My twitter friend Agness Bookbinder, has been doing these thirty minute writing exercises with herself and inviting friends to join her. So even though I’ve been writing all day I decided to join her, and when I thought about what I wanted to talk about it, I realized I wanted to talk about writing blog posts.
One of the things that always irks me is those posts that tell you how to make your writing more dynamic so that people will extend their energy by commenting, liking, or sharing your posts. The truth is that none of those work.
Your audience will make themselves apparent when they choose to make themselves apparent, with or without your invitation, when they damned well please, and not a moment before.
When I start writing I don’t think about much more than the title, I just start writing and sometimes those posts make it onto the website, and other times I delete them because they are just for me.
The posts that get deleted will be forever recorded in the wires in my brain, but they aren’t always about things I am ready or knowledgeable enough about to share with the world.
When I started writing this post, I wanted to address some of the things that I think are more important than comments or likes.
These are my stats from the last three years of doing this blog, and honestly I am pretty proud of them, because I am exactly where I expected I would be at this point, and when I started the only thought that was in my head was “let’s see if I try to make this a thing.”
Each year my stats have gone up, and that is a direct result of how much I have promoted my website.
This year I am trying to enter the Mental Health Blogging Awards for the first time. This year I am promising myself that at least once a day I will write something, whether it gets posted or not, and at least once a day I will promote my blog in a way that I didn’t the day before.
Marketing is really difficult for me, because when you’re a creator your life is basically standing on an internet street corner holding a sign that says “look at me”, and honestly for someone who just wants to become a writer and hide in the shadows, that’s difficult to do.
Marketing yourself means constantly reminding yourself that you are a person of means and power, that you have skills other people may not. It reminds constantly bolstering your own self ego because no one else is going to spend every day telling you how great you are, just so that you’ll get the work done.
When you’re a blogger, and it’s something that you want to do professionally, it’s especially difficult because you set your own hours, and you decide what work gets published. You might think it’s the greatest thing in the world, but not everyone will agree with you.
When you’re a creator you have to join other websites and use apps that other creatives use to get your work out there, so that people will see your name on a variety of platforms and pages. Every single day is about saying “okay world, I can do this,” and some days honestly, you just fucking cannot.
There were some days in 2020 when I literally got to noon and said “fuck it, I’m getting stoned and watching tv all day,” and I did exactly that, there were Saturdays and Sundays when I got up at six and worked until three am.
Every day is different, and it’s the kind of work that no one else can demand from you, it comes in fits and starts, and you never know when you’re going to be able to pull out of you some kind of creative endevor that other people might want to take the time to read.
Blogging is fucking difficult, especially because people still turn up their nose at bloggers, because literally everyone can do it, which means that it is seems as somehow less special than being a Celebrity or a Doctor.
A lot of people think that blogging is just vomiting every thought you think you need to share, with the entire world, when in reality it’s about pulling back layers of your flesh, of your mind, and soul, so that other people can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be you, and still they won’t understand how emotional it can be to be a blogger.
But here’s the thing, those of us that are sharing our stories, like Anya Nicola, or The Fat Girl of Fashion, are opening the world up to what it means to be a woman living with addiction and mental health issues. There are people on the other side of these blogs thinking “if they can do it maybe I can too,” there are people on the other side of these blogs that are trying to commit suicide, and sometimes it’s our words that stop them from making that choice.
Yeah Blogging seems like a simple thing that everyone can do, but there are responsibilities that come with building a blog into a Brand. Honestly without the Fat Girl of Fashion, I wouldn’t have started to see my body as comfortable and beautiful.
Without Afro Cannada BudSista’s I wouldn’t have found other women of color who smoke weed and advocate for it’s use across a variety of platforms for a ton of different reasons
Blogging when done well, is a beautiful job that engages all kinds of communities from the world of Science and Mathematics to Literature, History, and Fiction.
It’s not about how many pictures you put in your post – which by the way as a piece of advice, one or two max, anything more than that is annoying af-. It’s not even the topic of your blog, it’s about how well you MARKET your blog.
Build Facebook pages, have an Instagram and Twitter account, and interact with your audience as much as possible, because the more that people get to know you as a person, the more they are going to want to support your work. 90% of my buying paid audience, whether that’s my book or my clothing line, come from people I consider internet friends.
Blogging isn’t a fine science, not yet. Some people make it big, and other’s do it because they are genuinely passionate about putting words on pages where people in the world can read them.
Whatever your reason is for becoming a blogger, I hope that you will blog about things that you are passionate about, I hope that writing fuels in you a desire to live your life as if every single day was a new writing adventure.
Sending all my love to the current and future bloggers out there,
Devon J Hall