Every so often, as I sit down to write a new blog post, I get that nagging sense of discouragement and seriously ask myself “Why do I blog?” “What would happen if I stopped?”
Do you ever ask yourself questions like that? I think we all question our commitment to our blogging journey from time to time.
Early this year I sought inspiration once again as I pondered why I keep blogging, in this post Need More Inspiration? Attend a Blogging Event.
When I ask these questions, the answer I keep coming back to is two-fold:
1. I enjoy talking about the art of writing and the craft of blogging with like-minded people.
2. Being able to freely express my words in published posts and share my photography floats my boat like nothing else!
Connecting with other bloggers is exciting!
I follow and regularly read many bloggers and look forward to their stories, articles, photos and ideas. If the online relationships with other bloggers is gold, then actually meeting them in person is platinum!
Over the last three years of serious blogging, I have managed to meet quite a few bloggers in person. Although most bloggers engage each other by reading and writing comments, conversing face-to-face is beyond special!
What If You Can’t Attend a Blogging Event?
The next best thing you can do is to try to meet local bloggers from your own area, city or state. I have been very lucky to meet several fellow bloggers this way. I have found local bloggers by reading their “About me” page. Now you may see why those descriptions might be helpful.
There is just something about going to lunch with another blogger and talking about blogging that is super exciting!
I recently had the joy and pleasure of meeting up with three other bloggers. We all connected both through our blog genre and geographically. Although Janis, Kathy and Donna consider themselves “retirement bloggers,” Liesbet is self-employed and I am semi-retired working as a part-time university lecturer. We all have some freedom to travel and can experience leisure on our terms.
And that was the beauty of our connection.
Donna was in Southern California on a home-exchange, Liesbet is currently house-sitting in San Diego, while Janis and Kathy live in Southern California. I used the holiday weekend and my school schedule to my advantage, along with extensive family who live in San Diego, to factor in my trip south from Northern California. Note: Liesbet could not join us on this weekend, but she met up with Kathy and Donna earlier in the month–she was with us in spirit.
And the planets aligned for a fun weekend.
Another perk of developing online connections is the opportunity to share your insights on other blogs and in turn, offer them the opportunity to guest post on your blog. I think this idea of cross pollination is critical for meeting even more bloggers. When I guest posted for Donna last month, I met and followed other bloggers, extending my own network and creating even more connections.
At our meet-up, we all had questions about blogging. As we chatted, and shared ideas, I learned some important things about my own blog.
Not long ago, through WordPress dot com, my blogging platform, I signed up for WordAds. I see many bloggers who have ads enabled on their websites and there is potential to earn a few dollars. Donna commented that the ads were annoying and tempted her to click off my blog…and she’s a friend and regular reader! How many others felt that way or just clicked away? Egads!
So, as we chatted, I disabled the Word Ads feature. Am I going to miss that $2 a month I was making? Nope!
I also checked some of the widgets in my sidebar while we talked about the pros and cons of Instagram. To my horror, my widget linked not to my Instagram page where I share my other photos, but to my PayPal donation site! I fixed that right away.
For someone who is not intending to monetize my blog at this point, I must have looked like a money-grubbing fool sending unsuspecting readers to endure unwanted ads and then donate money.
But that’s what feedback provides. A fresh look at your own blog.
We also traded some war stories about watermarking images, dealing with social media and privacy issues as a blogger. I told Janis I gave up any kind of privacy attached to my online persona years ago. I asked Donna to Google my name and she found at least 10 pages of links with my name, some from work, school, organizations and blogging. If you blog, you are out there for the world to see!
Out of the four ladies, I had met three of them in person before. Reconnecting was a blast and getting to know Donna and her husband Richard, who hosted our visit, was a joy!
As part of our desert meet-up, we all agreed to share our views and experiences today. Please visit my dear friends and read about their perspectives.
Janis at Retirementally Challenged
Kathy at Smart Living365
Liesbet from Roaming About
Donna from Retirement_Reflections
Our little group is entertaining the idea of a Southern California meet-up this time next year. If you are in the area or would not mind traveling, please contact one of us. Stay tuned for details.