Ticktock Ticktock Ticktock …
What do I write next ?
What the heck is all this hoo-ha about SEO ?
Wait … What is SEO ?
How many more social networks do I need to sign up to ?
Page views, Visitors, Bounce Rate, Indexing, TRAFFIC — HONK HONK !
Phew, That’s It !
It’s been 4 months today since I began writing this blog, and before you quickly start scrolling through the rest of the article looking for highlights or key points, let me clarify that this post is NOT about ‘ How to increase traffic to your blog ’. I have no doubt that you, like me, have already read a minimum ten redundant posts to make your blog shine in the blogosphere.
My purpose of writing this blog was to explore a hidden love for writing and use it as merely a form of expression. The excitement I felt after completing one month of blogging was beyond imagination and I had no idea it would offer a profound meaning to the proverb ‘ Pen is mightier than the Sword ’
However, where there is light, there is also a dark shadow being your constant reminder to be well grounded amid every praise and applaud. I am no expert, but here’s what I learned after a short span of 4 months of enthusiastic blogging —
THE DARK SIDE
1. The Information Overload
The overwhelming amount of information available for one task, a singular purpose can easily drift you away from exploring that love for writing at all. Before you even begin writing, your thoughts are considering every possible reaction to your writing — the likes, comments, views, retweets, shares etc.
Various tips and tricks around SEO, indexing your blog and traffic generation simply become the first factors of consideration while writing as opposed to truly exploring your creativity. I found myself absorbed with too much of this information at one point and while this information is useful, it certainly isn’t the foundation you want to begin with. Make writing your first priority and then worry about tricking the search engine!
2. The Needless Marketing Trick
Noticed how some comments on your blog only end up linking another website or content in the process ?
Sure there is no harm in promoting one’s best content, but at times its obvious. Thanks to WordPress as most of these comments were directly moved to spam without my intervention.
I also came across some novel acronyms such as F4F which translates to ‘ Follow 4 Follow (F4F) ’ which may not always be useless, but it is clearly not a completely genuine readership following. There are tons of advertisers who claim to bring you several followers for your blog using an automated algorithm, but only a handful of these will be REAL.
Steer clear from similar ways of promoting your content as it may seem harmless, but it won’t make heads turn more than once.
3. The Fake Traffic
Believe it or not, there are companies out there who claim to drive traffic to your blog ranging from a few hundred visitors a month to 25000. Sounds fantastic right ? The truth is most of this traffic is generated by automated scripts without any real readers and while you may be rejoicing over your daily statistics, know that your content is NOT being read. On the contrary this can affect your website rankings dramatically over time.
I was fortunate to not have fallen for this trap after being forewarned by friends working in the IT industry, but would like to warn you to be cautious before throwing away your hard earned money. Stick to the basics of writing the quality content that you dreamed of writing that may even benefit others without relying on some shortcut filled with robots.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
Oh where do I begin !!
With complete honesty I can tell you that I have loved each day of blogging the past 4 months, unperturbed by the poking distractions from the dark side. Whether it was writing about finance and investing or life, I thoroughly enjoyed writing each post. An energy boost to this eager enthusiasm came in the form of beautiful positive feedback from people around the globe I could never have imagined would even bother to read my posts.
To put this in perspective and to share my small joy with each one of you contributing towards this journey, I received 14,472 views and over 7,300 unique visitors from 108 countries in the last 4 months!
Looking at this colored map of readers is encouragement enough for me to keep going, right ?
But wait! There’s more…
Emotions are bigger than numbers and statistics, and my biggest source of inspiration as well as motivation is when some of the articles have received heart felt responses from people who were facing a rough patch in life.
The response below was for one of my previous posts How to Resolve the War between the Voices in Your Head and it gave me a feeling so grand yet inexplicable.
What I truly learned after merely 4 months of blogging was that personally it was beyond my love for writing, far away from the statistics and optimization techniques, but more about contribution. I felt the warm fuzzies when a single post, a tiny quote or an inspiring image could provoke the senses of another, providing the much needed encouragement to make a change !
I have been fortunate to have made some amazing friends during this short journey and hope to connect with many more. I most certainly haven’t covered the key elements for a successful blogger and definitely don’t rank among the top 10000 bloggers even, but I hope my journey offers a new perspective placing contribution over one’s personal agenda 🙂
Carpe Diem !