Hi everyone and Happy October!
It’s been a while since I did a Blogging Diaries post and because I have a paper due next week (actually this week cause oops this post was supposed to be posted 4 days ago), I thought I do a check-in with how I’m doing blog-wise.
For anyone new my blog, this is a series I do every couple of months to track my blogging journey and my self-development through it. If this is not your thing, totally cool, I’ll be back to life admin content next week (hint: it’s about career!).
The past couple of months have been quite the change from my blog. I went from literally one or two people reading it (and I know who you are so thank you!) to suddenly hundreds of new people visiting my blog and I don’t know if I was ready for that influx. Of course I know many people have a lot more readers, but this is quite a lot to me.
I hit quite a few milestones last month:
|- MLA got over 1000 page views in September. To put it in to perspective in August it received less than 100 page views. That’s a big difference in a small time frame.|
|- A big push in the page views and new users was due to being published (multiple times!) in my favourite personal website, The Financial Diet. I’ve been huge fans of their YouTube Channel and website and decided to pitch them and they said yes! It’s been really surreal to see my name as a contributor on someone else’s website and it’s also been fun writing for another publication.|
|- Another big chunk of traffic has come from Pinterest. I’ve struggled for a long time with Pinterest because I never seemed to “get it.” But I’ve been slowly learning how to optimize my pins. I also finally found a way to create pin covers with the design I wanted, and I had a one super popular pin that received over 100 re-pins (again this coming from someone whose pins only ever received one and it was from me to my own board). I’ve also got accepted into a bunch of group boards so I’m feeling better and better about it.|
|- Got featured in the Millennial Bliss Newsletter. This was so exciting for me because it was the first time that anyone has every contacted me about being featured in anything. I met Christina through Instagram and she runs a monthly newsletter that is focused on wellness and features people who represent the topics of mind, body, and spirit (which I thought was brilliant!) and asked me to write a small bio about myself and how I deal with mental health. It was a great experience (and I highly recommend subscribing to her as well) and so nice to make a new friend through this process!|
My Blog Lessons for the Last Few Months
1. Just Press Send
Although I love to write, I am also super self-conscious of anyone reading it. I‘ve been journaling since I was 12 (and 12 year old Kim was hilariously cringeworthy) but I’ve never felt 100% comfortable with other people reading my work. This is something I’m really working on with contributing to other sites. Before submitting to my article to The Financial Diet, I had actually worked on the piece for a couple of weeks (and still found a typo – oops!) but I’m trying to overcome this perfectionist mindset and to just press send. I will never be 100% happy with a lot of things, but it really does hold me back. I’m trying more and more to tell myself “Done is Better Than Perfect.” I know it’s very cliche, but cliches exist for a reason and so my first lesson for the month is to start saying yes to opportunities. They also asked to syndicate some of my articles and the most popular one was actually my 6 Life Admin Tasks I’ve Been Avoiding post which is funny because I wrote that thinking that no one would really be interested but apparently a lot of people are interested to learn how lazy I am. Hahaha
2. Don’t Overthink It
This month was the first time that I missed a week’s post since I’d started to make the full commitment in June. It was hard to swallow at first. To think I’d failed this goal to myself (especially only after 3 months) was something I didn’t want to feel, but I picked up myself up and just posted two articles last week to make up for it.
I think this is a big part of failure, especially for me, and I’m trying not to have it dictate my actions. Okay, so I missed a week, the world didn’t end. I don’t even know if that many people noticed (the beauty of being such a new blog) and if I just stopped posting in general. Again, the world didn’t end. But that’s what I think is the most difficult part of blogging, the self-discipline to keep going even no one is reading it or notices if you are no longer posting. And that’s what I try to overcome the most and why I keep this series going. It’s just a small reflection on how I’m doing and a reminder to keep going. If you’re interested in how to blog through that mindset, I took a series of workshops now called Perfect Blogger by Sam Laura Brown about the personal development and perfectionist mindset behind blogging that stops me from posting.
On that note, the post I struggled so much with was Why I Don’t Chase Early Retirement. And to be honest, I had the bulk of the article ready to post on the Wednesday/Thursday that week when I usually post articles. But I kept re-working it and editing it and adding things and removing things. I just touched the article too much because I was constantly second-guessing myself and overthinking the tone of the article. I wanted to address the topic, but also wanted to people please and wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming off as incompetent or naïve. And this constant circle of doubting myself caused me to not post it, but doubted if I should at all. In the end I did, I think it came off quite rambly but like I mentioned earlier, I’m really trying to live with the philosophy that done is better than perfect. In the grand scheme of things, it’s only one article on my hopefully soon-to-be more populated blog.
3. Create Freely
Another platform that I’ve been creating more focus on is Instagram. Instagram has always been a struggle for me, not because I didn’t understand it, but because it’s not a platform where I really want to create this picturesque life. I get the appeal of Instagram; I myself follow a lot of people that create beautiful photos of picture perfect lives, but in the end, I know it’s not real. Having love photography myself, I have tons of photos that are beautiful, but it’s not necessarily the life I want to always portray. I get it, Instagram is for beautiful things but that kind of imagery can skew what everyday life is like – which is what I want this blog to be focused on.
However, I have found an outlet for my Instagram. I use my Instagram as way to post my quirky and sassy thoughts on growing up. I’ve recently also started watercolour painting and using it as the backgrounds to my Instagram. I still mix in photos here and there and it’s not what you usually expect from a typical blogger with beautiful things and light but it is 100% honest. A big lesson in the last couple of months has been to let myself be creative for creativity sake. I’m not artist and do not plan on quitting my job to become a watercolour artist, but I have really enjoyed doing something relaxing and away from any screens (I still do play a podcast in the background though because podcasts are life).
My Blogging Goals for the Next Couple of Months
1. Creating More Resources
One of the things I’m hoping to do is to create more resources for MLA. I have so many ideas but neither the time or focus to create them all but I think like with a lot of things, I’m trying not to overthink it. Like my last lesson, create freely, I’m just need to start and create what I feel is right and take it from there. This includes making more resources for my blog but also more creative pins and Instagram images.
2. Continue Contributing
I hope to be a consistent contributor to TFD, but I’m also hoping to branch out into different outlets that focus on different areas. Another popular topic that I like to write (and people like to read about it) is career. I have my eyes set on a couple of different places and will keep you posted! For the most part though, I usually update the most frequent on Instagram if you wanna follow along!
3. Pinterest Scheduling
Finally this is a new area that I would like to explore but also finding more automation in keeping up with all the different facets of blogging. I restrained from the idea of doing anything that involved another financial component until I could find a way to sustain it and as I’ve mentioned in my 3 Things I Had To Dip Into My Emergency Fund for, I’ve recently taken on the online side hustle of being an online closed captioner/transcriptionist. And while I’m using some of that money to make up for the hole in my emergency fund, I’m also using it as a fund for my blog. As I mentioned in that post, when I’m faced with a new expense, I try to default into creating or finding a new source of income rather than just pinching my spending unless I really need to.
Finally, as you can see by my struggle to keep up with my posting schedule these past couple of weeks, I’m hoping to be able to re-focus in the coming months back on MLA. And of course I have a lot of excuses like having a paper due this week, a presentation at the end of the week, Thanksgiving festivities, working overtime, and on top of all that being sick during this time, but life always gets and has been busy for me. I think my self doubt though has really shown itself more so in the last couple of weeks more than anything. Before, I had the luxury of time to let it hold me back, I could afford to spend weeks on an article second guessing myself (and if I should even send it) and going back and forth between whether or not to post an article to my blog. But when life got busy, I didn’t have that luxury and that self doubt started to take a hold on me and prevented me from doing and writing things that I wanted to talk about. So that’s my challenge for the next few months.
As always, thanks for following along!
(Especially when I’m this rambly)