My Blogging Journey And Why I Decided To Share It
I would recommend reading part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 of my blogging journey before reading this one because you may feel a bit lost without reading those. However, they are quite long so I would totally understand if you want to skip reading the others and just read this one. Just a heads up- this post is slightly longer compared to my usual posts because I try to give a lot more details on my blogging journey and I just have quite a bit to say because I have to condense everything that happened in an entire year into one blog post. Also please excuse any typos or errors this post may have- my fingers are much better but still not fully healed and it is difficult to type.
For everyone that has been leaving likes and comments on my other blogging journey posts I want to say thank you so much. You guys have been so supportive of my journey and everything I’ve been through and I just want you guys to know that your comments really mean the world to. It’s also nice to know that a lot of you can relate to what I have been through and that I am not alone in feeling the way I do/did. You guys are awesome!
You guys may remember but a while back I took a survey and asked you guys what you wanted to read on lifesfinewhine and what I should blog about and I got so many amazing responses. Some people suggested that I should write about my blogging journey over the last six years. I thought this was a really great idea and a while back I did a sort of mini throwback post where I used a site to help me see what my blog looked like back in the day and how it’s changed over the years. I got a lot of great comments on that and again I got some people asking to elaborate about my blogging journey and talk about the changes I’ve made, how I’ve made them and what inspired me to blog and to continue blogging, etc.
I’ve decided to write six posts on my blogging journey. Since I began blogging almost exactly six years ago (it will officially be six years in about a month) I thought I would write one post a week talking about my blogging journey during each year as well as what was going on with my life and how it effected my blog. I will also be talking about the technical things like the updates I made, what plan I use, how I customize my plan, the SEO work I got done and more. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing it with you guys and I hope it helps newer bloggers on WordPress as well. I would also like to give all my readers a heads up because my blogging journey posts tend to be a little longer than my regular posts so if you don’t like longer posts this may not be for you.
2019- Growth, Growth, Growth!
I’ll give you guys a little recap of what happened just in case you haven’t read the other four parts of my blogging journey or are a new follower and haven’t got a chance to read more of my older posts yet. The main thing I had been struggling with over the last four years was finding a balance. Between living in a different country every few months, having to deal with university and school work and just being kind of exhausted a lot I did not have much time left for blogging. However, blogging was important to me and I did not want to give it up so I tried really hard to keep posting- I just had not been able to do so regularly. I also did not have a lot of time to do more research and learn how to use all my blogging features to my advantage yet.
In 2018, I had decided that one of my goals would be to get out of my funk and try to blog as regularly as I possibly can. I had decided that blogging would be a constant in my life and therefore I needed to put more of an effort into making sure I wasn’t just doing it but that I was doing it write. If you know me you probably know that when I am passionate about something I will do whatever it takes to succeed in it. By the end of 2018 I had finally figured out how to use the WordPress features properly such as the tags feature, the categories feature and more. Now that I was using the features well, being active both on my blog and others blogs I was gaining traffic and followers pretty fast.
In January of 2019 I reached 6000 WordPress followers which was a huge accomplishment for me considering I didn’t think I would get past 100 when I first started out. I was so excited by this and it felt like all my hard work was paying off. I had exams in December but I had still worked hard to post as much as I could and it felt so good to see the results of all that hard work. I also had a couple of weeks off for Christmas break so I was really able to focus on my blog in the beginning of January and really plan things out and decide how I was going to make everything work. I also decided on some changes I wanted to make to lifesfinewhine. I also set some goals that I shared with you guys- one of them being reaching 10k followers by the end of the year.
Firstly, I decided to post every single day except Sunday. I like to take some time off from blogging so that I don’t end up feeling jaded with blogging or I don’t end up getting burnt out. These breaks can really be essential and help a lot with writers block. Even now I don’t post full posts on Sundays- just inspirational quotes because it’s easier for me and I get to help you start the week off with some positivity. Anyway, back to the story- I decided to post every single day except Sunday and I also tried to make a sort of schedule of what day I would post what topic/niche.
Another change I wanted to make was that I wanted to write most posts about mental health and I also wanted to share more blogging advice posts. I wanted to share more mental health posts because by this time I had learnt a lot of tricks that helped me deal with my anxiety and I wanted to share these tips as they could potentially help others who may going through the same or similar problems. I also wanted to write about mental health because I realised how little awareness there was about mental health and I wanted to be part of the fight to normalise mental health problems. I genuinely believe that the more we spread awareness by talking openly about mental health and my normalising mental health problems the better it will get for people who suffer from mental health problems.
As for the blogging advice posts- I wanted to write these for two main reasons. After hitting 1000 followers a while back I was constantly getting emails, messages, DM’s and comments asking me how I got my followers and how they can get more followers/traffic. I thought if I wrote posts with blogging advice they could simply read those posts instea dof me replying to every single person individually. Plus, I could write in more detail- obviously I can’t text like a thousand word message about why tags are important.
Another reason was that as I did my research the year before I realised that it was quite difficult to get specific, simple and quick tips and tricks on how to get more followers and traffic. In fact, some of the stuff was rarely even talked about. People focused much more on the difficult technical stuff like SEO- which don’t get me wrong is super important- but the small stuff is important too and in my opinion much more doable for a lot of people who may not be tech savvy or may just be starting out blogging. Therefore, I wanted to write much more simple, easy to follow, quick fixes that could help people out.
In April, I had summer break and decided to stay in Toronto for a bit and do a little travelling. Due to this I could not post as much in April or be as active on other blogs so my stats/traffic did suffer a bit. I had been getting thousands of views every month at this point but I lost about a thousand views in April which just goes to show you how important being active on WordPress is. If you pick up on one piece of advice from this blog make sure it is that you should be as active as possible. The trip was so fun and definitely worth it- I needed the break after a long semester and a harsh winter. You can check out my Toronto posts by clicking here.
After my Toronto trip I headed home to Kenya for a few months for my summer vacation. It was so much fun to see my friends and family again and not having school meant that I would be able to spend some time focusing on my blog. By June, I had reached 9k followers and by August I had reached my goal for that year- 10k followers. I was growing pretty fast, I was getting thousands of views every month- things were definitely looking up for me and that’s why I finally decided to invest in myself which meant investing in this blog. I had promised myself that when I reached 10k I would update to a paid plan and change my blog from http://www.lifesfinewhine.wordpress.com to http://www.lifesfinewhine.com and I did just that. I upgraded to the Premium Plan because I thought that would be the bets plan for me at the time. I had gone from my blog looking like this:
To looking like this:
I was so excited to customise it and to finally have the blog of my dreams! Of course I let you guys know about the changes and as always you were all so supportive about it. I also wanted to share more information on why and how I upgraded in case anyone else was planning to do so.
I loved the Premium Plan so much but my one problem with it was that it didn’t have plugins. I saw that I could further upgrade to the Business Plan which would have plugins along with some more features I thought may be beneficial for me to have. However, this ended up being the biggest mistake of my blogging life. I liked the plugins part of the Business Plan but hated everything else. It made my follow button at the bottom right side of the page disappear which decreased the growth in my followers, it was way too expensive for what it offered and at the end of the day I felt that it did not offer me anything I couldn’t get through the Premium Plan and that plugins weren’t enough to keep me on the Business Plan.
You would think that would be the end of that but of course it was not. I had to downgrade my plan from Business to Premium and for some reason this made my posts that I had created while using the Business Plan split into two posts- one containing my likes and one containing my comments. Because they were duplicates some of the posts got automatically deleted or turned into a draft which I decided not to republish since I didn’t want duplicate posts on my site. It seriously hurt losing the likes and comments I had worked so hard for- especially the comments- and it didn’t help that the WP helpers were not very helpful. Either way I am grateful it did not turn out worse than losing some of my likes and comments- could you imagine if I lost followers or all my posts. I would have been devastated. To read the full story of what happened click here. Thinking of upgrading your WP Plan but don’t want to go through what I did? Read this.
I ended the year pretty well though. Yes, these few incidents were sad and stressful but overall I had had a good year as far as blogging goes. I had kept most of my goals which I talked about in my “How Many Goals… Did I Keep” post. I had increased my traffic and following as I had hoped to do and this led to me meeting and interacting with lots of amazing people which was really the highlight for me. I, unfortunately, could not blog every single day except Sunday but I did try very hard and blogged for almost every single day I was supposed to. 2019 turned out to be a really good year for me in the end.
If you want to read my posts from 2019 you can do so by clicking here.
Does you blogging journey have any similarities to mine? Have you faced any obstacles in your blogging journey? What are some of your blogging goals? Do you have a blogging schedule and does it help? Do you blog about a particular topic or multiple topics? What WP plan are you currently on? What is your blogging journey/story? Let me know in the comments below I would love to hear your thoughts and your story!
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