying that to make you feel that you can never unsubscribe.  I’m actually considering unsubscribing from some I recently started following, simply because after following them a few months, I’ve realized they’re not my thing.  I get that.  I’d rather have you unsubscribe than ignore the messages.  But it still stings just a little.

I know many people are reading my posts but don’t leave any comments.  I do understand.  I read other blogs without commenting and it doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying them.   It just makes we wonder if a post with no comments was bad or if the topic wasn’t a good one.  Hey, you can even leave me negative comments.  Sometimes I just want feedback, regardless of the type.  Otherwise, it can feel as if my writing is going off into space and no one sees it.

I would like to get more of you voting in my polls, whether on my blog site or my Facebook page.  They take so little time to answer, they don’t require much thought, and I do use the information I gather.  I’d simply like to have a bigger sample.   Your votes are completely anonymous, so if you’re worried I’ll know how you vote, you can forget that.  I have no clue who’s voting or how.

I have so much data available through Google Analytics, but I can’t make sense of it.  It’s like we used to say at work – so much data, so little information.  I need to figure out how to turn what I have into information.  As I’ve said in my privacy policy, this data does not indicate who you are.

What data I do understand is interesting, but I’m still trying to figure out how to use it to my advantage.   Does knowing what browsers or types of devices you use help me create better content?  It could, if most of my readers use their phones and my blog is hard to read or navigate on that device.

The money aspect

As I think I’ve mentioned, I’m not spending much money to do this.  At a certain point, however, I wonder if I’ll need to.  I could boost my Facebook posts for two or three dollars each.  Would it be worth it if I got a few more followers?  I wonder if I should subscribe to get photos.  Or should I use Photoshop to create infographics or other cool stuff I can share with you?

My site is also managed pretty cheaply but I can’t always do the things I’d like to do.  I am limited to certain fonts.  All the plugins I use to enhance my functionality are great, but I’m also using the free versions of those.  If I upgrade (spend money), I might be able to be a little more sophisticated in what I do.

Sometimes with updates, things stop working the way they did before the update.  You may have noticed this in my emails.  I requested an update from the developers and they actually put it in.  However, it’s not working.   I’ve been corresponding with the developers for weeks to get it to do what I want, and I can’t figure it out.  Now they want to access my site to check it out and not surprisingly, I’m hesitant to open it up to them.

At some point, I will need to decide where I want my blog to go in the future and that will determine what I might have to spend.

There’s also the income aspect.  I didn’t go into this to make money, but who could turn it down?  I just don’t know how to go about it.  Plus, I’ve seen many sites that are packed with ads and I don’t want that either.  It’s amazing, though, how much some claim to make with their blogs.  I also think they spend hours and hours in order to do it.

Conclusion

What I do never feels like a job, but I can see how it could become like one.  I’m just not ready for that.  There are too many other things I like to do.

I’ve considered creating an online shop to sell cards and other things I make, but my fear is that it could become too much.  (Not that I expect to have a lot of activity.  There’s a lot of competition out there!!)

It’s just that the joy of retirement is not having deadlines and that would create deadline stress.  It already stresses me out just a little to think about what I’d have to do to create and maintain an online shop.  I think for now, I’ll continue to make these things for my family and friends.

I will continue to create posts, hoping I’m choosing good topics.  I will get a handle on all those statistics so I can use them constructively.  I’ll even share what I learn with you.  I think you might find some of the information fascinating.

I’ll try not to compare what I’m doing to other bloggers.  A lot of them have been blogging for years, so they have established routines and they’ve developed relationships with other bloggers.  I have to remember this is my blog and that’s all that matters.

Please continue to share either on Pinterest, Facebook, email or wherever you know there are people who you think would like my blog.

And hey, if you’re interested in being a guest blogger on my site, let me know.  I’d love to include viewpoints and information that I cannot.  And who knows, you might discover you like this blogging thing too!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *