24 Lessons from 24+ Months of Blogging
I was chosen as the December featured blogger on MuslimahBloggers.com – a recently discovered blogging community.
When I came across this community, it marked yet another milestone on my blogging journey.
Its been an adventurous journey of over two years (24+ months) and I can only say with much gratitude and humility that – I’m still learning. But my education-laden DNA remains well nourished through this experiential process of learning that happens from blogging.
Just I shared top lessons from my 12+ months of blogging, I want to share some more lessons with you. Its said that ”A year older is a year wiser” – so hopefully I’m sharing some wise lessons with you from inner depths of my mind and soul.
Ready for some blogging lessons???
On Mind set and Inner influences
1. Never underestimate the great power of an intention.
I keep refining and renewing my intention – to keep it pure and sincere. When I feel high, proud and accomplished, I try to renew my intention. When I feel low, de-motivated and much like an impostor; I recall that same intention. It helps maintain balance and momentum.
2. Focus on the journey NOT the destination.
I accept there will be good days and bad days; failures and successes; accomplishments and embarrassments; discoveries and mistakes. They are all a part of the journey. I do not dismiss one or the other. I have realised that they help me grow and develop on my journey.
I also try to reflect and celebrate my wins and milestones; review and learn from my mistakes; and carry on blogging no matter what.
3. Be flexible.
Blogging has been characterised by a lot of exploration and experimentation. And by my nature, this keeps me excited but uncomfortable. What I have learned to do is become more flexible – so that when tech crumbles or some ideas do not go as perfectly planned, I can still carry on with patience and positivity.
4. Keep learning.
I prioritise on my learning and try to be intentional in my approach. I love to research, ask questions, read, apply what I have learned and share knowledge with others. This keeps me stimulated and well updated on new blogging trends.
5. Focus on quality NOT quantity.
I have grown and moved away from the mental burden of wishing I could post daily as some readers request. And instead learning to be consistent with quality posts, ideas and my blogging things to-do.
Consistent quality is my secret key.
6. Stay true to core values.
To every person who does creative work, I say to you – ‘be genuine, be yourself’.
Your values and true voice is what makes your work unique – not some secret formula. Its never easy at the beginning especially with writing but with regular practice, it gets a lot easier.
7. Keep exploring and experimenting.
That’s my favourite thing to do – explore and experiment – with ideas and different ways of doing things.
As a researcher, I must admit I slow myself down a lot trying to get proofs on certain things. But in the blogosphere, I have come to realise that I am the scientist who matters the most. I experiment at my own risk.
8. Be gritty.
The back end of a blog can sometimes be like an accident and emergency ward with crisis and issues coming up one after the other. And at other times, it could like a night-sky full of stars and calming tones.
Being gritty helps make it through those moments of reasonable calm or crisis.
Social media is a dear friend to every blogger – depending on what platform is favoured. But I still take time off social media and even those must-visit websites.
I take digital fasts. And this when I try to take a day off the Internet or switch off data services for most of the day. It helps me rebooth my senses and connect with people/ nature.
Sand. Storm. or Steam.
I have learned to relax and just breathe – and say Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal.
11. Be confident; you are NOT a fraud
When the impostor syndrome comes creeping towards my side of the blogosphere, I respond by questioning myself. And I reaffirm my self worth and confidence quickly.
12. Let BIG hairy goals sprout and NOT try to tame them.
My vision, mission and goals drive my thoughts and actions every single day. I have learned to give myself permission to dream BIG, imagine all possibilities and remove barriers when setting goals.
On External Influences
13. Learn from the experts but understand that one cap doesn’t fit all.
The amount of information we get bombarded with these days from ‘experts‘.
My advice to myself is to take what is most needed and drop the rest – ASAP. Sometimes this may translate into removing myself from a mailing list.
14. Stay accountable with a support network.
Commitment is more sustainable when there is a high level of accountability involved. I seek such accountability through different means; blogging buddies, masterminds, courses, social media groups etc – and I keep exploring for a better experience.
15. Be passionate and compassionate.
I let my words and actions communicate my passion.
And I also try to be compassionate with others, knowing that we may all be at different parts of our individual creative journeys. With this mindset, its easier to give and forgive with no strings attached.
The distractions are endless these days and especially on the Internet. So I set my focus on 1-3 blogging goals at any time NOT 10 – 20. I know that too much of those free videos, reports and resources can set me miles back.
On Connections and Social Networking
17. Give credit.
It is very important to give due credit when necessary.
I have always had a zero tolerance level for plagiarism but this is even greater now, having experienced first-hand my work being copied and pasted across the net without any regards by fellow brothers/ sisters in deen.
If I learned nothing from the situation, at least I started appreciating my writing more than ever.
18. Give thanks.
I always try to give thanks to Allah (swt) for His favours. And remember to appreciate every little help I receive. I consider even the littlest help an answer to my supplications.
19. Build bridges NOT barriers.
Connect with other bloggers and creatives in genuine ways so you can mutually be of help. You can help each other close gaps that will accelerate your progress towards your goals.
20. Build a community NOT a brand.
When I started blogging, I had read sooo much and received advice about building a brand that I worried a lot about the logo, themes, colour concept etc without focusing as much on the special people who the message was meant for.
While I understand the importance of physical layout and navigation of a site, my energy is also directed presently on the message, those receiving the message and the platform where the message is delivered.
I try to communicate regularly with my loyal subscribers and share my best advice, knowledge and opportunities.
21. Collaborate NOT compete.
I am always on the lookout for new ways to collaborate in meaningfully especially with other bloggers. It strengthens and magnifies my message and outreach.
22. Keep constant contact.
I always love hearing back from my community through emails, surveys and one-one-one sessions. It makes the relationship more real and beneficial.
23. There’s always something NEW to learn.
I have said this already BUT… how can I end this list without putting more emphasis on learning?
This learning aspect excites me more than anything else. And yup… there’s always something new and mind blowing to learn on the blogosphere.
24. Have Taqwa.
Allah (swt) can see us even if we cannot see Him. This thought keeps me in check as I try to walk my talk even when my community may not see me. I also try to ”practice what I preach”, trying a dose of my own medicine before I recommend it to others.
If I cannot do it, I would definitely think twice about publishing it.
Thank you for being a part of this special community of self development warriors.
The great vision and huge hairy goals wouldn’t amount to much without YOU. I always appreciate your duas, suggestions and questions. So keep them coming.
Stay *committed*, *courageous* and *completely awesome*.
And take these blogging lessons with you – for your growth and empowerment.
Which of these lessons can you relate to on your own blogging or creative journey? Please share below…