10 Things We Wish We Had Known About Blogging

Yesterday, a friend messaged me to ask my advice about beginning a blog. Included in my reply was the suggestion to look at recommendations from a variety of different bloggers. Note the similarities in their answers and the differences. Begin with what works for you, experiment, and have fun.

I was delighted when I woke up this morning to Kathy Gottberg’s current post. Her topic was inspired by our recent Bloggers’ Meet-Up. After the Meet Up had ended, Kathy wrote to each participant to ask for our top ten reflections on what we wish we had known before we began blogging. True to my new found style, I wrote and sent my answers to Kathy in under fifteen minutes. (Hey, Elton John says he composed the music for ‘Your Song’ in about 20 minutes, and Bernie Taupin penned the lyrics for the same song just as rapidly.)

Even though our Meet-Up group had discussed a zillion aspects of blogging, there were still numerous surprises for me in Kathy’s post. There were multiple areas in which we each strongly agreed  (e.g.,  the incredibly supportive blogging community) as well as areas where we completely differed (e.g., comments).

I encourage you to visit this post at Kathy’s site. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you wish you had known about blogging (either as a blog writer, a blog reader, or both). I look forward to seeing you there:



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48 thoughts on “10 Things We Wish We Had Known About Blogging”

  1. Thank you, Donna, for sharing your great insights from your blogging journey. I’ve left a comment on Kathy’s blog. Just want to add here that I totally agree with your #8 and #10. I’ve been working on #10 (Less can be more) in general.


  2. I agree with what you’ve discovered about blogging. It’s a fun activity and there are many cool people who do it. The trick is, as you mentioned, to make sure you’re still having fun as the years go by.

    [I won’t try to comment over on Kathy’s blog having been rejected there already today. Yet, I soldier on… 😉]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought I was seeing doubly in my upcoming titles today! I’ve already visited the lists via Erica. Really enjoyed reading them and would concur with most. The thing I wish I had known was the joy of connecting. I didn’t try at first because I was writing for me as a record of my travels and didn’t think it was necessary. I still write mainly for me but sharing thoughts with other people is part of it and I get to live so many lives vicariously. I’ll never walk a Camino, but i’ve read about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Donna,
    Thanks for sending me to Kathy’s blog–I read every list submitted by your friends, and have had many of the same thoughts at some point. I was glad to learn that others have had a change in focus over time, because my blog has certainly changed. Something that once centered on retirement transformed into something as simple as a labor of love as well as a great way to make friends online. Now, because I agree that less is more, I’m signing off. Have a great weekend.


    1. Hi, Terri – You have raised an excellent point here. When my husband met you, Janis, Paul, Kathy, Thom, Liesbet and Mark two years ago, he could not believe how aligned politically we were. He saw this as an incredible coincidence. To me, it was no coincidence at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Donna – interesting … and I’ve been over and read Kathy’s post – and will be replying to you both probably tomorrow. Can’t do the 15 minute or 20 minute Elton John thing! A couple of different thoughts occurred to me … see you anon – but great you were all able to meet up … and yes – I’m sure we’re like-minded people: strange but true! Happy weekends everyone .. cheers Hilary


  6. I’ve been over and read Kathy’s post and found the responses you all gave very interesting, Donna. There were some I didn’t agree with, such as ‘comments aren’t important’ but the majority of the points all made perfect sense. My favourite was ‘Blogging is easy! Hahahahahaha.’

    The most important thing is never to allow blogging stress you out, become a chore, or make you feel guilty. It should always be about fun and enjoyment. Finding the perfect balance can be difficult, but if your passion for blogging is strong, then you will find that balance. Oh, and as I found out from my recent blogging break, that balance can shift.

    Thanks so much for sharing your list and for also sharing the link to Kathy’s post.

    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Hugh – Even after the long, detailed discussions between the five of us, I still found our individual lists to be extremely interesting – with some definite surprises. I am totally with you in the “Comments are Important” camp. In fact, you are my Comment Guru! I also found your words on how balance can shift to be very wise. This has recently happened for me — and I am liking the change!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here, Donna. The balance between my blogging life and the rest of life shifted while I was on my recent blogging break. I’ve only been back for two weeks, but the change in balance is one of the most positive things I’ve experienced.


  7. I liked you insights over there, Donna. And what’s that about taking less time to write things? Did you make that promise to yourself, to stay under 15 minutes for things you write, including blog posts? I read Janis said something about “less is more” as well, so wondered whether you discussed your time investments while writing blogs during the meet-up. .


  8. Hi Donna,
    Just read Kathy’s post and now yours…loved that each of you gave your 10 best pieces of advice.
    I agree with so much of what was shared.
    I know I wasn’t there, but I want to add my “2 cents.”
    1. Write about what is important to you. Otherwise it’s not “purposeful work.”
    2. Find a mentor (or 2, or 3, or 4) and watch what other bloggers you admire are doing.
    3. Find your own voice. This make take a while. It’s an evolution.
    4. Blogging friendships, like IRL friendships, take work. Put in the time. Read them and respond in ways that show you’ve taken a real interest in what they’ve written and what’s important to them. It’s worth the effort.
    5. On the other hand, blogging can expand into all available time. Remember that life is happening while you are blogging.
    Thanks for all you have done for me in this first year of my blogging life.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am interested in following all of you ladies. I’ve been blogging in a bubble and feel I need to connect and get some ideas from the pros and you all seem to be enjoying this as well. Off to read her post now


  10. Your list is great, I like #6,7 & 8 (if I’m remembering correctly) I got sidetracked reading all the replies. Whew…! These type of posts always hit home runs for people – just shows how much blogging can be fun and a challenge at the same time. Thanks for sharing, I appreciate reading all the thoughts.


  11. I’ve seen Kathy’s post and it made me ponder what my 10 would be! As you said, I agree with many, but not all. I’m still hoping someday to meet some blogging buddies IRL!


  12. I really enjoyed reading these lists. I have no idea what I’d add to it other than what I love is the ability to meet people from all around the world. For someone who doesn’t like boundaries, blogging is the ultimate in boundary dissolution.


  13. I enjoyed Kathy’s post and I can imagine the conversation was very lively 🙂

    Personally, I think comments are the most important part of blogging. It’s where the conversations happen and the relationships develop. As one blogger put it some time ago, comments are where the magic happens 💕


  14. Hi, Joanne – I’m completely with you on the ‘magic’ of comments. So much so that I hadn’t even considered that another blogger might have a different point of view on this. It was truly fascinating to discuss blogging from five different perspectives.


  15. I popped over to read Kathy’s post. So interesting to see most consistent, very useful blogging tips. Interesting to read a few varying too, i.e. Comments. They are SO important in my book, not only is it good ‘blogging’ manners, but it’s great feedback for the writer of the post, and also a fabulous way to interact with ‘new friends’ of the blogging world. Loved your points, by the way 🙂


    1. Thanks, Sam – The germ for this post began when Kathy and I were texting back and forth about another post we had read on “50 things I wish I had known….”. Kathy then suggested we write our own list, switched the topic to blogging and reduced the number to 10. This all happened during rapid fire texts. If I had all of the time in the world to rewrite that list, I believe that the core of it would remain the same. I have a great respect for blog comments. So often I find the comments left on my posts are much more interesting than the post itself! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Donna – late … but still here and I’ll add the comment over on Erica’s post …

    Domain name or blog title … don’t tie down too much, as may get bored of your own subject … it allows one to post on whatever comes to mind or write series …

    Commenting – totally essential … otherwise why bother = no communication to be had … builds rapport …

    I do struggle with the Social Media quick posts and they seem to be getting quicker, now people are going Instagramwards … and really have little wish to comment on FB if I’m doing the rounds elsewhere across the blogs –

    – but this is choice – once your audience is intact … then one can stay in touch, but wander a bit …

    I try and comply to the more experienced ‘setters of the scene’ – and ask for help if I don’t understand … eg being single and relatively untechnical (by the hour apparently!) I ask for help … eg FB posting, etc …

    Evolve to be you on your blog – so people can relate … I stick to being positive, as I can’t see the point in writing much negative … shared wisdom goes a long way … we all learn from blogging …

    Re the various platforms – I signed in to WP very early on, before I started on blogger – but this was the platform I got the hang of … and then I signed in to Squarespace and Disqus (don’t like those much … but saves time) – I prefer to make things easy for others and thus myself …

    Everyone’s made some really excellent comments against a wonderful post – clever of the two of you to have ‘a same idea’ … anyway I’m off to Erica’s to copy and paste this … cheers Hilary


    1. Hi, Hilary – Thank you for coming back to this post. You have made excellent points. Although it was a “quick pick,” I was fortunate with my blog name. Everything that I do falls under the heading ‘retirement’ or ‘reflection’….at least in my mind/ And, it is a frequently searched word pair to boot! 🙂 I also strongly agree with you about comments. The interaction and rapport that they foster have kept me blogging, especially at times when the time demands were weighing me down. Like you, I prefer to surround myself with positivity and honesty in my daily life, and my blog life. Negativity and misrepresentations of the truth are way too easy to find elsewhere in our lives!


  17. I just wanted to thank you all for making the last 30 minutes so enjoyable. I have gone back and forth between several of your blogging community and am in awe. Your 10 things I wished I knew resonates with me because the blogosphere makes it sound so easy to set up. But I spent months so unsure of the technology behind it all until finally my family begged me to just hit publish. I started this with the goal of connecting more with like minded folks in midlife and what you all have here is heartwarming.


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