What I’ve Learned From Blogging

Hi friends, today is my blog’s 3rd anniversary! I started Welcome to Aly’s World in 2014 because I wanted an outlet for my writing. I didn’t know what I was doing, I just wrote about whatever I was interested in at the time. In the summer of 2015, I started to take blogging more seriously. I scoured Pinterest for posts on how to run a blog. I learned a lot, and I put what I learned into action. I became part of the college blogging community. I love this community because we’re all so helpful and supportive of each other.

Over these three years, I’ve learned a lot about blogging. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share what I’ve learned!

It’s good to learn the rules, but only follow them if you want to

Just as I said in my New Years’ Update: Blogging My Way post, there are plenty of people everywhere who will tell you how to run your blog in order for it to be “successful”. I’m not even going to lie: I’m one of them. But just like every other creative endeavor, you are allowed to bend the rules. It’s good to learn the rules, though, so that you can know where, when, and how you can bend them. Ultimately, you don’t have to follow anyone’s advice. You can run your blog however you want to. So when you read a post giving you suggestions on how to run your blog, take those suggestions with a grain of salt; take their advice only if you want to.

Your blog can grow with you

When you blog for a few years, you will grow and change. So should your blog. It wouldn’t make sense to keep blogging in a certain niche just because it was the same niche you were in last year. I’ve seen people transfer from being college lifestyle bloggers to travel or blog/business building bloggers. That’s totally okay! If you’ve grown and changed and no longer like writing about what you’ve been writing about, then start writing about what you do want to write about. You are not obligated to write about something just because that’s what you’ve always done.

Blogging is a community

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that blogging is a community. An isolated blogger won’t get very far. However, if you’re part of a community of bloggers who are engaging with each other, more people will read your posts, and you’ll have many more posts to read!

Now, how can you be a part of a community? Simple: find others in your niche, reach out to them, and respond to them when they reach out to you. Find others in your niche through Twitter chats, Pinterest group boards, or Facebook groups. Message them! Chances are, these bloggers will be happy to receive a message from you.

Just do it

If you’re considering doing something, just do it. For example, when I started Welcome to Aly’s World I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take it. But I still started it and posted whatever I wanted. This didn’t produce great posts or many pageviews, but it helped me get the blogging ball rolling. After publishing a few mediocre blog posts and reading about how to improve my blog, I decided to implement certain things I learned from those posts. I worked on improving my website and the quality of my content. Now, a lot of those original posts have been deleted, and I am producing much better, more helpful posts. Don’t be afraid to start!

Those are the things I learned after 3 years of blogging. It’s been such a great ride! Here’s to another wonderful year of this blog!

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Life is Too Short

Hi, friends. I know a lot of you like my blog because I try to post positive things and spread happiness. This post is different than my usual posts; it’s long and a bit of a roller coaster, because that is what my life has been these past few weeks.

 

My cousin and I went to see Before You Exit in concert a few weeks ago. They are a three piece, guitar based band of brothers (think: Jonas Brothers). We decided to splurge on the VIP package, and it was worth it. We got to meet the guys and attend a small Q&A/acoustic performance session. I was starstruck when Riley, my favorite member of BYE, answered my question. During the meet and greet, they asked us how we were doing, said they were happy to see us, and gave us tight hugs. It was quick, but I’ll never forget it.

Back in April, they announced that Christina Grimmie would be opening for them. I had heard about her before, but I hadn’t bothered to check out her music (I don’t know why, I was missing out). But I decided to listen to her music and watch a couple of her videos to get to know her. Like anyone who has ever watched a Christina Grimmie video, I instantly loved her. She was genuine, goofy, and relatable. She spoke about the nerdy things she loved, like video games, without regard for what others would think. She also spoke openly about her faith in God, which was refreshing. Her voice blew me away. I sing in my church’s choir, but when I heard Christina, I felt ashamed to ever open my mouth again because she was that good.


Photo Credit: Mackenzie Bearup Photography

The concert itself was a lot of fun. We were standing at the barricade in front of Christina’s piano, so I’m positive she saw us jumping and screaming. When the show ended, there was atmosphere of such celebration, joy, and love. I recognized BYE’s friends and family members who were in the audience. I saw Christina, too. I wanted to say hi to her and tell her about how much she inspires me to be a better musician, a better person, and a better follower of Jesus. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance, and now I regret it…

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