If you haven’t figured it out by now, let me say this again. We love to celebrate milestones here at The Book of Think Pieces no matter how big or small it maybe. It takes courage to share your work with the world, so each milestones builds onto our encouragement. It encourages us to keep blogging, keep promoting our work, don’t give up. That major milestone is coming one day, but for now, let’s celebrate every milestone like we won a championship.
The newest milestone to add to the list is 100 likes! It took a year and almost a month to reach this milestone. With more followers, 20-something blog post, an iPhone, and advertising each blog through social media with no actual page, it’s safe to say this particular milestone means I am doing something right with this blogging.
Most important, I did not reach this milestone on my own. YOU, yes YOU, made this possible. My wife and son who are my inspiration to keep writing. My extended family’s who support me. My friends, coworkers, and subscribers. Thank you all for reading and liking my work.
After 100 likes I believe promoting my work has become easier. At first I had to give myself a “you can do this” pep talk just to share on Facebook. Too focus on the “what ifs” I would often delay sharing when all I needed to do was share and send. I put too much emphasis on writing a caption thinking this would capture my followers attention. Now, after I finish a blog, I keep my captions short with a link. The right people will click and like. And…Twitter played a big part to promoting my work. #Writerslift and #bloggertribe really came through. It helped me network with other bloggers and content creators in return for support of their work.
Still growing, still learning, but most importantly, enjoying the blogging journey. Closing out I encourage all content creators to not get discouraged when your best does not get likes. Keep working hard, and one day you will see your hard work has finally paid off.
We at The Book of Think Pieces like to celebrate every milestone. Why? Because small wins lead to a major victory. When this blog was just an idea I knew one thing was certain, I enjoy writing. It’s a craft I developed in the third grade. Keeping a journal from time to time and making long post about thoughts, I knew this was a hobby turned passion.
Life came fast when the Covid-19 Pandemic became official. While working in my primary career as a Quality Assurance Analyst, I wanted to start a side hustle based on a hobby. I have seen peers do it by selling products they make or start something online like a podcast, so I asked myself what am I good at that can work as a side hustle? A year before the pandemic I had a small stint as a public speaker. My primary job’s human resources department asked me to speak to a group of local fifth and sixth graders at their career day about myself, why I went to college to major in Chemistry, my job, and what I do on the job on. After that ended, I spoke at two high schools at their annual career days.
My public speaking days ended when enforced restrictions increased to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Thinking to myself I knew I enjoyed writing but do I have the confidence to share my work to an online audience? Do I have the online influence to have a continual audience? That’s where I thought about starting a blog. It was just a simple idea from my wife and plans to start a podcast that I decided a blog with a little podcast-like influence may work for me as a side hustle. With her support, I began planning this blog a few days after Christmas 2020. Purchasing a cheap notebook and mechanical pencils from the dollar store I wrote my first five blogs. From there I set up meetings for myself to create, research, and organize this blog. I was set on a mission to turn my hobby into a side hustle.
And from my first blog post in June to today, almost nine months later, here I am still blogging with 1000 views and counting. And I thank each and every one of you for your support! Without you taking the time to view my post, I would be just another side hustler who started something but did not finish. I have grown as a blogger since the first post. My confidence is restored, and my blog is growing as we speak. So, I thank you. I must say it was not easy. Fighting self-doubt was a mountain I had to climb with encouragement hoping things getting better. With that being said, here are some things I learned after 1000 views:
“Enjoy blogging because you love to write, not because you’re looking for views.”
Words said by a wise woman, my wife. Once my blog was up and running, I was writing to blog as a hobby. I must admit the analytical side of me began to take over. For a short time I became too obsessed with the numbers. I was checking the stats daily to see if I gained views. When the numbers increased, I was cool. I fed off that energy to continue thinking of topics to write about. However, like anything in life, what goes up must come down. When this happened, I became too focused on self-promoting by over sharing my blogs on my social media pages hoping each virtual friend and family member would click on the link. And if I did not get the views I thought I should I have I would post again. It became a nightmare trying to keep up with blogging while maintain my life outside of blogging in hopes that I would see 1000 views off one post.
“The number of followers and friends you have on social media does not equal to more views.”
Ok, so I have a decent amount of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. What can I say? I joined Facebook when you had to have a college email to join. During that time, I had been active in groups and work with people who wanted to be Facebook friends later, and like any ordinary person during this time, I accept it. Now many of my Facebook friends are family members (I come from a large family) and hometown people. Throw in colleagues from over the years, my college friends (my original Facebook friends), in-laws, and distant relatives…and now the number grew to where it is today.
And you know what happened? Those numbers did not turn into views. I did not exceed the number of followers and friends I have on social media on a single post like I wanted. Thinking maybe I was going about this wrong, I began to wonder if I had the social media influence to gain large amounts of traffic to my site. But, like most side hustlers would say, it may take years to gain a large audience. This leads to my next lesson learned:
“Focus on your main audience”
And your main audience are the day ones. In my case it is family, close friends, and fellow bloggers who follow and post similar content. Attracting a large audience is not easy at all. The problem is it will be impossible to please everyone. You begin blogging for likes, views, and followers, but eventually it can lead to a lack of substance because you will become too concerned with pleasing the crowd. One day you will blog about things you like or what you are passionate about, but when the audience disagree with you blog you will spend more time trying to maintain a large audience rather than blogging because you enjoy it.
By focusing on my main audience, I discovered not only do I enjoy blogging and writing more, but I also do not overly concern myself with views. I do not feel pressured to meet a schedule of when to blog. Focusing on myself and my main audience makes blogging easier and less stressful. It is an undescribed boost of confidence knowing I have a main audience who supports me rather than blogging for views. #WritersLife.
“You cannot piggyback off someone else’s side hustle”
I have side hustling friends, family and colleagues. Their side hustles consist of selling homemade goods, working a second job, afterschool classes, ride sharing, some type of virtual assistant, and others; anything to make extra money.
Here’s me. When this blog I started to gain attention I figured I could “piggyback” off the a few of my colleagues success in their side hustle. I saw how people were willing to pay whatever they could to support their business. I figured if I told them about my free site maybe I would receive the same support. The keyword is maybe. And how did that turn out for me? Let’s just say maybe 10 of those people actually subscribed.
Maybe I was not aggressive enough when promoting my blog or perhaps the same people are not really interested in reading a blog whether it is free or not. I had to learn is my side hustle is not theirs so I cannot except the same people to be as supportive because I know or work with them. Instead, as I mentioned above, I had to continue blogging because writing and blogging is something I enjoy doing.
“It’s ok if my blog is not specific.”
When I told people about my blog, they asked this same question. “What is your blog about?” My replay would be the same scripted line I rehearsed since the beginning, “I don’t know. It’s my thoughts or whatever I feel like talking about.” Audiences like specific blogs. Most blogs out there are just about travel, fashion, food, lifestyle, music, parenting, religion, tv and movies, politics, sports, motivation, and the list goes on. My blog, on the other hand, tends to dabble in different topics because that’s how I designed it. Online blogs warned about this type of blogging because it may not attract a large audience, and I respect that. However, I am fine with my blog not being made for a specific audience. I consider it a free thinker’s blog where I share my perspective on various topics and hope to get feedback.
“The views will come. Be patient.”
Regardless of where I am, one thing I am confident about is the views will come. Yes, through one year and 10 post there were times I wondered if I had it. Putting my post out there for the world took courage, but the views did always add up. Some blogs were homeruns, meaning I posted it and the views exceeded my expectations. Many of my blogs were base hits which tend to be my average. Some blogs struck out meaning I posted it, but the views did not meet my expectations. Instead of feeling down the complements I receive from family, close friends, and fellow bloggers who I do not know personally but we support each other makes me not focus on the views.
As I end this blog, I would like to thank God for making this possible. My wife who supported my dream from day one. My office assistant, my son, who plays while we are at work. My family. When I told them I started a blog, they subscribed with no hesitation. My close friends who subscribed to my blog within the first 10 blogs, I thank you all for that. Then, I cannot forget about all the subscribers, the likers, the commenters, and readers who have provided continual supporters to my blog. I thank you all and wish you the best in your future endeavors!