My First 3 Months of Blogging – The Joys, and the Learning Points

(6 Minute Read. Enjoy!)

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the concept of progress. I’ve realised one thing. That reflecting on the progress I’ve made in my life, has made me happier. It has made me more content. It has made me more grateful.

It could be progress in anything, really. Like developing relationships. Or getting better grades in school. Or managing your finances. Or building up side hustles. Whatever it is, penning down your thoughts at each stage is a good practice. When you look back at the stuff you’ve accomplished, there’s that wonderful feeling of gratitude, contentment.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do here – reflecting on my blogging journey, 3 months at a time.

 

Current Statistics

Number of Posts:        21

Page Views:                0 (At least that’s what Google Analytics tells me, even though I have gotten a couple of comments. Strange.)

Subscribers:                0 (Don’t have an email list yet.)

Income:                       0 (Haven’t done any monetizing yet.)

Not very encouraging, but I suppose that’s the norm when you start out blogging. I’ve got to put my blinders on and publish as many posts as possible.

At least one thing’s for sure, it’s only going to go upward from here!

Despite the dismal tangible results, there are actually quite a few things I’ve learnt in my first 3 months of blogging.

 

Perfectionism Will Kill You

Probably the most important thing I’ve learnt, and am still trying to wrap my head around it.

When I first started publishing posts, I laboured over every word, every spacing, every punctuation mark. My habit of perfectionism was so toxic to the point that I spent days reading and re-reading already completed posts. Over and over again. Even when everything seemed perfect, some nagging feeling at the back of my mind convinced me that I had to go back and correct more minor details.

Frankly, it was excruciating. While I love creating content, my habit of perfectionism caused me to feel more stressed out. ‘OMG, what if there’s a grammatical error? Or punctuation mistake? What if my post structure doesn’t make sense? What if it’s too messy? Wouldn’t any potential reader be completely turned off? What if I lose potential readers because of this? My life will be over!

Time-consuming and agonizing, it was.

Soon after, I came across other content creators’ material on the topic of perfectionism. What I’ve since come to realise, is that most readers don’t give a shit about silly little mistakes like punctuation and grammar. Chances are, they don’t even notice those mistakes.

I’ve seen much, much more popular bloggers share articles that contained these little mistakes. But are they losing subscribers? Are the punctuation police brutally pointing these errors in the comments?

No, and no.

I was over-thinking, and perfectionism was ruining my love and ability to create content.

Enough was enough. No more crazy perfectionism habits. Now, upon the completion of any blog post, I publish it. I resist the urge to re-read the post a million times in an attempt to figure out where I made mistakes. (Apologies for any errors you may find.)

I’m infinitely less stressed, and I create content much faster than before.

 

With Practice, Writing Becomes Easier, and Less Scary

Publishing my first ever post gave me the heebie-jeebies. I knew that it was by no means good; I was just rambling on and on about life, work and freedom.

A series of thoughts flashed across my mind as I hit that “Publish” button. ‘What if it’s shit? What if everyone hates it? What if I’m starting out on the wrong foot?’ I knew no one would ever see that post, but it was still anxiety inducing.

But a strange thing happened as I published a second post. And a third. And a fourth. And a fifth. Publishing what I wrote became less stressful, and more natural. I can’t quite figure out why. Maybe I decided to stop caring so much about the things beyond my control, like whether a reader would like my post. Or maybe it’s the confidence that comes with progress – the more you publish, the more confident you are.

Right now, it’s practically second-nature. I hit “Publish”, and off I go to work on the next post.

Do I still worry about whether I would get readers? Or whether potential readers would like what I’ve written? HELL YEAH. Like, every single day.

But I try not to let my fears dictate my actions. Whenever those worries pop into my mind, I push them out by focusing on creating another post. And another post. And another post.

Speaking of which, that leads to my third learning point.

 

Create for the Joy of Creation

I’ve always, always loved to write. But I can’t deny that a little part of me wants this blog to eventually succeed monetarily. Even if I don’t earn much money, as long as I’m able to cover my already-minimal living expenses, I can quit my job. And that would feel amazing.

Personally, I don’t think that would happen any time soon. It could take 2 years. Or 3 years. Or even more. I mean, blogging is a super-super-super long-term goal. Any content creation takes ages to establish and build a loyal audience.

The only way, therefore, to trudge along and not quit, is to create for the joy of creation, and nothing else. And nothing else.

I can’t emphasize this enough.

I’m grateful that I enjoy writing. I’m grateful that I don’t mind plugging away at my computer, producing posts, burning every weekend. I’m grateful that for the feeling of accomplishment that rushes over me as I publish a brand new post. I’m grateful for the excitement I feel when I see my blog being built up slowly over time.

I’m grateful for all of that. Because without everything I mentioned above, I would have given up on blogging faster than you could imagine.

 

Networking Isn’t So Formidable

Oh, how much I hate networking. Back in law school, I abhorred these networking events and lunches. I disappeared like the wind, while every bushy-tailed, bright-eyed peer of mine greedily attended all of them.

I used to chalk it up to my overly introverted nature. However, as time went by, I’ve come to realise that it was because studying in law school didn’t mean squat to me.

But blogging does. My blog means the world to me. It’s my source of happiness, a feeling that I thought disappeared when I started a corporate job that I disliked. And because of my blog means so much to me, networking actually became rather enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I reached out to Zach, who runs the blog Four Pillar Freedom. I have been following his blog for about 1 year now, and have always admired his tenacity and consistency. I wasn’t really intending to reach out; I only wanted to drop him a simple single-sentenced congratulatory comment. But I ended up pouring my heart into it.

Zach replied my comment. In addition to that, he went to my blog, read a couple of my posts, commented on one, and even shared one on his blog!

I never expected such an act of kindness, and I was ecstatic for a good half an hour. HALF AN HOUR. Yeah, I even took a screenshot of Zach’s post. (I’m just that happy.)

To other people, this may not be a big deal. It’s not like I wrote some amazing guest post that got published on Zach’s blog. It was just a link to one of my articles that he had liked.

But Zach’s actions still meant so much to me. And I’m grateful for this feeling of happiness, over a little act of kindness. I suppose that’s because my blog means that much to me. Any little bit of recognition makes me super pumped.

At this moment, I’ve only reached out to Zach. And it’s been quite the amazing experience. He also advised me to reach out to other bloggers and leave comments on their sites. Something I definitely will be doing much more of in the future.

I guess networking isn’t so formidable after all. And that’s because my blog means the world to me.

 

The Joy of Receiving a Reader’s Comment

Up till the time I reached out to Zach, I’ve only ever had spam comments. If the comment wasn’t about SEO services, it was about online betting. After a while, I accepted that these were the only comments that I would receive over the next 1 year or so.

Then, Zach happened. And a few days later, I received a genuine comment from a reader, who loved one of the posts I had written. I was on freaking cloud nine, bouncing around my room for another good half an hour. I spent the next half an hour trying to draft what I thought would be a decent reply to the comment.

To this day, I can still remember the happiness.

The pure joy of having your work finally recognised, even if it’s only by a couple of people. And it’s bliss.

 

Going Forward

As much as I would love doing these blogging updates every month, I honestly don’t think I would have much to report about. I’m juggling a full time 9-to-6 corporate job, numerous tutoring assignments, and blogging. So, I don’t quite expect too much growth (if any) on a month-to-month basis. But I’m really hoping for at least some growth by the end of Month #6. That’s October 15, 2018.

Going forward, I’m going to try and post as much as possible. I’m gunning for 3 posts a week, although I don’t know how feasible that is, given my already-hectic schedule. Also, I really want to network. Hopefully I’d have overcome my irrational fear of networking by October.

 

I’ll see you then,
Liz

 

10 Comments
  1. Congrats on an amazing first 3 months, Liz! Your writing gets better with each post. I expect that even three months from now you’ll experience some noticeable growth as a blogger. And one year from now even more growth.

    I’m humbled that our interactions have been so impactful for you, I’m looking forward to following your blogging journey as time goes on. Keep up the great work 🙂

    1. Hi Zach, I’m so stoked to hear your kind words! I honestly didn’t expect a comment so quickly after I published my post, and it’s most certainly a pleasant surprise! And of course, our interactions mean a lot to me and my journey – thank you so much for that Zach. Here’s to the next 3 months being even more awesome. Hopefully I’ll have lots of stuff to update you on 🙂

  2. Congratulations on the three-month mark! I am just starting my blogging journey (the first post went live on July 15!) and I know it’s going to be a long road. I admire bloggers who share their income reports and how their blog is doing. However, most of them don’t’ share until they are actually making money. I appreciate that you are sharing the nitty gritty before you are actually making an income. The first few months of blogging are tough and knowing that no one is on your site is discouraging at times but you seem to have such a positive outlook on your blogging journey and where it is taking you. I can’t wait to see your future success! Congrats on a successful three months.

    1. Hi Sara! Thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment, I really appreciate it. Congratulations on starting your own blog, and I’m looking forward to great posts from you. 🙂

      I don’t earn a great deal of money from my job and side hustles (I made a fair amount of poor choices in my life). But I do my best to save as much as possible. The reason I post my monthly income reports is because I hope to encourage people to save money even if they’re not earning a lot from their jobs.

      To be very honest, I can be quite an insecure and negative person. But I’ve been changing my outlook on life and trying to be as positive as possible. After all, nobody would want to read a negative post. (I know I wouldn’t!) To have a positive outlook on life is the way to go, and I really hope to be able to inspire people in time to come. 🙂

  3. Keep it up, Liz!
    I’m 6 months in and I definitely haven’t had remarkable traffic, pageviews, income, or anything of that sort.
    When I realize that I do go offline for a bit, but by the next morning, I’m hacking away. I just like it so the fact that I still do it even when it seems like no one is reading what I write to me solidifies that.

    p.s. those are some weird spam comments. def more weird stuff on wordpress than when i was on blogger. ugh… blogger was so easy…sigh.

    1. Thank you! I think that it can be quite demoralising, sometimes, to think that no one is reading your stuff. So that’s why it’s so important to enjoy the process of writing and finding your voice. I’m glad to hear that you pick yourself up really fast, and continuing hacking away. Your determination is inspirational!

      P.S. Yeah the comments were incredibly weird! I’ve stopped receiving them though, so that’s a good thing 🙂 What are the weird stuff you’ve been encountering on WordPress?

  4. Just the comments. I had only been on WordPress for about 2 weeks and I already had a dozen weird spam comments. I was on blogger for about six months, and I think I only had three total. I don’t like that. I hope they do stop eventually. I think it was because I stayed logged-in on some devices because I noticed that with my email in the past. So I’m making a point now to log-out everywhere. We shall see.

    1. Yes, WordPress has an insane number of weird comments. I’m not sure if it’s because you stayed logged in. I do that all the time as well! But the good news is – the weird spam comments stop after a while! I think I stopped receiving weird comments maybe 3 months into blogging? It’s all good now 🙂

  5. hi liz!! thank you so much for sharing! I am new to blogging – 1 month in – and reading your thoughts on perfectionism made me feel so much better! I’d catch myself reading other blogs and be like ‘wow they make it look SO easy! meanwhile I’m over here STRESSING over how often I use the passive voice’. I love your blog and how honest and open you are – hopefully google analytics counts my view in there, cuz I’m reading!!

    1. Hi AK! Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad my ramblings had the ability to make you feel better, it really makes me happy to hear that 🙂 To be honest, I still struggle with perfectionism and being insecure about my own writing, but I hope that with time things get better. Don’t worry too much about the minute details! Nobody really notices them much. I’m sure your content is much better than you think it is!

      Thank you so much for your kind words as well, they really made me smile! Thank you so much for making my day, hope you stick around! 🙂

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