Hello, triple digits. Nice to meet you.
A little over 3 months ago, I started this blog as a way of sharing my journey abroad and my journey to fluency in multiple languages, but I have found myself drawn to write about much more.
Perhaps the post I am most proud of is Your Time Is Now, not because it got the most traffic or comments, but because I feel I really wrote it from my core. I hope you will take the time to read it.
Even though I only recently started this blog, I have had the great privilege of being named as one of the 40 Flightsters You Should Know About, and guest posting for Matt Koenig over at 1 Year Sabbatical with the juicy post: How To Go Abroad In One Easy Step: Get a Freakin’ Departure Date. (Thanks Matt for the opportunity!)
Along these lines, I would like to share with you some of the lessons I have learned in blogging over my first 100 days.
1. People are doing really interesting things.
Randy the Yearlyglot says some really insightful things, like “You learn what you do.” (Take that to the bank when it comes to learning anything, especially languages!) This is a guy who becomes fluent in a language every year (which would explain my interest), and includes loads of good advice about language learning. You should check him out if you haven’t already.
Matt at 1 Year Sabbatical is preparing his family for a long journey overseas. I am interested to see how he will pull of the whole project from start to finish, especially since he is a family man with a full-time job. He has posted some really great content and I am looking forward to having a look at the sabbatical trailblazing guide he hopes to put out this year!
These are just two examples of people who are doing really cool things, and sharing them with the world via blogs.
2. You can actually get to know the people doing the really interesting things.
It has been great connecting with Matt, Jenny, and Jason, for example, outside of just blog comments. I think connecting with people via Twitter (hint, hint) might be as important as responding to comments, and I think Skype calls are currently a very undervalued method of building relationships. Being able to chat a little bit with some readers or fellow bloggers really increases the relational aspects of the online world. If you haven’t yet Skyped with someone, you should make it a point to do it.
3. Write something worth reading. Take the time for it.
Like I said above, I really put a lot of heart into Your Time Is Now, and I am really proud of it. Even if I got no subscribers or income from it, I am glad to write it because maybe it will inspire someone to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do. I am really glad to have posted that content, just because.
Also, I put considerable time into my post of the 5 Emerging Blogs in Adventure and Life-Style Design. There are many list-style posts out there, but this one gives you a really good overview of some really quality reading material… Especially Lach’s fear catalysis.
4. Write what is on your mind.
Even though I have only posted about once per week, I am happy that I have mostly steered clear of blogging fluff. I wrote about actual experiences of mine: the questions I had for experienced travelers, ways that slow your progress to fluency, and accomplishing my 2010 new years resolution. I have written about the paradox of motivation, National Opt-Out Day, Guy Fawkes Day, and more because they were what has been on my mind, and not because I wanted to make a few bucks from them. I have also written two posts so far about my time in Colombia: one about my travel mistakes, and the other a short narrative about a taxi ride in the middle of Bogotá.
In all of these I have earnestly desired not to add to the shallowness that is much of the internet today, and that I notice on many websites… I actually think internet users are becoming more accustomed to shallow content, but the important lesson remains:
Write what you are thinking about. Try to to add something to the reader they didn’t have before they read your post.
5. Eat an elephant one bite at a time.
In some ways, I feel I am behind on my blog. I know there are good strategies I should be implementing, (I have a to-do list of things I want to get to in order to build my blog,) but I have to remember that I cannot do all these things at once. I have other interests, and as the saying goes, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
I don’t know about you, but I DEFINITELY can only eat an elephant one bit at a time… And I can only build my blog one day at a time… So, I do thank you for reading this post and taking the time to holler out at me in the comments or on twitter.
If you have been around in these early days, rest assured, I know who you are, and I deeply appreciate you!