There is a reason why I don’t mind when people come to me asking how to build a successful blog. I’m not the best person to ask – in terms of analytics, this blog wouldn’t be considered successful by most standards. But I’m OK with people complaining about not having readers or not getting any comments. I’ve been through that really hard few years when you’re putting in the work and no one cares. I understand how frustrating it can be.
I’ve seen more growth here this year than I expected to, but there have still been points when I’ve considered giving up. There are way too many blogs like mine, who started posting things about writing way before I did. At some point this year I finally accepted the fact that this blog will always be a hobby – a hobby I love dearly, because I care about you and your future as a writer, but still just a hobby. I refuse to clutter my site with ads or irrelevant sponsored content. That’s not what this is about.
But, full disclosure, I’m in debt (most 24-year-olds who’ve been in school since the beginning of time are) and freelance writing, at least in your first year, pays like garbage. I paid my way through grad school with that money specifically so I could find a job writing about health (which is basically what I’ve been studying/training for since I was 19). I love writing about writing. But this blog, being a hobby and all, is not a career. As much as I’m fine with that, I need to step up my game and add something new to my list of projects – something that pays, for good reason, I mean.
I’ve been planning on launching a new project for months – and am hoping to establish an official launch date sometime in early 2017. I’ve known pretty much the entire time that I didn’t want it to be a blog. Health blogs are super popular, and it’s in many ways easier to monetize because it’s a specific niche to target. But as you can probably guess, if you follow this blog, I’m neither in it for the clicks nor the money. I mean, I do need to make money. But not from fad health products that don’t actually solve people’s problems.
If you count the six years I blogged before launching Novelty Revisions, I’ve been blogging since 2009. I know how to run a blog, I know how people read content online and I know how to promote things like this. It would only make sense that if I were to start something new, it would be another blog. I’m a writer. It’s what everyone would expect from me.
Except … I’m not a writer. I create things on the internet. “Things” is an extremely vague term on purpose. I’ve done plenty of other things besides writing. I started a podcast (on hiatus), I sometimes still make videos (on hiatus), I like to connect with people. Writing is easy for me. Writing has always come naturally. To start another blog would be boring. And launching a project you aren’t enthusiastic about is, and always will be, a complete waste of time.
Edit: By the way, I’m not saying writing is easy for me, meaning I never struggle. Creativity-wise, there are more challenging activities for me at this point in addition to writing. That’s what I meant.
So I’m challenging myself, and doing something different. I’m tired of always doing what’s easy. Factor in the reality that people don’t read, that many health headlines are misleading, that I am a truth-teller, and most people want the quick easy fix to all their problems, which you know for a fact I do not offer anyone who comes to me for advice. You’re going to run into that no matter which medium you choose to send your message. But there are way too many “health bloggers” out there already. I love blogging! I would not love being a “health blogger.”
What I’m doing instead is going to take a lot of time, preparation and, honestly, bravery. It’s either going to stick, or it’s going to fall flat. I won’t know until I try. I wish I could tell you more, but it’s too early. I can assure you that I’m still sticking around here, and though down the road I might either need some extra help or to cut back on posts, for now, I’m not going anywhere. I have really been struggling the past few months keeping up with daily posts, but if I didn’t care, I would have stopped. I’m really glad you’re still around to cheer me on and keep me moving forward. You matter to me!
New ideas are scary, especially when you finally give in and decide you’re going to move forward with them. Big ideas somehow find their way to you, and it’s hard to explain, but you just know they’re meant to be. I do, anyway. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I have no idea what the next year is going to look like for me professionally. But there’s one thing I do know for sure: I’m a one-blog blogger, and I’m so, so happy I’m allowed to say that. I don’t want to have 20 blogs. I want to focus on making the one I have as good as it can be.
Thanks for keeping up with me. Now get back to writing.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.