Newbie bloggers, especially those who “leap before they learn” have tons of blogging questions. Oftentimes those authors become so overwhelmed and discouraged their blogs end up abandoned. For the record and just in case it is not embarrassingly obvious enough, I am one of those leapers too; nevertheless today is a new day and a new year. Changes are in progress. I’m nervous, a bit worried but nonetheless excited! This blog has a new name, new categories, and a funny new graphic, did you notice?
Today I’m resolving to share my passions and experiences; the journey of mistakes, inspirations, and support of fellow bloggers. Readers can expect blogging tips, social media tools, and perhaps a few tech snippets too.
Now on to my story. I hope you’ll get a laugh or two and find something of value as well…
Launching without a blog plan
With a basic, excessively broad theme in mind, ASiteForWomen.com was launched with the Mambo content management system and nothing more. Does anyone even remember that open source cms? The next year or so was consumed learning about the core code, installing numerous updates and patches only to learn the programmers were wavering. I remember thinking; well, at least I won’t have to install more updates and patches. Maybe lots of content will improve A Site for Women, I remember reading about posting content often. Still missing the most basic point of a specific blog theme, better known as a niche, the search for content was the focus. Plenty of rephrased articles were posted. Wrong answer again, successful bloggers produce fresh content not rephrased articles. Incredibly discouraged, I launched a BlogSpot blog simply to promote a site for women. The first blog was DOA therefore, launch another blog… umm what? After a short time and not surprisingly, that blog was left dormant along with this one.
Gaining Confidence – A Slow Return
The housing crash brought me back to blogging, unbelievable as it may sound. With loads of time available, the search for supplemental income was the focus. By then I had designed a few simple web sites, thus learning a whole lot more.
Determined to accomplish something the reading and learning continued. Despite the fact “Are you hungry?” has an unrelated url, the traffic and conversation improved. I finally gained a few blog followers. I remember thinking; this niche blogging is the answer, not considering the competition or my terrible grammar skills. With minimal success and understanding accomplished, I returned to asiteforwomen and replaced Mambo with WordPress. With that came a whole slew of new blogging questions and looking back, a grasp on blogging came even later.
Meet the Woman – Tia Peterson
I first visited Bizchickblogs.com sometime last fall when it was the personal blog Tia Peterson, a former business analyst, and technical writer. This woman knows about blog substance. She has written on everything from writing blog articles, to comments and readership, social media, blogging tools, and a whole host of blog related topics. She is a mother and excellent blogger indeed.
In December, Tia announced a transformation of bizchickblogs was to come. January brought a whole new look and a team of talented women bloggers. January 2011, “Bizchickblogs.com is an online magazine for women, with primary content in the topics of business, technology, health, and relationships and family.”
Inspired to Improve
Initially, I would read Tia’s posts and tweet them but not comment intimidated by her knowledge and my lack of the same. After all, loads of knowledgeable and successful bloggers commented there. What did I have to offer? Lurking for a few months (reading but not commenting) revealed a delightful person.
I remember this amazing article, Does it Feel like No One is Listening. It was not only informative and comforting but also encouraging and inspiring. While it was informative and to the point, there was a level of compassion and understanding for the newbie blogger that I had yet to experience. New points on how and where to get real readers as well as the importance of making a direct connection were advised. This post unquestionably kept me coming back for more. In fact, I’m almost laughing thinking about the section, An Audience of One. “The answer to more readers is not on your blog. Stop looking for it there.” It is comical because we, speaking for myself, I really did read blog advice only to return to the blogs looking for the error. Yes I did.
Finally, after months of lurking, I introduced myself in a comment. Tia responded as she does with most all readers and made a huge direct connection. I thought about it later and it felt good, very good. It is amazing how that one connection changed so many things. Not only did I really rethink my blog plans, but it also boosted my confidence, increased my courage, and inspired me to write more about my passions, inspirations, and experiences. Thanks Tia!
Have a similar Eureka moment or favorite blogger, please do share it, I want to visit their blog!