1. Blogging takes time. I read somewhere that many bloggers give up at 9 months instead of sticking it out for the two years it takes to establish a blog. I don’t know if those stats are at all reliable, but how ever I look at it, my first 4 weeks of blogging are really just a beginning. Looking back, these 4 weeks have grown out of many more weeks of dreaming, playing with different formats, and writing my initial content before going live. Looking ahead, I know it will also take time to be consistent and build from here.
2 . Blogging means on-going learning. I’ve already learned a lot about how to change the font of my blog title, how to add a translation sidebar, how to upload photos, what it means to tag my posts, and many other details. But I know I still have a lot to learn, like can I get around the limits of scheduling posts in advance in WordPress?–it seems that I or someone actually has to visit my site for my “advance” posting to kick in. But I’d like each posting to alert my Facebook and other email followers, so having to visit the site first for a post to appear seems backwards to me. If anyone has a solution to this one, I’d appreciate it!
3. Bloggers are generous. Amazingly, bloggers that I have never met and have never heard of have found my blog and “liked” it. Ok, so I know that’s one technique to increase blog traffic, and maybe that’s why they stopped by my blog. But I’m glad they did, because it introduces me to other blogs and bloggers on similar themes, it reminds me that I am not alone writing into the abyss of lost things. I wish I knew how they found me so I could follow suit and find other blogs and bloggers too. That’s another thing that I still want to learn.
4. Virtual community is part of real community. I’ve heard some say that virtual community isn’t real community, that Facebook and other social media take us away from real flesh-and-blood community. And yes, I understand that sitting at my computer screen is different from sitting down together over a cup of coffee. But so far my experience with blogging, Facebook, and other social media has actually enhanced my experience of community. It’s helped me to be in touch more often with people who are already part of my face-to-face community, to see a sometimes different and deeper side of them. Plus I’m starting to get to know people that I’ve never met in person, who are friends of friends, or who share common interests–who knows, perhaps we’ll even meet in person one day for that cup of coffee. So while blogging and other social media can never replace the physical presence of face-to-face community, for me it’s one more way to connect with other people.
Your turn: What is your experience writing or reading blogs? What have you learned? What advice do you have for me?