Lessons and Thoughts on First 30 Days of Blogging

Having officially reached a milestone of blogging my first 30 days, I wanted to share some lessons learned, thoughts on the process, and next steps.

Blogging is something I have thought about doing for many many years.  I dabbled in so many different hobbies and as the hobby list grew, I wanted to find an outlet to keep track of my progress and maybe to share some inspiration.  Photography became a focus and with that my journey began.

I am a HUGE list-make and planner.  This has served me well in most cases and slowed me down in others.  I have broken down the main points of thought to keep this post on target and hopefully organized.

Let's Begin........

A Bit More About Me

During the day I am a Business Development Specialist with a wonderful company

I live with an incredible man (Mike), two dogs (Rex and Larry) and two cats (White Cat and Orange Cat)

I have two grown sons (Mitchell and Marshall) and a Granddaughter (Aaliyah)

I am the happiest I have ever been in my whole life

Blogging Discoveries

Blog Planning and Jumping In

  1. As previously mentioned, I use Blogger as my platform.  It is easy to use and very straightforward.
    1. I have read the Pros and Cons for so many platforms that it is easy to get caught up in the information - back to slowing me down.......
    2. Down the road, I may switch, but for now this works
    3. My "brand" is simple and straightforward. 
    4. Did you notice I have no social media icons on my blog?  I am most likely the 2% of the world that does not utilize or enjoy Facebook, Twitter, or any others.  I dabble in Instagram or stroll through Pinterest but have no plans to go any farther at this time.   
    5. Niche?
      1. The process of defining a niche REALLY slowed me down until I realized I didn't need to have one right out of the gate - yes, really!
      2. Photography is my key "area" and I am hoping this evolves into many focus bits.  
      3. Collecting props at a variety of venues is a great pastime for me and I am completely drawn to the following criteria for my pieces:
        1. Old 
        2. Utilitarian
        3. Used
        4. Loved
        5. Creating sets, scenes, and stories with my images is the goal

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Time Management

My tagline is "Primitive Light Photography" and this means I am not experimenting or learning techniques with enhanced lighting.  Daylight is my choice and this has been both exciting and frustrating in the learning process.  My time is very limited to take photos so I have developed some quick techniques to make the most of it:

  1. Start with prop or project I want to document and share
  2. Create a vision or story for the post and image outcome
  3. Determine the location, backdrops, and light source
  4. Grab the camera and "let er rip"

During the winter months, the only time I have available to take photos is on the weekends or the rare day off.  I make the most of every minute I can and try to capture at least 3-4 "stories" and begin post-processing techniques on the images in LightRoom CC.  Just beginning the learning process with this but so far so wonderful!  Post drafting is next and in a perfect world I will try to create at least three to pre-schedule for publishing during the week.  This frees up my week to focus on family and household needs so I can really enjoy "my" time.

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Analytics

Let me start this section by saying

"WOW"

.  It has been so much fun this past 30 days watching the daily "views" count on my posts and even better, when a comment appears!  Words cannot express my appreciation for both of these. There are several blogs in my "Inspiration" list (right sidebar) that I have been following for 5+ years and many news ones that inspire me daily.  When I see a comment from one of them, it is amazing!  I found myself getting completely caught up in the numbers and decided to change that mentality to the following:

  1. Watch for trends on the various posts and the content I have shared
    1. What is attracting attention?
    2. What is so-so?
    3. What is inspiring and thought-provoking?
    4. What is a dud?
    5. Move deeper into the topics that readers can relate or react to
      1. Did I inspire?
      2. Did I answer a question?
      3. Can I answer a question?
      4. Did I delve into an over-saturated area of information and if so, can I make it unique for readers?

With this thought process, I am not going to base success on numbers right now.  I wish to base success on the new and meaningful relationships I am building in the online world.  Whether that number of readers or followers is 10 or 10 million, I am focusing on the human element of sincerity and thoughtfulness which goes both ways.

Sincere Human Connections over Quantity!

Full-on SEO is another research topic - another thought plan - another day (sooner rather than later)

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Suggestions and Next Steps

  1. If you are contemplating starting a blog to share your talents, please do it!  Start as small and simple as you need to fully enjoy the process!
  2. Don't get caught up in all of the "how to start a blog" online information and let it overwhelm you - everything will come together in its own sweet time and on your terms!
  3. Remember - this is YOUR forum to share with the online world!  You are unique and so are your words and talents!
  4. Build a comfortable foundation and always remember - "The easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time"!

I have shared what I know, what I have learned, and what I hope to do next up to this point.  The beautiful part of this whole thing is, like the worn-out whisk broom above, there will be many projects and many new opportunities to make my blog even bigger and better moving forward.  Work hard, stay focused, and enjoy a job well done!  

As always, your thoughts, comments, and suggestions mean the world to me and if you know of someone who is thinking about starting a blog but maybe needs a bit of encouragement, please send them my way.  I am just an email away for more in-depth conversations.  Exciting plans for "in-person" discussions in the works - more to come soon!!

Thank you and have a fantastic rest of your day!

JoanMarie

ps......the Zinc Chairs are all set for the photoshoot this weekend!!