I have learned so much over the past three years, not just about how to blog, but about myself and who I want to be, and it all began with a list of New Year Resolutions.
The English Oxford Dictionary describes it as, 'a firm decision and the quality of being determined.'
It was on New Year's Eve 2012 when I set myself a challenge; sick of setting resolutions and breaking them before the mince pies ran out, I decided to set a better example and so I wrote a list of twelve resolutions - one for each month of the year.
This list included the usual suspects - lose weight, get fit, iron less and laugh more but I also wanted to challenge myself. I included things like, 'do something new', 'give up alcohol', 'give up Facebook (that one was tough!) and many more.
Having never blogged before I thought it would be a fun way to keep me motivated. It also forced me to be accountable for my actions – a bit like having a diet buddy. But I knew that I wanted to keep it real and blog the lows as well as the highs throughout the year.
As I ticked the months off, an amazing thing happened. People from all over the world began to comment on my feeds with messages of encouragement. Readers were being inspired to start their own challenges, and I made some wonderful new friends, all from my kitchen table.
Making that decision to step out of my comfort zone and start a blog, while tackling my resolutions in the public eye, changed my life.
I had to jump and grow my wings on the way down. I realised that blogging was a huge amount of work, but it was also great fun, and as a first class procrastinator I found myself settling into a regular weekly writing routine and suddenly my twelve challenges became fifty-two - one for every week.
I succeeded in completing all the resolutions I set myself that year and a few more that I hadn’t thought about, and so my blogging path was set.
Here are just a few of the things I found out in that first year:
- Regular posts are vital to keeping you visible in the blog-o-sphere, but also, help you to establish a regular writing schedule.
- Planning out your blog content takes away the stress of wondering what to write about. I plan out every blog post twelve months in advance now, but allow myself some wiggle room in case I need to share some important news.
- Interacting with other bloggers is one of the most important things to do. I have made some incredible friends online, and I continue to read and comment on their blog posts. Blogging is a community activity and being a part of that community is an honour.
- I allocate time in my diary to create my blog content, post my articles and for promoting. I take my blogging seriously because I know I get more out of it that way.
Last year I started a second blog, this one is for my writing, books and reviews. It means double the work but also double the fun. Feel free to pay it a visit at http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.com
I am so excited about the New Year and look forward to sharing some inspirational posts with you all. I have a new feature to introduce, ‘Real Women, Real Lives’ where we meet some incredible ladies who are changing their lives or doing amazing things for charity. In the Spring, I will be concentrating on personal development and writing about how to empower yourself.
I love hearing from you, so please keep the comments coming.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and abundant 2016.
With Love, Shelley xxx