Last week, I attended my first virtual meet-up with the wonderful folks at WiTNotts. 💖 I’ve been looking forward to going to the meet-up in person for the longest time, but because of our current global issue, my plans changed! It’s all good though because I ended up having such a blast talking about blogging and connecting with some great people even though it was just online.
Back in January (seems like such a long time ago now), I shared some of my goals for 2020. And although these goals are constantly changing for me, one I really wanted to see through the 12 months was to improve how I talk and share this blog.
If you’ve been here a while, blogging has been a fun hobby of mine since I was 8 years old! Back then, I loved sharing my blog to everyone I knew in person but this slowly changed as the years went on.
.@paulienuh tells her story of how she never gave up, destined for a career in #tech since the age of 10! #InspireWiT @inspireWIT #womenintech pic.twitter.com/AYjrmtmHtJ— Ashleigh Soppet (@Ash_Sopp) April 7, 2018
Nowadays, I actually have this crazy and probably irrational fear of people that I know reading my blog. 😂 It probably doesn’t seem like it with the amount I share online, but it’s a geniune trigger for me. 😅 I’ve found ways to cope with this (as I shared a bit about this in my talk!) but really wanted to make a statement this year that I’m not ashamed of what I create in this digital space. 💜
So, doing this talk about my blogging journey was nerve-wracking and even proposing it seemed silly at first, but I’m so glad that I did! I feel like by the end, I could added some value to people who are interested in writing their blog – even if it was the tiniest amount. ✨
🎙 Watch/listen to my talk
I uploaded my full recorded talk onto YouTube if you’re interested in listening in! You can also find my slides here.
Some questions from the live Q&A
How do you find the motivation to blog?
I think it’s important to “manage expectations” here, and be honest… I’m not motivated 24/7. It can seem that way because of my social media posts can certainly make it seem that I am! Social media is a weird one, but I won’t dweleve into that here.
It’s also important to state that you don’t have to constantly be creating. This hustle culture creates this added pressure that in my opinion takes the fun in the fun things (like blogging!) So please, don’t worry if you can’t blog every day, every week or every month. Blog whenever it feels natural. I find that when I am in this natural flow and “in the mood” to blog, I write some of my best stuff.
Some days I’m motivated, some days I’m not and that’s OK!
As I said in my talk, I enjoy blogging because it is my space to process my thoughts and I find it quite therauputic to sit down every week to write something. This personally works for me! The pressure from “hustle or creator culture” doesn’t really do well with me, so I just go with the flow.
Whenever I am on a bit of a slump however, I like to remind myself of my blogging values. I like to always anchor myself with these values and ask the very important question, “why did I start this blog in the first place?” This usually inspires me to sit down and write. 😊
How can you increase comments on your blog?
I loved this question. It took me back to “the good ol’ days of old school blogging” 😂
Back in the day, the comments section used to be used a lot more than it is now. I spoke to my blogging friend, Georgie about this recently. In the community, we used to leave thoughtful comments after reading a post and it would just go back and forth in this positive cycle.
Not everyone has the time to do that now, and with the rise of social media, it is often easier to just tweet about your thoughts on a blog post rather than leaving a comment.
I’m not saying comments are dead, I still get comments today! But I definitley get more “engagement” about my posts on social media, which is still great.
In terms of increasing comments and I guess overall engagement, I highlighted how important it is to show off your work and be proud of it. It’s so important to improve visibility of what you’ve created. 🙌🏻 I wrote a blog post about improving overall “online presence” which links quite nicely to this question.
Really lovely to hear how much of an inspiration @paulienuh's blog has had on building communities and inspiring folks to do things #WiTNotts (https://t.co/fmaNg7A0ss)— Jamie Tanna | www.jvt.me (@JamieTanna) April 2, 2020
Being wary of what you’re sharing – what are your thoughts?
I’ve written my fair share of “controversial” posts in the past. They weren’t really controversial to be honest, they were more about my more negative experiences that I felt needed to be raised and highlighted (e.g. that time I was treated like sh*t at an appointment.) I tend to write more positive posts on my blog, so I guess that sometimes when I drop a ranty post, it can cause a bit of a stir.
My main rule of thumb: don’t write anything that would upset anyone, attack anyone or a post you wouldn’t want your colleagues or boss to see. It’s important to be authentic and transparent in today’s world (where fake news is on a rise), but it’s equally important to make sure that you use your space in a positive way – refer back to your blogging values!!
I like to describe my blog as an online diary, but there is still a filter that my thoughts go through before I click publish.
All in all: just be mindful 💜
Some advice to anyone wanting to start a blog
(or what I would’ve told my younger self when I started blogging)
We can all get so caught up in what “successful” people in this space do, and tend to try and emulate them as much as we can. I know that when I first started blogging, I had done the same because I thought that there was only one way to do it i.e. “the right way”.
An example I can think of is when I came back from a break from blogging, it seemed like everyone was suddenly writing about fashion, make-up with beautifully edited photos on their posts (literally felt like a full-blown magazine at one point.) Because I was so into what all the successful bloggers were doing, I ended up trying to be like them. If you go back my posts, you can probably find the ones that stick out because they just aren’t me (instead, are a reflection of someone else!)
Getting so much inspiration for my blog and a great reminder to shout about what I'm doing and stop being too shy to share it!! #WiTNotts https://t.co/T9JQFwafPr— Elle Townsend✨ (@_elletownsend) April 2, 2020
I later learned that sharing what I like to share (instead of trying to follow what other people were blogging about) not only made me happier but actually led me to where I wanted to be – professionally and personally.
Over the years, I feel like I’ve managed to really make my mark in a unquie way because I stayed true to myself. I’m not a fashion blogger, I don’t think I will ever be. Personal blogging though? Yep, that’s forever. 💜
- Timeless Thoughts: Wooden Roses – the blog post I talked about as an example of posts I like to write. It was an experience talking about it outloud, I must say 😂
- How to start a blog – a suplimentary post on how you can get started with your own blog. So meta.
- Some of my blogging friends that were pictured on my slides: Holly, Amy, Georgie and Claudia. Some more wonderful friends I made from blogging can be found here.
- My story of getting into blogging (written and summarised)
Thanks again to the wonderful team at WiTNotts for inviting me! 😊 If you have any questions related to blogging, shoot me a message – I’m always more than happy to help. 💜
Happy blogging, friends!
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