Yayyyyyyy I’m super excited for today. Why? today is my blog Anniversary. I honestly can’t believe it’s been a year I started blogging. It feels so surreal and kinda unbelievable. It’s not been an easy journey but it’s a journey I am very grateful for.
I started this blog for two (2) main reasons; the major reason been I was bored at the time. I was always bored, and I was bereft of who to talk to and what to do so I thought, why don’t I start a blog where I can be talking to any and everybody? So that’s how this blog came to be.
Now there are so many things I wish I knew when I started blogging, of which I would share so aspiring bloggers could learn from.
If you want to start a blog, the most important question you’ve got to ask yourself is, why do I want to be a Blogger? Please, you mustn’t skip this question. The answer to this question is what will keep you in the business of blogging. The answer to this question must be with the right motive. If your motive is not right, then you have not started. In essence, this question should be what is the purpose of my blog? And what do I want to achieve?
In blogging, In fact, to do anything in life, you must have the right motive; else you will fail. For example starting a blog because you want to make money is a wrong motive. Never start anything in life because you are looking for money; you will be hugely disappointed. One of the reasons I started this blog was because of money. I felt blogging would an easy way out of financial stress, but it doesn’t work like that. The big bloggers we look up to today, it took them years to get to where they are now.
If the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. So if the purpose of your blog is not known, you may deviate, or get discouraged along the line.
In line with the above, decide the type of blogger you want to be. Right from the get-go, I decided I wasn’t going to be a gossip blogger or run a gossip blog. With due respect to everyone who runs a gossip blog, I just feel running a gossip blog amounts to laziness. But if that’s what you want to do; fine. Please forgive me for what I’ve just said, but that’s how I feel. I hate gossip and I decided I was going to run an inspirational blog, write articles that impact and inspire people, while also entertaining them. Having a non-gossip blog is a tedious job, and you may not be seeing results now (as you have expected) but keep at it.
Thirdly, before you start a blog, please do your research first. What do I mean by research? Firstly, there are many blogging platforms, top of this list are blogger and WordPress. Research on which of this will be more useful to you. Don’t just follow the crowd; for example, because everyone is using blogger does not mean you should jump on the blogger train. WordPress could be better for you. Honestly, if I had done a little research, I would have used WordPress, not blogger. There are pros and cons of each, so do your research; in detail on both.
Another very important thing you should know is, blogging is not a small job. It is hugely tasking and requires a lot of efforts; day in day out. Blogging is not for the faint-hearted, it requires time, efforts, reading, writing, researching, doses of determination and resilience. Please if you are not ready for the work, don’t bother starting a blog. I can’t count the number of times I have stayed up late, blogging, writing or researching.
Blogging is expensive. If you want to be a blogger, be ready to spend plenty money. Don’t ask me what’s the money for oh, except you just want to bear the name “blogger”. When I started I had no idea it will require a huge financial input. For example, at the time I started, I was still using blogname.blogspot.com. When I wanted my own domain name, I discovered I was going to have to pay for it. Also, you will have to pay for memory space especially if you want to use WordPress and trust me it is NOT CHEAP. Let me say it again, blogging is not cheap. You will SPEND MONEY, money for data, for a laptop or system (in case you don’t have one), for a camera (to take good pictures) etc.
Don’t be disappointed when your friends and family, do not read or like your blog. That’s just life, not everyone will believe in your dreams or in what you do. Don’t see their rejection as a mark of failure on your part; just take it as a part of life. In fact, I would advise you not to expect family & friends to read or like your blog. But if you meet anyone that do, please cherish them well. I was lucky that my two (2) best friends encouraged me to start this blog; the best part is they still do. They will read my articles and be like, babe this is the bomb, you write well, you’re good etc. One of such people is my sister, in fact, she’s has become my unofficial proofreader, before I post any article, more often than not she will read it first. In as much as she loves me, she would always tell me her opinion without sugar coating it, so I use her opinion to get into the mind of the reader. I love her so much for that and she knows (lol). Anyway, if you find anyone who encourages you, praises you and criticises your work with an aim so it can be better, please keep them close.
You will need them because it will get tough. Like the time, Bella Naija commenters wanted to have my head for an article I wrote you can find that here, my inner circle of friends encouraged me because throughout that period I felt so bad. They (BN Commenters) misread where I was coming from, in fact, I had sleepless nights. But my friends encouraged me and told me not to let it bother me. Special shout out to Haywhy, Damola and Debby you guys’ rock.
Be careful who you ask for advice or opinions about your blog. I learnt this lesson the hard way. I had asked a senior friend for what he thought about my blog and my articles and in the process of expressing his opinion; he ended up making me feel very worthless. By the time he was through, I wanted to delete the blog ASAP. I felt I was wasting my time. It took the intervention of one my friends Joseph to say no, you can’t delete the blog. His words were so encouraging; I decided there and then that no one and nothing would stop me from blogging.
There are times when you will be discouraged (it is perfectly normal) when it comes don’t fret; for it will surely come. There are times when you feel no one is reading your blog or commenting, or you think you are failing at it, please don’t give up. Great things take time to build. Be patient, double your efforts and success is sure. I have realised in this life, at the point when you’ve given up is the point when you are about to strike gold, one more strike and you will make it.
Also, don’t be averse to criticisms; after BN commenters finished me, I then decided to use Grammarly to cross check all spellings and punctuations before publishing an article. If I didn’t receive those criticisms, I wouldn’t have improved.
Asides all these I have stated so far, there are some beautiful things I have enjoyed from blogging.
It has expanded my vocabulary, it has made me meet people, I ordinarily would not have meet, it has given me a voice (albeit little) to air my thoughts and opinions, it has afforded me the opportunity to get into the mind of people; see life from their point, it has stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable of doing.
Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I could be a writer or I could write well; NEVER. I never knew I could write; I still doubt myself at times, but I am happy I discovered this aspect of myself. Writing the Adventures of Shalewa is a huge surprise to me and the responses so far have been really good.
Blogging has made me busy, no more do I stay idle. My mind is constantly working, stories to write, articles to write. I have discovered that blogging has made me more creative. I’m naturally analytic and blogging has brought that to good use.
Through blogging, I have learnt a bit of almost everything. In blogging, you have no choice but to read. When I first started, I wrote articles purely from my head, but with time, I started doing research on topics before I write them. I have also learnt IT stuffs, like templates, SEO, HTML. Learnt other things like copywriting, social media tools etc. If it weren’t for the opportunity to blog, I wouldn’t know half of the things I know today.
Another blessing which I have gotten from blogging which I believe is the most important it has given me a platform to touch people lives. I do not take these blessings for granted and I am eternally grateful for them.
I would like to use this opportunity to thank everyone that has been with me from day 1, strangers that I meet on this journey, and people who take time out to read, comment and share my articles. Sites like Bella Naija, writeitloud.com, Ezine Articles for believing in this little girl’s work and for publishing my articles. Thank you. This blog would not be here if it weren’t for you guys. To everyone who follows this blog on social media, like our posts or comments, thank you. My dear Ess Dee please where are you, this blog misses you oh. I also want to thank POBA who handled the change of my domain for free, thank you. To everyone who has allowed me to republish/post their articles on this blog, thank you.
Now to my very own people, Damola, Deborah, Haywhy, Damilola, and others too numerous to mention thank you guys very much. God bless you. Thank you for believing in me when I saw nothing in myself. You guys are the realest MVP.
On a final note, I would like to say TMGL is not yet where I want it to be, but I’m not where I was and this blog is one of the things I’m proud of. Thank you guys again.
Please I would love you guys to kindly share your thoughts. Thank you.