Blogiversary! What 6 years of blogging has taught me.

24 September 2014

I probably wouldn’t remember if I didn’t have a reminder in my calendar for it… but…
Today marks 6 years of self-hosted blogging!

6 year Blogiversary

There’s been tons of design changes. Only one name change. And oh boy howdy has my life changed.

You know, I actually found one of my first blogs the other day. And no. No way am I linking to it. Just strange, and awesome, to see where I’ve come since 2001. The days of Livejournal and Xanga. And we of course my very first websites on Angelfire and Geocities. Pre-blogging era. Anyway, I’ve learned a lot over the years… Met a lot of awesome people — both online and off. And I can’t wait for years and years more of blogging adventures!

Some things I’ve learned over the years:

» There is no “right” way to blog. No set amount you need to post each week. Time of day to publish. Or type of content you should write about. Don’t worry about views and hit. Blog for you. Readers can tell when you’re just not that into it. Yeah, yeah, SEO, blah blah blah… Blog for you.

» However, legibility is absolutely key. And this goes for the RSS feed too. Despite good content, the fastest way for me to stop keeping up with a blog is design that’s hard to read due to poor font, alignment, or color choices. Also, keeping excerpts only on the RSS feed? Yeah, not a fan of that one. Give me full posts.

» Don’t put anything out there you wouldn’t be comfortable with your employer, parents, grandparents, children, and anyone else reading. If you’re anonymous, you’ve probably got some leeway. But start going into detail about your life, then you give people a good opportunity to find you and all of your opinions. I know for a fact that my youngest sister reads this (Hi Lyd!) — no clue how she found it, but yeah. And in 6 years of blogging, there’s definitely stuff on here that’s not appropriate for her to read. But the fact is, that stuff is out there. (This totally goes for safety things too. Be careful with your personal information. For reals.)

» Blogging communities are AWESOME. Some of my favorite people I know are through the blogosphere. Starting out in 20sb and the Chicago blogging scene, my Nintendo Ambassador buds, and then now with Female Geek Bloggers. My life would be poorer without these people. Sometimes it can take time to find your community, and sometimes you grow out of your community… but having the support of fellow bloggers is just something you can’t put a price on.

» “Success” takes time. Whether you define that by thousands of followers or monetizing your blog… that stuff just takes time and does not happen over night. Also, success doesn’t have to mean either of those things. Success is what you make of it. I’ve made it to my 6th anniversary of self-hosted blogging — that’s pretty awesome to me.

» Take breaks when you need to. Whether you have people guest blog or schedule posts ahead of time, or just let things sit still for a while… Sometimes you just need to take a break. It’s perfectly ok, and sometimes really healthy to do.

» Have fun! Plain and simple. Enjoy it.

I wish I had some sort of cool gift or giveaway happening, but you know… all I can say and give you are my complete and utter thanks for sticking with me, finding me, and just joining me on this journey. Seriously, THANK YOU!

  • B.

    This is awesome! I cringe to think about my first blogs/website. I hope they disappeared into the ether somewhere!

    • My first sites were sort of a disaster… I was using frames as decorative elements… and sometimes had over 100 frames in one site. And back in the dial-up days, it’d take about a half hour to load!

  • Wow! Congratulations, I am coming up to two years in a few months and that’s not self hosted. I hope someday soon I will feel comfortable doing that. 🙂

    • Thanks!! Self-hosted isn’t too scary. There’s some great hosting services that make it a breeze! 🙂

  • Congrats! I loved your tips, thank you for sharing. Blogging is defiantly a journey! Keep up the awesome work! xx

    • Thanks so much, Megan!! 🙂

  • “Yeah, yeah, SEO, blah blah blah… Blog for you.” — BOOM. Mic drop.

  • Kendall Ashley

    I love this. Congrats on the blogiversary. Thanks for all of the advice, too. Definitely stuff I’ll take to heart as I continue to build my blog!

  • Congrats! I can’t even remember when my first blog was! 10 or so years ago, I’m sure. But my current one is still a baby, for sure!

    These tips are really good– something I need to remind myself of constantly so as not to get burnt out!

    Elyse @ Cuddly as a Cactus

    • Thanks!! I know my first livejournal was from 2001, but I think I had something before… And my first sites were sort of pseudo-blogs. I’d post life updates and stuff, but no CMS. It was all done with HTML. So happy we’ve got things like WordPress and SquareSpace and Blogger. 🙂

  • Congrats on the blogiversary! My old Xanga blogs were so cringe-worthy. Thankfully I deleted all of them so they wouldn’t float around on the interwebs forever. Yes to blogging for you! And yes to taking breaks when you’re not feeling it! I actually just took a mini break from my weekly features. They would have felt so stale if I had written them when I wasn’t feeling like myself.

    • Thanks, Jenn!! I can’t find my old Xanga accounts, so I’m hoping that I deleted them! I was a (bigger) mess back then! And breaks are definitely good! I’m thinking of doing one soon… I just want to get some other stuff sorted out first.

  • Wow, six years! Happy blogiversary! I’m hoping I can stick to it for six years, too. And yeah, I’ve thrown pretty much all “SEO rules” out the window and my blog has done so much better now that I’m not worrying about it. Great advice!

    • Thanks!! Yeah, sometimes those other details just overtake our attention and we lose focus on why we even started blogging to begin with. And you’ll hit 6 years before you know! 😉

  • Katelin

    This is great, congrats on the blogaversary! xo

  • 6 years! Congrats! This is some good advice too 🙂

  • LOVE this! Happy blogiversay, Erini! Some great lessons you’ve learned over the years listed here… I totally feel you on the personal information online and being OK with what you put out there because people in your life can absolutely find your blog. 🙂

    Here’s to six more years!

    • Thanks Erin!! 🙂

  • Aw I love this post!

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