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Blogger’s Highway #3: One Year Blog Anniversary

A decorative image for the "Blogger's Highway" series that has two cartoon renderings of highway roads going different directions, and directional signs in the middle in pink, purple, and red.

It’s hard to believe one year has passed since this blog officially started. After everything that’s happened, it feels like a dozen lifetimes ago. Today marks my one year blog anniversary, and I’m dedicating today’s post to reflecting on what it’s been like for me between then and now.

I went into this hesitant to even start, because like I said earlier, I felt like anything I had to say has already been said and done before. Why even bother?

But then I got to thinking about how someone in one of the Facebook groups said that multiple people could write about the same thing, and come up with totally different results, and I got started.

It started on the free WordPress site. If you find it somehow, you’ll find the “Coming Soon” screen. I’ve decided not to delete it, and instead keep it as a memento and a reminder of where I started.

It didn’t take long for me to see firsthand how lonely of a venture blogging really is, not to mention the amount of work involved.

I’m sure the amount of work I’m taking on for this blog is probably needless, since I create my own graphics as a safeguard against DMCA scammers like this. I won’t even use public domain photos unless I literally have no other choice, and not without unholy amounts of crediting the sources like they were still under copyright.

A developer isn’t in my budget, so I do the research on my own, and handle the backend by myself as well. Some of it’s still stuff I can’t seem to comprehend, and probably won’t even if I live to be a hundred years old.

I refuse to outsource my content to content mills. I saw the way some of these content mills treat their creators with outrageous demands and workloads that would give med school students and venture capitalists a run for their money, and pay them less than what amounts to a pittance in return. This is why I won’t use them, nor will I recommend them to anyone.

The way I figure it, if I’m creative enough to set this up in the first place, I can create my own content without exploiting someone looking to get into freelance writing and expecting to make a living doing so.

If you’re starting your own blogging journey, then so are you. You deserve better than those content mills, and so do the people writing for them, imo.

I signed up with an affiliate program, one that would take new bloggers. While some of the companies I placed bids with accepted me into their affiliate rosters, most of them didn’t. I heard somewhere that if  you follow up with them, the ones that rejected you will accept you.

Nope. That’s not the way I’m gonna do it, I thought. I felt like if I wasn’t good enough for a company when I put my name in their hat, and they turned me down, then I can’t be good enough for them now.

It’s the same way I do my job search. A company turns me down, and then tries to recruit me for another opportunity? Nope. I’ve already written them off my list, and moved on. Even if I were to be a close match to what they’re looking for, my values won’t let me take them up on their offer.

One of the companies that turned me down for an affiliate program with them cited that my blog didn’t have enough content on it. This was roughly 6 months in, give or take, and I had like 40 posts by that point.

My first thought? All right, fine. You want more content, then guess what? I’m going balls to the wall like a one-woman content farm, and I’m gonna slam it out like someone’s got me at gunpoint. If the result ends up destroying your computer to kingdom come, then good.

Hint: I don’t recommend that approach unless you want multiple all-nighters in a row, or unless you want it to become your be-all, end-all in life.

If I had it to do all over again, I’d have put that company out of sight and out of mind the second they said no to me, and continued on as normal. Going forward, I definitely won’t be giving any company affiliate program that much power over me.

Now, I’m taking the company affiliate program rejections as a redirection like I’m doing my job search. Company ABC’s affiliate program application didn’t work out, but Company ABC’s just one of many other opportunities out there.

My motto? Next!

So what’s next for my blog? What does the future hold for it? Right now, based on where I’m at, I don’t know. It’s up in the air. What I know for sure is that I wish this blog anniversary fell under better circumstances, so maybe that’s playing a role from where I stand at this time.

Over to you, readers. Do you have a blog? Have you reached the one year blog anniversary? Or any other milestone? I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop ’em like they’re hot below, and let’s talk.

Missed the previous installments? No worries, I gotcha covered right here: 1, 2

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