I think about my blog every day and always feel like I’m running against time to make it better.
I have been getting such great feedback from the reader and other fellow bloggers.
I have also received so many unexpected benefits of blogging that I never expected.
1. Making new friends
When I left comments on other bloggers’ sites, I never thought it would lead to an ongoing conversation between us.
I feel happy when I get a response from the bloggers that I follow. I feel like they are talking directly to me.
I am deeply touched by many readers and bloggers who consistently leave feedback on what I write.
Thanks to Twitter, I have been able to carry on those conversations through retweeting, likes, replies to their tweets, and messaging.
In fact, the first blogger who messaged me on Twitter was Lily at The Frugal Gene about how my comment box wasn’t working. It turned out to be a default setting issue with WordPress. Without her, I don’t know if I would ever figure it out by myself. I must have disappointed a lot of readers up until Lily informed me.
I can’t name all of the bloggers who I have interacted with on Twitter since there are so many of them, but I am grateful for any like, retweeting, and comments I have gotten.
2. Getting more savvy with social media
Prior to blogging, I was perfectly happy with being on Facebook and Youtube every day. Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram? I had heard about them but had absolutely no interest in exploring those platforms. What are they for anyway? I can post my statuses, pictures, and interact with my friends on Facebook instead.
After I started blogging, I realized the importance of social media in growing blog traffic and audience. I grudgingly got onto Twitter after months of putting it off. Two weeks later, I was hooked. My personal Facebook account is now almost dormant. I only use it to update my family in Vietnam on our life here in America.
My next challenge was Pinterest. While Twitter was intuitive and similar to Facebook, Pinterest was a different beast. I found myself researching and reading about Pinterest every single day for a month. I learned a lot not only about the platform but also the business side of engaging the audience and acquiring new followers (potentially customers).
Pinterest remains a social platform that never ceases to intrigue and challenge me. Being able to navigate and grow my traffic on Pinterest, though slowly, is such a rewarding feeling. It is difficult, but I will not give up on it.
I am still learning about Instagram. But getting on all of these social platforms and learning how they work makes me feel 5 years younger. Now I can somewhat keep up with all the hype the younger generation is going through and raving about. This is all thanks to blogging.
3. Learning about running a business
What I learned in school about doing business was theoretically sound. What I’ve learned about starting a business as a blogger is practically eye-opening.
I never understood why some people are so passionate in their business that they’re willing to work on it day and night. I have heard about and seen people not taking any weekends off and working until 2-3 AM on their business every day.
If they are their own boss, I wondered, why don’t they choose a more flexible schedule and enjoy life a little? After all, no one is there to supervise them or decide how much they get paid.
I wasn’t until I started Frugal Asian Finance that I knew what it’s like to work tirelessly on something I’m truly passionate about. Every day I wake up thinking about what I will do about my blog. I think about blogging when I’m eating, walking, doing the dishes, taking a shower, and cleaning the house.
I used to think that I need at least 7 hours of sleep a day to be able to function. Now I sleep 5-6 hours a day even on the weekends and still feel ok. Even when I feel tired, the drive to produce quality content and increase blog traffic keeps me awake more effectively than any tea or coffee I’ve ever tried.
I devote my time to my blog because I want to, not because I have to.
4. Seeing the power of free resources on the internet
After I started blogging, I have come across many great courses that show me how to improve my blog traffic, harness the power of Pinterest, and make affiliate marketing work to my advantage.
Many times when I got stuck, especially with Pinterest, I was tempted to take out my credit card in order to seek quick solutions to my problems.
However, I always have to remind myself that I’m blogging on a budget and can’t afford to pay for everything that I think will be helpful. That’s when finding substitutes proves its power to help me save money. I turned to the free resources on the internet and was amazed at all the free content available.
Not all great resources will appear after one click on Google. But the drive to find the solutions to my problems and the desire to save money really upped my patience and motivation. I didn’t find everything that I needed, but I considered it adequate for the amount that it cost: $0.
5. Seeing the power of team work
I am a team player. I work well with my colleagues and truly believe that two heads are better than one. But blogging has taken my understanding of team work to the next level.
I can’t count how many bloggers have helped me promote my content, tackle the technical issues on my blog, and explore the power of social media. I have never met them, but they have included me in many amazing mastermind groups.
They have inspired me to think outside of the box and explore the potential and ability that I never thought I had. Without them, my blog would not be where it is today.
6. Facing my own fear and insecurities
Some readers kindly commented that I was brave to share the issues Mr. FAF and I have in our marriage and how we’re working to address them. I can’t remember how many times I thought about not publishing that article. After all, what happens between Mr. FAF and me is personal. And more importantly, I was afraid of showing my flaws and being judged.
I also hesitated to publish the post about why we sent our son to live with my in-laws in China for a year and talk about the tough times I went through growing up in a low-income family. Those are definitely not my most favorite memories. It makes me sad to even think about what happened, let alone writing about it.
But ignoring the problems is not the best way to address them. I can refuse to think about all the trouble in our lives or I can share it on my blog as a way to look at myself in the mirror and ask myself what I can do better. Blogging, to me, is therapeutic in so many ways.
I started my blog with a view to turning it into a side business one day. However, in the process, I have received so many unexpected benefits from blogging. I learned so much more about myself as a person, a wife, a mom, an entrepreneur, a team player, and a learner.
What I value the most about blogging so far is the interaction and connection I’ve developed with the reader and other fellow bloggers. They have shown me a whole new world that I never knew existed or thought I would be part of.
I have also started on a journey to face my own fear and insecurities. I believe that at the end of this blogging journey, I will come out a stronger and better person. I can proudly say to the world that I have flaws, and I’m not ashamed to work towards improving them.