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10 Things I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Blogging

4th July 2017

 

August marks the 7th anniversary of Gin & Lemonade.  It’s been an interesting ride.  I’ve learned a lot.  About myself, and others.  About writing.  And how blogging is a separate thing almost entirely from writing.  They’re cousins, I think.  And I’d like to bring them closer together. Blogging tips from Gin & Lemonade

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I guess I’ve taken a few hiatuses, and since coming off the most recent one I’ve looked at this blog and blogging in general with different eyes.  And not in a gross way.

True confession time, though.  I’ve researched blogging as a business more in the last   few months than I have in all my years of blogging put together.

And I’ve been thinking the business side of it is kinda sleazy.

In the notes I’ve taken in the past few weeks, I’ve come up with my own ideas about how to have a successful blog (?) without selling out/burning out/throwing your laptop out the window.

Putting them here as a reminder to myself.  If you find them useful, bonus.

Don’t be a Stats fiend – I am guilty of this.  But I am in recovery.  Just write your stuff and the numbers will crunch themselves.  Try not checking for a week.  If the numbers are better after a week of not checking, keep not checking.

Don’t be a dick.  Answer your comments.  Read the posts you’re commenting on.  Be a real person.   P.S.  If I comment on a recipe by saying: I wish I could make this, but my husband has a cheese phobia, it is a genuine comment, I’m not a dick, it does relate to your post, and yes it is a real thing.  Hi.

And no, I don’t have to comment on a hiking post, unless I want to.  If you judge me, screw you.

Write your stuff for the day before you read other people’s stuff.  If I don’t get stuff out on my screen before I read other people. I end up not posting.  Because you might be using full sentences and I haven’t had my coffee yet.  Sometimes I want to post random thoughts, but other people’s polished posts with pretty pictures puts me off.

Don’t be put off.  I want to hear your random thoughts.

Have some sort of posting schedule.  I’ve tried this in the past, I’m getting better at it. These days, I post every other dayish.  Use your non-posting days to connect with other bloggers.

Connect with other bloggers.  Talk and share their posts.  For no reason. Except just maybe, I dunno, you’ve read what they have to say and want to share it.

If you have a newsletter, don’t make people jump through all the hoops/give you one of their children in order to subscribe.  Captcha is stupid.  And I am not a robot.

Don’t ask people what they want to read on your own damn blog.  I’ve tried.  People say: you.  So do you.  If others knew what they wanted to read before they read it, they’d write it themselves.  Let them.  Write your own stuff.

Blog like no one is reading.  Not your partner.  And certainly not your parents.  But, if you have to explain the joke, maybe it ain’t that funny.

However.  Think before you hit publish.  But not too much.  If you think too much, you’ll end up with 49 posts in your Drafts.  Hi.

So, how long have you been blogging?  Why do you stick with it?  Are you honest and unfiltered?

10 more blogging tips can be found here.  I never said I could count. Yet more blogging resources can be found here.

And my musings on 8 years of blogging can now be read here.

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Also published on Medium.

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150 Comments

  • Reply globalhousesitterX2 4th July 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Love the point of blogging like no one is reading. It does help. Well done for surviving 7 years. Something for me to aim towards 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 4th July 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Reading your adventures makes me want to travel again. Please keep doing what you guys do!

      • Reply globalhousesitterX2 4th July 2017 at 4:58 pm

        Thanks Lorna. Hope to do it for a few more years then back to NZ then I can blog about home 🙂

  • Reply broadsideblog 4th July 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I posted my first one on July 1 (Canada Day), 2009…so, yeah, it’s been a while for me as well.

    I would add — EDIT like crazy. Yes, I’m very fussy, but gave up on too many blogs that were dense forests of copy with no paragraphs or images. Do NOT ever make your readers work that hard!

    And please, remember, that your blog is NOT a personal journal opened to millions of strangers. Before you strip bare emotionally, decide if this is truly in your best interests — and if it’s actually going to be compelling to others.

    On this trip through Europe, I loved meeting a longtime blog follower of mine, an Irish woman in Berlin. We hit it off at once and I spent a glorious day with her and her fiance. It really made Berlin feel so much more welcoming to know a friendly face awaited me.

    • Reply Lorna 4th July 2017 at 4:55 pm

      I always think of one of your early posts when I’m writing stuff for here, especially the point that it’s not a journal. My link (has been) on my CV, so that keeps me in check. Also though, the personal is universal or something. And you can’t be happy all the time. As long as I don’t flail too much in either direction, that works for me.

      Glad you’re here.

  • Reply booksfromdusktilldawn 4th July 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Congratulations xxx

    • Reply Lorna 4th July 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply Claire Wong 4th July 2017 at 3:45 pm

    The penultimate one made me laugh. I’m always forgettting that my mum reads my blog posts! Congrats on hitting 7 years!

    • Reply Lorna 4th July 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Neither of my folks let me forget they read me. Pros and cons, ha!

  • Reply FashionNotFear 4th July 2017 at 4:21 pm

    These tips cracked me up but all of them are so true! Congrats on your anniversary.

    • Reply Lorna 4th July 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Glad you enjoyed them.

  • Reply SickChristine 4th July 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve only been at this blog for 6 months. I’ve blogged before this, but never made it to 7 years. That’s quite an accomplishment! I keep going on this one for a multitude of reasons. It’s my therapist, for one. I’ve had all this bottled up inside me for all the years I was sick, it’s great to get it out. Ultimately, though, writing is a passion of mine. I’d love for this to be how I make a living one day. Time will tell, I suppose. If the worst thing that happens is I got to write almost everyday and I met some pretty incredible people then that’s not so bad.

    • Reply Lorna 4th July 2017 at 5:13 pm

      It seems like you’ve been at it for longer. You are a writer. Please don’t stop.

      • Reply SickChristine 4th July 2017 at 5:18 pm

        I don’t think I will this time. I feel like I’ve found a good groove and I’m really interested in keeping at it and learning everything I can.

  • Reply becomingcliche 4th July 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Oh, how i despise captcha! I almost never read blogspot blogs because I have to go through three screens to finally post a comment, and I usually DO want to leave a comment. Turn off the captcha, people, or you will turn off the readers!

  • Reply Go With The Goodwins 4th July 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Captchas are the worst. I especially love the nonsense words where I can’t tell if I’m looking at the letter d… or is that an o and an l squished really closely together? And the “CLICK ALL OF THE STREET SIGNS IN THE PICTURE” ones… What is up with that?!?!

    Happy Blog-a-versary!

    • Reply Lorna 6th July 2017 at 10:54 am

      I always thought the different versions cover different accessibility issues. But the ones I’ve come across don’t work for me, and I just click off.

  • Reply Pam Avoledo 4th July 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Great points. I don’t censor myself. I write about a variety of topics: feminism, fashion, racism. When I write about social issues, I feel like I can help make a difference. Congrats!

  • Reply The Indecisive Eejit 4th July 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I’ve been blogging for around four years. I wouldn’t say I am good at it, but I keep going.
    Why do I stick with it? I ask myself that a lot. I’m guessing the community, I love the friends I have made, but not being able to give them as much time as they give me gets me down.
    I am honest, I am an open book, I am not however unfiltered. My anxiety reminds me constantly that people I know read my blog, that sometimes makes me not write. I started a second blog for honesty, but still I struggle.

  • Reply theorangutanlibrarian 4th July 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Wow 7 years- that’s phenomenal- congratulations!!

  • Reply mphadventuregirl 5th July 2017 at 12:30 am

    I have been at my blog since December of 2015. I did not even want to start a blog in the first place. But after friends and family convinced me to, I decided to start one anyway. I was hooked right away. It took while till I saw any success on my blog, but I still enjoyed doing it. Summer 2016 was the turning point for my blog because was when it started to be successful. I stick with my blog because I love to write, love the blogging community, some followers stand out, and always surprised by my posts. It is hard to describe exactly why I stick by my blog

  • Reply Jackie Cangro 5th July 2017 at 1:02 am

    I’m so glad to see your posts in my feed regularly.

    Speaking of signing up, I’m about to launch my newly designed website. I’m moving from WP.com to WP.org. Unfortunately WP doesn’t allow me to transfer subscribers, so everyone has to resubscribe to the site/blog. I’m hate asking people to do that. Sigh…

    • Reply Lorna 6th July 2017 at 8:30 am

      I’m thinking of migrating, too. But that’s the one point that puts me off! Saying that, I’d follow you anywhere, dude. In a non-creepy way. Ha!

  • Reply Jackie, The Baseball Bloggess 5th July 2017 at 1:28 am

    Congrats on your blog-birthday! I like your “think before you publish” rule. For me, it’s “read it out loud before publishing.” With an out loud reading, I find typos, catch mistakes, and hopefully uncover those other weirdo awkwardish things that try to sneak into my blogs. Oh, and I freak out my cats, which, by itself, is a win.

    • Reply Lorna 5th July 2017 at 9:38 am

      I read mine out-loud , then and get someone else to read it. PS. BASEBALL. Totally going to hang out on your blog, by the way. Hi.

  • Reply Phil Taylor 5th July 2017 at 2:03 am

    Hi Lorna, I didn’t know you had been blogging that long. Congrats on the 7 year anniversary! It’s nice to meet another oldie. I’ve been at it 12 years. I think the most important advice you have is to blog like no one is reading. At the end of the day we all blog for ourselves.

    • Reply Lorna 6th July 2017 at 11:00 am

      Why Phil, do I blog like a newbie? Ha. I kid because I know. I love your writing.

      • Reply Phil Taylor 6th July 2017 at 12:12 pm

        No you don’t blog like a newbie, but I do wish that somewhere on a blogs home page that it would show how old the blog is

        • Reply Lorna 6th July 2017 at 12:39 pm

          Archives are on the right, but I’m making some layout changes soon. Thanks for the nudge.

  • Reply Jo-Ann 5th July 2017 at 3:36 am

    I love this post. I think I’m on the right track so far! Phew! Congratulations on 7 years, Wow! I’ve been blogging since May. It’s been a learning curve, but half the fun is interacting with other blogs 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 5th July 2017 at 9:41 am

      Keep going! Love your stuff and your ombre hair makes me happy, ha! x

  • Reply suzycruzy 5th July 2017 at 3:56 am

    I just started blogging in April. It’s meant to be focused on my struggles with cooking. I find that this helps me to get all the info out of my head and into a nice form that I can share with friends and family … instead of babbling obsessively to them in person. I’ve always wanted to blog but never felt I had anything worth sharing until now.

    I really enjoy your blog. And congrats on 7 years!!

    • Reply Lorna 5th July 2017 at 9:46 am

      See now, I love your blog. I’d love to cook more, but I’m also a real person who isn’t delusional that I actually enjoy it. I don’t Ha! Keep going, for all of us who cuss most in the kitchen. x

  • Reply clumsybum 5th July 2017 at 2:53 pm

    as someone who just started blogging this post helped me alot! thanks

  • Reply Nada 5th July 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Hey Lorna,

    I love your advice to blog like no one is reading. We can be more candid and open that way. I try to not be afraid to say things and share stuff.

    Thanks for the encouragement,

    Nadalie

    • Reply Lorna 5th July 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Hello Nadalie!

      I’ve just downloaded your workbook. Tomorrow’s assignment, ha! Feel free to check up on me.

      Thank you!

  • Reply Gabe Burkhardt 5th July 2017 at 9:57 pm

    After making the transition from a “friends and family update” to a personal blog earlier this year, I got several pieces of advice from a blogging coach that were helpful, many of which you condensed for us already, but I still struggle to find that sweet spot between sparking a genuine conversation with my ideal reader, and sharing content that might be meaningful to a broader audience. But I’m still new enough that I see this as a fun challenge rather than an unscalable obstacle on my path to creating a “successful” blog.

    And I’ll completely understand your silence when I share my next hiking post 😉

  • Reply J-Dub 5th July 2017 at 11:44 pm

    How do you only have 49 items in your drafts folder? During Vietnam, we had draft dodgers. Now, I’m a draft hoarder.

  • Reply Louise 6th July 2017 at 4:05 am

    Congrats on 7 yrs! I enjoyed – and generally agreed with your points. I’m not fussy on stats. But schedule? I tried. I’m in year four and have currently given up on it. But maybe I’ll hit stride again?

    Your hiking comment made me smile. I take it you are not a fan. I once submitted a short story to a writing contest about joining – and enjoying – an online hiking group because I quickly worked out that no one had any intention of going hiking.

  • Reply richardjalba 6th July 2017 at 4:50 am

    Hey Lorna, I’ve been blogging since late February. I do it because I hope what I post can help make a positive difference in someone’s life – it’s also to build a brand. I’m incredibly honest and unfiltered in my posts.

    My favorite part of this post was the ‘Don’t ask people what they want to read on your own damn blog’ segment.

  • Reply Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel 6th July 2017 at 10:57 am

    Hi!! Nice to meet you. Found your blog through the Twitter blog hop. And wow, you have been blogging for so long. Congratulations! I love the points you have mentioned – don’t worry about stats, write like no one is reading.

    I am a fairly new blogger. I have been blogging about books for over a year (sometimes steady; sometimes on and off).

    • Reply Lorna 6th July 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Hello! I LOVE book blogs. And I’m glad you’re reading me, too.

  • Reply Sakshi Kapila 6th July 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Amazing post! Thank you so much. I was looking for such a guidance 🙂

  • Reply abmo14 7th July 2017 at 1:53 am

    Thank you for this post. I just decided to try blogging a few days ago as something new to try. I tend to try crazy physical things that have resulted in throwing my hip out, breaking my hand and other things that I don’t need to mention publicly. I love to write. I love to read. I enjoy a giggle at the end of the day and this post made me smile and was encouraging. Thank you. Hopefully I find this blogging thing my new favorite past time and hopefully I don’t fall off a chair while enjoying my evening glass of wine. If I do I guess that will be my first blogging adventure. I could write about it.

  • Reply Hugh's Views and News 7th July 2017 at 10:44 am

    Congratulations on seven years of blogging. I’ve only been blogging for three and half years, but I’ve learned a lot about the blogging world in that time. Building a community and joining other blogging communities is something I learned very quickly. Thanks for the tip of writing first and then reading other blogs. That’s a lesson I’m taking note of from now on.

    • Reply Lorna 7th July 2017 at 10:53 am

      Glad you found a good trade off for the techy tips I get from you. Ha!

  • Reply BermudaOnion 7th July 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Congratulations on 7 years! Your advice is great! I’ve been at it for 9 years and used to check my stats obsessively. I’ve learned to let that go, though, and rarely check them now.

  • Reply 3 Books, 3 Blogs. And Stuff. – Gin & Lemonade 7th July 2017 at 7:16 pm

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  • Reply trulyunplugged 8th July 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Wow!!!! Seven years! That is such an accomplishment–and speaks to your tenacity…we are the better for it, for you are entertaining and engaging…thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply thayes64 9th July 2017 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for the input. I actually have just started blogging.

  • Reply Miriam Joy 9th July 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I think I started blogging in about 2009. My first blog was terrible and only two people read it. My second blog was better, though it took a while to get started. This one’s an offshoot of that blog after I moved it to be self-hosted in … 2014-ish? So theoretically I’ve been doing this since I was thirteen. I’d like to think I’ve improved but mostly I’m sporadic and distracted. Hoping to change that over the summer.

  • Reply Morgan Parham 10th July 2017 at 3:13 pm

    This is great! I blog just to write because I love writing and find that sometimes it’s the only thing I can do to make myself feel better. I would like to become more professional in the sense that my writing improves a bit haha but it’s hard to find topics that I think people will want to read. Usually I like to write about my travels abroad.

  • Reply drallisonbrown 10th July 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Love this! I’m a fairly new blogger (been at it since February). Truth be told, I initially started in preparation for a book that I’m writing. I’ve kept at it, though, because I love reading, writing and sharing what I’ve learned. My very first blog post fleshed out the issue you describe – writing for myself versus writing with my audience in mind. I’m not obsessed with statistics, but I’d love to see them increase if only for the (selfish) satisfaction of knowing that people are interested in what I have to say 🙂

  • Reply Matthew Trevino 10th July 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I have been blogging for about half of my life. If there’s one thing I’ve found to be universally true in all of this, it’s this: if you aren’t blogging honestly, you aren’t writing anything worth reading.

    >And I’ve been thinking the business side of it is kinda sleazy.

    All marketing is sleazy, pandering, gross, and artificial. If something exists, there’s a marketer somewhere trying to make somebody money from it – and there’s something kind of disingenuous about that, isn’t there?

    >but my husband has a cheese phobia

    Today I learned about Turophobia. My condolences – cheese is delicious.

  • Reply fattymccupcakes 11th July 2017 at 12:57 am

    This is everything, lady! Just recently did I realize that blogging is ENTIRELY separate from writing. I just want to write…Not too long ago, I wrote about the sleazy aspect of blogging for money. Sure, there are legit people who do it in a legit way, but I can’t help but feel like I get sleaze EVERYWHERE whenever I sideways-glance towards the idea of it. Why can’t someone just discover me and pay me to write already?! SHEESH!

  • Reply girlblog 11th July 2017 at 2:48 am

    I just started blogging a year ago, and I have certainly seen my blog being swayed by the idea of numbers and “fans” rather than its original intent of being a fun place to document my thoughts. I’m so happy that I happened upon this post because you spilled some serious truth and reminded me to stay true to me. Thanks girl!

  • Reply Glenda Cates (@TheMommiesRevie) 11th July 2017 at 2:52 am

    Great tips and lots of them I could see me doing but I am trying to get better. ie stats hunter and draft hoarder. As well as not visiting other bloggers the way I should. Thanks for reminding me to not do some of these things and to do others of them. Have a great day.

  • Reply stitch6mom 11th July 2017 at 4:28 am

    Hi. I literally just started my blog 20 mins ago. Ahhh. Wish me luck I have no clue what I’m doing. Glad for the pointers. Ty

    • Reply Lorna 11th July 2017 at 10:00 am

      Welcome to the blogging world! Take it 20 minutes at a time, ha!

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  • Reply besimple.beyou 11th July 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I just recently started blogging. But I have been writing down my thoughts in my diary for at least 10 years by now. I like the way my thoughts become structured when I write them down…I like your style of writing. It makes me feel like I am reading your thoughts and I like that. Thank you for sharing your experiences and tips 🙂

  • Reply BellyBytes 12th July 2017 at 6:45 am

    Your’e write about the blogging. One should take a hiatus once in a while ( or may be even more) because when you distance yourself from something , things get clearer. I’ve been blogging for almost a decade now and things are only now beginning to make sense. I haven’t made the first buck yet nor hit 500 followers and even less achieved 100 visitors a day ( proves I am still addicted to stats) but I do write like no one’s reading ( because I do believe no one does) and YES, I have learnt more about blogging in the past year than I have done all the years while blogging. Loved this post. ( Honest comment)

  • Reply corkmusings 13th July 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Such a lovely post, great to read as a newbie 🙂

  • Reply sisterstravelbug 13th July 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks Lorna for the tips! I just started my blog last night and I already can relate to what you’ve said and my concerns of my 5 line random musings with no punctuation 🙂 I’ve started for fun, and documentation that I can’t seem to do in scrapbooks or photo albums so hoping I don’t get too carried away, but honestly my mind already went 1,000 miles an hour to dreams of Julie and Julia!

  • Reply Shaheen Khan 13th July 2017 at 2:04 pm

    This really is one no nonsense post about blogging that I actually understood. I started blogging this February and I have happily overcome the disappointment over stats. Can’t really get around to answering comments and feel terribly guilty about it but my kids are really a lovely notorious duo and keep me so damn busy.

    • Reply Lorna 13th July 2017 at 4:41 pm

      I’ve been thinking about that point since I put it out there, ha! As long as I visit those who visit mine and find something to talk about on their posts, I’m good. I have to put myself on some sort of schedule since Isla, at 3, is now being officially more social than me, ha!

      • Reply Shaheen Khan 13th July 2017 at 6:49 pm

        I need a schedule for sure:-)

  • Reply Jing Sebastian 13th July 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing. This is encouraging. I revived my blog last year, posted more than a hundred random thoughts for almost a year. Then one day in March this year, I read my posts. I didn’t like the randomness, so I deleted everything. Now, writing again. 🙂

  • Reply snnotions 13th July 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I just posted my first blog a few minutes ago. I have no idea what I am expecting to get out of it, but it does feel good to go through and find posts like these which give sincere advice. Thank you! wish me luck!

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    My baby ahem…I mean blog is four months old, at this point I am in the phase of cutting off the breast milk and putting it on formula…ahem I mean it’s growing and needs more of who I am in it. I like your point about writing like no ones reading..gave me a night of sleep from the four month old…ahem…I mean sigh of relief?

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  • Reply Janice Wald 10th August 2017 at 12:41 am

    Happy blogversary, Lorna! What an engaged community you have here!
    Stumbling!
    Janice

    • Reply Lorna 22nd August 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you, Janice! Back from the trip and back to blogging! x

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  • Reply Skipah 24th August 2017 at 3:31 am

    Refreshing to read :), I’ve guilty of just about every one of these, except comments I always reply to comments just not as timely as I used to!

    • Reply Lorna 24th August 2017 at 10:58 am

      I think as long as people make some sort of connection, it’s all good. Like, even if you don’t reply fast or at all to the comment on your post, do reply to something on the commenter’s blog. Thanks for the comment, ha! Good to see you again, used to read you, but I lost track.

  • Reply amindfultravellerblog 24th August 2017 at 11:09 am

    Wow, Congrats on 7 years Lorna. Great advice here. Lorelle

    • Reply Lorna 24th August 2017 at 12:16 pm

      All that and you heart-bombed me on Instagram, too. Thank you for all of it, and congrats on your feature day the other day, too. <3

      • Reply amindfultravellerblog 24th August 2017 at 12:19 pm

        Thank you so much Lorna. I love the support from our FB page. It’s such a great group. X

  • Reply anhistorianabouttown 24th August 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Writing things ahead of time is one of the best things I do for my blog!! I write most of my posts 4-10 days ahead of when it’s published. 1. There is no guarantee I will be home to write the night before, and 2. I go back and change/remove things the majority of the time. It just allows for more editing! The only time I do a poll to find out what readers want is when I have too many ideas for a particular themed post and I can’t narrow it down myself- I’ll be happy to write all of it, but people usually do help me narrow it down with a fast poll 🙂

  • Reply Beaton 24th August 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I will have been blogging for about 4 years come 1 Septmber …… if my blog were a school child hatched in their early twins, they would be we would be waiting for the GCSE about now wouldnt we hahahaha…..
    The honesty in this post…. I heart it
    Cheers
    ~B

  • Reply angelanoelauthor 24th August 2017 at 1:54 pm

    My favorites here are “Don’t be a dick.” and “Don’t be put off.” Basically, when I read that I know that we’re talking about real life, respectful people sharing stuff that matters–but not taking ourselves TOO seriously. Love it.

    • Reply Lorna 24th August 2017 at 5:37 pm

      I know it’s cliche, but my Grandmother used to say: I’m just tellin’ it like it is. And I endeavour to do so every day.

      • Reply josypheen 3rd February 2018 at 5:39 pm

        I popped in to say that too!

        I find it so strange when people put so much time into writing their blog, but then don’t reply or engage with the folks that read it. It is such a turn off.

  • Reply wells baum aka bombtune 24th August 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Good takeaways, thank you. In terms of posting, I’ve been dedicated to publishing once a day for years. However, since moving to WordPress I’ve been better able to review old posts and update them as well. Cool blog!

  • Reply shesbeaming 27th August 2017 at 11:16 pm

    What I love about blogging is that o can write as much as I want as if no one is going to read it . I’ve been blogging for 8 months and I’ve learned a few things so far . Many of your points are true , defintley checking stats I’m guilty of but I have to realize it’s more then that .

  • Reply Natalie Ducey 15th October 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Love this, Lorna! I’m a new follower of your blog as well. Cheers! 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 15th October 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Hey Natalie, I’m glad you’re here.

      • Reply Natalie Ducey 16th October 2017 at 2:27 am

        It’s wonderful to connect with you, Lorna! 🙂

  • Reply The Peach Tree 17th October 2017 at 1:38 pm

    For a newbie blogger this is great to read! Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 17th October 2017 at 8:09 pm

      Just keep doing what you’re doing. I love your art!

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    […] I know that I’m going against my own blogging advice, but please let me know if there’s anything in particular who’d like me to ramble on […]

  • Reply achildof 7th November 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you for this post. As a new blogger there is so much to learn. Amongst many things I need to learn how to make words a link in a post. I love that you do that.

    • Reply Lorna 7th November 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Hope this helps!

      When you’re in edit mode on a post:

      Highlight the text you want to hyperlink.
      Click insert/edit link (the chain icon on the options panel)
      Paste the link you want to link to where it says URL.
      The link text should already be there as the text you highlighted.
      Check the ‘open link in new tab’ box
      Click insert link.

      There’s also an option to backlink to your old posts.

      Lorna x

      • Reply achildof 8th November 2017 at 2:15 am

        Thank you ?❤️?

  • Reply theeditorsjournal 15th November 2017 at 6:19 am

    I think I love you! (re: don’t be a dick.) I have never understood this. People say, ‘Why won’t people come to my blog?’ And when they do they moderate and pass the comment but don’t bother to answer it.
    I think I’m with you with most of your list but what made you say don’t ask others what to write on your blog?

    “If others knew what they wanted to read before they read it, they’d write it themselves.” I don’t think I agree. Some people aren’t good at writing and expressing themselves and some are. They want to hear it from the people that are, like you. Some people want to hear stuff through YOUR voice because they like YOU.
    If you are interested in giving your audience what they want it supplies your with a mini focus group to decide what you might focus on should you choose to. What’s the harm? Was the feedback too fuzzy? What’s the story behind the weary sounding ‘I tried’?

    • Reply Lorna 16th November 2017 at 12:15 pm

      That’s the point I’m changing my mid on. Ha! Thing is when I ask people questions it’s because I genuinely want to know what makes them tick. Generally speaking, I don’t write just to be told I’m good at it, you know?

      I appreciate your full-of-thoughts comment!

      • Reply theeditorsjournal 17th November 2017 at 4:39 am

        Lol a bit like ‘does my bum look big in this?’ Yeah, I hear you! That’s why when I do focus groupish stuff I don’t ask people who know that the project is mine, if you know what I mean. This enables them to be as brutal or as kind as they wish and I get to ask questions with a poker face.

  • Reply KAT 30th November 2017 at 11:27 am

    Hi lorna, That’s a refreshment .-) Instead of a list from ‘what you have to do’, it’s more ‘how to be comfortable and don’t worry too much!’ I love it. I don’t blog that often, as I only blog to share how I create my , euh, creations 🙂 But over the years I started to get better in the balance of text with images (I use to only focus on images), and as well, be more comfortable with the English language. But it’s good to get connected with other blogger to learn and share. So, I’ll have a peek around here if you don’t mind 🙂

  • Reply Jill 30th November 2017 at 11:30 am

    Congrats! This is funny and helpful. Cheese phobia indeed 🙂
    I’ve only been blogging 6 months and at times can feel bit overwhelmed by all I don’t know. And my To Do list is…well I might have to up the storage on my Mac !. But loving it all. And inspired along the way by great posts like this (hope that doesn’t make me a dick! lol)

  • Reply Anonymous 30th November 2017 at 4:14 pm

    5

  • Reply josypheen 30th November 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Excellent post Lorna. I missed this the first time. 🙁

    I totally agree with your comment about capcha (and wanting me to sign in to some stupid app just to comment!) Also, your advice not to be a dick is both funny, and brilliant advice.

    p.s. By the way, i’m never offended if you don’t comment on a hiking post! *all the hugs*

  • Reply trulyunplugged 20th January 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Seven years…wow!!! really enjoyed this post and it’s generous of you to share the wisdom of your experience. As to your questions, I’ve been blogging for just under 2 years, and I write in an unfiltered way for the most part…there’s a small part of me that is aware that a couple co-workers and friends read my posts, so, I tend to hold back some details if I worry that I’ll identify someone that’s really let me down. However, for the most part, I am a great deal more “open” about my challenges and the depth of my thoughts and feelings when I write. Blogging has also made me realize what a love I have for wordplay mixed with a philosophical and humorous twist…I always knew I loved writing, but I wasn’t aware of my unique style until it “showed up”. Thanks for sharing and for connecting 🙂

  • Reply Jhunelle J ♦ www.simplylocal.life 20th January 2018 at 10:47 pm

    I’m almost at my first year, and am happy to say I’ve already learned/realized most of these 🙂 Still trying to master a few things.

  • Reply fancypaperblog 3rd February 2018 at 10:17 am

    Patience and consistency have worked for me. I totally agree that the business side is a bit off putting. I am a bit addicted though to the whole blog socialising thing- that could be good maybe?? ☺☺

    • Reply Lorna 3rd February 2018 at 10:40 am

      Working on an upgrade to this one, includes the social side of things. PS. Yes, it’s a good thing, ha!

  • Reply Denzil TheBookOwl 3rd February 2018 at 10:36 am

    Wise advice. Blogging is full of contrasts. It can be the most social and inspiring hobby. Yet at other times it can be as lonely as hell. Learning to cope with disappointed expectations or low stats is key but not always easy. I like your advice to blog for yourself.

    • Reply Lorna 3rd February 2018 at 10:42 am

      Thanks, Denzil. More to come this month as part of my postaday lark!

  • Reply Anonymous 3rd February 2018 at 10:51 am

    4.5

  • Reply Shailaja V 3rd February 2018 at 11:44 am

    Ha ha, this had me laughing and nodding along 🙂 Good stuff, Lorna. I love blogging and do what I can to make it fun for me and informative for the readers. Ten years on, so far so good 😉

    Yeah girl! You do you!

    • Reply Lorna 3rd February 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Your posts on Medium inspired me to try daily blogging this month!

      • Reply Shailaja V 3rd February 2018 at 12:07 pm

        Oh my! That may be the BEST thing I’ve heard today 🙂 YAY, Lorna! Tell me how you get along with it.Excited to see 🙂

  • Reply anhistorianabouttown 3rd February 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Update from me: I’m finding that asking people what they would rather read on Polls through Instagram Stories is really helpful! It’s fast way to see what people want when I’m feeling particularly indecisive. Plus, I think if people just have to tap a yes or a no, they are far more willing to give you “feedback”!

  • Reply angelanoelauthor 3rd February 2018 at 1:10 pm

    I’m surprised I miss this one last July—it’s wonderful. I think your advice is spot on. Sometimes it’s seems simple–don’t be a dick–for example. But it does surprise me how many people think being online means you get to be some terrible petty tyrant out for blood. So, yes. Play nice. Have fun. Be you. I like you.

  • Reply Claire Saul (PainPalsBlog) 3rd February 2018 at 4:09 pm

    You’re an old timer really, Lorna, aren’t you?! When I started I never thought I’d still be at it 2 and half years later…but I still feel like a novice. For me one of the best bits is socialising in the blogging community….probably spend too much time doing this, but since I can’t work and have days at a time of sofa time, who cares?! You are a real favourite for me Lorna – dick or not – ha, ha, ha, – and I always forget my parents read mine!!

    • Reply Lorna 3rd February 2018 at 4:13 pm

      You are wonderful, Claire. I say that with not a bit of sarcasm. Hope the dislocation is easing.

  • Reply Ritu 4th February 2018 at 9:48 am

    I agree with all your comments Lorna, I can’t view blogging as a business, I Want it to be a pleasure! just over 3 years in, and I love the community I have cultivated!

  • Reply rachaelstray 4th February 2018 at 9:50 am

    Really useful advice you’ve given here. I really dislike those captcha boxes – no I’m not a robot I just want to be able to leave a comment without having to practically offer my firstborn as a sacrifice!

    • Reply Lorna 4th February 2018 at 10:04 am

      Yes, and don’t forget blood-type! Hope you’re feeling OK today?

  • Reply laughingatthesky 4th February 2018 at 10:05 am

    Hi Lorna, I’m new at blogging, nine months to be exact. I appreciate your experience. I’m blogging for inspiration and connection; I had some amazing mentors on my journey in life and also want to give back. I’m definitely honest, still a bit filtered, trying to build confidence. Looking forward to your part two and also open to thoughts for improvement.

  • Reply workingsbm 4th February 2018 at 10:14 am

    Thank you this. I’ve been blogging for a year and I love hearing from bloggers who have been doing it for years. I recently posted a blog that reworked a joke I’d heard into a relevant topic for my blog. It wasn’t very well received. Clearly “funny” isn’t my thing. I’m learning as I go along.

  • Reply Anindya 4th February 2018 at 11:07 am

    Loved that list Lorna…..very useful tips for all bloggers from your experiences so far….many things I can relate to my own experiences with blogging…

  • Reply April Munday 4th February 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Sorry about the Capcha box. I obviously started out with the wrong email platform.

    Congratulations on sticking with it for seven and a bit years. I’m a few years behind, but still loving it and writing a post every week. Given the comments of some visitors to the blog, I don’t do a very good of disguising myself or presenting a different person to the world. Who knew writing about the past could be so revealing?

  • Reply Lisa Orchard 4th February 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Great list! I like the one “Don’t be a Dick” because it’s so simple and straight forward, and you’d think we wouldn’t need to say it, but we do, don’t we? 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer 3rd March 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I’ve been blogging since 2013 but that first year was a post a month or every other month. By the following year, I’d started posting on a more regular basis and even tried at one point to blog every day. That lasted about 40 days, then I crashed and burned. In 2015, I took a couple of weeks off when I realized that I wasn’t blogging for me, I was trying to do what other people were doing. So I stopped, collected myself and started blogging again with what I like as the primary focus.

    • Reply Lorna 3rd March 2018 at 4:52 pm

      I’m glad you returned to blogging!

  • Reply Stephanie 6th March 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Haha! I love this. I’m a new blogger and I’m still learning the tech side and getting everything posted before launching but I love reading advice from seasoned bloggers. I love that you’re unfiltered and completely yourself, it’s a perfect reminder for me to relax a little and be MYself through my blog. Thanks for the advice!

    • Reply Lorna 8th March 2018 at 9:42 am

      Hey, Steph…I’m looking forward to your launch! Always be yourself. <3

  • Reply Alan J. Blaustein 7th March 2018 at 7:47 am

    Fine blog! I appreciate your discussing disability since I’m also disabled (cane but no wheelchair yet) and I especially appreciate “Blog like no one is reading.” This how I proceeded from the start of my now four years of blogging, and my Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes currently has 184 followers.

    • Reply Lorna 7th March 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks, Alan. Keep reading and writing.

  • Reply Channon Gray 17th March 2018 at 10:55 pm

    I loved this – great advice here. I am the WORST for checking stats, I literally cannot help myself and usually I end up feeling completely disappointed by it all. However, I’ve been blogging 4 years and I want to keep it up, even if no one else cares about my little corner of the internet! <3

  • Reply lauriegannon1 25th April 2018 at 11:51 pm

    You are such a find, Lorna! I love your honesty, humor and style!

    And I am such a Stats Fiend. Is there a recovery program?

  • Reply mychaoticbrain 28th April 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Great information. I admit I am a stat geek now and then but in recovery and trying to do better. I do write for me, definitely not for my parents or other family members. The more I am myself, the more positive feedback I attract. I am going to put a few more of your tips in my back pocket for the days it all seems overwhelming.

  • Reply reducereusebestylish 29th April 2018 at 12:50 am

    I love how candid you are! This was so helpful!

  • Reply rigelg 29th April 2018 at 12:55 am

    Congrats on 7 years blogging! And also on continuing to “fine tune” your approach. Blogging is such a personal journey. 🙂

  • Reply Lauren Davis 1st May 2018 at 4:59 pm

    This post was amazing, thank you for being so real about blogging! I started mine a year ago but have only just started taking it ‘seriously’ your post genuinely made me laugh and feel better about what I’m doing!

  • Reply alpanadeo 4th May 2018 at 6:54 pm

    I can totally relate to your post. Writing regularly, writing good and something that you can be proud of, seeing yourself for as a writer with each post is something I keep in mind.

    http://mothersgurukul.com/invitation-say-no-gifts-please/

  • Reply Tiffany 15th May 2018 at 3:57 pm

    I hope to make it to 7 years…congrats!! Thanks for the tips and for being real. These will help me not to get so caught up as I feel I already am in some aspects. I’ve done a soft launch, but haven’t let any of my friends and family know it’s up. Even though they know me…I’m kinda nervous about them reading my stuff. Hopefully I get over it soon. 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 15th May 2018 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Tiffany, don’t get scared, just write. I’ve learned that our friends can be our cheerleaders, but not necessarily our biggest blog fans. Branch out and have fun, whatever you do!! I’m off to check out your blog!

  • Reply Dominique 16th May 2018 at 1:02 am

    I like your writing style…it’s enjoyable, easy to digest, and straight to the point! I have just started blogging, and all too often, other bloggers write like robots. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply Musings, Rants & Scribbles 9th July 2018 at 7:15 pm

    All good tips, especially not being a stat fiend. We’ve all been there, judging yourself on traffic. I’ve learned to just enjoy the ride and let stats take care of themselves. Good post!

  • Reply Jo Smith 20th July 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I appreciate you’ve been blogging for 7 years and still going strong on your blog! I love these tips, always reply to nice comments, be yourself, and write what YOU want to. Also I agree: captcha is really not needed.

    • Reply Lorna 20th July 2018 at 3:11 pm

      8 years next month, ha! Thank you, Jo! Off to check out your blog. From the title I think I’ll be a fan!

  • Reply Tracy Lynn 8th August 2018 at 9:41 am

    I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I’ve thrown it all away in fits of self-disgust at how awful it all seems. I once wrote half of a novel and the computer got a virus and wiped it all out. I’ve learned more than a few lessons the hard way. I’ve been blogging for about a year now but not seriously until the last couple of months. Now, I am curious as to whether or not I want to actually throw real money at this hobby. Time will tell 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 9th August 2018 at 10:12 am

      I have all my notebooks in an actual filing cabinet, and the new ones I collect are on the bookshelf when I need to grab one. I’m sad that you lost your work. I put some stuff on disks and they got rained on and ruined, so I get you. Start again, ha!

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