“Only a small percentage of blogs survive their first year”
Today I am proud to say that I’M ONE OF THEM!
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!
[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! 🙂
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! 🙂 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!
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.
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! 🙂 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.
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 🙂
- 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![/jbox]
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 🙂