The Journey of a Blog

From 0 to 2000 Followers

I’ve had one eye on my stats lately, watching the number of Followers slowly creeping up to 2000. I wanted to mark the occasion but while I was busy with other things this week, my newest followers vaulted over the magic number. Still, here’s my planned celebration and a few historical notes.

Fireworks.pink cropped

2000+ Party

I’m Too Tech-Dense to Blog!

Back in January of 2012 a friend and fellow writer was talking about her blog, and the usefulness of blogs in general as a platform for one’s writing. I already had a website, set up by someone who knew what they were doing, and was enjoying posting on it. But I told my friend, “I could never BLOG. Not me! I could never figure out all that tech stuff.”

She said, “Blogging isn’t hard at all.”

And I said, “Well… Okay. Tell me how and I’ll try setting one up. If I can manage it with my limited technical smarts, anyone can.”

So she rattled off instructions, I wrote them down, I came home and started my blog. And it actually WASN’T hard. And now, 6 ½ years later, over 2000 readers have clicked my Follow button. Who’d’a thunk it!

I’m thankful for all those votes of confidence, and I really appreciate those of you who have stayed, liked my posts, left comments, and helped me to become a more dedicated writer. To those of you who make up my readership today, thanks so much and bless your dear hearts. 🙂

Faces.jpg

Through the years I’ve learned a lot about blogging. Here are some things I wished I’d known when I started out:

#1. For my first blog address I picked christineevelynvance, which made a too-long web address. It’s getting tough to find short-and-simple names; the easy ones were taken by bloggers years ago. And so many wannabes only posted once or twice, then quit. But newcomers who choose themotherofjosephsabrinaandcrystal or theavidreaderofhistoricalromances as their web address aren’t doing themselves any favours. Fine for a blog title, but for a web address, stay as simple as possible. Be creative if necessary. I called my last blog “Waverations.” Simple; easy to remember.

My second blog, set up to divide my longer prose from short anecdotes and poetry, was “Swallow in the Wind.” In time I merged it with my first. My third blog was “Tree Top Haiku”, which is still going — when I get over there. After trying to keep up with three blogs for awhile, I saw the error of my ways.

#2. You don’t need a separate blog for every genre. Keeping up several blogs can be mega-stress. (Plus I got leukemia, so was dealing with that for several years.) My first blog fell by the wayside and I started “Christine’s Reflections”, with my domain name as the address. Two years ago I renamed my first blog “Friday Tales” and posted flash fiction when I was doing the Friday Fictioneers challenges.

Waverations I set up as a private site to try out new themes without messing up the look of my active blogs. It has morphed into this one. I applied my domain name to this and had the folks at WordPress beam the Friday Tales and Christine’s Reflections subscribers this way.

#3. Use proper categories and tags from day one. A subject all its own — I’ve written about it HERE — and the reason why I felt the need to start over from scratch. Now I’m in the slow process of reblogging all those past posts into this blog. Tree Top Haiku will stay as is.

Over the years I’ve tried to “share the love” by letting my readers know about other great blogs and posts. I could — and plan to — do more of this. Which is why I got enthused about the new “From the Heart” blogging award. You can tell your readers about other interesting sites without putting any obligations on those bloggers. (In fact, my brain is concocting another idea along these lines as I’m writing this. 😉 )

Since I started out, my husband has also gotten enthused and now has his own blogs, one in English and one in French.

And now…here’s my virtual Happy 2000 cake. Cut yourself a piece (it’s zero-calorie, no preservatives 🙂 ) and celebrate with me.

Birthday cake.rainbow.jpg

23 thoughts on “The Journey of a Blog

    • Merging blogs, the physical part, wasn’t a hassle. Just an Export + Import files deal. The problem, or why I’ve decided to reblog everything, is that our posts are dated. When you IMPORT a blog wholesale, those posts appear in your Archives on the date they were posted. Readers will have to search the Archives for them, as opposed to seeing them for the first time.

      Posts will also have their original categories and tags. I started out letting every post go as Uncategorized and using rather irrelevant tags. It took me a long time to catch on how the Reader works. Now as I repost writings, I categorize and tag everything properly. Life would be a lot simpler for me if I didn’t hop all over the genre field, but that’s me: social cricket. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • It would feel a shame, but it may end up being best to put this one to sleep and start from scratch with an author blog.

        Thanks for the informative response, Christine. Much to contemplate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have a “rule” for myself, too, that I don’t do more than three posts in a day. More than that and the readers can’t keep up — especially if they follow twenty or so blogs where the writers post 3-8 items a day. I had a blogging friend who’d whip off a dozen or more haiku in a day and post them all and I just didn’t have time to look at them all.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment. New bloggers are often “at sea” when it comes to tags. We need to use tags that will go to the Reader, so people will find our post. Words people are apt to search for. Not words like Cloudy, Cousins, Pink, or Our boat. Unless we want these in OUR particular filing system.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If I might suggest, instead of Cloudy, do Weather. And you’ll get more looks if you state what kind of boat, sailboat, motor boat. Plus Recreation, Outdoors, Leisure. Up to fifteen. I did 17 once for curiosity and my post never went to the Reader at all, so WP is serious when they say your post will go into the SPAM section if you use too many. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations
    And mmmmm
    I really needed virtual cake although I went for
    Just frosting –

    And enjoyed the process you behaved – and side note – hard to believe that 2012 was really 6 1/2 years ago

    Is it really 2018?
    Yes it is !

    I have learned a few things too and well
    – congrats again

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Glad you enjoyed your cake. Pixabay was very kind to bake it for me. 🙂 I liked the different colours, in my mind representing different genres.

      I started a blog at Blogger, same time and by the same name as my WP blog “Swallow in the Wind.” I posted on it for a few months — only sporadically after awhile. The only advantage I found was that I could comment on other Blogger blogs (like your FF posts) without any hassle.
      Otherwise I had almost no interaction with anyone. Nothing like a Reader where you can check out other blogs. (If there is, I never figured it out.) And my WordPress blogs were up and running, gaining followers, so I just abandoned Blogger.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Finish The Story #5, 10 August 2018 – The Haunted Wordsmith

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