I first heard of blogging in 2012 and then started with a free platform. I can’t remember if it was my roommate of four years or my first ex-boyfriend who introduced me to this completely different world.
Three years later, I found myself buying a domain which due to my village girl-ness, I gave it up because I failed to find out how it works, how to sustain it and for my thousands of endless nonsense reasons. Finally, one month ago, I launched my website and though I still haven’t gotten my act together yet, I am not willing to raise the white flag I have hidden somewhere and still trying my bestest to write and create something just because I love it.
Blogging is another planet.
I thought blogging was easy. Maybe I got used to the fact that I was just using a free platform then that only required writing, posting and running. The only marketing I did was in Facebook if I feel like sharing it. My readers were just my friends, acquaintances and family. To have a successful blog wasn’t in my mind. All I know is that, keeping and maintaining a blog help balance my mental health. Writing is actually cheaper than therapy and I didn’t have to feel scared that people around me think I am a hopeless case. Plus, I have a creative outlet.
Bloggers are geniuses.
I have huge respect to bloggers. Imagine being the Researcher, the Writer, the Editor, the Social Media Manager, the Digital Marketer, the advertiser, the Brand Manager, the Graphic Artist, the Web Developer and Designer, the Photographer, the Model, the Video Editor, the Art Director, the IT guy, the Customer Service Representative, the PR manager, the Investor (if there are no sponsors like me) and the COO or CEO all at the same time. This is what it means to be a blogger and I am honestly close to declaring that I am not. All I knew was I wanted to write about the emotions I have felt, all the things I have learned, all the places I have been to, restaurants where I have eaten, cute little accessories, shoes and dresses I have. I was wrong.
I remember on the same day that I purchased my domain. I felt so happy. I felt like a bought my own little world and I have it my hands. My nightmare began when I looked at the blank page after installing WordPress. I felt like a paralyzed person. I couldn’t move my hands to start doing the dirty work of layout and design. Sure I have idea of how I want that world to look like but I don’t know how to do it. Sure I have articles but I will need to polish them to make sure that my grammar will not make me gag, the photos needed to be edited, Instagram to be updated and Pinterest to be figured out while trying to understand what SEO, widgets, niche and plug-ins are. I didn’t even know that Google Analytics exist and what significance it has in my new role as an aspiring blogger. Few hours after posting my first blog entry, I have to worry about responding to my only two readers who commented on the post and then answer their questions too?
It’s a hard world to penetrate.
The rent to have that little space in the internet is not so high so there are bloggers who really make a living out of their websites and the competition is unbelievably high. Their dedication, talents, skills and intelligence is just remarkable. Not that I want to compete. Much as I want my website to grow and be profitable, I am more eager to be well versed in this digital world which doesn’t seem to show any decline in the future. I want to update my so obsolete technology program and I saw blogging as a good start.
People are good.
I joined Facebook groups of bloggers and surprised to discover that bloggers are good people. Despite how intimidating their websites are or how big their social media following is, they respond without any fee involved. They are good motivators. They support each other and that they are like-minded people who aren’t stingy with information. They respond in such a way I won’t feel dumber than I already do in terms of blogging. I remember asking a schoolmate for tips and suggestions but I was thrown to seen zone as if saying “who has the time for a clueless village girl like you?” When I joined groups, a lady offered to be my Pinterest Virtual Assistant for free and won’t accept even goods from me. Only a review of her performance. I just couldn’t accept her offer for the fear that I will not learn how to do it myself. Knowing how bad my ADHD is, I am scared to be dependent and abuse the kindness I am being given.
I became more open to criticism.
I think the only reason why I gave up blogging before was because I kept on doubting myself. I never believed that I have the ability to. I was always afraid of being criticized for my poor English grammar or my content isn’t good enough. Now, I will even share my latest blog post and ask other bloggers how I can improve it. Not for the growth of the blog but for my growth as a person and as a budding writer.
I am learning how to write.
I never realized how much I loved writing until I moved to Germany and all my friends are in the Philippines and Malaysia. Time difference was so hard to beat that I found myself resorting to journaling. I soon tried posting them as short Facebook entries. Few friends called my attention by suggesting to write a book that talks about my experiences on the road. But to write a book feels so heavy so I started with a blog. Sure my writing is not as good as I want it to be but I am learning. The blogging world has lead me to other bloggers’ works and through their websites, I feel more inspired and motivated to take little steps everyday that will bring me to my dreams of one day becoming the “wordsmith” that I have always dreamed of.
Blogging trained me to be a better reader.
To be a good writer is to be a good reader first and I am sure that I have read that somewhere. The same amount I spend in writing is the same amount of time I allot for reading or even more. Reading has made me bump into words, emotions and ideas that I never got anywhere. Sure I travel but there are still soooo many things that I still want and need to know and I am aware that it’s only through reading that I will be able to achieve that. So far, reading has been a huge help in giving me enough words to express my thoughts, ideas and emotions. Blogging has made me free more time to sit, read and live slowly and reading has made me a completely different person.
Blogging made me define success differently.
All the while I thought that being successful means having a lot of money, stable high paying job, friends and a hot guy to date. So in the world of blogging, I thought that success means having tons of followers, readers and people who talk about the blog. I was wrong. Because for me, success in blogging simply means, being out there telling the world that it is okay to be different. It is okay to bask in glory of simple joy. It is okay to have just one reader even if that one person is your best friend. It is okay to not have a big number of followers. It is okay not to have niche. It is okay to do what you want to do with your website. It is okay to be weird like me that every time I publish a blog post I feel successful because I didn’t let my fear win over me and that is pure bliss.
I was thinking of hiring a Virtual Assistant and I will just have to think of writing but then I realized, “how will I learn?” What’s the point of having a website that I don’t have any idea how to run it?
I remember being able to finally create the Menus, Categories and Sub-categories then posted my first few articles. My website layout looked like a real mess (it’s still a mess) so I wanted to do something about it. When I went back to page landing, the entire Menu was gone. I panicked and no matter what I did and what I clicked, I couldn’t make it appear anymore. For 15 minutes, I cried in frustration. My laptop has hundreds of tabs open and I was in chaos (I still am). I opened YouTube and with tear stained cheeks and blurry sight, searched on ways how to make the Menu appear. Thank you You Tubers and bloggers. My Menu is back but I still don’t know how to link my website to AdSense.
Let go and have fun.
Life is short and we only have 24 hours. No matter how much I stress about wanting to accomplish and learn more, there will always be the gift of tomorrow. The most important thing I have learned in blogging is that it is okay that my page looks like a battlefield. It’s okay even if my blog isn’t everything to everyone. All that matters to me is that I write and I actively create something without the aching pain of pleasing everyone or wanting to be somebody else. Embracing blogging is welcoming a new beginning with tons of learning. Blogging gave me an assurance that I will never be bored again. It is a proof that it there is always something to learn and really, age is just a number. It is never too late to learn something.