I remember one day, back in 2014, my blog, The Writing Shed, was still a little “toddler” (yes, you will personify your blog/website, and when you do, you won’t think I’m crazy anymore; it will be like a baby to you!) I didn’t have much clue of what direction I wanted it to take; all I knew was that I wanted to write. And that I would love for my blog to be seen. Back then it was called “The Potter’s Shed”, and it was actually a potting shed in our garden – which was reclaimed by my husband the second he bought me the cutest summer house EVER – The Writing Shed.
(photo the real writing shed)
Anyway, as I wanted my blog to be seen, I started searching for ways to increase its traffic (which I learned from my search that traffic can be more than only loads of cars, or roads movement! haha) and came across something called “Ultimate Blog Challenge”. Basically, the challenge consisted in blogging every day during a month.
I thought: Ha! Easy. I love to write, don’t I? I’ll nail it. And so I went… sharing the blog to their Twitter, using their hashtags (what?), sharing on Facebook (ah, so you can actually use Facebook for other stuff, and not only to snoop around people’s lives? Yep, you can. And it will do you a world of goodness; for you and for your baby. Ops, for your blog.)
As you can see, when I accepted the challenge of writing one post a day for the whole month, I thought it would be just like a walk in the park… Oh, noooo… I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I was super excited. I got a couple of guest bloggers, started connecting with other bloggers (because that’s what they told us to do, in order for other bloggers to share our posts). I met some inspiring people, and meeting them helped me want more for The Writing Shed, other than to be a place where I wrote “just some posts” and grieving letters to my mother, who had gone to Heaven.
You’ve heard of writer’s block, right? I’m an author, and writing my first novel was like labour. No, worse than that. Well, I’m guessing, as I have never been into labour (not yet, anyway. Gulp!). I really apologise to all the brave mums out there.
Until I reached the 24th day…. On that day, I was simply lost in my words, staring at Larry (my laptop – see? I told you I tend to personalise things!) and then to the wall, and back to Larry… and there’s nothing else I could think of writing about than what I’m going through: my first ever crisis of blogger’s burnout.
With writing a post a day and trying to share it so as many people can read it (Vain, my middle name), comes the pleasure of discovering loads of other lovely blogs, and witty, great writers! What happens then… you subscribe to one, then a link in that post takes you to another blog (which you also like, so you subscribe, obviously), and so on… The next day, not only you receive a link to a new post on the blogs you’ve subscribed, but because you share your post on Facebook, you go on to comment on two, three new blogs and you like them and subscribe to them and… see what I’m talking about?
In a couple of days, I had several emails of blogs that I loved and wanted to read, but started getting frustrated because I simply didn’t have time to read them. Hunf! (Just to let you know, I still haven’t learned the lesson; if I like what I see, I subscribe. Quoting Steven Tyler/Aerosmith: “I don’t wanna miss a thiiiing!”)
Another pattern I noticed back then (which still happens, I have to confess) is that I’ve become obsessed with my blog stats. Honestly, when I publish something, and I check my stats all the time. How many views today? How many views for this post? How many comments/shares etc? Aaaaaahhhhhh… Now, The Writing Shed has grown – he is a teenager now in “blog years” – and I have collaborators. There’s nothing better than looking at the stats and seeing that my girls’ posts are getting views, lots of them. I feel a very proud mum. 🙂
Back then, in my frustration, I wished I could just go back to the writing, like before. I cursed the Ultimate Blogging Challenge (just kidding). Today, I know that I write for my readers. But I also know that they would rather have me sanely writing quality stuff, that can add something to their lives, and help them somehow, than writing any silly thing just to “have a post a day”.
(photo: “just a post a day”)
Moving forward two years, The Writing Shed has been completely revamped. I can now say that it’s an online magazine, and it’s thriving. Now I know (nearly) all about SEO; I understand social media, I have organised myself, my writing and social media schedule, and I have learned more than I thought was even possible to exist, in order to make The Writing Shed website stand out. By the way, I need to show you this…
From invisible, to SECOND on Google search! Isn’t it awesome? I wouldn’t have done it without the Techy Girl’s Roadmap. I now know what funnels mean (other than the obvious meaning), trip wire (I’ve just launched my first one!) And I even managed to set up a pay pal button! Imagine that! Me, an ordinary writer! This is all because of Techy Girl’s patience in teaching me all the techy stuff, and her guidance in helping me to create a schedule that I can keep up with, without feeling overwhelmed, or having blogger’s burnout. 😉