While sitting in class on Tuesday morning, listening to my professor talk about research, my phone buzzed. Twitter notifications that I was tagged in a tweet by one of the bloggers whose article I’d shared popped up under my feed and wouldn’t stop. After about five minutes, the awkward vibration in my jacket pocket ceased. Curious, I snuck my phone out of my pocket and surreptitiously scrolled through the notifications.
“A blog is in many ways a continuing conversation.” — Andrew Sullivan
I’d been nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award, which is a challenge amongst the blogging community to nominate one another, share one another’s stories of how our blogs started, and give one another our best pieces of advice. Then, at the end we have to nominate 15 other bloggers to take up the challenge, creating a community chain of inspiration and motivation. Intrigued, I decided to take up the challenge; this is my response post.
So, first, thank you Lookforsmile <lookforsmile.com> for nominating me! I’m honored to participate and thankful for the excuse to share my story and offer some advice to those who are bloggers or thinking about becoming one.
The beginnings of alonglifesite
I started alonglifesite, first, as a way to get myself to write more, and second, as a way to open up to others and the world. What vaster place to do that than the internet? Plus, I wanted to present my thoughts to the public to hopefully start a dialogue about anything and everything; but mostly about the aspects of life we don’t normally discuss or even think about. For example, I wanted to share different aspect about my life in order to connect to readers and viewers in the hopes that they would be inspired and have the courage to share their stories.
Sure, blog posts about love, family, books I’ve been reading, coffee I’ve been drinking, and places I’ve been visiting are fun to write, but that’s only one part of my blog. The reality is, most people are afraid to share the unhappy feelings that we all experience: anxiety, fear, struggle, depression, sadness, and loneliness. In my blog, I make it a point not to shy away from these emotions because they deserve to be talked about.
“Your blog is your unedited version of yourself.”— lorelle
Yes, you could call my blog a public journal, because that’s essential what it is. But my intention and reasons for starting my blog are far greater than just having a virtual audience to vent my thoughts and feelings to; it’s to try to connect and create a supportive community, one that lets anyone and everyone know that they aren’t alone no matter what they’re feeling.
So, alonglifesite.wordpress.com was born, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to become a blogger.
Two pieces of advice
Put yourself out there. Bearing your soul so publicly and to a bunch of strangers does make you vulnerable, but it also allows you to connect with your readers and viewers on a deeper, more meaningful level. When you put yourself and your passions into your blog posts, readers can tell; they feel it in every word and sentence that appears on their digital screen. Personally, I’ve found that you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders, you gain confidence in yourself as a human and as a writer, and you receive more positive than negative by being true to yourself.
Don’t lose the passion. If you’re looking to make money by blogging, good luck. That’s the dream every blogger has, but that’s not why they start blogging. Bloggers start blogging because they have a passion and inherent desire to make their thoughts known and to write, hopefully reaching out to others at the same time. And, even if your blog doesn’t have as many views or likes or shares as you want, don’t let that discourage you. It takes time to grow a blog and a following; in the meantime, just write and blog for you- to release your message to the world and to keep that passion for writing alive.
Blogs I’m loving
Unfortunately, I’m still looking for blogs to follow and appreciate. In the meantime, however, I do have six that I visit regularly. Some, like SimplyTaralynn and Zoella, are very popular already, but it’s always nice to give a shout out to fellow content creators who deserve to be appreciated and who deserve to know that their work is inspirational. I also encourage you to check out the others for different and unique blogs about writing, life, fashion, etc.
- SimplyTaralynn <http://simplytaralynn.com/>
- Zoella <http://www.zoella.co.uk>
- Happyhippiegal <https://happyhippygal.wordpress.com>
- Fijord <http://fijord.com/>
- Kyle Labe Writing <https://kylelabewriting.wordpress.com>
- Vagabond Youth <vagabondyouthh.blogspot.com/>