Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beginnings Blogfest



Today I'm taking part in L.G. Keltner's Beginnings Blogfest. Being the nice person she is, she didn't give us any rules as to which beginning we should write about. So I thought I'd be all lazy and post the first post I ever did on this blog. But that's easy. And unnecessary. Because if you wanted to read it, you'd have gone to archives and picked the first post. 

Instead, I thought, I'd do something a bit more helpful to new bloggers. On this blog, I'm going to do two posts from my early blogging days. On my other one, I'm giving ten tips I wish I knew as a beginning blogger. 

Okay then... The first post is from 3 August, 2010. It's the second one I ever wrote. 


On the joys of being a new blogger


So... at the moment I'm still blogging to myself, which kind of feels strange. Almost like a new empty house. Everything I say reverberates in my mind and I wonder how I'm going to get this out there. 

For now though, just building this blog is bringing up complications. For example, do I continue with the use of my dark but beautiful background or do I go lighter. Do I allow advertising to cover my blog? I suppose that I should be worrying about this later, but somehow I just can't help myself... 

I will get over this overwhelming desire to put too much nonsense on my blog. I promise. This extends to my posts. Therefore... Thus closes this post.

As you can see, I was completely lost in the start. In fact, I'd e-mailed about five blog authors begging for advice. They were wonderful and gracious when they answered. Which is why I fell in love with blogging. But there was a problem...

Nearly a week. and... nothing but soul searching

I'm starting to feel rather down now, but maybe it's just that I want to sleep.

I've been blogging for almost a week now and this is the impact I've made: five profile views. Absolutely no followers. 

As much as I enjoy blogging, I never really enjoyed the idea of writing for myself. Not even my book. Since I was really small, everything I wrote was presented to someone to see. My mom (for honest crit) and my gran (full out support) were my favourite recipients. After I got the idea of short stories down, I wrote every assigned task with the idea that someone else is going to read this, namely my teacher.

I would ask, what am I supposed to do? What do you want to see on the blog... but... alas you are not here. So the empty house reverberations continue, leaving me to fight a slight sense of panic. 

What if... the same happens with my book... What if... I write all of it and no one cares. Should I even care at this stage of the game? I think so... everything I write comes straight from my heart. Repeating this process again and again and again without anyone actually seeing this makes me feel... well... terribly lonely. 

When people tell you that you should blog, they never warn you about the beginning days. The writing isn't hard. The honesty isn't hard. Sharing experiences isn't hard. But blogging to yourself is. It sucks. Big time... So much so that I'm wondering why I'm doing this to myself. 

[Huge amount of insightful but currently irrelevant soul searching withdrawn]

I guess that the only thing I can do is to just do my best to get followers for my blog and not get hit so hard by the apparent lack of interest. I'm sure that someone out there cares enough that he or she will stumble across my attempts and join me in the experience. Maybe it's just coincidence that they haven't stumbled across me already....

This same blog crossed 100 followers by the end of 2010. I hit 450 by end 2011 and by end 2012, almost 900. There is hope. Don't give up. 

To all you veteran bloggers out there, what were your first days like? 

60 comments:

  1. I was kind of the opposite, I never expected anyone to want to read my blog! I was excited and surprised when even one person stopped by. I guess I was kind of insecure! Plus, my first posts were awful so I wouldn't blame anyone for not wanting to read them!

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    1. Hahahaha yeah I actually went looking for those posts from memory. I never read posts after I've posted them. The thought of them sort of make me cringe.

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  2. The first weeks of blogging were so fun!! I didn't think anyone was going to read my blog and when I kept getting a couple new followers each day it really kept me motivated. I was so excited to have even just two readers! Now I have a little more than that. :) Blogging has been a a fun, helpful journey I'm glad I'm on!

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    1. Yeah my mistake with an "if you build it, they will come" mentality.

      :-D

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  3. I started my blog just to write stuff that had no where else to go. I'm always thrilled that people read it. I cherish each and every follower.

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    1. Me too. Every new reader stopping by my blog warrants a celebration. :-D

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  4. I think my first post was even more lame. I didn't even know what following meant. After five months, I had a whole thirty followers. (That's mind-blowing now, I'm sure!)

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    1. Hahaha yeah it's sort of odd to try think of you as a new blogger.

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  5. My first days of blogging were awesome, to be honest. I guess it sort of bothers me that so many writers are plagued with self-doubt. Everyone needs to get some confidence in 2013!!

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    1. I think self-doubt plagues writers because the lit industry is so subjective. So in a why it's not self doubt as much as doubting your prospective readers. :-)

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  6. I didn't mind it when no one was reading my posts in the beginning. I was more freaked out when people started commenting. But that didn't happen for a long while. No one knew I existed, and I didn't know how to go about finding blogs to comment on. That part came slowly. :)

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    1. I vaguely remember squealing like a girl when I got my first comment. :-)

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  7. It was fun to read your first posts! I was lazy too and used the guest post I did on your blog last year for my blogfest entry, I couldn't believe it had been a year already since I got to be a guest here! You've really accomplished so much with your blog, congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Julie! I love your new profile picture, by the way. :-)

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  8. I never thought I'd have any followers. I thought, maybe someday my kid would read it (and probably think I was a weirdo.) But that was it. It's been so great meeting new people and learning so much from other writers.
    This is a great, encouraging post for those that are still brand new. :)

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    1. Yeah I love meeting new people too. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :-)

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  9. love this! and...i'm still trying to figure the whole blogging thing out (will need to take some tips from you!) and mostly feel i'm talking to myself (though, it is getting a little more crowded as of late - in a good way)!

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    1. Glad to hear you're getting visitors. :-)

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  10. I like the empty house metaphor. That's what my early blogging days were like. I spouted a lot of political nonsense and raved about football (my team had just won the Superbowl) and reviewed every television show I watched.

    No wonder it took me so long to get any traction.

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    1. Yeah most of the time we start getting hits when we settle into our voices more. :-)

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  11. So glad you stuck with it! and now look at you with 900 followers! Yay!

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  12. Misha,

    Great post and encouragement for new bloggers! I've enjoyed reading your blog.

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    1. Thanks Loree! I enjoy yours as well. :-)

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  13. It's fun to go back and read those first posts. Loved reading about everyone else's first days too.

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    1. Yeah it's nice to see how far I've come.

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  14. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started. I had only read a few other blogs, and didn't know how to comment, or what kind of posts to write.

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    1. Hahaha yeah blogging can be really intimidating in the beginning. :-)

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  15. The first six months I blogged my only follower was my husband and I didn't get a single comment. This was due to a tech error, but I didn't know it at the time. It was depressing, but I kept at it.

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  16. My first days were pretty much similar. Posting and a lot of "talking to myself". Slowly though the word got out about my blog and I gained some followers. I have been blogging a bit longer, but I only just hit 400 followers.

    --
    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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    1. 400 is actually my favorite number from my blogging time. More than that, I started struggling with keeping up with all my peeps. :-)

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  17. I've been blogging for over a year (still wouldn't consider myself a 'veteran', by any stretch..) and still don't know what I'm doing.

    I guess the only thing -to- do is keep writing and hope others find it insightful/entertaining/compelling, etc.

    Great post :)

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    1. That and getting out there as much as possible so people start noticing you.

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  18. Your words echo in my memory about my own beginning as a blogger (and that's not too long ago). Good to know one has hope even if not an idea of what one is doing.

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  19. Same as you, crickets chirping....

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  20. Blogging to yourself in the beginning is tough. I was there a year ago today! I'm glad you stuck with blogging during those difficult first days!

    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

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  21. my mom was my only reader for months, she doesnt facebook so i was nice...i felt silly but it was still nice =)
    we've come a long way, baby!

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  22. I jumped in as if I'd been doing it all along...but I was definitely a newbie. ;)

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  23. I deliberately remained low key for the first few months to develop my "blog voice". It took a while. The early days were full of short, useful things for writers, but none of my personality came through until much later.

    Once I started talking about life in general, my readership grew.

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    1. That's actually a good idea, staying low key in the beginning. :-)

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  24. My first couple months of blogging were awkward as I stumbled through the dark. But I was hooked almost as soon as I started and haven't looked back.

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  25. My first couple years blogging were that kind of awkward! (I've been blogging almost seven years now.) Fortunately by the time my first book came out four years ago I figured it out.

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    1. Hahaha good to know I wasn't the only one.

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  26. I didn't get all that many hits early on. Over time, I've begun making my posts a fair bit shorter and more focused on specific writing topics, and sometimes other things, like silent film. I think it's also helped that I no longer post so frequently.

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    1. Same here, my comments definitely grew when it was less of a chore for the readers to get through my posts. :-)

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  27. This was so encouraging - thank you! I moved my blog at the end of September and had to start over from scratch, and have been fighting serious insecurity ever since. So often I just want to quit, and stories like yours lift my spirits.

    I'm realizing I also need to reconsider which communities I'm involved in. Where you fit at one point isn't necessarily the right place forever, and at this point I think some of my communities are damaging my confidence rather than building it.

    Off to check out your other blog's tips!

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    1. Yeah in a way, it's similar to picking friends. You need to find somewhere where you're comfortable.

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  28. I have a very similar tale of my early days. In fact I didn't get very many followers until about a year later when I happened across a writing challenge and all the participants were following each other. That's when I realised I had to go out and make friends because people wouldn't just find my blog by themselves!

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    1. Hahaha funny thing is, it sounds so obvious now. :-D

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  29. I've been blogging for 18 months and still have less than 100 followers. It's a good job I don't mind waffling to myself!

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    1. Yeah, sometimes I think my blog's following wasn't as much skill as blind luck. ;-)

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  30. Hah, my first days were a LOT like your first days. I didn't expect folks to just, sort of, discover me - how could they? I didn't get that commenting/following others helped me gain exposure/comments/followers. What hurt me was that I'd spread the word about my then new blog to loads of online friends and maybe one or two would comment, now and again. Sheesh, if I couldn't get my "friends" to check out my stuff, it seemed impossible that I'd attract strangers. And yet, I have. Not yet as many as you, Misha, but maybe someday... :-)

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    1. I know what you mean. I actually stopped sharing to Facebook for a long time because of it.

      Incidentally. Out of thousands of "friends", exactly three ever checked out my blog.

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  31. Oh gosh! My early days featured similar numbers of views/commenters. But I was commenting on other blogs right from the start, knowing it was the best way to get some comments and views back.

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    1. Then you were way ahead of the curve. :-D

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