Autism, blogging, books, community, reading, writing

Things I Learned About Blogging (The 2016 Edition)

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  • How to use social media. I went for all of them — Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Facebook — and quickly learned that…
  • Not all social media platforms are created equal. Within a month, Pinterest was out of the realm of possibility. Instagram kept telling me I couldn’t validate my account without a cell phone number. Well, tough artichokes to them that I honestly do not have a cell phone these days. Good thing I don’t take many of my own photos, anyway.
  • Getting a good network of people together really does increase your presence online. A lot of interconnected bloggers/Tweeters/Goodreads-ers that share a common subscription to my site as well have boosted my confidence and my stats.

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  • There are real people on the other side of the screen, and they may be fickle, or stand by you through some heavy stuff. This year I posted several discussions on topics that are deemed controversial by many (especially when it comes to developmental “disorders”), and it was very revealing when some people apparently couldn’t handle that. The same goes for those who were so supportive and encouraging.
  • Sometimes sharing more of yourself can be scary, but is ultimately worth it. I’m getting a lot of support for including an honest and open perspective about ASD individuals in my authorship, and for sharing my own and my son’s challenges and triumphs.
  • Occasionally you do need to say goodbye. A few people that I was really attached to in the blogisphere took a long break, for personal reasons and circumstances that I hardly blame them for; but still, their absence meant an adjustment on my part.

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  • It’s okay not to like everything “everybody” else likes. I engaged in some very interesting discussions about genres or certain titles that have had their ups and downs with book bloggers. Mostly these comments amounted to “how could you not LOVE this?!?!” and “sorry, but I just don’t because of…” and the two sides often not reaching a nice agreement. As I found that some of my opinions on the particular titles were actually in between the would-date-it-if-it-was-a-person and the would-use-it-to-start-a-fire camps, I realized that reaching a middle ground is no small accomplishment. And it’s totally all right if I happen not to like a new release that several other people reveled in.
  • You don’t have to try to be like “everyone” else. Having an individual niche/feel/voice within the community is valuable, important, and so okay. After several months of lots of bloggers just agreeing with each other, the push for having open conversations about the same titles fades away. Not screaming dissent, not forcing other readers to kiss your feet — just a nice, calm, honest exchange of ideas. We really could use more of that.
  • There is no one correct way to blog. After attempting challenges (and getting way too stressed out), trying to meet a quota on types of posts, stick to a schedule, and pre-selecting topics, I threw in the towel on all of that. So it works for other people, it didn’t for me — and since I’m the one sitting behind this particular screen, let’s stick to what works pour moi.

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7 thoughts on “Things I Learned About Blogging (The 2016 Edition)”

  1. The “There is no one correct way to blog” is the BEST thing to learn of ever!! It took me a little while to get the hang of that, but honestly it’s freeing and fun and gives you so much more creativity when you just be yourself on your blog!! I’m so glad you learned all these epic things this year. And omg why does instagram want you to give a phone number?!? I’m glad my account never demanded that because I don’t have a phone either.😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s really strange – about 4 times I’ve tried to log back in to my Instagram account to get started on it, and before it will let me post anything or search for anyone, it insists that I add a mobile number to my settings. Huh?! It’s apparently not optional, and it will not allow me to proceed without it. So odd.

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  2. Wonderful post! Definitely know what you mean about the real people behind the blog thing! And yes, people don’t have to (and in fact shouldn’t) like all the same books- what a boring world that would be if that was the case! And your message at the end about doing what works for you is so important in the blogging world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! When I started blogging, there seemed to be a “right” way and a “wrong” way to go about it, and this simply isn’t true! By trying to be like “everyone” else, I was losing views. People really started visiting my site in droves when I made it clear I’m offering something that others may not be.

      Liked by 1 person

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