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The First 9 Months: My Blogging Journey + Realizations in a Nutshell



The First 9 Months: My Blogging Journey + Realizations in a Nutshell

I am still high from the good news that I received yesterday. You know that feeling when you don't expect  something REALLY good and it came right in front of you?

OVERJOYED! That's what I felt.

Okay, I don't want to make you guess what it was. I'm just ecstatic to say the least that my beloved blog - The Cheerful Spirit was luckily nominated for the Liebster Award by no less than a sweet lady Maryanne, of Maryannetheodore.com (I still need to make a separate post dedicated to this though)






I know, I know this award might mean nothing to some skeptics.  I'm not exaggerating but to me it means a lot.

So  with all these excitement, joy and disbelief (haha it's my first online award EVER),  I'd like to reflect on what I have done in the beginning to deserve this.

Now,  you may skip the following if this might bore you but I bet you’ll learn something from what I did especially if you're  a newbie blogger (by the way I’m a newbie too 😄)











1. I was so enthusiastic and hopeful taking aside the doubts, fears and criticisms that I usually give to my introvert self. I already had this mindset that my blog will go big-time. (What??)

2. With zero knowledge on the blog's technical side, I started from scratch. I chose the free templates from Blogger since I found them easy to set up. But I never knew it would eat up much of my time. 

Being a little OC and visual, I was more concerned on my blog’s overall design that I had it changed several times. I was never satisfied with its look till I settled with this Sora Tasty theme. Its smart and clean design suit my taste plus it’s SEO responsive and mobile friendly.







3. I read a few good articles about starting a blog. One of my favorites is Chasing Dreams where I underwent a free blogging e-course. I learned about blogging with a purpose and finding my niche which is Personal/Lifestyle with main categories as motherhood, passion, relationship and reflection.

chasing dreams
the wonderful Chasing Dreams website


4. I experimented on what to post. I wrote one about my mother in law (10 Perks of Having My Mother in law Around) because I knew that almost all married couples could relate to it. 

Then I chronicled my pregnancy and put a little drama on the title. (Read:My Pregnancy Misadventures: The Pains,  Lessons and Joys) It eventually worked since it became my most popular post of all time. So I found out that readers will favor the emotional or intriguing titles more (of course!  but I don't want it to sound like a clickbait)







5. A few months later and the thought of writing was waning on me. I became the reluctant, procrastinating blogger. I couldn't even compose articles anymore. The more I read stuff, the more I felt discouraged. 

A lot of bloggers talk about figures and I couldn't help myself comparing to them. I saw no growth in my pageviews. I trapped myself in the idea of comparison which left me feeling down. I almost gave up…

I became the reluctant, procrastinating blogger.

6. But I still read and read and read more blogging resources while writing took a backseat. Then I learned the many ways I could grow my blog traffic organically. This post from Prolazydad is gold! I also set up my accounts for various social media platforms (FB page, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter) to market my blog posts.


7. My blog traffic was doing pretty well but I lacked engagement and still struggled with my productivity. Just a little bit about me, I’m a full-time mom to an 11 year-old boy and an 18 month-old baby daughter. 

So apart from the demanding mommy/wifey duties and breastfeeding in between, I couldn't anymore squeeze my time to insert my writing schedule till I applied some strategies that worked. I joined many lovely Facebook groups which became the driving factor on how my blog and social media ultimately grew. Read: 3 Smart Strategies for the Unproductive Bloggers.


8. I actively participated in the FB Group‘s daily threads and assertively left insightful comments on fellow bloggers' posts.







9. Up to this day, I am still high from my nomination. Yeah, REALLY. Though it may sound cliche, I am happy that someone values or recognizes my work. It's still a lot of hard work after all :)
    Liebster Award
    The fruit of my labor. My first ever online nomination award! 

    Those pretty much sum up the first 9 months of my blogging journey. I can say it's a combination of continuous learning, trial and error and lots of struggles - with time, productivity and sleep (lol). But everything was worth it. Glad I didn't quit this blogging game during those tough times. It just makes me more motivated to go on and follow my passion. 

    So for newbie bloggers like me, let me just give you some words of encouragement...

    • Just keep on writing what you love even if you feel no one’s reading. There will always be that someone who appreciates it. You just don't know...
    • Forget the figures other bloggers are talking. It will only discourage you. Work in your own pace.
    • Stop comparing yourself to others. Be the best version of yourself instead.
    • Take the plunge. As for me,  it’s been 9 months. I know my journey isn't a success story and I'm far from being the best writer but I believe it's still better than nothing had I not gone out of my comfort zone.
    • Give a title on what you do and own itSomeone said it beautifully- In this case,  I write, so shall I call myself a “writer”? Definitely! That way, I will be responsible on what I do so as not to make anymore excuses.
    • Give yourself some ice cream!  Seriously? Yes! Celebrate small wins! No one understands - all those sleepless nights, stress and hard work better than yourself. As for me,  I will give myself a pat on the back for a job well done 😂 

    Treat yourself
    Treat yourself for a job well done! 👏

    Finally, I'll give it again to Ms. Maryanne Theodore. I am honored and grateful for having been chosen by you. It means so much to me.



    Hugs,
    Joan




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    Photos credit to source



    18 comments:

    1. Ice cream is a great idea -yeaah! I'm struggling to publish blog posts because I have an 19 month old daughter, difficult to write with her around. Well done on the Liebster acknowledgement.

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      1. Thank you Melissa! Yes, it is a challenge with me too, that's why I could only write when my baby sleeps.

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    2. I've been blogging for about 9 months now, too, and some days can be so hard. But it's also been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done! Congrats on your success and the award!

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      1. Thank you! I'm with you, blogging can be hard sometimes but definitely rewarding!

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    3. I really needed this today. I'm in month 3 of my blog and getting really discouraged. I had one pin do really really well for a couple of days and now I'm back down to about 20 pageviews per day. Its so hard not to compare and get focused on numbers. I'll just keep writing and eventually itll get better.

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      1. I feel you. It's my usual struggle too. But eventually you will surpass it. And yes just keep on writing what you love coz more posts = more views :)

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    4. Congratulations!! So exiting to be nominated for hard work!! 😊

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      1. Thank you Alexandria! Exactly, that's how I feel! 😄

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    5. Congrats on your milestone Joan. Very well done. 🙂
      Great tips as well.

      Nataly

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    6. I love these reflections. I just started blogging in late June, so I am definitely a newbie. I really appreciate your advice to forget the numbers and the comparisons. One of my favorite quotes is, "don't compare your first chapter to someone's last." It is so easy to forget that many of these bloggers have been at it for a very long time - much more than two months :)
      Congratulations on your award - that's wonderful!

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      1. Thank you Paula! It means a lot to me. Very good quote you have there! I'll try to remember that as well 😄

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    7. It is a big deal to get the nomination, you work hard and it feels so good when someone gives you the mention. It keeps you going on in this crazy blogging journey! Congrats!

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      1. Thank you Lisa! You're absolutely correct! 😄

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    8. I like to believe when I want to quite and don't it puts me in the 20% of the bloggers that make it!

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    9. I totally get the feeling of not wanting to write. When it starts to become a chore you know something is wrong. I found that changing direction worked wonders for me. Now I focus more on my podcast (I could talk for days) and then use what I have said in the podcast and craft it into blog posts :)

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      1. It's a good thing you've found a different way that worked. Good for you!

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