Lessons I Learned In My First Six Months Of Blogging

I can’t believe it’s been six months since starting the Holcombe Homestead!

Upon starting this journey, I couldn’t comprehend the numerous lessons I would quickly learn.  For any of my friends wanting to start their own blog or just anyone who reads along with me, I want to share a few realizations I’ve come to.

I am Not the first person to start a blog…

I am not the first person to start a blog… and thank goodness! While I only personally know two or three people who have their own blogs, there are SO MANY blogs out there.  Because of this, I had more resources than I would have ever imagined at my disposal.  Podcast, ebooks, and other blogs are my go-tos for teaching me everything I need to know about the ins and outs of blogging.  From SEO help to widget installation, this fish out of water is learning through the trial and errors of my fellow bloggers.  

The flip side to that is the intimidation of starting from the bottom. It’s crucial that I remind myself daily that Rome wasn’t built in a day and everyone starts somewhere.  (Y’all, I love a good motivational cliche!)

I am not for everyone and that is A-okay…

I am not for everyone, and that’s okay. Over the years, I’ve developed a thick skin from being surrounded with a gaggle of brothers. I’ve been able to put into perspective the ebb and flow of support. This hasn’t been as hard as I would have expected initially, but I’m not going to lie, it’s a punch in the gut to have a friend unfollow me. I have to remember I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and the world will keep turning. I still hope the best for them, even if I am a little bruised.

Everyone views success differently…

Everyone views success differently.  One of my favorite quotes is of Theodore Roosevelt saying, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.”  I have dear, well-intentioned, souls ask me about the wild success of others as if I’m not loving every minute of where I am in my journey.  The first time it happened I had to vent to my husband and in a low moment I said, “So even after doing x, y, and z that I’m so excited about and proud of, people think I’m failing because I don’t have what so and so has?”  This comes in the form of blog views, Instagram followers, Pinterest numbers, and so on.  Ultimately, I had to swallow my hurt pride and ego and remember why I even started this blog.  It’s not for naysayers and negative Nellys.  In the overly used words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”  

I can’t gauge how many people are reading by the ones who actually tell me…

I can’t gauge how many people are reading by the ones who verbally tell me they’re following along. Sometimes it’s shocking to see the analytics and numbers of people who follow along this journey with me. However, I don’t get told that many people are reading my content. So just because I’m not told someone’s reading, doesn’t mean they’re not. Some people want to follow along but not actually encourage the blog. And again, that’s completely okay!

This is a ministry…

This is a ministry and as a believer in spiritual warfare, I’ve been deep in battle.  I’m still recovering from a few blows, but I hope to share my story soon to empower anyone else who needs to hear it.  Knowing that Kingdom work leads to resistance, I wish I would have suited up a little more thoroughly before taking off.  Holding to His promises and knowing that every single thing works together for His good (me paraphrasing Romans 8:28) has been my refuge in the trenches.

Now that I’ve shared some of the bad (I hate to say that’s just a drop in the bucket), here are some of the good things I’ve learned in my first six months of blogging.

Everyone is going through something…

Everyone is going through something, and a lot of times they need to hear what you have to say. I didn’t think in a million years my postpartum post would take off the way it did. Part of me wants to take it down and add on so much, but maybe I’ll add a Part II one day instead. Sitting at a wedding this past Saturday, four months after I published it, I got a message about that post.

I was overwhelmed, to say the least, by the outpouring of similar stories from fellow women. A few even told me they just needed to hear they weren’t the only ones. I’m thankful I heeded to the Holy Spirit and got raw and real with my experience.

My brain hasn’t been this challenged…

My brain hasn’t been this challenged in a long time!  As mentioned earlier, SEOs, domain sites, analytics, and widgets were never in my vocabulary before launching this blog.  I’m still no expert, but I’m learning every day a little more about the technology side of the blog.  My husband is an IT consultant, so one might think he takes care of all of that boring business.  While it would be much easier (and wiser) for me to let him, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, I enjoy the satisfaction of doing things myself.  This personality characteristic can be a flaw, so if you’re reading this please give some grace because I’m still learning!

This creative outlet is amazing…

The creative outlet this blog gives me is something I’ve dreamed about. My Instagram captions or random facebook posts were my only writing opportunities prior to the site. Yes, friend, I’m that girl on IG who has a novel under each picture because I have so much to say. I didn’t realize how therapeutic this would be for me when I began, but it’s been integral through a strange season of life. While you might think reading about my kitchen remodel was just me telling a story, the reality is that story was cathartic to write.

Which leads me to my next point…

Only He knows the future

Only He knows what the future holds.  Instagram and Facebook may die off like MySpace (rip), but The Holcombe Homestead is my very own space in time.  I can share stories now that my kids might look back on and laugh about later.  Or maybe in the next six months, I will need to be reminded of the things I learned in the first six months.  

I’m thankful I have this space to do something that I love.  The pillar of kindness from this community is mind-blowing and I could never express my gratitude for each individual.  This chapter is thrilling, challenging, trying at times, but extremely worth it all.  

If you’re looking to start your own blog, I say go for it!  Get ready for a wild ride.

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