The Story of Alisa, Part 5

21 Lessons I’ve Learned From Blogging

During my first year of blogging, I learned many things about writing, blogging, and life. In no particular order, they are as follows:

  • If you make fun of yourself, people will laugh and feel a kinship with you. If you make fun of others, people might laugh, but that will come at the cost of losing your friends and becoming the least loved person in your family.
  • Sometimes all the inspiration in the world can’t turn a thought into something that’s worth publishing. The process of trying to turn it into something worthy of publishing isn’t a waste, though. All writing – even bad writing – is a practice and a warmup for better writing.
  • The topics that I almost don’t write (no one wants to know about this, this is going to offend some people, I can’t believe I’m willing to talk about this) usually end up being my most popular posts. This might be true for your writing, too.
  • Have the courage to be controversial. Strong convictions, points of view and voice are what make one blog stand out from the millions of other blogs on the Internet.
  • To write with a strong voice, you need to do two things. First, have the courage to be you. Second, read your writing out loud. That’s the only way you can hear whether or not your voice is truly in your writing. I read every blog out loud before I post it. It not only helps me to Voice It Up, but it also helps me to catch typos.
  • There are people whose have made it their goal in life to make other bloggers feel sad. Ignore these people. Their anger says a lot more about them than it says about you and your writing. If your writing attracts trolls? You are doing something right. You are Troll Worthy.
  • Occasionally you will accidentally offend people with your writing. Even if no normal person would have ever misunderstood your point, it’s better to apologize in the comments area or write a formal blog apology.
  • In every post, make it your goal to lift people up and help them improve their lives. Do not spread ill will. Although that tactic does work for a few, it doesn’t work for most, and it’s bad for your Karma.
  • Every post should accomplish a goal: to help, to teach, to inspire, to entertain, to provide comic relief, and so on. If the post serves no purpose? It’s probably not worth posting.
  • There are many ways to promote your blog and find readers. The three tactics that have worked best for me: guest blogging, writing controversial list posts for social media promotions, and publicity. Most bloggers forget about the third. Getting quoted on a news site or high profile blog can bring you thousands of visitors in a day.
  • You can overcome a fear of public speaking, especially if you are passionate about what you are talking about. Speaking about what you blog about is another powerful way to promote your blog—and get paid in the process.
  • Writing in your own voice can induce a state of bliss that is more powerful than any street drug or trust fund—even if you never earn money for this writing.
  • When you first start blogging, you’ll hear many stories about people who monetized their blogs quickly. The went from zero visitors to a million in one year and no income to 6 figures in the same amount of time. These people are exceptions to the rule. If you try to reach the same goals in the same amount of time, you’ll end up in a mental health hospital. In reality, it takes the rest of us a long time to earn money for this type of writing.
  • Don’t get attached to having a certain number of web visitors, comments or subscribers. As long as these numbers are consistently growing—even if just by a little bit—you are doing something right.
  • Whenever you are feeling down about your traffic or comments, say something about feeling down in your Facebook status update. Your Facebook friends will make you feel loved and appreciated again.
  • Sometimes no one will comment on a blog post and it will make you feel like no one is reading. That’s not necessarily the case. It might mean that no one feels comfortable leaving a comment about that topic.
  • Store all of the nice emails your readers send to you in a folder. Read them whenever you feel like quitting.
  • Never stop learning. You can always get better.
  • It’s really okay to talk about your sex life and other intimate details, as long as you are sharing these details for a reason. It makes other people feel normal about their intimate details.
  • Connect with other bloggers. When you feel unloved and alone, they will come to your rescue.
  • Help others with your writing. It gives you a life purpose, which generates a wealth of inner peace and happiness.

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