Eight things I learned about blogging in 2015

Is it too late in the year to still be posting about things I learned in 2015? I hope not. I have only recently had a chance to catch my breath and realise that it actually is honest-to-goodness new year. Not “woot woot baby new year – let’s do this thing” but “school has started, the business year has started, it’s gotten real and I actually do have to do this thing” new year.

8 things I learned about blogging in 2015

The part of the year where it’s time to put plans into action. The GSD* part. A time to consider what worked, what didn’t and what I might like to change. If you aren’t a blogger or business owner, this post may not be of much interest, but you might like Little things to make life easier

*GSD – get sh*t done (just not normally a sweary kind of girl – but I don’t mind if you do)

I give you what I learned about blogging in 2015 …

  1. There are approximately three gazillion blogs out there. The only thing that differentiates mine, is me. Perhaps it’s not much — but it’s all I have. So, I’ll stay true to what I like to write. It is hugely varied and so far from any kind of niche it’s not funny.
  2. I am okay with not having a niche. I am not very fond of being placed in a box in any case. Being niche-less doesn’t amount to aimless. It just means I have a wide variety of interests. Like pretty much everyone else I know. Niches and riches only rhymes in America anyways.
  3. I have a blog. That’s it. The internet does not owe me readership by virtue of its existence. Brands don’t owe me advertising. I am not waiting by the post for gifts. I can work towards each of those things. But it is a different and seperate layer of work to writing posts. One I find a little daunting but am very grateful for when it comes my way. But it doesn’t come with writing alone – there is a building business aspect that needs to be attended to.
  4. There is value in tending to the older words. Over the past year and a bit I have built up quite a lot of content. I tend to throw it away and not return to it. I’m always on the look out for the next shiny object — the next idea. Then I might read an old post and realise that it still has value and that I could update it or promote it. I am going to work harder on actually doing that this year.
  5. 90% done produces 0 results. Finish things. Oh, the things I have on the shelf! So nearly complete. Then something happens and I just don’t finalise. I am not sure if it’s because I fear sending my work out into the world or some shiny new object has caught my eye or a combination of both. But the work is so nearly done. This year is the year I finish things.
  6. I don’t want anyone to read out of obligation. The blogging community is a lovely and supportive one. People comment, share the love, create communities and build friendships. I adore that. But I would hate, hate for anyone to ever come and read this small part of the internet out of a sense of obligation to that community. I want my words to find an audience they truly resonate with. I don’t want it to feel like blog homework.
  7. Don’t compare and don’t assume. You might know the feeling. You are a bit down about your own journey and all you seem to see around you is success, success, success. And you just want a tiny little bite of that, but it seems jealously guarded and no-one is prepared to share their slice. It’s an illusion. A complete illusion. There is no limited pool of success. There is no jealously guarded secret. Let the comparisons go. Celebrate in other people’s successes – revel in the fact it means that there is plenty of opportunity to go around. Be open. Be supportive. Help others where you can. If you really want something, maybe ask for it. Find your thing and do it.
  8. I can take a break and the world won’t end. Over the Christmas break I found small spaces of time to write and schedule posts. I spent very little time interacting with other blogs. I tended to write in bulk and then leave things for a week or two. I felt terrible about it. But you know what? The world didn’t end. I don’t think anyone hated me for it (actually, I doubt anyone even noticed). And my head felt better for the space. This blog is not the start and end of my world. Sometimes it’s good to remember that.

Arrow 2

Do you have any bloggy resolutions for 2016?
Stuff you learned in 2015?

Linking up with Essentially Jess and IBOT

56 thoughts on “Eight things I learned about blogging in 2015

  1. Jasmine @ Pretty Chuffed says:

    Love this list Robyna. So true, all of it! There’s a few things I want to try to do to, and one of them is re-looking at old posts – some of them were good and they just need a quick update and they’re useful again!

  2. Amy @ HandbagMafia says:

    Hey, I have no niche either and it has not killed me. Also take breaks and again, no deaths as a result. I do reshape old stuff and it’s been a good idea now that I have a bigger audience. Great list!

  3. Collette says:

    I’ve spent a bit of time pondering the niche (actually, worrying would be a better word), but like you say you have to be ‘you’ – it comes through in your work if you are speaking from a place of truth, and if that place doesn’t have a niche – so be it. That’s my take on it. It’s more important to write about the things that resonate with you, rather than trying to be something that you’re not.

    And, I love the variety on your blog. Thanks for sharing. x
    Collette recently posted…Identity and A Sense of PlaceMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      I find the whole niche and monetising thing interesting. I do think it’s easier for advertisers to understand a niched blog but a non-niche blog has the potential to reach a larger audience. Not my non-niched blog (clearly), but someone like Mrs Woog. And if you are using your blog to showcase your writing (as I think you do) then you really want to write about stuff you really care about (which might extend beyond a niche).

    • Robyna says:

      Firstly, hope everything is okay lovely lady. Secondly, I love everything you write so I may have already delved into those archives – hope there is some more hiding somewhere 🙂

    • Robyna says:

      It’s too easy to burn out isn’t it? And I do think it’s a quiet period for a lot of people – like the bloggers union got together and said “December – OFF people!”

  4. Lisa says:

    Yes agree with all these points Robyna. I let go of the monetising blogging notion about a year and a half into my blogging career.(If you want to call it that) I realised the energy, time and internet required was chewing into my family & real life time. Now just blog for my own writing pleasure & connecting with others.

    • Robyna says:

      It’s quite a large commitment separate to writing. I think a lot of people start blogging and think those opportunities just fall into laps, but after a while you realise just how hard the bloggers who are making money from their blogs are working.

  5. Kathy says:

    All the points make a lot of sense Robyna. I also experienced a bit of a blog hiatus – actually it started in a busy November and never really recovered over the school holidays! Nobody misses you and we were probably all less active overall. I think it is always a balance between connecting with other bloggers and finding ‘real’ readers.
    Kathy recently posted…The Aaaaaaaaahhh principleMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      Everyone needs to refresh and renew. I think extending readership beyond other bloggers is something we are all keen on doing. However, I think you lean on other bloggers to achieve that reach. Not quite there yet, but slowly, slowly!

  6. annette charlton says:

    Thanks for your post. I think the balance between pure personal expression via a blog and the writing of a blog as a business is different for everyone. Does that make sense to you? I mean that each of us must do what we want with our own blog and feel good about our decision.

    • Robyna says:

      Yes, it makes perfect sense. I think it’s a distinction that’s difficult to understand until you have blogged for a little bit. But you are quite right – there are so many different reasons for blogging and monetisation is just a little slice of the kaleidoscope.

  7. Beth at AlmostPosh.com says:

    Great list. I like what you said about “blog homework”. Last year I felt I was reading a few out of obligation. Have stopped that now and keeping it to reading what I want to read – as you say there are so many, why waste precious blog reading time on ones I’m not enjoying when there is likely a very entertaining one waiting!! I did a blog learnings post last year: http://www.almostposh.com/2015/09/blogger-shout-outs.html
    Beth at AlmostPosh.com recently posted…Posh Picks: Clutches & Crossbody BagsMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      I was a bit hesitant about that one! Everyone wants to feel heard and feel like they are instigating discussion. Personally, I really want people to enjoy what they are reading.

  8. Melinda says:

    Ha “Blog homework”! I’ve definitely been involved in some of that. and like Beth have given it away. Not yours though- I’ve called it my thinking blog (for when I need to have a realistic grown up think about things ie whatever you’re writing about :)) Great list and good luck with getting them all done.

  9. Jennie says:

    Thank you for this. I’m very new to blogging and must admit that I’m finding it a challenge to stay on top of my posting schedule – which I thought would be quite easy at once a week! Big error of judgement! I do enjoy my blog though and hope I can devote more time to it once I get on top of my work to-do list.

  10. Clare says:

    Great tips and points (are tips and points the same?!). I also need to readdress older posts instead of writing them then ignoring them!
    I do like gifts in the post though! Not that I get any via blogging. Ha!

  11. Bernadette says:

    Great read.Thank you. I’ve only been blogging a short while but the learning curve is steep.
    I’ve given myself a sort of niche to put limits around my endless supply of great ideas that get half baked or left lying about somewhere. Been good discipline for me. I find with a bit of creativity I can talk about whatever I want despite the niche. So don’t be afraid of a boundary. Sometimes freedom is found within them.

  12. Dani @ sand has no home says:

    This resonates so strongly with me, all of it! Thank you for putting it all into words. By the way, no one would ever read your blog out of a sense of obligation, we read because you’re good and because your words reach us and touch us. Good luck in the really here new year x

    • Robyna says:

      Oh thank you – that means so much. I would say the same about your words – I always enjoy reading your posts (sorry that I don’t always comment).

  13. Jasmine says:

    I agree Robyna! How good was it to have a spell over Christmas though, I really enjoyed just hanging out & doing a little bit of IG. It also feels good to get back into it.
    ps did you get to see Elizabeth Gilbert, I’d love to hear about it if so. x

    • Robyna says:

      I have tix for later in the month! Can’t wait! May even do a post on it 🙂 Looking forward to catching up with some other bloggers there.

  14. Jenni from Styling Curvy says:

    I’m new to your space on the internet but I like it and I love this post. In a few months I’ll have been blogging for 18 months, it’s been ‘full on’ with sooo much to learn but also very rewarding. My mister reminds me I don’t blog for bloggers and this reminds me to keep true to my ‘why’, keep my own voice and not feel obligated to do ‘bloggy homework by reading hundreds of other blogs every week. Personally my blog is only one part of my online community, a small part but it still needs nurturing. Monetising doesn’t just happen (like some think), you need to think with a business head and your community heart all while being flexible and often while winging it ? You’re doing great x

  15. Robyn says:

    Gosh I love this post Robyna and just FYI, I never feel like your bit of the internet is blog homework, but I do understand what you meant. A lot of this really rung true for me, so I have to admit I found it a really comforting read. Love a fellow non-niche blogger :))

  16. Sonia Life Love Hiccups says:

    My neck is actually sore from my nodding. So many aha moments in this post Robyna and I too have come to realise that the world wont end if I dont post for a day or even a week. Heck the world wont even flinch. An awesome post for new bloggers and veterans to read. I hope you dont mind if I share it next week xx
    Sonia Life Love Hiccups recently posted…Keeping Time in StyleMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      Oh I would be so honoured if you did Sonia – thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to accept it but our blogs probably mean about a thousand times more to us than they do to anyone else.

  17. Michelle says:

    Oh hi! Why wasn’t this post in my reader? Or that post? Or that other post? I JUST figured out that I should’ve added Google+ to my publicise thingy ages ago, so that’s one extra thing I’ve learned about blogging today. Better late than never! And as a bonus have also found a bunch of your posts here that somehow went astray. Woohoo!
    I love this list – I agree with all of them and thus makes me feel like I might actually know the important stuff about this blogging dealio, even though my cluelessness with the technical / practical side of things gets a bit frustrating sometimes. But as you say, as long as I stay true to me, write what I want, and enjoy it, well, it’s totally worth it 🙂

  18. bel says:

    I took a break from blogging last year at Life at No2 and because I missed writing so much, I relaunched under a new banner at the start of this year. With that though, I tried to find a niche, it only took a month or so for me to slap myself in the face and say “who the hell am I kidding!”. So now, I’ve got a shiny new blog but I’ll be going back to being me! Thanks for the reminders x

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