Today’s prompt in the Expat Blog Challenge is, “I wish that when I started my blog I had…”.
I began this blog on New Year’s Day 2012. I would be travelling
to Australia for the first time just a month later and I was so excited. I built this blog on the free WordPress.com platform and used the premium theme Linen, which I still love. And then I just started writing. Slowly, I met other expat bloggers and found online expat communities. My blog was discovered by various people and I received offers for expat interviews, advertising, and even contests. Overall, it’s gone well.
There are a few things that I wish I had done differently, or done sooner. I wish I had moved to self-hosting and monetized it. This blog could have been making me a little bit of money. But I was afraid of the technology and I wasn’t making time to learn it. I’m a front-end person, not a coder, and I was intimidated by PHP. I finally made that jump last month in January. I gave the blog a make-over and moved it off WordPress.com to WordPress.org and hosted by BlueHost. However, I haven’t spent sufficient time working on that side of things and I haven’t followed up with any of the advertisers that have contacted me. I guess it’s just not a big enough priority at the moment, but it’s always in the back of my mind, and one of these days, I’ll sit at my desk and come up with a plan.
Speaking of plans, I haven’t been as organized as I’d like with this blog. Prolific bloggers are prolific because they have a plan. They jot down ideas, they review their blog stats to see what readers are looking for, and they plan out their blog posts using calendars. Me? I just blog as it comes. The Expat Blog Challenge has been good for prompting me to write everyday, but I have no illusions I’ll be keeping that up once it’s over. I’ll revert to two or three times a week.
The truth is that I’m a bit torn. Blogging is fun for me. I like sharing what I’m doing, but it also helps me process my more challenging experiences. I don’t want to turn it into a job, but then, wouldn’t that be a great job to have? Some day, I’ll have to enter the Australian workforce. Wouldn’t it be great if I could keep doing what I do, write? For years I’ve thought that I would love to be a freelance writer. I know I have the writing skills, but I don’t know if I have the business skills, and those are just as important, if not more so.
So, those are my blogging woes. What are yours?