In the past week, I've had the thought many times, "What am I doing??"This is a big, brand new world for me, and it can be intimidating at times. However, I have also felt more alive, motivated, and fulfilled than I have in a long time.
I've spent between 1 - 4 hours per day working on my blog. That time has been spent doing everything from writing to changing the design of the website, editing and improving my photos, doing research (SO MUCH) to build quality content into my posts, and engaging a new audience on social media. I've also spent numerous hours meeting new people who also blog! There are some amazing Facebook groups out there, filled with supportive people who have been right where I am now.
Why I'm Loving It
Creative Outlet. I really enjoy writing. Duh. Why else would I write a blog? This goes so much further, though. Designing the website, the look and feel, editing my own original photos to make them pop. Writing relevant information for other people to use. I love every piece of it. The other nice thing is that if I get burnt out on writing, I can work on the layout/design/social media. It helps me retain my sanity!
Connecting with People. I have met so many amazing people over the last week. Granted, most of them have been online, but that does not mean it is a less meaningful relationship. I've not only received advice, tips, and support, but I've also learned what other people write about. I've gotten to know some people across the country and learn a bit about what drives them based on what they write. The other fascinating part for me is hearing from (formerly) random people who read MY blog! It was hard to imagine that anyone other than family and very tolerant friends would actually read my work.
Learning! I am a lifelong learner, and I can't number the blogs I've read in the past week. Each has a different topic, genre, perspective, voice. All (ok mostly all) are interesting. Not only have I learned about things I never knew before on a variety of topics, I've needed to do some fast learning about how to craft a successful blog. At least, I hope it is successful! How to format my posts, how to edit my website, how to interpret feedback. Many Google searches and YouTube videos later, I feel like I'm kindof getting the hang of it!
Positivity. I won't lie; the stream of Facebook page "likes," website visitors, and blog subscribers are a huge positive boost to my days. If you're one of those fabulous people, THANK YOU!! I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of positivity from my family, my friends, new acquaintances, and the good people of the internet. You've given me the courage to keep going, even though this is just for fun.
What I've Learned
Just starting out? Here are some takeaways from my first week as a blogger.
Be Open. Take it all in. Learn from every source you can find. Talk to your friends, family. Get new perspectives. Just be open to the experience. It's new!
Write. All the things. Write. Write some more. Get posts out there!
Quality is Important. Seems like a given, right? Wrong. I had to go back after my 4th post and actually edit my photos and format my posts. Layout is important, and so are good, engaging images. Take the time for that stuff.
Network. Do not go alone in this. Find a Facebook group, online forum, or local Meetup group. Find people who are blogging. Find other people who are interested in what you're writing about. Connect with these people.
It is a LOT of Work. Seriously. Remember that 1 - 4 hours/day? That is on top of a full-time job. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! But be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time, especially in the beginning, getting up and going. It is a labor of love, though!!
Enjoy the Journey. Write when you want to write, don't write when you don't want to write. This is supposed to be fun! Don't turn your blog into a job. Certainly not in the beginning. You want to be excited and engaged with the process. So, don't burn yourself out!
What's Next for The Adventure Dog Blog?
More! I'm loving every minute (ok, most minutes!) of this, and I can't wait to write more trail guides and fun articles. Have ideas? Please take a sec to jot them down in the Comments section below. Let me know what you want to hear! More Trail Guides? Campsite Guides? Adventures? Tips for the outdoor enthusiast?
Where do you live? Let me know in the Comments! You can see the states where I've adventured with my dogs on the menu, and you will soon see posts about each and every one of them. I'm all ears on where I should adventure next, too!
As I write, I'm inspired to adventure more with my dogs. It's getting me outside even more, and I'm excited to put some travel plans together. In recent news, Mica and River both competed in Rally Obedience this weekend. Both did phenomenal!! Mica got 2 Championship titles and little River played around in the Puppy class. I love these guys! They had a blast and were so happy.
Until next time, seek new adventures and give your dogs a squeeze!