One of the best things about having your own personal blog is that it’s yours and you take all the credit for it when things go right. Everything’s also all your fault when things go wrong. If you’re trying to make money off your blog, then be patient. If you don’t care about making money and just want to write for an audience, then be ready for criticism of all kinds. There are so many mega main-stream websites out there that most personal start-up blogs could never compete with, but nobody said blogging was easy.
One of the best things about receiving criticism is that it can make you stronger, and confirms that someone’s reading your blogs. I say it can make you stronger, because there’s no guarantee. Some bloggers simply can’t handle rude commenters, or no commenters, at all. Blogging can be lonely at first if nobody’s visiting your pages.
Do I keep blogging or give it up? Why am I blogging? Who am I blogging for?
These are questions that new bloggers ask themselves. They’re valid questions, and actually pretty key ones.
I covered in “How-To Approach Blogging” some of the start-up process in creating a blog out there on the world wide web, and I said:
1. Blog often and blog real.
2. Reply to comments and keep lines of communication open.
3. Don’t expect to become an overnight blog success. Refer back to 1 and 2 always.
1. I come here and dump my mind’s trains of thought onto the tracks of a blog, and I hit “Publish.” It’s fresh out of my mind in free-writing style, and it’s why my topics are varied, and real. It doesn’t matter what genre you run with as long as you’re being true. Whatever your specialty niche in the personal blog world…you want your reader to come back. You don’t have to blog every day, but I made it my personal goal for 2013.
2. Readers, regardless of age or color or mobility, share with me through comments or privately their personal stories relating to mine. The thing is, my story is mine but lots of people also have similar stories or vastly different ones. I learn so much through new relationships built right here, and it often inspires new subjects to write about. I try to reply to most everything everywhere as much as I can. You should too.
3. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started blogging, and I think I wrote four blogs my first year. Horrible. I was always 50/50 on whether I wanted to turn my blog into a money machine, which is nearly impossible as an average first-time blogger. I decided quickly anyway that I never wanted readers to feel pressured to open their wallets, but I do throw in some ads and recommendations where relevant. Every so often readers find my donate button on the bottom of my page, and they’re kind enough to support this site. I refer back to 1 and 2, always. You should too.
I refer back to 1 and 2 because it’s why I started a personal blog. I get to enjoy praise and credit when it’s due, and I field all sorts of criticism and hate mail too. I know that had I not won Big Brother I wouldn’t have the following I have today, but I’ll let you in on a little secret…
I probably don’t have as many readers as you think I do, and even less in subscribers. It’s harder than you’d think to get people to subscribe. I understand that. Reading is just as much of a commitment as writing is, in investment though not in time. Writing takes more time than reading. On the busiest day for traffic on my site, I’ve had about 23,000 hits. On the slowest days about 4,000. I am fiercely proud and protective of every reader, but I want to give you numbers so you have an idea. Realistically. I’ve made no significant money off my blog. I could probably be doing more to do that.
I love it here though, and that’s what’s most important to me.