Top 6 Things I’ve Learned in a Year of Blogging | Part 1

It’s hard to believe that one year has passed since I began writing My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda. I never thought I would actually write things that people would read, and I never thought I had the courage to publish what I’ve written.

My first blog post was written one year ago today. It’s a simple post on how everything, I mean everything in Sardinia happens domani, tomorrow. Things still happen domani, even after a year. You can’t change a culture, but you can change yourself.

I started My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda with no set goals in mind. I’ve been a writer my entire life, but my writings were always kept private. It was time to come out of the closet and announce to the world that I, Jennifer Avventura am a writer.

Here is a list of the Top 6 things I’ve learned in the past year of blogging.

  1. Patience –  Yes, patience. It is a virtue after all. Site stats are not going to explode through the roof in your first month of blogging. (Unless of course you are some blogging genius and know the right tools in getting your blogs name out there.) Followers and regular readers take time. Your content must shine, you must write from the heart.
  2. Ask Questions – If you don’t ask questions, you will never know the answer. Do you really want to put yourself out there for billions of readers when you have no idea what you are doing?
  3. Comment – Read other blogs in your niche. Comment on their posts and keep your comments related to their blog post. A comment can go a long way and generally that person is curious to know more about the who left the comment that they will click on through to your blog, and maybe leave a comment for you.
  4. Social Media – Now this is a big one. Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon are all social media forums that I use regularly. I don’t care what you ate for breakfast or that your eighty year old granny just ran a marathon, no. I use social media to promote my blog. I’ve also used social media to explore new blogs and to stay on top of the niche I write in.
  5. Site Stats – are really not important. Ask yourself, why am I writing this piece and for whom am I writing it for? All of my posts I have written for myself. I like to write, no I love to write. That is why I have this blog, the rest is just the icing on the cake. Don’t waste your time gazing at the double digits or what people clicked on to read. Instead, focus your time and energy on writing a good post. If you have good content the readers will come. (See number 1.)
  6. Blog Lingo – It’s okay not to understand some of the blog lingo, heck I still don’t. But I’m trying too. RSS, CSS, SEO, HTML, CPA, CPC and CPM are just some of the things I’m beginning to understand, even after a year in this field. (See number 1.)

Still here, awesome! For those stat obsessed bloggers, here is a run down of My Sardinian Life‘s stats.

  • 14,309 views. In one year! To me that’s amazing. And I would like to thank each and every one of you that has clicked to make that number grow.
  • 179 hits on my busiest day. And that was June 13th, 2011. The only reason I received 179 hits that day is because I was running an experiment, on my own. I asked my brother to promote my blog post on his Facebook page. Bam. 179 hits. Thanks bro. Since then, I have never received 179 or more hits in one day. See number 1.
  • My average hits per day is 50.
  • My most commented page is my ABOOT page. With 40 comments. You will have to click on my Aboot page to learn why it’s called Aboot and not about.
  • I average 137 comments a month. Thanks guys. I also leave comments on others blogs.
  • There are 78 WordPress followers and 7 Email followers. Which brings me to a total of 85 followers. Yeah me, again … thanks guys.

I’m proud with what I’ve accomplished in a year, as at one time I thought it impossible. In life nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.

What have you learned in a year of blogging? Or if you have blogged for years, what kind of advice can you give to new bloggers?

Happy Blogging from Jennifer Avventura.

About Jennifer Avventura

Canadian Freelance writer living in Sardinia, Italy. A serial expat who has lived in Australia, England and Cayman Islands. She eats Nutella with a spoon and hides under the bed during lightning storms. When she's not out running 6k you will find her sitting at the computer - writing her novel and searching for worldwide waitress work.
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26 Responses to Top 6 Things I’ve Learned in a Year of Blogging | Part 1

  1. Wow!! That was really fantastic to read. I am very new to blogging and was just glancing through some blogs. Whoa!! I landed on yours. Really enjoyed reading it, particularly this post. As you have mentioned, social networking sites help a great deal in increasing the blog stats. I am well versed in that part but I still do not have ‘that’ feeling of putting up my own blog. Don’t know when that will materialize.

  2. Debra Kolkka says:

    I still, after 2 years, don’t understand RSS etc. I didn’t know what tags or links were for the first year. I don’t use Facebook or twitter at all. Every time I try to get into Facebook it just sends me round in circles, so I give up. I find it incredible that people stumble onto my blog and I love it when they leave comments. I agree that you shouldn’t get caught up with the number of hits, bug it is fun if a post is popular. The most hits I had was when I was Freshly Pressed for 24 hours. I got 4,000 hits in a day. It just went back to normal after that with a few extra followers.
    I always read your posts and I am looking forward to visiting Sardegna next year.

    • Thank you Debra for checking in! I think some ppl get too caught up in social media and forget about the fresh outdoors. If you are not looking to stand out in the blogging field then social media isn’t for you. I’m still confused by the lot of it, but I’m not worried. I’m here to write. 🙂

  3. thirdeyemom says:

    Great post Jennifer! Happy 1 year to your blog. I love reading it! I agree with everything you say. That you must write from the heart, be passionate about your blog and take a chance. I wrote journals for years and then last February decided to write my travel experience in Nepal on a blog. I didn’t tell anyone except my family. Then I let it just go. Now I’m thoroughly enjoying my newly made blog pals and readership. I also truly love reading others blogs. It has opened my life to new opportunities as a stay-at-home Mom. Congrats on your first year and I’m looking forward to your next. I would also love to hear more about how you ended up in Italy and how you met your husband. Perhaps you have already written about that earlier in your blog? Nicole

    • Ciao Nicole,

      Thank you for your continued support throughout the year! I too was a long time journal writer and finally last year made the leap into blogging. I’ve not written too much on my husband or how we met, but I have hinted at it in a few posts. The Sards in general are a very private people, comes with island life. Maybe I’ll turn that into a post one day! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Debra Kolkka says:

    I think social media ie. Facebook and twitter are quite different from blogging. I manage to get pretty good readership of my blog without them. I am still learning about blogging and will leave the rest alone.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Hi Jennifer! You seem to be doing a great job so far. I’ve only been blog writing for a couple of months and I’m not sure that I’ve got the style right yet, but I agree with all 6 of your points.
    I do write primarily for myself- if I don’t like reading it, why should anybody else? I have written travel guides previously so it’s the blogging that’s the new experience. Technically I struggle a bit but as you say- keep on learning. Why only today I discovered how to use the # key on Twitter, and a few days ago how tagging folk works on Facebook. That’s how green I am, but I try.

  6. The Hook says:

    See how much you’ve grown in a year? Keep up the good work, Jennifer!

  7. Pie says:

    Brilliant stuff! Happy first birthday, Jennifer. There have been a couple of first birthdays from the blogs I follow, other than yours. You’ve done really well. 85 readers in one year? That’s fantastic! I’m not yet on Twitter, but I post the odd post on Facebook if I think my friends would be interested. I would set up the publicize option in WordPress, but I don’t want to be identified by my Facebook profile. Or maybe that doesn’t show. Anyway, I agree with all that you’ve said and I know most of the terms like CSS and CEO, but you lost me at CPA, CPC and CPM. Here’s to year 2!

  8. loca4motion says:

    Wow Jennifer! You’ve done incredibly well in one year!!! Congrats!!!
    I’ve been blogging just over a year and haven’t got nearly so many views or followers but my writing and photography has been more important to me than promoting it on social media. I only use Facebook so maybe I need to start looking at Twitter and StumbleUpon too.
    By the way, I love your posts even though I don’t always comment and would really like to hear more about Sardinian culture and traditions. Is that something you could consider for future posts?

  9. Great posts (read both 1 and 2). Thanks for the information and encouragement to other bloggers. I’m pretty new to blogging so can use all the help I can get! 🙂

  10. If I can help another blogger from making the same mistakes I have, then I am a happy blogger! 🙂

  11. Jennifer, I’m flattered that you’ll be following my blog. I’m very small, beside your impressive stats. If only my best day would equal your average!
    You’re very generous with your advice. I’m a complete novice with all this blog lingo! Yes, I’ve written and published five books this year, and yes, I love writing, but I see the function of my blog as to entertain, enlighten, and hopefully help people think about and appreciate life. If these leads to an interest in my books, that’s a bonus.
    I’ll be back to read more of your excellent writing!

  12. As I read this post, I saw myself thinking the same thing. My favorite is no. 3 and 5. Comments is the heart of how connected we are to our readers and stats though nice to look it is not what drives us to blog. We blog cause we love it, breathe it, live it! Congrats. Its been an amazing 1 year.

  13. Love, love, love this post. I’ve been blogging for about 6 months (after years of a journalism career). My sisters talked in into this and then they didn’t even subscribe to my site (but I love them and bug them anyway 🙂
    so forget the stats and comments and just keep on writing.
    thank you for this post. and I heart Italy. luck you….

  14. Pingback: Sharing a Sardinian Life with you « the Thought Palette

  15. Debbie says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, good advice. I started blogging a few years ago when I started to pack in the rat race and came live in Portugal. I got sidetracked renovating my house and kinda forgot about it for a while but I’ve started again and picked up where I left off.
    I started the blog for myself really but it’s nice to know that I have others read it now and again.

  16. Wow this is so inspiring thank you for sharing. I am extremely new to the blogging world and it is comforting that after one year you are still as grateful as when you first started. I hope to have the same inspiration for someone else. I feel like you just gave me even more inspiration then I could have thought if. While at the same come back down to reality.

    Thanks again,
    Jessi

  17. Anna says:

    Congratulations! I do love to check my stats, but it’s always such a mystery – sometimes I will put out something I think should resonate with a wide audience, and it’s CRICKETS. Other times I wont even post anything but my viewership explodes bc I made some snarky remark on a social media site or another blog.

Your comments are greatly appreciated, thank you.

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