About a year ago, after almost 6 years of trying on and off, I decided to try blogging- again. This time, my motivation for blogging was different. I wasn’t just a teenager looking to while away time; I had a purpose, I had expectations. Blogging was supposed to be an accountability tool for me to live a more wholesome life. It was also intended to be an outlet for me to share my heart and hopefully encourage others. While the idea of potentially earning a few bucks from this blog one day crossed my mind, it wasn’t my primary motivation.
Fast forward to today, this blog still remains one of the best things I have done for myself. I may never get tired of saying this, so please bear me with if you happen to read this line multiple times. Over the last year since the launch of this blog, a lot has happened. Of everything that has happened, I am still thankful and will forever be thankful that this blog came into my life when it did. In the last one year, I have worn so many hats (anyone who blogs will attest to this). I have been a writer, a photographer, an editor in chief, a social media manager, a manager, a technician, an accountant and more! While wearing that many hats can be daunting, it is rewarding. It helps you grow, and boy did I grow!
As time went by, I could tell that I was getting sucked into the ugly web of blogging. When you realize that there are so many blogs out there, the pressure to stand out while also doing things the blogger way becomes almost unavoidable. Most people who started their blogs just for fun eventually get caught in this web. When you notice that 10, 50, 100+ people read your blog every day, you want more. Perhaps the idea that people actually tune in to read your blog makes you realize that you truly do have something of value and you want more people to see it.
Let me say this, It is a good thing. The desire to want to get your blog from just a fun thing on the internet to something that adds value to people’s lives is admirable. I found myself in that boat but it wasn’t shocking. I knew what I wanted my blog to be even when it was just a fun thing. But I never thought that I would lose something valuable in the process. You see, over time, as more and more people read my blog something changed. I stopped blogging for me. Instead, I blogged for my readers. My contents became strictly what I thought people wanted to read and less about what I wanted to write. While I truly enjoy writing for my readers especially since these are topics that matter to me as well, I could tell something was missing.
Learning the technical aspects of blogging quickly complicated things. As I learned about SEO, alt captions, tags etc, I soon became consumed by it all. I’d want my posts to always have the perfect SEO score before publishing. Just like that, what was passion and fun soon became a daunting task. As I read this post by Oma on How she almost Quit blogging I see the trend. I can relate so much because I too have thought about letting this all go. But I held on because despite the stress sometimes, blogging has served a purpose in my life.
As my blog turned a year this month. I took some time off to reevaluate the purpose I want this blog to serve. I reminded myself of why I started blogging and also why it was important for me to redefine my blog. As I acknowledge what has changed, I knew that it was time to go back to the drawing board. As much as I enjoy seeing my blog grow and getting emails and messages about how people find my posts helpful I must never forget my first why.
While my blog has grown and now serves so many other people, I must never lose focus of the fact that this is my space. And so I must write contents that I enjoy even if that means they don’t fare well on search engines. Luckily for me, I absolutely enjoy every topic covered on this blog. I just need to be okay with letting things flow freely. So as I think of what the next 12 months will be about, I know that something that’s very important for me is to make sure that I am blogging for me.
My hope for all of these is to connect more with my readers and continue to build our little community here. To succeed in this, I must enjoy every aspect of this blog.
Thank you to everyone who’ve rocked this path with me over the last 12 months. I hope that this blog continues to serve you and me at the same time. While I enjoy what I do here, but I’m always looking for ways to be better. I hope that remembering to keep myself at the center of this blog will push me to create contents that add value to your life!