WHY MY PERSONAL BLOG IS THE BIGGEST BLESSING IN MY LIFE
I count my personal blog as one of the biggest blessings in my life.
There are 2 sources of inspiration for this post. The first is Kara’s post entitled Reverse Bucket List – an Exercise in Gratitude.
A reverse bucket list is a list of all the things that you have already accomplished.
If you’re like me, you’re just starting out and you find yourself comparing your blog to more successful bloggers.
You forget to track how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved.
So, this post is a giant gratitude list for how my personal blog
has changed my life.
The next source of inspiration is a line from one of my favorite poems.
Ever read How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning? The first line is often quoted:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
This line inspired me to list the many ways in which my personal blog has enriched my life.
But more of this later.
SOME FACTS ABOUT PERSONAL BLOGS
Check out these blogging stats from an infographic on blogging.org.
According to WordPress Usage Statistics That Will Make Your Jaw Drop, there are 1,481 blog posts per minute, 88,888 in an hour and just above 2.13 million per day.
So, blogging is a powerful tool that even big businesses have embraced.
If you’re just starting out or keen to start blogging, here’s a little background about personal blogs.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BLOG
According to Wikipedia, a personal blog is an:
ongoing online diary or commentary written by an individual, rather than a corporation or organization
There are many reasons for starting a blog. Some of them are:
* to share your expertise with others
* For a creative outlet
* To boost your income
* To start your own business
* To inspire others
To find out more about why ordinary people like me start a blog read
15 BLOGGERS SHARE THEIR POWERFUL REASONS FOR STARTING A BLOG.
MY REASONS FOR STARTING A PERSONAL BLOG
I started my blog after my chronic illness forced me to quit my job as a teacher.
Desperate for mental stimulation, I searched online for a side hustle to start. Blogging beckoned and so I started Family Growth Life.
This post is a personal account of how my blog enriched my life.
THE BENEFITS OF BLOGGING
Starting a blog is of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life.
But it rescued me from retirement boredom and gave me much needed challenge and stimulation.
The blogging journey is a winding road - more bends than straights. Click To Tweet I was hooked from the start and my creativity was awakened to enjoy a few straits.
My blog invigorated me and gave me the zest that had been missing in my life for so many years.
Boredom is not part of my vocabulary anymore. Words that jump into my mind when I think of my blog are freedom, satisfaction, and fulfillment.
CHRONIC ILLNESS SUPPORT
I credit my personal blog 100% for helping me to fully understand my chronic illness despite living with it for nearly 20 years.
Although I’ve lived with an autoimmune disease called scleroderma for a long time, I was very ignorant about it.
I knew the basic symptoms and my treatment options. And that was it.
My information about my condition was restricted to what my doctors told me. Looking back, I realize I was so busy with daily survival that I overlooked the lack of proper information and support.
But all this changed when I started my personal blog.
Ever heard the saying Knowledge is Power? Blogging about chronic illness enabled me to fill in all the blanks about my condition.Reading the blogs of fellow spoonies gave me practical tips about how to cope with life with a chronic disease. Click To Tweet
I heard for the first time about:
* Invisible Illnesses
* The spoon theory
* Saving spoons to function effectively
I was able to see that I had an invisible illness and that I had massive guilt from being ill and therefore was constantly trying to make amends for it.
All this information I gleaned by reading the success stories of other spoonies like me.
The kinship that chronic warriors show to one another is so intense you can almost reach out and touch it.
I have learned to be more vocal about what I can and can’t do. To stop pushing myself to do more than my body can cope with.
So, whether I have viral pins or make Media Vine or not in the future with my blog, it lead to empowerment of the best kind.
For that, I will always be grateful.
BLOGGING AS A CREATIVE OUTLET
D.H.Lawrence wrote :
There is no point in work,
unless it absorbs you,
like an absorbing game.
Let me briefly tell you about how my blog drew out of me a creativity I did not know I had.
I had been a voracious reader all my life. But I had never attempted to write. I did not think that I could.
Sheer terror struck me when I realized that blogging involved a lot of writing.
But I stubbornly decided that if I could identify a good book and correct thousands of error-filled essays, I would be able to do it.
So, I leaped off the cliff right into the world of blogging.
It’s been a tough challenge to rise to but I’m so happy I didn’t quit.
I’m still pleasantly surprised when fellow bloggers actually quote lines from my blog posts and tell me how much my writing has touched them.
I’ve learned a thing or two about writing in my nearly 9 months of blogging:
* Simple everyday language
* Conversational style
* Use power words for emotional impact
My writing is a work in progress. It needs way more time and effort than I have so I do the best I can.
But I have to credit 2 big bloggers for inspiring me with their skillful use of language.
Their prowess with words never ceases to amaze me.
Up to the time I started blogging, my graphic design skills extended only to making birthday cards using free online programs.
For many bloggers, Pin Graphics are a curse. But I love creating new pins for Pinterest.
Yes, it’s a time suck and my click-through rate is not as good as I’d like it to be.
Often a pin that makes me very proud barely gets clicks on Pinterest.
But the whole creative process of it can swallow me for hours at a time.
I wholly embrace the struggle to:
* write click-worthy headlines
* find arresting images
* select the right font size and color
* plan and execute the pin layout
If I had to single out the one aspect of blogging I enjoy the most, designing Pin Graphics would be it.
After 9 months of blogging, I have built a little blogging network of my own. It is made up of Facebook groups and a few online friendships.
Like most new bloggers, I joined a few facebook groups. What an amazing experience this has been.
It’s like being a part of a big family that celebrates your wins and gives you heaps of support and encouragement when you need it most – like when your GA stats are dismal yet again or your latest freebie flopped and you got no sign-ups.
Read 5 STRUGGLES BLOGGERS FACE BUT DON’T TALK ABOUT to get an understanding of the daily fears and anxiety new bloggers deal with. It pinpoints my issues perfectly.I have found bloggers to be kind, helpful and generous. Click To Tweet
They recall how hard it was when they started out and that natural empathy makes them take time out from their hectic blogging schedules to freely:
* Help with simple tech issues a high schooler would be able to do with ease
* Encourage you when you fall victim to the comparison trap
* Point out your blogging mistakes tactfully and share valuable tips and resources to overcome them
* Give feedback on your latest post
* Mentor new bloggers
I have to single out Carly Campbell’s Blogging Like We Mean It Facebook group for the invaluable help I got since I started blogging.
In particular, my SEO knowledge has improved considerably due to the SEO pros in Carly’s group. Sorry guys, too many to mention but you know who you are.
Blogging has also led to several online friendships. These friendships are like a blogging support group.
They totally get me when I tearfully share my latest GA stats or my declining Pinterest pageviews.
My online friends understand that it’s not envy that drives me to ask how a blogger’s pin was pinned 45879 times.
Time has grown these friendships to more personal relationships. I would be totally lost without them.
One of the best side effects of blogging is a great improvement in my time management skills.
So, to cut the overwhelm, I created a kind of timetable to cope with my family and household chores as well as blogging tasks. It’s a constant trade-off though.
I prowled Pinterest for the best productivity and organization hacks and I developed a system that works for me. It’s a work in progress though.
* Every evening, I set a goal for the next day.
* The goal is chunked into small actionable tasks.
* I match time to tasks but work for no more than 20 minutes at a stretch.
* I set a timer for everything so I know exactly how much time I need for a particular task.
I also schedule 2 power hours in the day just for writing. I have trained myself to laser focus during this time to be able to create content faster. I’ve yet to win that battle.
Read STAYING PRODUCTIVE: THE POWER HOUR METHOD for more about the power hour.
My personal blog is not a raging success. I battle daily with overwhelm, erratic pageviews and creating the right OPT IN to build my list but I cannot deny the great joy blogging gives me.
This quotation sums up my life.￼￼
LIfe dealt me a blogging card, I picked it up and boy, am I having fun playing the game.
Maybe, the dealer will hand me a royal flush sooner rather than later.
So, just how has my blog blessed me. It has given me a:
– creative outlet
– greater awareness of my chronic illness
– great online friendships
– blogging network
– time management skills
Has your blog changed your life? Share your story in the comments below.