Greetings and Salutations, my dearest Blog Readers!
Today we are discussing my two years of blogging, and a few things I have learned in that time.
Now, up front I will say that I have been blogging longer then the two years I am speaking of, however, I will be mostly pulling lessons from those two years, as it is when I have owned AbbiGrasso.com and the content has been my own, not something on some social media page or some other owned site.
So, I got this page two years ago in the hopes of writing and blogging more, and developing a landing page for people to go to see my writing, be it links to a shop or store front where they could buy merch or books or even e-books, but also a place they could read about my daily ramblings and blogs, while also enjoying the free to read content I could post, like I have done with a few short stories and Flake City Volume One. I also mused with the idea of having this landing page also be a place where one could get links to maybe a radio show or podcast, along with videos from a vlog channel, and I could decorate the entire website with graphics I make, and pictures I take.
A massive undertaking for someone who knew how to do nearly none of the things she was setting out to do, but alas, here I am.
I wanting to grow my writing, to maybe showcase things I knew or learned, or even reviewed. I spoke about issues and studies involving cannabis, I reviewed skin care products and zombie content, and I have developed or tried a few recipes and food products and let y’all know how I felt about them, or how to recreate them yourself.
I learned how to write more often, not just fiction but different topics every day, not just one story-line, but several shorter stories, several main stories…and my own story.
Cheesy as it is, looking back over the course of the past two years, the biggest thing I have really learned this far, other than physical skill-sets and such, has been seeing myself as the main character in my own story.
I am working on it, more now than ever before, but truly, blogging about my life and what I was learning, seeing, and doing, in a daily or semi daily fashion, helped me start to see myself as the main character I have always been meant to be in my own life.
I mean who should be a side character in their own life? No one should, and certainly not a writer. If I can create this many main character, why would I make myself a side character?
I could go on and on about other skills I learned, and I will, but this one is a big one, and I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who puts the good thing at the bottom of the blog. Seeing myself as main character is probably one of the biggest lessons and best things to come from the last two years, and what sucks is how much I haven’t done daily blogs in the last year.
I have journaled a lot though, and I have learned a lot from journaling too, and I think in year three on the blog I will work on getting better and telling y’all some journal stuff, and keeping other stuff in there just for me, to maximize how much both types of writing and sharing are doing for me.
The time balance of blogging is something I don’t know if anyone ever masters, but many learn lessons from, and that is something I picked up. But I also learned that when it comes to blogs, all you have to do is force yourself to start, because those muscles like to be worked out.
Blogging every day will teach you tons about yourself, doing things like Blogtober or my favorite, Blogmas, are great to teach you about yourself and your writing style, and you also hone your balancing skills with your content creation skills, and I can’t speak highly enough of doing daily blog challenges like that, more so if you can work in original art and do full social media’s for your blogs, which I know most bloggers struggle with.
I have also learned that blogging looks different to everyone, and your friends will rarely check it out. The latter isn’t personal, no matter how much it FEELS personal.
Blogging looks like a number of things, for some its recipes, others is mommy stuff, for others still its all fashion and dating. For some people, its survival stories, and for others, its entire ways to survive total event collapse.
Blogs can be totally different for everyone, literally as unique as people are, and I love that so much about blogging, because it can be as intimate as you want to be or not, and as unique as you are.
I focus on this to say some people also make it more generic, but I like to focus on the specific stuff that makes it unique, the stuff we do to make it truly special, truly from the heart, authentic content.
Blogging stays relevant, too, apparently, and for that I am grateful too, but I think I would keep doing it, more and more so as I get better at my blogging style and voice.
Anyways, I on top of being the main character, time management, and writing style, I have also learned some graphic ideas, some photography stuff, all from the eyes of a blogger, what kind of covers work best for blogs, and which kind of pictures work best for your blogs and your covers…all of that is little stuff we learn as we do it, same as titles we use, SEO we utilize, and how we beg people to read the fruits of our labor.
Always keep a running list of ideas you need to write about, blog topics, so when you get a few minutes to sit down and write, you can pick a topic and go. If you do this, and blog faithfully, you can train yourself to always be able to write, but you will always need topics to shove the energy in a direction, so having a running list of recent topics you thought “oh that would be cool!”, will help you get blogs written, and be able to keep the authentic content running without burning yourself out.
Other things I have learned all also revolve around time management, but, one I think I may throw in that many new bloggers or writers may want, so I will out it here at the end,a although it isn’t the biggest thing I learned, (hahaha, see, if you skipped ahead, you missed it): Writing the blog isn’t enough.
We as writers know we have edits to do, but blogs are almost entirely ‘in-house’, even when you are “the big name” bloggers- most of the work is yours- Meaning you write the blog, you edit the blog, you upload and schedule the blog…you also add the meta data to the blog… and the illustrations…and the cover art, and the formatting, and the social media’s to drive traffic to the blog, and any other accessible features you add, affiliate links or back links added to generate pennies of income if you are lucky…
All of it, is all you, and all of it has to be done before you hit “post” or schedule on your blog. When you finish a blog, try to do your first pass of edits, turning the lower case I’s into capitalized ones, checking for typos and spelling errors, correcting the squiggly red lines…and then walk away as long as you personally need to do so, to get fresh eyes. If you are batching your content, then you can move on to writing something else, and come back to the second half of the process, doing all the “posting stuff” when you have fresh eyes, so you can do another edit. You can also use this time to grab photos or make the cover art. I say all this to say- writing the blog isn’t enough, and the work isn’t done. Don’t take too long of a break after you write the blog, to finish up the edits and get your blog scheduled or posts- writing doesn’t make you done. (Editing Abbi note- because I did so much yesterday, I ended up resting over night, and I highly suggest this, because you can schedule the freshly written blog in the morning and start your day with a massive to-do list off your schedule, which is a great form of productive self care.)
So with that, I will close this blog.
Be a main character. Manage your time. Blog like a badass even if it isn’t always relevant for social media or content creation, do it for you, because you are special. And when you write your special words, take a break, come back with fresh eyes, and edit and finish your brilliance.
Thanks for reading mine.