Hi everyone! It is my absolute pleasure to feature Abigail from Acreage of Grace on the blog today. She is a fellow Nebraskan and small town gal, and someone I have enjoyed getting to know through the wonderful world of blogging. I know so many of us have a list of blogs that we frequent… Acreage of Grace is one of those for me!
How to Practice Gratitude In Order to Truly Appreciate Blogging
I very recently started a blog (May 10) and I have read so many “How To’s” about gaining success as a blogger. How to reach 1,000 Followers on Instagram, How to Utilize Pinterest to Increase Pageviews, How to Use Automated Social Media Apps To Increase “Interaction” with Followers. I appreciate EVERY SINGLE ONE of these articles and continue to seek guidance and tools to help me be successful. I would not say my blog is a “success story” just yet, but I am proud of the articles I write and the social media presence that I have. So here is my “How To” article.
Maintaining a blog is hard work people! Deciding to start a blog and then actually DOING IT was a 3-5 year process for me. Which is saying something because I usually just go at things on a whim and see what happens. But for me, my writing is very personal, so it took a lot of encouragement from my friends and family as well as a total lifestyle change for my family before I was comfortable following through on this dream (click HERE to learn more about that process).
“I can write,” I thought. “I love to take pictures.” “I can totally start a blog.” Though it is helpful to enjoy writing and taking photos, blogging is SO much more than that. I have a degree in Public Relations/Advertising and have worked my entire professional career to promote other companies and products. But the amount of promotion I have done for my blog over the last two months has seemed much more time consuming and so much more foreign than what I am used to. Being a “newbie” blogger, there is so much I still don’t know. Because of this I have made some mistakes along the way (I posted a #FollowFriday on a Thursday….embarrassing).
One of my blogging mentors Chrystie V. over at www.livingfornaptime.com lives by the 80/20 rule. You should spend 20% of your time creating content for your blog and 80% of your time promoting it. I am a full-time stay at home mama and a majorly part-time blogger. Finding time to write and promote has taken a great deal of planning on my end and also a great deal of grace from my husband and children. After blogging for only a couple of weeks I got VERY wrapped up in the numbers game. How many pageviews did I have that day? How many new Instagram followers did I have? How many new Instagram UNFOLLOWERS did I have (totally didn’t know this was a thing until I started blogging :( ).
But then, per usual in my life, I had a great discussion with one of my best friends. She said “Abigail, you need to remember why you started blogging in the first place. What were your goals and objectives? With those goals and objectives, do these numbers you are worrying about really matter?” Wow, talk about some straight truth to knock you back into place. Oh my goodness I have great friends (thanks Laura)! I am not going to lie and say I don’t get excited when I have a great pageview day, or I don’t love seeing new social media followers. But I also am not going to get wrapped up in the comparison game and believe that I am any less of a person because I don’t have the type of “following” that other bloggers may have. We are all different and have wonderful things to offer the blogosphere.
So here is a list of the items I have purchased for my blog in chronological order:
-Blog Design: I know a lot of people would tell you not to waste money on paying a designer. And I know there are a lot of nice templates out there. But I started from 0% knowledge about blogging and knew the only way I would truly do this is if someone made it simple for me, and if I was super proud of the design of my blog. It was going to be really hard for me to promote something I wasn’t really proud of.
-New Laptop: We went from a laptop to a desktop family computer a couple of years ago, and I knew with spending more time “working” from home, I would need a laptop to move from one room to another. I also enjoy the laptop because I am able to go downtown to our local Christian Coffeeshop and write every now and again.
-Thank you cards: This is the third and final thing on my list folks and honestly probably the most important. I had my blog logo printed on shimmery white cardstock and I write personal cards to family and friends who have been supporting me through this journey. I started out doing this as something nice for the recipient, but it has ended up being so gratifying for me. With every single card that I write I find myself remembering WHY I decided to start blogging and WHY I am so grateful to have a blog and WHY the time and effort I put into something that brings me no revenue is so so SO good for my soul. I don’t know a person in the world who doesn’t enjoy a good old fashioned thank you every now and again. Rather you decide to physically write thank you cards, or maybe you decide to send an email or a text or give someone a call or take them out for coffee. However you decide to thank the people in your lives for their support is up to you. It has been so great for me to sit down and identify the people that I want to thank and exactly what I want to thank them for. The cards take so little time and effort, but I have been given numerous compliments from the people I have sent them to.
In summary, here are the three key points in How to Practice Gratitude in Order to Truly Appreciate Blogging:
-Remember your WHY. Striving for and/or reaching your goals and objectives gauges your success, not your numbers.
-”Comparison is the thief of joy”- Theodore Roosevelt said that one and I think Theo had the right idea.
-”There is always ALWAYS something to be thankful for”- Ann Voskamp. Ann is my writing inspiration. Check out her blog over at www.aholyexperience.com and also read her book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are- I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but really her writing is food for the soul. Write thank you cards, make gratitude lists, count your blessings. Make sure to remember the benefits and blessings your blog is bringing to your life or the lives of others.
Thanks so much for reading my article. I truly appreciate it! If you would like to read more, please check out my blog Acreage of Grace at www.acreageofgrace.blogspot.com. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!