I was about to start this post – my 1,000th! – with something trite like, “Hard to believe, eh?” but I’m retracting that, because I can totally believe it! I was here for all 1,000 posts, and they didn’t just magically compose themselves out of thin air. This blog is the product of a lot of hard – but so fun – daily work and I’m tremendously proud of all that I’ve built up over the past two and a half years.
I recently read that the failure rate for blogs is on par with that of opening a restaurant. That means roughly 90 percent of bloggers tap out within the first three months to a year of start-up. It’s an approximate number born out by my own experience – with the exception of a handful of lovely followers (oh, how I loathe that term; no cult leader am I) that have, to my great delight and wonderment, made this blog one of their second virtual homes, most readers come and go within six months.
So how have I persisted while others have already closed up (or abandoned) shop?
1. It sounds like a real no-brainer, but centre your blog around something you feel passionately about. It doesn’t particularly matter if what you feel passionately about is animal welfare or world politics or poetry or nail art or constructing elaborate miniature dioramas of the Globe Theatre populated entirely by hamsters in velveteen period costumes – if it holds your interest and you’re having fun sharing that interest with others, you’ll blog to do precisely that.
2. Don’t take shit from others. I’ve learned that the act of blogging – particularly silly old beauty blogging – is a lightning rod for some people to tell you how and why you’re wasting your life and bandwidth. The me of years’ back probably would have folded pretty quickly under the critical gaze of others, but the me of today refuses to be chased away from something she loves because it doesn’t look like someone else’s definition of a “proper” undertaking. Don’t allow your blogging efforts to be derailed by a judgmental few.
3. Never stop learning. Whether it’s keeping abreast of the latest updates to your blogging platform, learning new techniques, teaching yourself relevant computer programs, trying out new products and vendors or whatever the heck aligns with your blog, never stop trying to understand the (virtual) world around you. Keep things fresh and interesting and it’s something you’ll want to return to every day.
4. Get involved in the community. Blogging does not occur in a vacuum. Cultivate online (and maybe even real life) friendships with like-minded bloggers and you’ll come to think of your online space as more than just a place for you to dump your random thoughts.
And to that end,
5. Have something to say. Or do or display or demonstrate or show off or any one of the other thousands of action-oriented verbs in the English language. Using your blog as a public diary can be cathartic, sure, and I’m not trying to diminish the importance of getting your thoughts out in the world and off your mind, but in terms of blog sustainability, we all eventually run out of things to say (just not apparently me.) Tying your blog and your writing to some other product you’ve created gives you a built-in subject, and a jumping off point for other tangential discussions (it’s how I get away with talking about The Lost Boys every 27th post.)
So there, some hopefully wise words of blogging advice from an old timer who’s been there, done that, forgotten how the stupid saying actually goes. As always, thank you to the enthusiastic supporters (that’s so much better than “follower,” right?) who always have a kind and friendly word, and who make this space such a fun and enjoyable place to call MY second home. Here’s to the next 1,000!