Blogging

10 lessons in 10 years of blogging

Ten years ago, while I was in my final year of Masters, I started this blog. While it had its origins on Windows Live Spaces in 2006, I moved over to Blogger with the same title – Over Cups of Coffee – but a pseudonym instead. I wrote initially as means to communicate to family and then, just as a journal for myself. It was only in 2008 I discovered the whole new world of Blogosphere.

Here are 10 lessons I’ve learnt in 10 years of blogging:

Stick with a blog name and brand

I have rebranded my blog twice in ten years. I started with Over Cups of Coffee and then, in 2014, feeling there had been a huge shift in my life, I moved on to Living my Imperfect Life. While I still love the name, this year, I realised I wanted one with a part of my name in it. Hence, I decided to keep Sanch Writes. Redirecting blogs, migrating posts, updating information everywhere is a tedious process. So if possible, try and stick with a blog name and brand!

But it’s okay if you don’t

And just like that, I’ll retract what I just said. When blogging is a part of you life, it grows just as you do. Which means sometimes, you may outgrow a name or an idea. Don’t beat yourself up too much for the tedious work of changing names.

You don’t need a niche

All the professional bloggers will tell you you need a niche. But really, you don’t. Because if people like what you have to say, they will come.

You do need to engage

That said, you still need to engage with the blogging community. This involves responding to comments {which I’ve slacked off on a bit} and more importantly, visiting other blogs and commenting on theirs {this I consider non-negotiable!} It’s the engagement in the end that will be beneficial.

Be authentic while engaging

I find it very hard to comment for the sake of commenting. And trust, it’s hard when you are part of link-ups to find something to comment on every blog especially if you do not connect with it. I try and stick to blogs I know I can genuinely engage with but if absolutely necessary, for those I don’t know what to say, I’ll say something along those lines anyway. With no disrespect to parenting bloggers, it’s not something I will connect with on a personal level but I find I can sometimes add my two cents as a professional.

You will rarely make the big bucks

If you get into blogging for the sole reason of making money, it’s not always possible. Sure there are some professional bloggers out there who make a living out of blogging but that’s not all of us. Chances are, most of us might make a little bit of money on the side but nothing that’s going to help pay off the mortgage.

Challenges are fun but exhausting

Blogging challenges like NaBloPoMo or A to Z are great to find new bloggers, build your own blog and challenge your writing but they can also be quite exhausting because it’s not just about dropping your links and leaving.

You can meet amazing people online

I’ve met some wonderful people through ten years of blogging. I haven’t met them all in person but I do connect well with them even chatting online. I’ve been fortunate to meet a few in person and would certainly consider them friends.

If you use a pseudonym, use a sensible one

Seriously, use something that’s a name.

Blog for the love of writing. But don’t let it stress you 

Blog because you love writing. Because then, no matter what, you will keep doing it. It doesn’t have to be stressful. Because writing is therapy. And yet, if you don’t blog because you want to work on something else outside the blog {*cough* NaNoWriMo *cough*}, that’s okay too. Because your blog will always be here and faithful readers will understand.

So that’s my ten lessons in ten years. I’m sure there are several more and I know none of this will make a difference in your blogging lives but it’s stuff I keep in mind for myself. Because I still think there’s a place for blogging. I still think it will evolve.

I miss the old days of personal posts and chats on Twitter continuing conversations that started on our blogs. I miss the times when people didn’t fill their posts with sponsored material or trying to sell stuff. I miss the days when it was a conversation over cups of coffee.

But I think and continue to live in hope that a small number of us will continue that.

***Linking with Write Tribe for the Write Tribe Problogger Challenge, Denyse for Life this Week, Alicia for Open Slather and Mackenzie for MG***

Image Source: Pixabay

Until next time,

 

 

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35 Comments

  • Reply
    Lydia C. Lee
    October 30, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Good tips. I think Far Kew might prove you wrong on the name bit tho….
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted…First of the Month Fiction – NovemberMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sydney Shop Girl
    October 30, 2017 at 8:05 am

    So much excellent advice, Sanch! Especially to blog for the love of writing. It’s what has kept me going all this time. I find the commercial aspect and strategizing to build readership and followers really stressful so I don’t do that stuff anymore.

    SSG xxx

  • Reply
    Jody at Six Little Hearts
    October 30, 2017 at 8:09 am

    It’s a very different landscape in the blogging world these days. I think I have been blogging for about 4.5 years and it has all changed so much in that time. You’re right about the social aspects. It’s a great way to meet people.
    Jody at Six Little Hearts recently posted…Luna Dark Review. Enjoy the Halloween Thrills at Melbourne’s Luna Park This Halloween!My Profile

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    October 30, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I think people still overlook the value of personal blogging a lot. There will always be a space for people talking about life with friends and strangers. Always.
    I also struggle to comment on some types of blog posts and that contributed to be shutting down my link up.
    Vanessa recently posted…Random Weekend Chats From My Car #6My Profile

  • Reply
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    October 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Ah yes, I think we’ve realised all the same stuff! Good post.

  • Reply
    Amrita
    October 30, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Its a very interesting list of lessons.I feel your lessons are useful for all of us.I have been blogginh for 3 years now and I too feel niches are over rated.Thank you for shating your wisdom.

  • Reply
    Jeremy
    October 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Sanch!

    I found your blog while I was struggling with maintaining a pseudonym, and you inspired me to pretty much kill it off and parade forward as myself.

    Blogging has changed so much since I started with LiveJournal, and I miss how personal blogs used to be. It’s hard to find any that still emulate that… everyone’s trying to sell something, like you said! So I really appreciate how personal you are here, while still balancing that line with the modern style of blogging. 🙂

    All that said, is there anything you can do about the Facebook tab that pops up in the corner of your page? It’s fine on desktop, but on mobile it covers your content and won’t close. It’s INFURIATING lol. I must admit I stopped reading for awhile because of it. I’d really love to see your stuff without things hiding the words you work so hard over. 🙂

    Thanks for erading!

    • Reply
      Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      October 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Jeremy. My guess is you’ve been a bit of a lurker here so welcome to this place! I will get rid of the Facebook pop up…always good to have feedback re what to improve.

      • Reply
        Jeremy
        October 31, 2017 at 12:27 am

        Ah! What a relief! Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Reply
    Prasanna
    October 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Congrats on the ten years of blogging. And those are some great advice for people like us who need to get up from the lazy butts and start writing 🙂

  • Reply
    Priya
    October 30, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Some really nice tips for new bloggers like me. Blog grows as we do-it-yourself so true.
    Priya recently posted…Update Your Avatar on WordPress.comMy Profile

  • Reply
    Tina Basu
    October 30, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    I gave blogging a serious thought as a career after 6 years of blogging. i still love writing for the heck of it. Congratulations on your decade of blogging!
    Tina Basu recently posted…What are you doing this Halloween? #WriteBravely #MondayMusingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Ness
    October 30, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Happy 10th blogaversary! That’s amazing. Such wisdom here. Love it. I so agree with your final sentiments about missing when blogging was personal posts and conversations. Sometimes I feel like I’m one of the few who only blogs for the love of writing and connecting and I feel like I’m an oddity in the blogosphere… Oh well, can’t get rid of me anyway lol

  • Reply
    natalie cox
    October 30, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    I love this post. Congratulations lovely what a achievement!! I have lost my love a little for writing a little, I think I have done far too many sponsored posts. It is all about balance. I am going to have a good think about my little space and try to remember why I started. #mg

  • Reply
    Shruti Shankar
    October 30, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks for the post. I agree that many talk about Niche and all that. I personally would like to read varied posts. Great tips there !!

  • Reply
    Prasanna Raghavan
    October 30, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Hi, dear, it’s called growing. You grow in your outlook, convictions, also because of the world out there. I was hugely fascinated by the blog when I heard of it as a medium for self-publishing. It was in 2006. There were times I lost interest in that, a number of blogs I started at different times, for different topics I got interested in. Now, I have settled with one-Prasanna’s Writing. My interest is now basically in writing. It’s very much educative reading your post. Ten years of growth capsuled into a post. Well done 🙂 and keep growing.

  • Reply
    CookieCrumbsInc. (@meepeevee)
    October 31, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Thank you so much for point 3, Sanch. I’ve been struggling with it for the longest time, both on my blog and on my Instagram! Also, ten years! Glad to have been reading you for this long and for being one of my ‘old’ blog friends who never abandoned ship <3

  • Reply
    Surbhi Prapanna
    October 31, 2017 at 4:57 am

    first, my heartiest congratulation to you, for completing 10 amazing years in blogging journey. I had just started off and I had learnt a lot from your list. you had shared some very important point, I also agree writing and sharing your thoughts should be the primary aim of your blogging journey, and making the money or other benefits should be secondary.

  • Reply
    Katherine
    October 31, 2017 at 5:05 am

    I agree with all of these! And I go back to some of them when I’m feeling stressed out about meeting my own imaginary deadlines. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t a business for me and I’m actually losing money on it because I love doing it. #LifeThisWeek

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    October 31, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I totally agree that if you write for yourself, then you will always enjoy this journey.
    As for niche, I got none for my personal blog. I find it so hard to categorise it into a box.
    Not a fan of sponsored posts either. But if the blogger has managed to make it creative or interesting, I do leave a comment.
    I am so bad at replying to comments. I wish I could be better at that.
    Wish you good luck for the challenge next month.
    Great lessons. Congratz on hitting the milestone.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…10 years later, 20 Kg heavierMy Profile

  • Reply
    Denyse
    October 31, 2017 at 10:35 am

    What a great post and BIG congratulations for 10 years. Wow. I am impressed. I first found what blogs were via twitter (the good old days I agree from 2009-2011 for me) and my interest was piqued after commenting a lot and connecting with people from the OLDEN days on mamamia. Talk about co-incidence. Today, for IBOT, I have done a retrospective on my blogging and my idea for continuing forward which is to build a readership of those “baby boomers” of which I am one. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 42/52. Next week: Meditation. Yay or Nay.
    Denyse recently posted…Denyse is A ‘Baby Boomer’ Who Blogs. 2017.120.My Profile

  • Reply
    Anami
    October 31, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    That is something very useful. Yes i was a bit stressed about the niche. I could not identify myself what is my niche. And about big bucks, come on give some tips on making money from blogging 😀
    Anami recently posted…The Song UnsungMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lata Sunil
    October 31, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Thats so much of valuable experience. I understand what you mean about parent blogging. It is bit difficult for me also to comment on them though they are very popular. Most mommy blogs are about toddlers or pre teens. My children are teenagers with a different set of problems and toddler issues look trivial in front of them ;). Spiritual blogs, gadget blogs, finance blogs are other no-nos for me.
    Lata Sunil recently posted…Heartprints #WriteBravelyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Geeta Nair
    October 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Blogging to me is a means of unwinding myself. I too have made a lot of friends online via this medium and believe me it really feels good. In fact if we were to look back we will find that we grow with our blog by that I mean we expand our social network, our outlook and of course enhance our knowledge.
    Geeta Nair recently posted…Spotlight: Beyond Secrets by Alka Dimri SaklaniMy Profile

  • Reply
    SHALINI BAISIWALA
    October 31, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    10 on 10 for the gyaan Sanch; very well expressed. i was nodding my head as I was reading it for it all sounded so familiar and true!

  • Reply
    Deepa
    October 31, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Congrats on 10 years of blogging Sanch. I agree with all the points you mentioned especially enjoying the writing and not getting stressed.
    Deepa recently posted…10 Kid Friendly restaurants in BangaloreMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    November 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I agree with all of your points. I don’t blog to make money; I enjoy the connections I make and love writing for the sake of writing, and just brain dumping. Which I need to do more of. That’s my goal for November.

    I think you and I met last year during A To Z, didn’t we? 😉
    Lindsay recently posted…What’s up, Weekend? {10/27}My Profile

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    November 2, 2017 at 2:22 am

    My goodness–10 YEARS!! That’s something to celebrate 🙂 Congrats on reaching such a phenomenal milestone in your blog career. Not many make it past the first, and it’s incredible to have the inspiration and the ideas and the love of writing to keep going. Also! I couldn’t agree more re: the whole niche aspect of blogging. What if your niche is all over the place? As you said, if people like what you have to say, they’ll come back to read 🙂
    Charlotte recently posted…Bom Bom–the only drink to serve at your holiday parties this yearMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lisa Pomerantz
    November 3, 2017 at 9:48 am

    10 years! That is wonderful! Bravo and Mazel Tov. And thank you so much for these tips, everyone, and well-earned gem. #mg xo

  • Reply
    Helena
    November 5, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. 10 years is a fantastic achievement. #mg

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    November 5, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    wow ten years I didn’t realise you were ten years in! Congratulations lovely lady! I wish I knew the days where peel were not all about adds and selling stuff, I understand for many it is a business and it is how they provide for their family, that is wonderful. But for I just haven’t been able to do it, I did some travel posts for a while which was nice we had free holidays and free treats, but I just felt it wasn’t me. I battle with this as I do get asked a fair bit, but I have so far steered clear. I just find blogs that become about adverts loose some authenticity. Maybe I am being too judgy? I just feel a few blogs I really liked lost me the more they advertised to me.

    I also agree with being authentic when we engage with others, it can be hard when trying to comment in links were the content doesn’t suit you or your lifestyle. I love your advice on that, let’s keep it real.

    Fantastic achievement and oh my goodness I just realised that today is November 5th which means today is my 3 year anniversary from the day I posted my first post. Thanks for supporting #mg and congrats again xx
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…should I be blogging about my children?My Profile

    • Reply
      Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      November 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      I have written sponsored posts but with a personal element to them. I find those blogs just selling products feel quite inauthentic and yeah, maybe I’m being judgy too but I prefer not to read those. I know Chantelle from FMS writes sponsored posts with a personal twist and I can still read her stuff. Happy three years to you! 😀

  • Reply
    Barbara Radisavljevic
    November 7, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I started blogging because I love to write. I never cared much about making money from it until health conditions made me quit my “real” business of online bookselling. I have too many blogs now and am trying to narrow them down to a manageable level so I have less stress. After the latest UBC I have decided to focus on the blog I love most that is not focused on making money. Yes, I include related affiliate links if they naturally fit the topic, but I don’t write primarily to sell something. The hardest part of blogging for me is the link parties and blogging groups where I have to make comments on posts that just want to sell something in which I have no interest and would never read otherwise.

    In the beginning I just wrote for the fun of it. Then I took courses to teach me the “right” way to blog to make money. Then I find it’s all about the list, and I really don’t want to be creating products to sell or writing an extra newsletter. I would primarily just like to connect with people I share interests with. The blogging challenges have helped me discover a few more of those. I’d still like to trim my blogs to just those I really enjoy writing.

  • Reply
    Avada Kedavra
    November 8, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Happy 10th anniversary! I started mine in 2005 and have completed a decade too. I agree with the point about engaging with other bloggers. I have not been doing that either this year mostly because of the crazy schedules and busy life. I am hardly finding time to even blog these days. I have changed my blog name way too many times. That’s definitely not good I feel. My pseudonym is kinda meaningless though but I came up with this name when I first started blogging in 2005 and have somehow stuck to that name, since I felt people won’t recognize me if I change it now. I have made many friends online though and that’s probably the best part of blogging – finding like minded folks.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Nonfiction Book Haul – Part 2My Profile

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