Diary of a New Blogger: The First Couple Months

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*** These posts are  a a little more journal/stream of consciousness oriented, giving you a candid look into the ups and downs of running a blog.  I hope that these posts will be helpful to you on your blogging  journey.  Shanna ***

JournalI have been working tirelessly to get this blog off the ground.  It has been sucking up all of my free time (and even some time that technically wasn’t free.)  I am obsessed.  It is an addiction.  I am joining the growing ranks of those with the title ” new blogger “.

I love my blog.  It is like a new born baby that is demanding all of my free time and waking me up in the middle of the night with its wailing cries (I have had to start keeping a piece of paper next to my bed, because there has been way too many times when I wake up with a good idea and have forgotten it because I didn’t write it down.)

The ride has not been smooth.  Think rickety old wooden roller coaster that scares you a little.  It seems like there is always something going wrong with a blog.  Even if I make no changes, there are always plugins that need updating and other things that stop working for no apparent reason.  Certain gizmos on the blog sometimes don’t get along with other gizmos and I have to break up the fight.  It is a never ending battle.

No matter how many things I figure out, there are always more to learn (and the internet and Google are always changing) and I am trying hard to learn the art of pacing myself.

I am like the obnoxious sports parent at the basketball game who is constantly coaching their kid when they aren’t supposed to.  I just want it to be perfect.  Is there anything wrong with that?

In the process of starting this blog, I have gained an entirely new vocabulary that makes my family stare at me with blank expressions (back link?  deep link? tweet?  retweet? trackback? pingback?)  These are all new terms that have been added to the repertoire in the last couple of months.

This last week, I think I finally figured out how to tickle the Google monster in just the right way to get its attention.   Now, at least, Google swats at me periodically like it is swatting at a mosquito (a little hit or miss, but I will take what I can get).


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Now that I have started to get a handle on the basic, day to day operation of my blog I am starting to make my first forays into guest posting.  If anyone out there reading this is accepting guest posts for their travel blog, please let me know!

Shanna on the zipline in Costa Rica
This whole blogging journey has really been an adventure with a lot of highs and lows!

On the plus side, traffic numbers are heading in the right direction (only one way to go from here!) and more importantly I am having a great time writing about places in the world that fascinate me.  Writing is a great creative outlet for me, and I really feel like I am creating some good content that will make a positive contribution to the world.  I have also felt incredible support from the community of other travel bloggers who I have connected with since starting this blog.

Why do I continue to do this to myself?  Because of the sheer and unadulterated joy that I get every time someone reads AND comments on a post that I put a lot of work into, or to see that line in my Google Analytics graph tick up instead of down (I know, I need a life, right.  It takes so little to make me happy.)

Anybody else ever been where I have been?  Please, comment with some thoughts or advice for another new blogger who will come along and read this post in the future.

Diary of a New Blogger: The First Couple Months

26 Responses

  1. Everyone starts at the same point!

    Gary Arndt May 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm #
    • Yes, that is a great thing. Blogging does have essentially a mostly level playing field. Everyone starts at the same place, and where you go depends on how hard you work (or how crazy you are, or how much of your social life you are willing to forego 😉

      Shanna Schultz May 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm #
  2. My tips are to stick with it as you will get there in the end if you have passion.

    Also never be complacent. Always look at your blog and think what can I improve?

    Glad to hear that everything is going your way and the traffic stats are going up

    Natalie May 28, 2012 at 4:58 am #
    • Thanks! Yes, this the conclusion that I am coming to…that my success has a lot to do with how badly I want it and with just sticking with it and giving it time.

      Shanna Schultz May 28, 2012 at 5:30 am #
  3. Be cautious with (new) plugins, I recently had a big mess up which couldn’t be fixed without time consuming measures!
    Your blog really looks good! Worth the effort. Like reading your posts (receive by email) Thanks! 🙂

    Esther May 28, 2012 at 7:36 am #
    • Thanks! I appreciate the support! I think that I have FINALLY settled on the plugins that are working for me (for me moment, anyways), but plugins are always changing, and inevitably, when wordpress is updated, some of them will not support the new updates and I will have to rearrange again.

      Shanna Schultz May 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm #
  4. I’m right there with you, Shanna, still trying to get the hang of this blogging. I made the jump from a free WordPress blog to a hosted one, and never dreamed about how much work it would be! It is quite addictive!

    Sarah @ Uncaged Traveler May 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm #
    • Yes, I had no way to anticipate how addictive it would be!

      Shanna Schultz May 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm #
  5. I’m so glad my partner is a computer genius and takes care of most of our styling and plug-ins — those things are a time suck and a total nightmare! Congrats on weathering the storm so far! 🙂

    Christy @ Technosyncratic May 29, 2012 at 1:42 am #
    • Yeah, blogging would be really easy if all I had to do was write and put up pretty pictures…its all of the other stuff that sucks up so much time!

      Shanna Schultz May 29, 2012 at 1:49 am #
  6. You’re off to a great start. Just be patient and stay with it, it’s (usually) a long slow process…Best of Luck.

    btw – I’m not sure your CommentLuv plugin is working, it keeps giving me errors

    Eric @ Trans-Americas Journey May 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm #
    • Wow, speak of plugin problems. Exactly what I was talking about 🙂 Thanks so much for your feedback and input.

      Shanna Schultz May 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm #
  7. I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years and there are still highs and lows and I’m still learning. Love your Google/mosquito analogy!

    Laurel May 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm #
    • Glad to hear that my blogging career will never be dull!

      Shanna Schultz May 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm #
  8. I would like to add a label cloud to my blog with keywords organized by popularity. What I am looking for is some code I can cut and past into my current template to give me a label cloud.

    voice over July 4, 2012 at 6:20 am #
    • Is your blog on wordpress? Have you looked for plugins that would do that? I bet there is a plugin out there that would make a widget to add to your sidebar with a label cloud.

      Shanna Schultz July 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm #
  9. I’ve just started a blog as well (like last week) and it definately is addictive! I get so excited when i see my views go up, and the comments. I have a total of one comment haha but I’m still excited about it! How long have you been blogging for?
    Ally recently posted..Top Ten : My Upcoming TripMy Profile

    Ally November 20, 2012 at 6:20 am #
    • One year this week since my blog has been born. Things were going really well, then I was hacked about six months ago and I lost a lot of readers and traffic…it is only just starting to bounce back now (so, lesson for you, make sure you have some sort of security plugin in place to prevent things like that!)

      Shanna November 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm #
  10. I’m commenting just to make you happy 😉

    I ‘started’ my blog about 3 weeks back. Still stuck at the design stage because it takes so much time to learn it, while working at a day job (or not really working and mostly thinking about how I should sit down and work on my blog more)..

    It took me more than a week settling on a theme, and now I’m not so happy with it (were you there as well?). Now suddenly discovered weebly and checking it out. Decisions!

    There are so many articles in my head which really need to be put up in writing.

    Why is it that a lot of blogs get hacked?

    Congrats on finally getting there 🙂

    Ni April 20, 2013 at 5:58 am #
    • Thanks! Comments always make me happy! Good luck on getting your blog up and running. The most basic and important advice that I have received is just to stick with it.

      Shanna April 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm #
  11. I too have joined the ranks of new blogger in the last few weeks…. it is a work in progress especially as I am not very technical….but time will tell.

    Have enjoyed reading bits of your blog keep it up 🙂
    Michele recently posted..182 days to go and we start sorting our things……My Profile

    Michele August 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm #
    • Thanks! Looking forward to following your adventures!

      Shanna August 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm #
  12. Thanks so much for featuring me in your favorite posts roundup!

    Shanna November 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm #
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