My Blogging Story!

Chili over at Don't Try This At Home, has passed out an invitation to all bloggers to write their own blogging story. And lately, blogging is something I love to talk about at every opportunity, so I just couldn't resist writing my own! The story is based on a series of questions about how you began blogging, your motivations and readership. Once you've read this, why not hop on over to read Chili's post and see what others have to say too? I've found some really great reads from her Mr. Linky...

Anyway, here is my own blogging story:

How did you start blogging?

I "discovered" blogging a little over three years ago, when researching material for a creative writing project. It was Blogger's caption: "Push button publishing" which inspired me to read more. Then I realised that I could actually write for the web, that anyone could (and perhaps would) read what I wrote. And comment on it. And link back to me! In effect, discovering Blogger was like opening a can of worms: I immediately became addicted, started my account, and created my first blog: The Urban Kunoichi.

After a little while, I realised there was much more to blogging than a Blogspot could (then) currently offer, and so I migrated over to Wordpress, and bought my own domain. Now, of course, Blogger is a much better blog hosting company, which is why my two new blogs are hosted over here. More about that later...

Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?

To answer this, I'd have to say that I hoped to be a blog with a reasonable following, but in no way expected that I would be. In fact it took quite a long time to get a regular readership, and even now, my oldest blog doesn't have too many subscribers, though it does receive quite a few hits from search engines.

In regard to my two newer blogs: Glamumous! and Blogger Buster, then the answer is "yes": I did set up these blogs to attract a readership. These days I know a little more about blogging, web design, SEO and such, so I've implemented some tactics such as joining blogging communities, posting daily, and giving a lot of link love to other blogs I admire.

I want to write posts that people want to read! This is especially true of my Blogger Buster blog, which is all about blogging, and my way of sharing the knowledge in this subject with others who might need it. I love to help others out, and blogging is my favorite hobby!

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?

My goals for my old blog were simply to write on subjects I enjoyed writing about, and to have my posts read. I think I achieved this to the extent I was willing to push it at the time.

With Glamumous, my plans were somewhat different: this blog is more personal: it's about being a wife and mother, keeping house and family and staying sane. As well as attracting a readership, I wanted to have an outlet for my feelings at a time when I was feeling somewhat confused about what I wanted from life. Although I'll never talk in my blog about those issues which concerned me as I started to write, I do honestly feel that writing Glamumous has helped me feel better about myself and change the things that needed it.

Blogger Buster can be seen as an offshoot of Glamumous: after a few of my Custom Blogger posts attracted some attention, I began to realise that writing a blog about blogging would be a great way to attract a readership, and a way to help others by sharing information about the tips and tricks which have helped me. Blogger Buster is a very new blog, and only time will tell if I am successful at achieving my goals!

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?

The answer above may well answer most of that question! But there is one more thing I may as well add. A few weeks ago, I discovered Dooce (you know, the blogger who became infamous when she was sacked for blogging about her colleagues?), and something I read in her "about" section really caught my attention: her blog generates enough from advertising to support her and her family! They don't have to go out to work, and can still pay all the bills, keep a beautiful house, maintain a car and probably go on holiday too!

I know it's about as likely that I'll ever be able to do that as winning the lottery! Yet it gave me hope that if my blogs become popular, my ads may pay off a little bit so I might be able to afford the odd weekend away, or a pair of shoes I don't actually need!

In the meantime, I know I'll need to put in a lot of hard work!

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?

Put lots of link love out there; read other people's blog's regularly and comment on them; write for your readers if you want them to come back. And if you ever plan on having a custom domain for your blog, do it early on! Otherwise you'll have to try and let all your readers/blog rings/directories/etc know your new blog address, and it can be a real drag!

Do you make money with your blog?

At the moment, I make pocket change from the Google ads on my oldest blog (just about enough to cover the hosting fees!), but as yet I haven't made anything from Glamumous and Blogger Buster. I would like to though, and have already put the ads in place because I wouldn't want them to "suddenly" appear!

I do try to make the ads relevant to my readers though! On Glamumous, you'll find more affiliate links, since the Google ones didn't match up to my expectations (probably because it's still so new!), and I'm still working on those at Blogger Buster. After all the hard work and effort I put into my blogs, I don't think it's a sell out to include ads; if they even pay enough to cover their domain registrations and a Starbucks coffee every now and again, I'll be a very happy bunny!

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?

Hmm, tricky question. My sister and Dad know about my blog and sometimes read it. Hubby Dearest knows I run websites (as he explains it), but doesn't really know much about blogs or blogging. He doesn't seem particularly interested in reading it, probably because he doesn't spend a fraction of the time online that I do! One thing I ensure each time I post is that no-one (including myself) would ever be offended or troubled by what I write, either now or at any time in the future.

Unfortunately, I don't have any friends or family who blog (though I am still trying to remedy this!). I would like people I know to be more interested in blogs, especially mine of course, but it seems that "blogging" isn't yet a growing trend in my social circles.

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
  1. Write about the things you enjoy writing about, be it your family, your favorite hobby or your latest business venture! If you enjoy your subject, you are much more likely to stick at it, write better posts and attract a readership through your passionate writing!
  2. Don't expect to be a success straight away! For a blog to become popular, it needs lots of hard work, time and effort before a readership will arrive! Don't be put off if it takes months or even longer for your blog to attract subscribers! It took me a long time and many mistakes to realise this.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my blogging story. If you want to join in with the carnival and write your own, head over to Chili's blog to read more about it, and submit your post to her Mr. Linky!

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