Has it really been a year? A whole year? Really? Already?
A year ago, I did something I secretly wondered if I would immediately regret. A week away from starting graduate school, barely two months into my first post-grad full-time job, I made the choice to rebrand and reform my blog, which I had pretty much been neglecting.
I did this for two reasons: one, because I had less than 25 people visiting monthly and wanted that to change, and two, because I wanted my blog to mean something. I didn’t want to write about me or my life anymore. I wanted to write about something I thought mattered.
So I rebranded my personal blog and turned it into an inspirational, how-to blog about writing, the only thing I had enough experience, expertise and interest blogging about.
If you know anything about the writing blog niche, you already know this was, at first, a pretty careless move. There are more blogs out there about writing than we can easily count. EVERYONE likes to think they know more about good writing than the next person (no shame; it’s true).
In many ways, this blog will always just be part of that niche, excessively muted by the noise. But that’s okay. That doesn’t bother me (anymore).
I spend a few hours every day coming up with new ways to help you figure out how to put your ideas into words. Simultaneously, I’m constantly learning my own lessons on the way. Like how important it is to write the truth, even if not everyone agrees. How to put certain things before others, to make sure the quality of my content is the best it can be. When it’s okay to complain (infrequently) and how to make those posts as constructive and positive as possible.
Probably the most valuable lesson I have learned since launching this blog last year is that, while it might seem like it on the surface, blogging is not a solitary activity. You cannot run a blog by yourself. Half of what makes a blog valuable is the conversations it starts between readers and writers. You can post as much content on a blog as you want to, but if you make it one-sided and don’t offer potential readers a good reason to follow you, they won’t.
You’re just as much a part of this as me. That is so, so amazing to me. I don’t even know most of you. Hi!
I cannot thank you enough for all your support and positive feedback over the past year. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that, in just 12 months, I have created something that makes me and other people happy and still has plenty of room to grow.
My goal in starting Novelty was never to have a “popular” blog. We will probably always have a relatively small audience, but in some ways, it’s better that way. At least I hope so. I hope this is a place you feel comfortable asking questions, sharing stories and starting conversations. I hope that when you come here, you are able to find something that helps you in some way.
Over the next year I am going to get a lot better at responding to comments (I approve them, I forget to respond to them, I want my responses to be worth a read – it’s a little tough to manage right now but I’m working on it). I want to grow our email newsletter and figure out new ways to use it to benefit subscribers. Once I graduate and can afford better equipment, I want to bring videos back into the mix more regularly. I want to continue posting content daily. And of course, seeing our audience grow, even little by little, is always something I try my hardest to persuade.
And then there are those secret things I keep mentioning … but you won’t have to wait too much longer to hear more about those.
You are all awesome. I could not have made it through this first year, which is always the hardest, without you. Keep writing. Keep asking questions. You’re the best. You make this fun. You make this worth it.
Image courtesy of Jessica Diamond/flickr.com.