On 31st August 2019, I bought this domain, Sanjuruns and started blogging. Therefore, I have just completed one year of blogging. Over the one year, I have published over 100 posts- some very good, some good and many not so good.
I had started the blog with the base version. I updated it to the business plan and renewed my domain. So, I am certainly here for another year to blog and take it to the next level.
I call my first year of blogging the BUBBLE PHASE. This is the most volatile phase of your blogging. You are just beginning to do something that you have never done before. You don’t know anything for sure. All you are doing is what you have read on other people’s blogs. You are mostly experimenting and ideating on finding your footing in the Blog world.
Over a million blogs are started every month but 95% of them don’t survive. I will tell you my own story. This is not my first blog. I have tried my hand before on 5 other blogging spaces. I failed and failed miserably. So, my only goal with Sanjuruns was to hang on somehow and survive.
And I did it!
In this 1 year of blogging, I have also made a fair amount of progress. I learned a lot. I opened my eyes to the realities of blogging. These realities hit me hard and busted some BIG myths that are floating around on Blogging. At the same time, I found hope to carry on and work on my vision.
So, let us start!
3 Myths Busted!
Myth 1: You will make millions Blogging:
When I started to blog, I was super excited. I was excited about the idea that Bloggers make millions. I had read on the blogs of people who are talking about Blogging as a niche that they make millions every month. They also show their monthly reports there. That makes it so convincing.
And this dream was shattered for me. I have not made any money so. But, I have certainly paid for buying blog domain and hosting services from WordPress.
I am not saying that you can’t. But, you need to understand that your first year of blogging is like going to Kindergarten. You have absolutely no idea how the blogging world works. This is the time for Baby steps.
It is good to have dreams. But, your first year is about making mistakes and learning.
Myth 2:Blogging can set you free and give you a marvelous lifestyle:
There is loads of work to do on every blog post that you write – Coming up with an original idea, creating the first draft, editing it and proofreading it, Creating the images or infographics to go with the post, etc.
Your first year is not going to be easy on it. You will need to allocate time for writing your posts. If you are a person like me who is also having a day job then it’s going to be a real challenge. A large majority of us are going to fall into this category.
I also have a family with 2 very young kids. I got up every day in the early morning and wrote my posts before anyone will wake up in the house.
Myth 3: Find a Niche to your Blog
I told you that this is my 5th Blog. We are not sure what we want to write on. Yes, if you are a wannabe blogger, the chances are that you know a lot of stuff to write on. But my dear, knowing is not blogging. There are hundreds and hundreds of blogs on every topic. I am sure you wanna say something of your own. Thus, finding your voice is what matters and it is not going to be easy.
Many bloggers give this advice on their blog. But, seldom have they realized that a person who is in the kindergarten is not in a position to realize his niche. It takes time and some experimentation. You would gradually develop a thought process for a niche.
Many people give up blogging because they start with the wrong expectations. And thanks to the Bloggers who set those expectations. They are out there to sell you dreams. But, they forget or just ignore to tell you the right path. Most likely, you will crash and end up miserable.
If you realized these 3 myths and still want to blog, you are welcome! Blogging is not all that difficult either. But, you need to be taking baby steps in your first year of blogging and set realistic expectations from yourself. In your first year, your sole aim should be to survive. So, even if you don’t make money or move into a marvelous lifestyle, that’s ok.
Even not being able to focus on one topic should not let you abandon the blog you have started. Use the same domain to just keep writing. Our Domains need to be renewed every year. So, you can always go back and change it.
Now, let us move on to:
Doing is different than knowing
What has led me to blog in the first place? Certainly, as I said earlier, the lure for money and riches. I don’t doubt that I can write. I can write well and so thought I could make money and leave my 9 to 9 grind.
Ok, but that’s not the full reason for blogging on running. I am a passionate runner. I have been doing regular running for the past 2 years. I moved from running a 2 km race to running a marathon. This is HUGE to me.
Imagine a person who was 106 Kgs once upon a time. I fell in love with running and it became my passion. So, what started out as a health activity took the form of a passionate running.
So, I thought I could take this message to the people and provide them with the practical inputs on running, fitness, etc. I imagined that I could do it easily. Haha! When I sat down to write, I felt strange. I was clueless. I knew so much but I did not know where to begin and how.
So, even though I had a passion to write on, I did not progress much. Only in the last 2 months, I have seen an uptick on my blogging.
Nothing happens overnight:
I have touched the score of blogging 100 posts (this is 103rd blog post) on sanjuruns.com but to be honest with you, I have not liked or referred back myself the large majority of posts that I wrote.
Initially, I thought that it will be easy. It will be easy to draft the posts. It will be easy to fill the blog with my experiences. But, I cannot be farther from the truth. I did a blog. I did write the posts. But, blogging is not just about my experiences. IT IS ABOUT SHARING THE EXPERIENCE THAT WILL BE USEFUL TO MY READERS.
I am not a professional blogger. I am a hobbyist. I don’t earn my daily bread blogging. I have a day job and family. That makes it challenging to blog regularly. Sometimes, I wrote and published rapidly, and sometimes, I had a long lull before I could really come up with an idea.
And I just blogged on whatever came to my mind. For me, it was an internal journey. The great writer, Stephen Covey has beautifully said this:
“Your private victory precedes the public victory”Stephen R Covey,
I did not care if people read my posts. I know for myself that I wrote just pathetically. However, my targets were not my readers at all. It was me. Will I be able to make headway every passing day? Will I be able to survive my 1 year of blogging?
And I learned that the only way to make headway and move ahead is to get to the battlefront and face some action. So, I bothered to write. No matter what I wrote. So, no matter how many blogs you have read, no matter how much you have acquired knowledge, real learning takes place when you will get down to blogging yourself. So, start a blog and write on it – First for yourself and then for the readers.
I have a hell lot of information on SEO, Keyword Research, and money-making funnels. But, I fell flat when I started to blog. The challenges in blogging are many.
- You need to find a socially relevant topic to write on
- And then, write that in the form that people can understand
Blogging is not about book writing. It is not about essay writing. Therefore, you don’t need superb literary skills are as a blog writer. But, you would need to find your style and format to write in, a sequence to create coherence and a smooth flow of ideas.
The Hopes found!
With myths busted and the lessons learned, I also found hope in the process of blogging and making it BIG someday.
Love for writing:
The hope that I found within me. I have always been a person who loved to write. I have written several diaries to myself. I have written several notes on self-growth, on personal finance, on anything and everything that mattered to me. I guess I can call myself a writer.
Writing for a Passion
My hope is my passion that I discover something new about every day. Running is a very simple process. However, there is so much that I need to talk about running. There is a complete Runners World out there.
Passion to Help people
The third reason for my hope is people. I find it engaging to have them around. I love sharing every tiny thing that I discover for myself. I love sharing my Eureka moments.
The above 3 reasons are just good enough to have me going for years now.
I have witnessed an uptick in my blogging when a very kind native English speaker started to help me with my blogging. She liked the raw and the simplicity of my blog. She has been more than kind to proofread and helps with her editing tips.
Prior to meeting her, I would rarely bother myself with the business of proofreading or thinking of editing my blogs. But, with her ideas, I could see the new phase of writing. I could imagine my old blogs in new formats. As blogging is not a printed word, you can always go back to edit them. And this is a lot of fun.
Editing my blog posts is like doing the work of an artist who loves to create a Sculpture out of a stone. She strived to remove all the extra material from the stone to have the curves appear. These curves are like our vision.
You gotta create a clear vision. And that takes time. Please don’t for the vision. Just keep working at it. You may not start with a clear vision. But, you need to start. You may seem far from your vision and feel like a total failure at times. But, you keep going. If you keep an open heart and an ever open mind, you will never give up. You will learn, find hope and eventually, you will find the road to move towards your vision.
Therefore, be more willing than ever to come back to your blog often and write. There were days with me when I could not get near my laptop. But, I sustained my blogging using the WhatsApp messenger. This may sound stupid but this is what I did.
So, here I wanna say, Blogging is just like any other meaningful pursuit. It requires hard work, time, and patience to create.