Life Lessons I Learned in My First 6 Months of Blogging
Today, it’s the 6 months anniversary of my blog and I have to admit there have been beautiful and great days (but of course, bad days as well, no point in lying) while I have learnt quite a lot about obvious things, which strangely, can be so easy to ignore.
The idea is that I tend to make impulsive decisions, which in the end are not bad at all, BUT there are a few plans I made and didn’t turn out so well. I was sitting on the idea of a blog for a very long time, therefore when I moved to Netherlands I started a Facebook Page called I am Foodie Traveler to document all my travels and my foodie spots. After almost a year, the idea of writing a blog came back. My friend from Curacao, Rachelle, told me one day: “You know what? You take great pictures, you go to places and when you come back you talk for hours about your trip, you should just start a blog” Funny thing is, I already thought about this, so I shared my ideas with her and she supported me a lot. But, again, this was not something I can just do impulsively, because I already put too much though into it.
After long debates about what should I do and how I should do this, Vlad, my boyfriend, decided for me: “After our trip to Madrid, you will come back home and you will write about whatever you want. I will pay for your first year subscription” This was it! 10th of February, I was buying the domain, we were both at our desk, each one with a laptop, very concentrated (it felt like we were bidding in an important auction) to check what will be the best option for me. “This is it, I am pressing the button and it’s done…opss, pressed already! Congrats, my blogger!”
Today, I am celebrating 6 months from this, by sharing the lessons I learnt during this period. (will not bother you every 6 months with this, I will just do something similar for a big milestone)
Listen to your gut
The only strategy I had was to write about food and travel, but then I realized I have bigger plans and more ideas so I created the Inspirational and Small Goals categories. I was thinking that this wasn’t much, not being too impressed with my idea, I mean “Yeah, any influencer nowadays is writing about inspirational things and I am not an influencer, not even close” but it helped me to organize and to motivate myself in doing more and not be just the lazy girl after a tiring day at work. My gut was telling me to write, so I started writing about moving to Netherlands, because I kept hearing stories of people having issues while moving. It was so much work, but in the end the article was read for more than 200 times, which for many bloggers wasn’t much, but for me, that I was so scared to start this journey, it was a big deal.
The numbers don’t matter
I would lie if I said that I don’t want my posts to reach as many people as possible, because I invest time, effort and a lot of work so I really want my writing to help and inspire others.
What I discovered this past few months is that, whatever the numbers are (no. likes, no. comments, no. visitors) are not relevant at all, compared to the feeling when I received a message from some magazines that they want to publish my articles because they are meant to inspire women who dream and work hard to live a fulfilled life, just like me. Or friends that tell me that my monthly Small Goals inspired them to take different approach towards resolutions.
The personal stories are the most universal stories
I wrote two articles about Paris, one of which most likely around 99% of the Earth’s population will love it, because, of course, “We will always have Paris” and another one about how I consider myself more a New Yorker or a Londoner rather than a Parisian. I was convinced that my article will create controversy and it did, you know, people will rarely bring this up publicly, and even when I did it, they will never ever agree 100% that Paris is not always a good idea. But this was a great experience for me, I couldn’t share a more personal life experience than this and it was interesting to see reactions from all over the place.
Being vulnerable makes you stronger, not weaker
When I started my monthly Small Goals posts, I was a bit scared that I am sharing something personal from my life and that people around me will start to judge me. For some time, I didn’t even publish my posts; these were for me and for me only.
One day, I published one by mistake and I said to myself, let’s see what my friends think. I shared this first post with Penny, one of my Greek friends, and she told me: “This is better than the travel post I read before, I like it, it’s motivational”. Mission accomplished. Doesn’t matter how you feel and what you are trying to hide, the “power” of your words is strong and will make you stronger if you believe in it.
Inspiration and motivation don’t really exist
If you ask how I get my inspiration, the answer is very simple, I don’t. Instead of waiting for an idea to come to me, I just focus on my things and write about them. I became the storyteller of my own life, with all the good and bad experiences.
About motivation, I am not sure what to tell you. At the beginning, I was just feeling responsible for all the time spent debating if I should do this blogging thing or not, but now, it’s just a routine. I read somewhere this week that a habit, becomes a habit after exactly 66 days and I tripled that.
I am not sure if I can keep up like this for long, but for now, I am just proud that I managed to do it and, officially, I have been a blogger for 6 months.