Hello People!

Happy New June! It’s the beginning of the first half of the year. It’s amazing how this year has been, I am super grateful for God’s grace, mercy and I am grateful for You!! Those of you that still find time to read what I write. I am really grateful.

SOooo… May 24, 2010 I wrote my first blog post ever. I remember asking on Facebook for name suggestions and since then my blog has evolved from The Rebirth of a Dramaqueen to Girl at the foot of the Hill to Arike and now the Counter Culture. Looking back, I can see how the names of the blog evolved with how I have evolved over the years. I know that I am still evolving and this space might do so too.

The blogging community is definitely not what it used to be. Everybody has gone commercial, back in the days even if I wasn’t a popular blogger or anything there was that sense of community and everyone kinda knew everyone (It sure felt like it) but now, Sigh! I don’t even think there is any community like the way it used to be (If I am wrong please point me in the right direction) because it seems like bloggers are now competing with themselves. I don’t blog for money so I won’t say I am in the runnings. Those were simpler times and I miss it. However, because of ones loves for blogging, we don’t quit.

Although, I won’t exactly call myself a successful blogger, there are a few things that I have learnt along the way and I hope it helps someone;

Here we go

You snooze, you lose: The world is moving in rapidly and the technology world is moving twice as fast. It’s crazy! One day its this, the next it 2.0 With the way everything is going and as such with blogging, if you snooze, you lose. Just like Atilola’s latest post on social media and her love-hate relationship, the truth is, in this day and age, to be relevant you have to be abreast with all of what’s changing and how you can leverage it. If you are really serious about blogging and it isn’t just a hobby, You cannot snooze!!!!

Be Consistent; This is probably the most preached blogging advice. However, I don’t want to believe that any rule is set in stone when it comes to blogging because you are dealing with human behaviour and things can change “Just like that” even if you are not ticking all the boxes. When I say consistency here, I don’t mean “Post every week” I mean “Don’t just quit” so, at the end of the day, while it’s very good to have a schedule on your blog for structure it is even better that your audience can rely on you that you are not going to just up and leave them high and dry. So, If your blog has outlived a phase in your life, rebrand it (consciously or unconsciously) Just don’t quit. Can you tell I am pained? Lol I am still going back to some my favourite bloggers blogs and still nothing #CryWithMe

 

Be Authentic: Stay true to yourself. I have followed blogs who have gone “commercial” and lost their voice in the process, more than half the blog posts have become promotional and I think defeats the purpose and essence of blogging. If you want to be commercial, ensure that you stay true to your voice, be authentic and don’t become a puppet because of money. It shows.

 

Be Flexible: Nothing should be set in stone. The world is evolving and if you are not willing to evolve with it when the need arises then, you are at the risk of becoming obsolete. Be willing to be flexible and don’t feel guilty about it. At some point I would feel guilty about changing things and end up not doing it which was at the end of the day worse than whatever change I wanted to do.

 

Read: Blogging involves writing and to be a better writer, you have to be a reader. When I started my blog in 2010, It was full of short forms and general nonsense grammatical blunders until someone who visited my blog told me that if I wanted to take the blog seriously and want people to read it, I have to put in the effort and that included eliminating short forms and taking the effort to edit my post and correct grammatical errors before I publish. I stopped writing short forms since then.

 

Be Open to feedback: Ask for a review at different point and what you think can be done better and be open to the feedback you get. I must admit, I have not done that alot on this blog and I really should (So, if you see my review in the next month – be kind to give your feedback) Don’t just discard whatever feedback you get, act on it!

 

Have a Purpose and add value: I think one of the most important things is to let your blog have a purpose, then you know if you are succeeding or not. With Purpose comes value. When you have defined the purpose for your blog, you can add value to people in line with that purpose. At the end of the day, you are not really writing for you, you are writing for an audience. Let them know that. I want to know that my clicking your web page is not a waste of my precious time, show that you care enough to not put out mediocre articles and you care enough to make the effort to ensure that your posts adds value to them in some way.

I hope this article has added value to you.

Are you a blogger? How long have you been blogging? What have you learnt so far? Please, share with me. 🙂

Have a great June!!!

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Written by Arike