Prodded by some frequent questions on formspring, I've decided to compile a list of ten things that I've learned while blogging. This is in no way an exhausting list, but rather a little summary of the good + the bad + the ugly.
1. Fill the well.Sometimes you'll be flying high on a breeze and writing words faster or shooting photos quicker than I could say dontchya know. Your blog will flourish and you'll find yourself wondering why you ever thought it was hard to write. And then..there will be those times when you can practically hear crickets chirping or the Jeopardy theme song (take your pick) playing in the background. You'll find yourself sitting there without anything to say. And that's okay. Instead of trying to force a post, take a break and refill the well. Go do something you love. Take some photos, read a book, watch a movie that makes you cry, go for a walk, bake a cake, journey to an art museum, journal, get out of the house -- whatever. Go live your life and be inspired by that. Then come back and share what makes you tick, and tell us why you love it.
2. Know your niche.Before you even start writing, figure out why you're writing. Are you a photographer? Do you love to cook? Is your life your inspiration? Are you gluten free? Do you share your outfits? Is one of your passions crafting? Figure out what your blog is going to be about before you start writing. Clearly define your blog's purpose and core message and build everything off of that. For me, my blog is a journal of the simple and messy beautiful things in life.
3. Consistent quality over quick quantity.This may be the most difficult thing that I've learned. It's so easy to go a day, or two, or maybe even three without writing...until you realize that a week has passed and your blog is dying from lack of words. It's difficult to write everyday (cheers if you can!), much less come up with compelling content on a weekly basis. I try to post 3-4 times a week. This enables me to keep my blog fresh while still having enough time to write something that isn't just rambles. Words that are just words don't have any meaning. Make sure everything you share has a purpose. A post for the sake of posting isn't worth the time -- yours, or your readers. (I learned this the hard way)
4. Care more about the commenters, not the comments.I'll just preface this by saying that every blogger goes through this. We'd like more pageviews, more comments, more followers, more subscribers, more likes, whatever. None of those things are bad, but our attitude towards them matter. Stop looking at the number of comments and instead, look at the people who comment. I'm so grateful for every person who takes time to write me a little note -- I can't tell you how many times my day is brightened by some sweet words left on a recent post. So in turn, share the love and go comment on someone else's site. It's about connections, not stats. Build friendships, not a fortress.
5. Comparison is the death of contentment.There will always be someone who has a bigger blog than you. Accept that and move on. Stop comparing your blog, your photos, your words, your life, with someone else's. You have a story to share, a voice that is uniquely your own, and a blog that can't be written but anyone but you. Embrace that and write about what you love -- stop comparing and start sharing your life.
What's one of the best things you've learned about blogging?