Behind the Scenes of Blogging

It’s been about three weeks since I revamped my blog and committed to blogging more seriously.  It has already been a fun adventure of meeting new people and learning new things. One of my favorite aspects of blogging has been shifting into a writer’s mindset. I notice details I glossed over previously, seeking inspiration in static goings-on, and looking for beauty everywhere. I know I only have a small handful of readers at this point, but I thank you for allowing me to share with you.

I am trying to do my best with this blog with the limited resources I have available. This has meant reading up on all things blogging related. It turns out there are many “tricks of the trade” bloggers use to drive traffic. I learned writing a list post and commenting on other blogs really does work, giving me record breaking page views. I updated my About page to give visiting readers an “elevator pitch” of my blog in hopes of return visits. I discovered how counter intuitive it is for me as a Chinese woman to self promote, and how time consuming it is to stay active in the blogosphere.

There are many voices out there, words of wisdom and slimy sales pitches, on how to be a blogger. I decided I need to have some sort of manifesto to ground me so I am not swayed to and fro by the latest trends. Here is what follows:

1) Chase Passion, not Mastery. I found this advice helpful, especially in my chronic self-deprecation. I know I’m not very good, but I can get better. I may not ever become the best and that’s okay. I am blogging not for mastery, but because I love to write. I want to explore topics I am passionate about even when other writers tell it better. I pitch in my voice because it matters to me.

2) Family First. This is my mantra for everything in life. For parents, it’s always a balancing act. A yes to something is a no to family. I want my children to know their mother has interests and passions outside of taking care of them (I am a real person, after all), but the internet can suck you in and consume all your time unless there is some priority filter managing a balance. Yes to family game night. No to drafting one more comment, one more post, one more stats check.

3) Beeeeeee Yourself, says bumblebee Genie to Aladdin. The one consistent advice people have given about blogging is to find your niche. Focus on a particular subject and find blogs similar to yours to garner community. It makes sense and in a way I have tried to do this. But in the end, I am not a niche. I am a whole person with a wide variety of interests. I am not just a mommy blogger or a faith blogger. I am just me.

4) Flesh and Blood. Blogging builds a virtual community. I have spent more time on the computer in the last three weeks than I ever have, my eyeballs are starting to involuntarily twitch from staring at the screen. I believe to have something worthwhile to write I need to be reading books, sharing physical space with people, and being still. This is a TOUGH one for me, I’ll admit. That’s why I’m including it in my manifesto to hold myself accountable.

5) Have Fun. This is fun. I am loving learning new skills, creating new content, experimenting new features. I have to do some not-so-fun stuff along with the package (self promotion, ugh), but I need to be reminded of my first love as the honeymoon period wanes.

Anything else I should add to the list (see what I did there, I made another list post. *wink, wink*)?


4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of Blogging

  1. Ha! I have never, ever heard of a “list post” before . . . should I get on that? Hmm. Anyhow, Cindy I love this manifesto. All of it. But especially no.3 . . . Patrick and I have talked before about whether or not I fit into the ‘mom blog’ or ‘adoption blog’ categories (and here I am now writing about repatriation!), and well, it’s just freeing to be Kim Smith writing about whatever I’m living (no.4, right?!) and what I see therein (that writing mindset at work, right?!) that inspires me. And it’s thrilling to know I can come to and know it’s niche-free too. Because really I’m here because of Cindy anyway. Love you. Love the way you think, write, and challenge me.

    • Too kind, Kim! I struggle with the “it’s-all-about-me” mindset of blogging – I mean, can that Cindy Brandt on top of my blog BE any bigger?! I want to write seriously, but the branding thing? Not so much.

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