A Year of Blogging and Procrastinating

Some of my favourite posts to read by other bloggers were those about their first year of blogging. Reading about other people’s wins always gave me a wee serotonin boost as well as giving me some much needed inspiration for what my own blog could potentially accomplish. I read those posts and thought to myself “this could be me in a years time”. However, there was one key fact I wasn’t keeping in mind back then and that’s my astounding procrastination abilities.

I’ll be candid with you all here and admit that many of the blogging tools I was confused about in January 2021 I’m still just as confused about in January 2022. Have I checked for any broken links? No. Have I taken time to learn what in the hell SEO is? Fuck no. Have I set up an email so people can subscribe to a newsletter? Nope. Have I researched how to effectively use social media as a blogging tool? No. Have I even actually been consistent with posting? You guessed it, the answer is a big fat NO.

At this point you’re probably thinking that my first year of blogging was a disastrous failure, but you’d be wrong. It wasn’t exactly a roaring success but considering that I’m only a hobby blogger I’d say year one actually went pretty well. For starters, I actually managed to set up my own blog which was a challenge in itself (who knew buying a domain would be so complicated?) the first blog theme was pretty ugly and disorganised but it did the job. I still remember the wee bubble of pride I felt the first time I saw my blog page up and running.

Naming the blog took me an embarrassingly long time, I’m not exactly known for my decisiveness, I think I spent a good two weeks just trying to choose the name. It maybe doesn’t seem that important but your blog name is essentially the essence of the brand. I needed something that would let people know what the blog was about, but also something memorable. I had no idea what I wanted my niche to be (still don’t to be honest), I just knew I wanted to document my experience of coming out in my mid twenties. And so the blog name “Baby Gay Days” was born. The blog name will probably change as my journey continues but for now it fits quite well.

My first ever post was simply titled “About the Blog” (real punchy and original, huh?) I typed it out in about half an hour, did a quick skim for errors and hit publish. It was so chaotic and unorganised, and I should probably go back and tidy it up a bit, but we all know my powers of procrastination probably mean that come 2023 it’ll still be on my to do list. Once it was published I had no idea what to do with it. I hadn’t a clue how I was meant to get anyone to actually view the blog post. I had just set up my twitter account and didn’t have a lot of reach on it yet, and as such only got one measly view from posting about the blog on twitter. But as I started following and commenting on more blogs I noticed that in return I received more follows and views.

As I approached the second month of blogging I discovered the wonder that is twitter comment threads. My engagement soared when I started using them, not only did they allow me to gain engagement but they provided me with a space to meet other bloggers. I was soon deep in writing and blogging twitter, and was swimming in a sea of posts about how to be a blogger. I read a million different posts that all gave various hints and tips on how to improve your blogging game, and honestly not many of them really helped. I’m not saying the posts weren’t good, they were, but every time I read another post I found myself getting different advice, this lead to an endless list of tasks that I would ultimately never do. My advice to those starting out is find one or two bloggers who really know their stuff and follow their advice. You can always research other ways to improve once you’re a bit further into your journey.

In the early days I stuck strictly to twitter for blog promotion, I hadn’t come out to anyone except my closest friends and I was worried people from real life would find the blog. After a while my comfort with my new found sexuality grew and I realised that most people in my life would be accepting, and so I decided to use the blog as a way of coming out. I still remember how much my wee heart was racing when I posted about the blog on my personal instagram account, but I’m happy to report that the nerves weren’t needed. Most of my instagram were people I had met through pole dancing and I could not have asked for a more supportive group, my dm’s were inundated with messages of love and support, as well as some congratulations on my writing style. Posting on my own instagram massively helped me grow the blog, a lot of people then followed the blog instagram and started regularly viewing the posts. I can absolutely guarantee some people from real life were looking out of sheer nosiness, and a few just to be judgemental and gossip but honestly who cares, all I have to say is cheers for the views peeps.

Fairly early on in my blogging journey it became apparent that I wasn’t that focused on blogging, as much as I was on just writing. I had no time or patience for the technical side of blogging, I found the promotion of posts dull and unfulfilling. But the actual writing process I loved. I could sit for hours getting lost in my laptop just tip tapping away on the keyboard, I found writing easy, the words flowed naturally and the ideas came flooding in. It was at this point I started looking into writing competitions and litmag submissions. I never expected anything to come of them, my writing, while good enough for a wee personal blog, wasn’t quite up to professional standards; but then I got a submission acceptance. Someone actually wanted to publish a piece of my work on their site, I was overjoyed.

The blog was getting off to a cracking start, I was posting at least twice a month and keeping up with all my fellow bloggers, I was sending off as many submissions to various comps etc as I could manage, and then I got dumped. Should I have let something as trivial as my first lesbian heartbreak derail my blogging journey? Probably not, but we all know by now how badly I took it, and let’s be serious, healthy coping mechanisms have never been my thing. I switched out blogging for getting wasted and serial dating, and sure I was getting plenty content from all the dates I was going on, but I just couldn’t find the motivation to actually sit and write them down. On the plus side I now have heaps of stories to back date and write up (silver linings and all that crap).

Despite my lack of continuity I still managed to keep pretty good view stats, and it’s mainly thanks to a tweet that blew up. The tweet going semi viral was both a blessing and a curse, a blessing because it drove massive numbers to the blog, and a curse because sadly those numbers included people from real life who I didn’t want finding the blog (like exes, and nosey family members). My blogging suffered after this, I was too aware of who was reading my blog, and felt like I could no longer write, or even tweet, as freely as I had done before. I struggled to put my real feelings down on paper, the posts I was writing and rewriting just never felt authentic and eventually I just stopped posting for a while.

I’m not sure exactly when I decided to stop focussing on other people’s opinions of me, but eventually I got my blog mojo back and started drafting up some new posts. At the end of the year an online publication reached out to me and offered me some regular freelance work, I was thrilled. I had never been paid for my writing before, it felt like one of those moments where I realised that maybe just maybe I could be a real writer. The freelance work hasn’t went as smoothly as hoped (but hey that’s freelance for you) and I’m currently waiting to find out what will be happening going forward, but I’m hopeful that it will all come to fruition soon enough.

I wouldn’t say it’s been your typical blogging journey and as far as advice goes I definitely don’t have anything solid for the newbie bloggers. All I would say is just to enjoy the process; blogging is confusing and time consuming but at the end of the day you get out of it what you put into it, so just relax and see what happens, the blogging community will be there for the journey always cheering you on and supporting you.

51 thoughts on “A Year of Blogging and Procrastinating

Add yours

  1. I like to fail forward. For me, even though my pursuits into new things involve stumbling around, I still find them to be valuable learning experiences. And that’s what matters in the end, right? The constant growth? Anyway, wishing you all the best with your blogging journey!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Happy Blogaversary!
    I’d say that having people at least interested in paying you to write after such a short time counts as a massive success, and from what I’ve seen it’s fully justified. Your style is open, honest, and flows really well.
    Wishing you more successful years to come. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The good news is you don’t really have to learn about SEO, you can install a SEO plugin and that’ll do most the work for you.

    Congratulations on getting some freelance work. How did the company find you in order to offer you the opportunity?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok this makes me feel much better as anytime I researched it I got instantly confused haha.

      Thank you so much, they actually found me via Twitter and reached out to me there!

      Like

  4. Thanks for sharing you review of your year of blogging. Sounds like it was a good year despite procrastinating which we are all guilty of anyway!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy anniversary! It sounds like you’ve went on quite the journey, but I’m really glad to see that you stopped caring as much about what others think and managed to get back into writing. Congrats on the freelance work, too! Thanks for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy blogiversary! I love that you are giving back to the community by writing the type of post you love to read. Your blogging journey sounds as interesting and chaotic as any good journey, but I love that you keep writing as that is the important thing.
    May the words flow!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “blogging is confusing and time consuming but at the end of the day you get out of it what you put into it”

    Totally agree with it. I have been on and off with blogging because of my schedule but this time, I feel that I am more consistent and disciplined!

    Like

  8. I am a hobby blogger as well, March will be two years for me. I sometimes go back to read my first blog post, ‘Welcome to My Blog’ and I internally cringe lol. But seeing the growth from that very first blog post to now is truly amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Your blog looks amazing. Congrats on getting freelance work. I can’t wait to read more of your blog post. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Happy blog anniversary! So glad to have started reading your blog and congratulations on your freelance opportunity! That was a great first year, hope even more opportunities will come this year x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so honest and refreshing and definitely relatable. I have been blogging for years, and off in the beginning. Still feels like I have no clue what I’m doing but a little while goes by and I realise I’m getting better along the way. Same story with procrastination. Love how you ended it because it’s true – we are supporting you! x

    Like

  12. Happy blogging birthday! I loved your blogging journey so far and I wish you to continue writing what you want. Yes, typical blogging has rules that have to be followed to increase traffic etc but the writing style and what you out out there is totally yours. Hope to read more of you this year!

    Like

  13. Happy blogaversary!
    Like you, I have not learnt SEO, put a schedule in place or been consistent!
    Can relate to procrastination and being a bit too aware of who is reading but we keep going, good luck and congrats on the freelance work x

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I totally get what you mean about the SEO and DA stuff – I find that so hard to learn and put into practice. But I think you’ve been doing a great job and I’m glad blogging has been a good tool for your own personal growth

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You are doing amazing! Don’t worry about the technical side of blogging, just keep writing and publishing. Blogging consistently is hard for me, too, but it’s the one thing that will grow your blog. I’m four years in and I “just” created my first freebie to build my mailing list. Congratulations on being approached to do freelance work, that is great. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post! I remember feeling a similar way when I first started with my domain. The amount of time and stress that went into thinking of a name, choosing the right theme, wondering what SEO is haha. I’m so glad you’ve received so much love and support with sharing your blog. Congratulations on the freelance work as well! This community is so lovely and supportive. I’m excited to see what you have coming up next! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a great and inspiring journey. I hadn’t even thought about using twitter. I know what you mean about being hidden in the blogging world, I too find it easier to write when not all your family and friends are reading.

    Like

  18. Yay happy one year of blogging! But more importantly, congrats on following your gut and not staying insecure about other people’s opinion. It’s a self made prison, carrying too much what others might say. SO congrats on that blogging, but also personal victory!

    Like

  19. Happy one year!

    I love how honest this post is. I totally agree on the points you make about starting a blog. All the advice can be overwhelming.

    My blog is annoymous, so I can’t imagine people from real life reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love your honesty here, it can certainly feel overwhelming when you first start a blog. Especially if you aren’t particularly versed on the technical side of things! However it seems like you have really used this space as an outlet for the things that matter to you and that’s great.

    Like

  21. Thank you for sharing this! I appreciate how open and honest you are about your journey and finding the silver lining as you learn. We have all been there! When I first created my blog, I had the ugliest theme EVER. It was embarrassing but I had no idea what I was doing. Still don’t know much about newsletter subscriptions and SEOs lol. And my consistency? Well, I’m back to blogging after an 11-month hiatus. The important thing is that you don’t give up and that’s enough to celebrate. Congrats on your 1 year!!

    Like

  22. My problem was that I only liked writing my own blog and only read and commented on other people’s blogs because I had to. Result, very few followers. After I started really reading other people’s blogs instead of just skimming them in order to make a comment, I started enjoying the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Congrats on the yr and the progression that has been made. Many don’t have the courage to be honest in Ur work, so much kudos 2 U 4 finding Urself and putting Urself out there. I found Ur post here reading a post about being the brave blogger to that U certainly are I’m glad to see the support here and just hear of the support U been getting. I enjoyed the read n the comments here which is why I had to say hello n give my lil support as well it makes a difference in the end or the beginning again. 1💛All💛2AllYa

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: