Blog Woes

Image: DTTSP

Image: DTTSP

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?

Comments

comments

10 Comments

  1. I’m with you on a lot of these things. In particular, I think if I worked harder and smarter at my blog, I could make some money off it. Money is good and blogging is good, but I’m not great with the plan and business end, either. Oh, to have both!

  2. Love this post! And for what it’s worth, I think you’re an excellent writer. I only wished you lived in Sydney, because I’d love to get your perspective on things here! When I visited Melbourne I loved it. The weather was kinda crap, because I had to bring a rain coat and layers with me everywhere I went, but I really liked the “feel” of the place. Perhaps it appealed my serious New England side, whereas Sydney is fun and sunny and laid back. But then, that appeals to friends I have from Miami (who visited last month) because it’s more similar to what they grew up around.

    • The weather in Melbourne is insane. It doesn’t rain much, but the highs and lows are so dramatic. I haven’t been to Sydney yet, but I look forward to visiting.

  3. Gosh, darn it, if you could make a living out of blogging that would be just about one of the best jobs out there. If blogging is fun – that means your work would be fun! As long as you kept it true to who you are & what you want to write about. I’m with you – I think it would be great if I could make some money off my blog – but I’m not really sure how to go about it (or am scared of trying.) Ah, life…

  4. Man, you guys are making me feel like a blogging slacker! I love that you all seem to have done blog research before moving- that thought honestly never occurred to me! What a great plan to have in the back of your mind. I’d love to make money off of blogging but I guess right now, it’s still more of an outlet for connecting with friends and family… but you’ve given me a lot to think about!

    • It is different writing for friends and family and a broader audience. I think about that sometimes too. I don’t want to ever lose the personal touch. Monetizing my blog would be a secondary purpose. That’s probably why I still haven’t done it.

  5. “My blog was discovered by various people and I received offers for expat interviews, advertising, and even contests. Overall, it’s gone well.”

    WOW! Color me impressed. I thought about adding advertising to my blog, too. But I don’t have that many followers and not much traffic. Also, I was worried that it would annoy people. Other than the actual writing (which you already know I’m in awe of), your blog is really nice-looking too. I think it looks clean and professional. 🙂

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