I’ve Been Blogging For 5 Years. No Joke!

It’s April Fool’s Day 2013.

Five years ago I signed up for a blog at wordpress.com. I thought it might be a way to stay connected to the dance world and give me somewhere to share my knowledge of dance with students and teachers while I raised my then infant son.

I thought I would do this in my “spare” time.

The joke was on me.

You moms out there know that spare time when you are starting a family means late nights. It also means a lot of one-armed cooking, cleaning and, in this case, blogging!

You bloggers know that spare-time effort in blogging gets you a blog full of stuff that no one is finding or reading.

I was partially right, though. Blogging has kept me connected to dance in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve enjoyed and have experienced great personal reward as a result of sharing my knowledge and receiving what readers and other writers have shared with me.

Five years later, I’ve acquired both skills and insights into blogging, the Internet, marketing, and relationships that I did not have before. So, as part of my 5th Blogiversary celebration, I thought I’d share some of that with you too!

I asked Twitter followers to submit their questions about blogging. I am answering three of these ON CAMERA. Not my favorite place to appear, but I’m taking one for the team.

Question #1

 

This video covers four essentials for growing a blog plus gives straightforward insight into what kind of traffic it takes to attract advertisers and some insight into what bloggers can generally expect to be paid for advertising. A lot of people don’t like to talk about this stuff. I’ll admit nothing is concrete and this is by no means comprehensive but being vague won’t help you, so here goes:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNCxtyjvmXM]

Question #2

 

You can overcome what I’m calling publisher’s anxiety by changing the way you think. I give some advice on stopping negative thoughts and also describe blogging in a way that will hopefully ease any reservations you have about just doing it!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKocITBs5fA]

Question #3

 

It’s better to give than receive but if you are providing a valuable resource, it’s not unreasonable to want to expand your blog in ways that earn income and compensation for your services. Your blog isn’t exactly your business, but blogs are a great tool for reaching potential customers. If you are hoping to expand into advertising or paid content, it’s still very possible to blog with honesty.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1RtmiNEXeY]

Question #4

 

Tom said that he’s waiting to pull the trigger on a blog that will serve multiple purposes. I gave my answer to him via Twitter and said,

“Experimentation is ok. You may gravitate toward one or another as you find your voice & readers respond. Whether informational or personal, let the blog reflect who you are.”

No, I’m not going to start blogging about blogging instead of dance…

But if you like these or have other questions for me, do let me know in the comments!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world.
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)

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Comments

  1. Happy 5th Anniversary Nichelle! Thank you for sharing your insight on blogging. As someone who has been blogging just over a year, I have such a different perspective on the work it takes than I did when I initially started. I love it though – my friends and some family think I am nuts – so you put in all this time and you aren’t really making money.

    Oh and I feel your pain on Google +. If you have any epiphanies, let me know! 🙂

    • Congrats, Angie on blogging for over a year! I enjoy what you’re doing at Your Daily Dance.Most blogs make it only months, so it truly is an achievement. That’s actually the point at which I moved to wordpress.org. It’s funny that blogging is not unlike dance in the questions regarding the sanity of pursuing something so elusive, frivolous, insecure, [insert adjective here]. Maybe that’s why I’ve enjoyed it so much! 🙂 Speaking of, I talk more about the relationships between dance and blogging here.

      As for Google+, definitely no epiphanies to share at this point other than I just don’t think my readers are using it all that much, if at all. I’ve found it more time consuming than useful or even enjoyable, so I have yet to fully add it to my social media landscape.

      • Thank you Nichelle. I take that as a huge compliment coming from you. I appreciate it. It is definitely work in progress – some things have worked or been more comfortable for me than others. There is a lot of tweaking to find the right fit both for myself and my readers. My goal from the beginning has been to stay positive and be informative – too much of a negative Dance Mom perception in the world.

        I loved your post on Mom’s New Stage. Your life lessons hit the nail on the head. Oh and as a Mom of a 10 lb. baby boy – I know, I know! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for the advice Nichelle! I’m a little nervous diving into the advertising pool, but your example and encouragement helps.

    Happy 5th! 🙂

    Vicki

    • Advertising is a scary leap (pun intended), Vicki. Not something to be taken too lightly but not something that you have to have completely figured out before you start. That’s where perfectionism can really get in the way. Start wherever you are comfortable, and build from there. All the best to you!

  3. I finally got a moment to read/view this. First of all, congratulations on your 5th anniversary! It is amazing how much DanceAdvantage,net has grown. Thank you for sharing your insights on blogging! And I appreciate you doing the videos. That’s something that I want to add to my blog, but have to get over the fear of getting in front of the camera.

  4. Great tips, Nichelle! I’ve been meaning to refocus and jump-start my blog, so this is well timed. Totally agree with the importance of engaging and commenting. It’s one thing to write for oneself, but the synergy of blogging comes from reaching out.