10 Things I Learnt from ~5 Years of Blogging

Blogging encompasses a vast number of areas.

When you become a blogger, you take on the role of an editor, a graphic designer, a social media marketer, a web designer, and much more. Blogging is much more than writing posts and publishing them.

I joined blogging in January 2016 with absolutely no idea about what it involved. I learned through experimenting and by looking at what other bloggers do. But even after almost 5 years of blogging, I don’t feel like I know all there is to blogging because I haven’t explored the monetization or self-hosting side of things.

There is a lot that I learnt in all these years of blogging but when I look back on it all, there are some things that stand out. I want to talk about those today, and it might help you as well.

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All bloggers are kind and welcoming

I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that. I was always shy to reach out to bloggers for help or to ask something. But once I started to, realized that everyone here is really nice and welcoming. No matter the niche or age, bloggers welcome new bloggers.

There is always space for more in this community and I find that so heartwarming. I’ve never seen this widespread attitude in any other platform or community that I’ve been a part of. Instagram and Twitter are easier to start with but it’s not very easy to start making friends and approach people there, as far as I’ve seen.

Big numbers are also more intimidating on social media but it’s all the same for bloggers. Whether you have 20k followers or 20, your content is still viewed the same. And it’s because statistics are not the first thing you see when you visit a blog so that layer of judgement is removed.

Your content matters the most, not the number of connections or followers.

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It is not easy to make longlasting blogger friends

Unlike social media, blogs don’t have a messaging medium. The only form of contact is through comments. It is not easy to form connections only through comments. At some point or the other, you have to move to social media or other forms of communication.

Also, the comment back culture does NOT help because you can never be sure if you’re friends or if they’re just returning the comment.

Because blogs don’t facilitate one-to-one communication themselves, it’s often hard for bloggers to make the first move and contact other bloggers. All blogger friendships that I have seen were truly formed on social media.

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I tried with a couple bloggers before through EMAIL. I know, who was I and what era was I living in, right? But at the time I didn’t have any social media profiles linked to my blog. I only had a private personal Instagram account. Also, the bloggers whom I followed didn’t have social media profiles listed on their blogs as well. Hence, email was the only medium through which I could reach out.

Emailing did not work. While it allows conversations, it doesn’t allow real-time conversations and it is simply not as good as social media. Until I made social media accounts for the blog, I was NOT able to make friendships.

If you want to form friendships and actually get to know other bloggers, you need social media. It is hard otherwise.

As per my experience, it can be hard to become friends with bloggers even with social media. You have to keep in touch often and unless both sides are open to texting a lot, it might not work out well. I’m not a huge texter so I never formed close friendships. It would be great to have a close blogger friend whom I can bounce ideas with & discuss relatable things. But you have to be extra social and talkative in order to maintain friendships online.

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You might never be completely happy with your content

There is always something more that you can do or something that you can change and do better. On some days, you might want to start over.

And that’s alright. It happens to all creators.

This feeling is not a good one but it can lead you to content that you will be happy with, at least for a while. The only way to get past it is to not let it take you down.

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Half the time, you might not be happy with your content because of other blogs. That is VERY common. We all go through the imposter syndrome, and we can be jealous of how great others do. But at the end of the day, step back and understand that what you do is unique.

Your content, your voice, and your opinions are different. And there are definitely others who look up to YOUR blog.

Even if you’re not happy with your content, pat yourself in the back for your content because it is something unique and interesting.

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Niched bloggers have more tight-knit communities

And it’s because niched bloggers can relate to EVERYTHING that others in the community talk about.

It’s not a bad thing. It is just how things work.

If you’re a blogger who doesn’t stick to a niche, it can be hard to feel like you’re part of any community. And as far as I know, there is no specific community for bloggers who don’t stick to a niche.

person using Instagram on their phone

Every community is welcoming and friendly. If you blog about multiple things and can relate to multiple communities, it will be hard to fully be a part of any community.

This fact made me quite sad in the beginning because I wasn’t able to fully be a part of any community. I was mainly looking at the book blogger community and teen blogger community.

But now, I understand that it can be a really cool thing to be part of multiple groups and know very different kinds of people.

If you’re a blogger who doesn’t stick to one niche, I hope you enjoy the fact that you can be a part of multiple communities.

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You can grow out of your blogging niche

Specific niches like “teen” and “college” don’t last forever. They can be your entire niche during the time but you can grow out of them and feel out of place.

I was a teen blogger for three years and when I turned 20, I was sad that I have to leave the identity of being a “teen blogger” behind. That label helped me make many friends and form connections online. I was not ready to let go, even though I realized that I won’t relate to that content much longer.

As I didn’t stick to a niche, the only label I could use was that because it did not matter whether you spoke about books, life, or wrote poetry. The fact that you’re a teen is enough. That’s why I clung to the label that hard.

It honestly never occurred to me that I’d have to form a completely new identity after turning 20 until it a few weeks before my birthday. I took a while to introspect and become sure of what I wanted to call myself. But it really caught me off-guard.

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The other scenario is growing out of your niche creatively. You might simply be interested in another niche more and might not feel inspired by your current one.

If that does happen, don’t stick to your niche because you will be happier blogging about what inspires and motivates you.

This happened to me with creative writing. I used to write so much poetry and also short stories on this blog. If you go far enough in my archives, you’ll find that content. I recently went back to look at some poetry, just to see what I used to write about, and it feels like an entirely different person wrote all that. I do not relate to that content anymore.

You can grow out of your blogging niche whether you’re ready for it or not. The best way to handle it is to dive headfirst into change.

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You can’t follow all blogging advice

It was only after blogging for two years that I found out bloggers are concerned with SEO. I took it in stride and dove into researching about SEO through Google and Pinterest. One link led to 5 other links which lead to 10 other topics. Within an hour I was overwhelmed.

There are TONS of blogging advice posts out there (including mine haha). There are posts that give tips for every single part of your blog. From advice about what niche to blog in, what generates the most revenue, formatting posts, to how you should inject more personality into your posts.

There is a surplus of blogging advice posts, especially on Pinterest. Once you start seeing them, you will never stop. There are way too many and it is easy to become overwhelmed. The posts will have you thinking that you HAVE to do all of those two thousand things to be a good blogger.

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It is simply not possible to follow all blogging advice.

And this might be an unpopular opinion but you SHOULDN’T unless blogging pays you. If it is not your job, don’t put effort into following every single tips post out there. Follow what you can do and have the time for.

In the end, content matters the most. If you start treating blogging like a job when it’s not, you can easily burn out. Don’t do that to yourself.

I’m saying this because I tried and it is unnecessary. If you’re blogging for fun, don’t make it into a job!

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Everyone’s pace is different

Some bloggers post every single day and others blog once a month. Popular advice posts say that you should blog at least twice a week and have over 1k words in each post along with 3 different types of graphics.

That does not mean you can do that. Blog according to what you can and want to do.

Blogging more often can also reduce the content and quality of individual posts. Quantity never matters more than quality. Especially because if the posts aren’t how you want them to be, you will become disappointed and discouraged. That is never good.

One great post is worth more than 4 mediocre posts that you’re not happy with.

That said, I definitely suggest playing with different paces and routines until you find what works for you. It took me 4 years to find a routine that works for me and I have been on the exact same schedule for the past 8 months. And it works for me!

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Good posts take time to write

I’ve been writing this post for almost two hours now and I haven’t even started on formatting or graphics yet. It’s literally the rough draft that I’m typing with reference to the notes that I made. But I know (well, hope so) that it will be worth it in the end.

Content that makes you really happy to publish and share take time. Don’t rush through writing or any other part because you need to get a post out there. Delay your schedule if you need to.

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I took a long time to become okay with messing up my schedule to write posts that I’m passionate about. But the best part is publishing them and seeing it receive all the love. In fact, most of my popular posts are ones that took me a long time to write and polish. I spend extra time because I want these posts to be just right.

Let yourself take more time for posts, if required. Don’t be impatient.

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Consistent blogging is an ongoing struggle

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, you will never be perfectly in-sync with the schedule that you’d like to maintain.

I mentioned that I’ve been on the same routine for 8 months but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t take breaks in the middle or switched things up when needed. It’s hard to maintain a schedule for months together without having spells in the middle where you just don’t have the energy or motivation to blog.

And “consistent” is different for everyone. Don’t compare your pace with that of other bloggers.

Related: I have a couple posts on consistent blogging (Part 1 and Part 2) which you can check out. I suggest Part 2 more because it’s the small things that really help.

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Don’t be afraid to change

Especially if you’re not inspired or motivated with what you’re doing currently.

I took a few advice posts to heart and tried to keep a specific theme for VERY LONG even though I wasn’t happy with it for a long time. I was afraid to change the blog’s look and have it be unfamiliar to my readers. I was also unsure of changing my blog’s logo which was the same for almost three years.

But recently, I simply did NOT like them anymore and impulsively made changes before I could talk myself out of it. And they were good changes. I’m way more inspired to blog because I like how my website looks. In fact, my new theme has inspired me to create new graphics which I really like and make more changes.

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Change is good because it can take you out of a rut.

It might be unfamiliar and different than the brand you maintained but it can also be something much better.

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These were the biggest things that I struggled with during my blogging journey so far. I hope reading these points helps you, especially if you’re a new blogger.

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What have you learnt from blogging so far? Do you relate to any of the points that I mentioned?

70 thoughts on “10 Things I Learnt from ~5 Years of Blogging”

  1. This is such a helpful and motivating post! I didn’t just relate to some of these, but pretty much all of them! 😁 (Especially on how long it can take to write a good post – two hours for a rough draft is already pretty impressive πŸ˜‰)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a newer blogger this was really interesting. I can really relate to the blogging advice point! I’ve been given so much different contrasting advice since starting my blog

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post. So much great insight for new bloggers and reminders for those who have been blogging for a bit. So glad you are here blogging with us!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think you cover so many important points, like how multi talented bloggers have to be or how content should be more important than followers. I’ve only been blogging for a year and there’re still so many things I need to learn, so I really appreciate honest posts like these! x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your points on blogging advice posts. I definitely have been reading lots of that kind of post when I started (well I still do now πŸ˜…). It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by the advice and felt like we have to follow all of them so when you said that we don’t have to follow all of the advices in the posts I feel kinda enlightened?? (Does that make sense?) Thank you for the reminder!!

    And also about the schedule!! I only post like once a week now (I used to have a personal blog and some bloggers I followed posted every day so I felt like maybe I should also post regularly which led to burnt out). And like you said, there will be times when you don’t have motivation to write and blogging so to know that you also have times when you don’t follow your posting schedule is reassuring in a way.

    All in all, this is a great post!! I agree with the points you made in this post. And sorry if my comment is all over the place πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! We have to nitpick and figure out what advice to follow according to our vision with our blogs. Otherwise there is way too much to do haha. I’m glad I reminded you about it!

      Yes! We need to follow our own pace instead of taking cues from others 😊

      thank you! I’m glad you like the post. No worries about your comment haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. all of these are so important! i tried posting everyday for a few weeks to have a lot of posts for people to read since i am a new blogger, and it didn’t really work out because i felt overwhelmed. on top of that, i had twitter which distracted me from my first passion: bookstagram. i deleted twitter and now am re-starting my blog for the second and last time because i feel that i know more about what i want to do. i want to have a lot of posts for people to binge read when i go back to school, but that’s not going to happen since bookstagram is really the place where i’ve built who i am.

    however, i do want to make blogging as much of a passion as bookstagram. your advice is super helpful, and i think that the one about “not following all blogging advice” is 100% true. i am going to try to post a certain amount per week instead of having a rigid schedule because i’ve found that it doesn’t work for me. thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If bookstagram is what gets you going, good for you! I’m glad you realized that and are focusing on what you’re interested in. I totally understand about book twitter taking over. It’s been years and I still don’t know how to balance all three πŸ˜…

      I hope all that you’ve planned works out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blogging does take time but what I love the most about it is that it has no algorithm. You’re free to experiment and try new things. Even if you take a month-long break, it’ll still be here.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I can agree with that. My blogs tend to fit into multiple subjects, though it started out as only a drawing and writing blog then expanded out. So I agree about not feeling like you can fit into a single community.

    I also interestingly had the experience of accidentally linking my blog to a blogging community (by doing several shout outs on different websites) that didn’t exactly match the content I was making or would be happy about certain parts of the content I was making. I don’t know how else to explain it, but it happened, it got me viewers and followers which was good, but then some people seemed mildly offended by certain parts of my content. Which wasn’t exactly good.

    Also I agree about the long lasting blogger friend thing, there were times when I tried to be friends with certain bloggers and realized that the only place I could really talk to them would be on forums (like NaNoWrimo) or through private chat on some other site. So that was difficult.

    Anyway, it was neat reading your post and I relate strongly to certain parts of it! πŸ™‚
    -Quinley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s kind of a double-edged sword, isn’t it? We enjoy blogging about multiple things but don’t completely fit in anywhere. To fit in and have a tribe, we have to cut down to one niche. It’s a struggle.

      Oh that’s unfortunate. I’m glad you got followers at least!

      Yep, exactly! Forming friendships with bloggers can be tricky.

      I’m glad you liked the post 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. WOW thank you so so much for this post! I’ve started blogging 2 years ago but for 2 years I just wrote 9 posts (because law school sucks and that I don’t know what time management means). I’ve started posting again this year as much as I can (once a week at least) but I can’t tell you how many times I just thought about deleting my blog and starting again because I was WAY too focused on numbers. It’s good to know that I am not

    I agree with you: all the bloggers I have interacted with are so kind and welcoming and I am so happy to be part of this community. But it is soo hard to make friends, or at least for me, because I am TERRIFIED to talk to people (and somehow I always end up saying dumb things πŸ™ˆ). I am trying to work on that though.

    Also YES, I try to prioritize

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it!! And you’re definitely not alone. If you want to start over, that’s completely alright. Do what makes you happy.

      I GET THAT. But it helps to keep trying, you might just find others like you and form a tribe.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this list. β™₯ I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years and I agree with basically all of these, they feel so spot on!! I especially love that you mentioned that it’s okay to grow out of your niche, because I’ve realized lately that I think I’ve grown out of my original niche, and that’s been a bit scary for me! I started out as primarily a YA fantasy & YA contemporary blogger, and now, those are 2 genres I don’t reach for much anymore, and it makes me a little sad. I think I needed that reminder that it’s okay for our tastes and niches to change. β™₯β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like it! I think while all ages can enjoy YA, you can grow out of that niche in that you can’t read it all the time. That happened to me with YA recently and I’ve realized while I still like the genre, I can’t read it all the time. It’s one of 5 books for me right now. It is definitely okay to grow out of a niche because you can also expand and find new categories that you might be interested in now.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. All of these things are so true and so eye opening
    I love how welcoming this community is too, initially I remember I was terrified to approach bigger bloggers but over the years I’ve had conversations and interactions with so many of them!
    I really wish WordPress has a chat option so that I could connect better the other bloggers, I love SM for the same reason I can share my content whilst forming connections with others.

    The point on accepting the flaws in your content really hit home, thanks for sharing that

    Have a great day and happy reading πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohh okay. I agree with your point on social media where you can share content and chat but I like the longform content that blogs provide over short content on social media.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hey Sumedha, wow! Five years is a long time, and I am not sure if I would have the patience and the drive to keep going. I branded myself as an undergrad blogger, but for now, I write predominantly about whatever it is that I am learning about blogging.

    I agree with you 100% on making blogger friends through social media. I speak to a couple of bloggers on and off through twitter and slack. They’re amazing!

    I loved this blog post, and I can’t wait to read more of your work now. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! Undergrad blogger is great but as I said, that’s something you’ll grow out of. If you’re going to blog for 5 years or so (I can clearly see it with your content tbh) your brand won’t remain the same. Don’t make the same mistake as me because I had to rebrand two months in and change my blog’s name, URL and lost my SEO ranking.

      Like

  12. I LOVED this post so much!! It’s always so interesting to learn what others have learnt and to share your experiences xoxo

    This is so random but kinda related to your email story. Back when Gmail was becoming big, I started chatting to my friends like that and remembered it being so cool. And then in the early YA days, I remember it being SO romantic to have email convos and ever since I’ve wanted to do more emails lmao. Now its more business but still. Idk if that’s silly haha

    Love the tip about the following advice because I’ve recently been looking at more to perhaps grow more and it’s so daunting and confusing and some of it I have tried in the past and it doesn’t really work. And also about growing out of niche. I turned 18 last year and am soon to be 19 and have also realised I don’t primarily only read YA anymore, so have just been going with the flow haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Glad you loved the post!

      It’s not silly at all! I actually miss email days. It’s not an instant form of communication but it had it’s charm, you know?

      Yes, don’t follow all the advice! I got way overwhelmed haha. Choose what works best for you πŸ™‚

      Yeah that can happen. Going with the flow is good. I’m sure you’ll find out what you like best now.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is so awesome! I agree with everything written here. I’ve found some lovely people here and you know, I talk to a few of them through mail even now πŸ˜›
    I’ve got some of the best tips from you and I can’t ever forget that. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this post! I so agree about what you said on bloggers and statistics. I feel like it’s easier for me to reach out and create connections through blogs, even if social media is thriving, because… the numbers aren’t right there in your face and therefore it doesn’t feel as intimidating, either and… I appreciate that so much. ❀️
    I have to agree as well about the becoming-friends-with-social-media point. I’ve made some incredible friendships, that have certainly tightened a whole lot thanks to social media, but I have to say that it’s been mostly through dms and a little more through a private twitter account, since… well, i’m too shy on main to tweet things out too much haha, but that’s a personal issue πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    And yes yes yes! We shouldn’t be afraid to change and grow, explore other niches if we feel comfortable doing so and, in the end, really focus on what makes us happy.
    I loved this post!!❀️

    Liked by 1 person

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