Things I Have Learned After One Year of Blogging


One year ago today I published my first blog post. It was a beginning of a wonderful journey and I would like to share some of its aspects.

Starting

My husband Ari has been urging me for a long time to write a blog, considering my love for writing, my interests in many subjects, and my teacher like manner (I have a tendency to lecture to people). Eventually, it was my youngest sister Sapir, who came for a visit, and ordered me to do so while instructing me with a very clear guideline to follow.
Language

I chose to write in English because I wanted to reach as many people as possible. English is not my mother tongue and at the beginning I was terrified writing. Thankfully Ari, whose mother tongue is English, has been a great help and support in this department. Despite the extra effort that it takes to write in a foreign language, I find it very rewarding and exciting to see on my blog dash board that I reach readers from all over the world.

Privacy

In my everyday life I’m a very private person. As I was working on this blog I slowly defined for myself what part of my life I’m willing to share, and what I would like to keep private. I hope that by sharing my personal experience and knowledge other people might benefit from it.

Permission to make mistakes

When I started this journey I gave myself the permission to make mistakes – public mistakes. The best way to learn things is simply by doing, making mistakes, and improving. I have noticed that my perfectionism in life has been preventing me from doing things and it advanced me nowhere. So here I am, getting the ball rolling, making mistakes, and learning and growing.

Subject matter

I have many interests in life, I’m a very curious person (for as long as I can remember), I don’t like to be constrained, I get bored quickly, and I cannot be consistent doing things that do not excite me (typical Aquarian). When I was trying to think what I would like to write about – my answer was “everything”. That was the only way to make sure I would enjoy working on my blog and keep on doing it. That is also why I chose the name “A for Lifestyle” to give me the freedom to write about as many subjects as I would like to. This is the place to mention that choosing to focus on one subject makes is a lot easier to gather a constant flow of followers who are interested in one subject. There is the easy way and there is the more interesting way – which one would you choose?

Thinking like a blogger

As I started this blog I was afraid that I would run out of ideas. Today I laugh at this thought. I have a file with a long list of ideas that keeps on growing. Today I fear that I will never catch up with it.  Writing a blog made me observe my life more actively. I have learned to pay more attention to things around me whether it is food, art, or a thought – everything can be a post one day. If in the past I was blamed to be oblivious (and a space cadet) today all my senses and awareness are much sharper. I love experiencing life as a blogger.

Length matters

In today’s fast pace life people like short, quick to read, articles. If you think of writing a blog, take this into account. For me it would have been an easier job to write a paragraph or two, but it doesn’t always appeal to me.  Since I mainly write for myself, I love to explore things and my posts tend to be longer.

Photographs

Starting my post I had no clear vision of how I would like my page to look like. Because I’m a visual person I love photos and I love to break the text with visual entertainment, the current structure of my blog post developed organically and intuitively. I have always loved taking photos, but now, because of the blog, I take a lot more. I have a camera, but I tend to use my phone camera - since it's always with me. Something I have learned in the past year is that you can never take enough photos. I changed the way I photograph landscape and food after looking at professional photos and their angles. In my landscape photos I try to look for  a subject. I also started to think like a stylist since I started taking photos of food. I have started to appreciate small elements that add to the esthetics in my environment – like a dish or a towel. Adding photos to the blog requires more time of work for each post. I find the the aesthetic final result is well worth it.

Generating traffic

At the beginning I did not bother much with marketing, since I wanted to focus on building blog content. I use the regular social media websites such as facebook and twitter, but the one that proved to be the most beneficial to bring readers to my blog is reddit. Posts about food and current events attract a lot of readers.

Procrastination vs. Dedication

I am a big procrastinator, especially when it comes to dealing with subjects I’m terrified of, or bored with. Writing this blog surprised me for the better – because I enjoy this kind of writing I want to do it all the time. It came to a point that I had to limit my blog writing time, since there are other things that I wish to do, but they don’t generate the immediate satisfaction as blog writing does. Writing a blog can be time consuming and has no monetary reward at the beginning. For me, to enjoy the process is my way to guarantee that I continue writing this blog.  

Community support

My community is my family and friends. They are the people I can trust to give me truthful and direct feedback. I love blunt people that don’t care much about being politically correct or “sensitive” in a way that preserve your ignorance.  That’s the reason I am grateful for my friend Ronit who is never afraid to give me her honest opinion on my writing and for my brother Yair who was blunt enough to tell me that my first blog design was infantile. On the other side of the spectrum, I am very thankful for my childhood friend Nira for being my cheerleader. This is also the place to thank all the people who have been encouraging me, helping me, inspiring me, and cooperating with me by sharing their own wisdom and experience in this blog. I am also very grateful for my readers for giving my writing a sense of purpose.

The way I see my blog

It’s a private journal that I enjoy sharing with the public. I write mainly for myself, and I love the process of observing, investigating, experimenting, analyzing, and recording my experiences and impressions. In most cases the writing process is a lot harder than the research, since it requires the brain to condense a big idea into a coherent and communicative article. It’s a challenge I enjoy very much and I hope to keep on doing that.

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