1 Year Blogging Anniversary: Lessons and New Plans!

In BLOG, INSPIRATION by Clelia Mattana35 Comments

“Only a small percentage of blogs survive their first year”

Today I am proud to say that I’M ONE OF THEM! 

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Exactly one year ago, the 22nd of August 2012, an enthusiastic Sardinian girl was hitting the button “Publish” for the first time! At the time I didn’t really know what I was doing. My only desire was to talk about my upcoming Round the world trip, and keep in touch with my friends and family.

What I didn’t know is that My family would have never read my blog. Yes you hear me right. Not even once.

Anyway.. Luckily for me,  many other fantastic people decided to join me in this beautiful crazy adventure, and helped me a great deal in shaping what Keep Calm has become today!

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[jbox color= blue]So what have I learnt after a year of blogging? What  are my projects for the future, in terms of where I want Keep calm to be next year?[/jbox]

 

If you just created your own travel blog, or you simply want to know my personal blogging path, keep on reading!

Side note:Even if I created the site one year ago, I worked on it for just 4  months. Below is a clear visual recap on Why! πŸ™‚

1 Year Blogging Anniversary

1 Year Blogging Anniversary

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LESSONS LEARNT AFTER 1 YEAR OF BLOGGING:

1) PATIENCE: Unless you are terribly lucky, or  you’re intimate with Darren Rowse, It takes a lot of work to see some real results when you open a new blog. Everybody says that, so what’s new? Nothing really, if everyone says it there must be a reason right? :).. Not to mention the challenge to travel and write!Before leaving I swore I’d write at least twice per week.

OF COURSE I DIDN’T! My head kept spinning for the first 3 months, and being so excited for my new adventures i  forgot to nurture my creature for a while…

2)PUNCTUATION: My first entries resembled  James Joyce’s  stream of consciousness. Minus the genius writing. And minus the consciousness too. Always remember to make your content easy to read. I didn’t realize how important it was until I finally nailed one post. For some reason people started to pay more attention in what I was saying. If only because they could finally understand what the heck I was talking about.

3)BIOLOGY: Not literally of course. I just understood a simple principle: The more you nurture your creature, the fatter it gets.

Meaning: If you don’t write content, you don’t get traffic.There are some exceptions of course, and Sabrina from “Just one way ticket” is a good example. She wrote some incredible articles and she is now super popular, even if she doesn’t write a post every week.But I’m not Sabrina here! πŸ™‚ so…back to work and stop looking at your Google Analytic. Trust me I tried and no, the graph doesn’t grow by just staring at it!

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Unpaid blogger at work warning sign

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4)GIVE GIVE GIVE: During this year I (slowly) realized that people are interested in what you write, only if there is something in there for them too, so let’s forget about “me , me , me”. I also noticed one curious thing: The more I get “personal” the better.Am I drunk? first I said that it’s not about me and then I tell you to get personal. I try to explain.. people like informational/useful posts, true, but they also appreciate when you put your face out there.

Having an opinion, being yourself, open and honest makes a big difference. We have enough “Lonely planet” style blogs out there. Your reader is looking forward to connect with you, and with your experiences. It’s not always easy (not for me at least)but is very rewarding.

5)SUCCESS IS A RELATIVE CONCEPT: These months of blogging made me think about the word “success”. What is it really? many visitors? Popularity? getting rich?

As soon as I think that I’m “getting there”, there is always something to remind me that everything is relative. People who think I’m a bum or I’m wasting my time “playing on the internet”, when I should get a real job again for example.So is having the traditional job what they call “success”?

In the end, I think I finally figured out what success means to me. Being happy with my choices, doing something I love and I believe in. Comparing my results not with the results of the others but with my own. If I see an improvement, I see “success”.

6) I’D LOVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT…EVERYTHING!: This is the most amazing aspect. I studied so much about every aspect of blogging, from SEO to Copywriting, Marketing strategies, even HTML, and wow! I LOVE everything related to it.It’s hard sometimes, as one year ago (true story), I didn’t know what a “Plugin” was. Seriously. I knew nothing, and I can say that now I’m not an expert, but I know so much more about these things, and the more I know, the more I want to learn.

Which leads me to a conclusion: when I truly LOVE what I’m doing, studying and working 16 hours straight is not an imposition but a pleasure. I already knew of course, but now I feel it and it’s great.

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BACK TO THE FUTURE! WHAT’S BOILING IN THE POT?

Celebration time is almost over, just a few hours and I will officially enter my second year of blogging! so what’s the plan here?

I am looking forward to all the new challenges for the next year (and I have some news coming up!).But First things first: I have still so much work to do!

[jbox color=”green” title=”THINGS I NEED TO IMPROVE” allignement=”centred”]

  • Having a proper schedule: meaning posting more regularly and writing well in advance.
  • Designing a new Logo for my website: Some of you may have read about my failed attempts on creating an original logo with Gimps. No luck so far, I’m still working on it, and i hope I’ll sort this out asap. I’m working on a final version of keep calm, something that will last for years to come!
  • Learn more about HTML and CSS: The other day I was in Heaven, I finally managed to create a blog post divided in 2 columns, and even create a colored box like this one! πŸ™‚ I know, I know, pathetic right? well linking to point n. 5, this is what I call success, considering that I didn’t even know what HTML was until 3 months ago!  Now I’m falling in love with programming languages. Creating my own website, without any professional help, is such an exciting challenge. I love when I have an idea and I know how to make it real!
  • Make a detailed Long term plan for my blog: I’m working on it and it gives a totally different meaning to what I’m doing. With a clear plan on where I want to be in one year, I am much more focused, productive and, overall less stressed.
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The exciting News! 

I already mentioned some of these things on this post a few weeks ago, but I want to put everything together for my Blogaversary.

[jbox color=red title=”KEEP CALM NEWS!”]
  • My collaboration with Cosmopolitan: I will be writing a few articles on my adventure for the Italian Magazine online and I’m super Excited! Here is the link to the first one. It’s in Italian but if you are still curious, check it out!
  • Keep Calm is growing fast! The past few months have been incredible! In a few weeks I reached the 20.000 page views and also the monthly and daily visitors are growing every day. Thank you so much for supporting me guys!
  • A few interviews about my adventure are coming up soon! Stay tuned πŸ™‚
  • A Possible (super exciting!!) cooperation with one of the most influential Italian Institutional websites.. details still top-secret.
  • My big project on creating 2 dedicated spaces on my website: one centered entirely to Sardinia, and one to my obsession for Beauty products (travel related in this case).

The “Sardinian mission” is already under construction, while the beauty section will be live later this year. I will continue with my normal blog as usual, but I felt the need to create some useful, long-term content for my readers!

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I’m so looking forward to the future and I promise I will put all my effort to keep you entertained, provide something valuable (even if only with a laugh) but I’m mostly looking forward to interact with you, exchange Ideas and share our travel dreams together!

HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY KEEP CALM, MOMMY IS VERY PROUD OF YOU πŸ™‚

Read in: Italian German

Comments

  1. Hey Klelia!

    This is great it’s your first blog anniversary and I must say that your blog has good reputation over web and I love to celebrate many more anniversary with same progress.

    1. Hey Madhu… not even one month and my website will turn 4! Time flies πŸ™‚

  2. Hey Klelia ,
    Congrats! on your first anniversary of your blog. I wish you can celebrate many such anniversaries in upcoming years.

    1. Thanks, this reminds me that I have to put back the dates on the posts as my website is about to turn 4 in a few months!! πŸ™‚

  3. Congrats on a successful blog and making it through the year! Hopefully in 7 months I will be making mine too! Whoop whoop!!

    1. Thanks Laria! Now I’m heading towards the 4th year, can’t really believe I went so far! Hang in there, as the first few years are the toughest than it gets “slightly” better πŸ™‚ (depending on how passionate you are of course!) good luck!!

    1. Thanks Saheed! A lot of hard work went into this πŸ™‚ but it’s so worth it!

  4. Uve just reached my 1 year annaversiery on blogging too, I’ve only just started to have a proper schedule and post regularly which is seeing better results. Thanks for the tips, I’m glad to have joined you in the 1 year club! haha….it gives me motivation to see how far you have come since then.

    1. Happy one year anniversary Niall! Sounds good, right??! Cheers more years of traveling and blogging πŸ™‚

      1. thanks for all the tips. you were able to exactly describe how I felt during the first months as well. I am also about to celebrate my blog’s first anniversary. Good luck.

        1. Congratulations on your first Anniversary! I think that’s the most important (and difficult) to achieve. Well done!

  5. Gotta agree with “stop looking at your Google Analytic”! Or at least: look at it only once a month. I was glued to GA, particularly in the first few months, and it did nothing except make me depressed about how few visitors I had. Even now that I have quite a few visitors, I still sometimes fall into the trap of checking whether I had 10 more or 10 less visitors than yesterday. It’s not important!

    1. Aahahah …ok I have a confession to make here, after the recent Panda update i’m trapped again in the loop! πŸ™‚ But at least it’s just because seeing the good news I feel more motivated. But still. I need to STOP THIS!!

  6. Brava! I do agree that we should be personal in our writing: it’s challenging, interesting and useful for readers.
    Congrats for your collaboration with Cosmopolitan. However, here in Oman I can’t read it because it’s blocked by the censorship!
    Keep going πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks Eli! The discussion about “being personal” is quite dear to me, and i want to write a specific post about that soon. It’s not easy and it’s definitely risky, but absolutely worth it! Oman, wow! what a fascinating place!

      1. Yes, it’s risky but worth it. In my post about Arabs obsessed by sex I was very personal and the writing was kind of painful because I was afraid of what people wuld think about me. But then I discovered that my readers appreciated it a great deal also because it was very personal. We should always overcome our fear of other people’s judgement.

        1. Yes fear of judgment is one of the top reasons why people don’t go personal. I have this fear too, obviously, and sometimes i censor my self too much. Which is ridiculous as people appreciate when bloggers share their experiences and point of view. I definitely need to improve.

  7. “The more I get β€œpersonal” the better”

    Yup, that’s the ticket for sure. YOU is the only unique thing you have — every topic has already been written about somewhere online.

  8. Congratulations again for all ur accomplicements my dear!
    Can u add Greece on that travel list of urs plz?
    Oh and, u won’t make me read ur beauty advices for female travelers right?
    Unless its a funny post like f.e. how to make a beauty mask from mud and worms. That i’ll read!

    Going to click on cosmo now to take a look, for that one i have an excuse not to read since i don’t speak italian!

    Good job as always! Keep it up!

    1. Oh lovely, i just clicked “thump down” on my.own previous comment, excellent…

      Greetings from LA!

    2. Chris, I can’t wait to come to Greece (but only at the condition you host me LOL, kidding!!) no seriously, i Greece is always been on my top list, it is so close to italy and yet i didn’t have the possibility to pay a visit, shame on me! Don’t worry about the beauty section, you can skip it!! even though now i want to try the mud and worms mask…sounds good πŸ™‚ How’s LA??? Are you taking pictures? remember that i’m waiting to host your fantastic reportage in here!

  9. Many congratulations! Onwards and upwards for an even more successful second year!

    You write an amazing blog with lots of unique stories which I always want to read.

    It is great to see what you have learnt. My blog is a month younger than yours and I feel as though I am learning something new everyday! I even learnt something about a plugin today. Although I shy away from html and any coding, or I will for as long as possible.

    Congratulations on your visitor numbers as well. I can see your Alexa ranking is shooting up in recent weeks so you are doing everything right πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you The guy! Oh so your blog is almost 1 year too! a great accomplishment isn’t it? It’s true, we learn something new every day, and i find it really rewarding. My visitors are getting better but mostly because my article about the top 10 sardinian beaches (especially in summer) brings me so many daily visitors from google. It’s just amazing! Do you want to laugh? i just installed Alexa code a few weeks ago and i have no idea on what it means πŸ™‚ but the trend seem to be good so i take their word for it and keep on going! Awaiting for your 1 year anniversary post now!

  10. No, thank YOU. “People stories” to me are more interesting/lasting than “this is a beach” or “here I rode an elephant” stories. Difference/Similarities between Italians and the people surrounding you? A day in the life of Kle? Where do you buy groceries? Learning a new language? The children/students in your school/class?
    Fascinating tales imo, like when I was at a cafe at midnight with 4 Italian ragazzis the other day and the cute girl behind the counter lined 5 small (small as in “these cup sizes are for play dolls surely!) coffees up alongside 5 even smaller glasses with some clear liquid inside and I, to the amusement of the 4 guys, gladly shouted “yeah, nice, Grappa, mi piace!” and bottomed the glas just to find my tastebud telling my brain it was…aqua!
    Not a fan (:-)). A HUGE fan. Enjoy your weekend K

    1. They gave you acqua??lol
      Yes i got what you say about people’s stories. And i certainly will come up with something! About “a day in the life of kle”? pretty easy at the moment…work work work πŸ™‚ but as soon as i have something interesting to say, i will. I already wrote a couple of posts about my life here anyway. The ones about my lovely pet scorpions and the pictures of my Thai house..so people know what i’m up to! Enjoy your weekend too!

  11. First, congrats to your first year! I’ll have my anniversary in December, also soon!

    Second, thank you for mentioning me here πŸ™‚ I don’t think I’m popular yet, and in 8 month of blogging I learned specifically one thing: I don’t like writing. It’s really hard for me. That’s the reason why I have only 11 blog posts so far.

    I have meanwhile 35,000 unique visitors per month, and seriously, I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT! Some people hyped my blog for no reason.

    Anyway, it’s also hard for me to stick to a schedule. My desk is full of post its, saying “Learn SEO”, “Pin more on Pinterest”, “Write comments on other blogs” and “Close Facebook damn it!”.
    I’m terribly disorganized.

    But for some odd reason, I love what i do. I love to see how my blog grows and somehow (even i hate writing) this shit keeps me going and I never wanna do any other job than this.

    Ok, I’m talking to much about me. Let’s get back at you, Klelia… Congrats to 1st anniversary, I think you are doing an amazing job! Cheers and hugs from Istanbul!! xx

    PS: my parents are also not reading my blog, however, i blame google translate for it!

    1. Hey Sab, see? sometimes you do find time to comments on other blogs πŸ™‚ ahha i don’t like writing either, well it’s complicated as in theory i do, but when it comes to actually write (in English) i get stuck. And i have my laptop full of post it as well πŸ™‚ do this, do that! sometimes is just overwhelming! I think i know why people keep coming to your blog, because is too damn good! Seriously. I think it’s much better to have 3/4 smashing posts than 100 boring ones. And you did a great job! I still have so much to learn, but i’m pretty happy that i didn’t gave up, even when i neglected the website for months, i was still able to come back to it and let it grow. It all depends on how much we love what we do. About the parents, i blame it on google translate and the fact that they hate the internet. It took me 1 week to convince them to open an email account, and they are not using it anyway. Ah well!

  12. Congrats on making it through your first year. Like your first quote says about only a small percentage of blogs surviving the first year, The fact that you are here writing this post shows that you are a success :).

    I found this post really interesting and inspiring. Good on you for learning HTML 5 I have been wanting to tackle more codey things myself :P.

    Looking forward to following along and seeing what awesome things you get up to in the next year πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much Brendon! The “trial” period is always the most difficult.
      ha! Me and HTML, as you can see i’m trying with some degree of success! LOL
      How do you find it? It is easy for you? as it took me ages to just get the basics.

      1. πŸ™‚
        Dear, I did read it, but short term memory perhaps?
        Meant more in terms of personal life, wishes, goals, dreams (are you fysically staying put, hence the name of the amazing blog is not “keep calm and keep solidly plantet on your huge arse”, right?) and not so much of whether you learn another web-code or programming, even though I am anxiously looking forward to the logo.
        P.S. Do you even realise what you have accomplished and learned in such a relatively short amount of time?
        P.P.S. Love to hear more tales about THE PEOPLE

        1. eh! but all those “personal goals” are not related to my blog.. i should write another post about where i want to be in terms of my trip (answer: EVERYWHERE!).. for now i have a small break next month and then China/Italy/London in december-february. Well i know i accomplished something good, but i still have a lot of work ahead!
          You want tales about people? Me and people? lol i see what i can do πŸ™‚
          Thanks for being such a fan of the blog! it gives me motivation to keep on going!

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