ChooseBetterLife.com went live one year ago.
Like most anniversaries, this blogiversary seems both like it took forever and like it arrived in the blink of an eye. I’ve written 55 posts on a hodgepodge of life-improving topics with readers from 107 different countries!*
As with everything, the journey taught me some important lessons about what’s important to me and helped me focus on new goals for the next year.
Life Is More Than Just Numbers
I started the blog after taking an online class that guided un-tech-savvy me through the baby steps. While it did lead to a real-life blog, it focused heavily on advertising, building the coveted and valuable email list, and pop-ups and emails galore. We were taught tricks to build our numbers on Facebook and Twitter, and while I tried a few, the teacher encouraged me to do more.
I respected the person teaching the class, but these methods made me feel spammy.
I’ve always been the person who’s happy to help but very hesitant to intrude. I resent it when my friends and family try to sell me their latest pyramid schemes, so I vowed to stop trying to do the same to them.
Pop-ups came down. Facebook shares on my private page ceased. Twitter follow-unfollow high jinks halted.
Monetizing my blog is not a high priority. If it pays for itself someday, of course I’ll appreciate it, but advertising random products that I don’t believe in isn’t my style. Everything you see here is something I think will bring you much value or a good laugh.
It’s like helping out friends and neighbors — sure, I could charge, but that isn’t what good friends and neighbors do. I’d rather work at my day (and evening) job for pay than force this site to support itself and feel untrue to myself.
Good Posts Say Something
My initial goal was to post every Friday. Many bloggers post two, three, or more times per week, but it turns out I’m not a natural writer.
Forcing ideas into prose made me dread the process, and a rigid schedule created unnecessary stress when I was working a lot or traveling.
I started by writing posts just in time, then built up a cushion to get me through busy seasons.
Some posts, though I tried, still weren’t what I hoped they would be.
So, moving forward, I’ll write only when I have something that compels me to share it. Whether that’s twice a week or twice a month remains to be seen. Not having the cushion will allow me to write more in the moment instead of knowing that it won’t publish for six weeks, and having less time to second-guess myself and edit will (hopefully) make them more personal and meaningful.
I had hoped to build a community of readers, and this has come true. Thanks so much for your comments and support! Please let me know what you’d like to hear more about and how I can help you choose a happy, healthy path through life.
What I didn’t expect was such a warm community of other bloggers, and it’s growing daily. (Check out Other Awesome Blogs on my Resources page.) Through your posts, comments, and tweets, I’m so excited to have friends throughout the continent. I’ve had my first visitor and anticipate many more.**
Your posts and comments continue to teach me and make me laugh, and I remain in awe.
The class I mentioned above taught that I couldn’t be successful without finding a small niche. Maybe that’s true, at least with her definition of success.
But I don’t have a tiny niche anywhere. My job specializes in a little bit of everything, and my friends and family are a rowdy crew of misfits. Why should my blog be any different?
Thanks for putting up with the chaos and randomness, and I hope you’re enjoying the ride.
Please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.
*Hopefully at least a few weren’t spammers.
**September through April are highly recommended.