Open Thoughts About My Blogging Journey
A friend of mine invited me to coffee recently to discuss a topic too few enjoy — blogging. We sat and talked for hours on end, as he asked me about my blogging journey. It was a great discussion and I thought it would be good to openly share about my site in a post for everyone since I’m feeling more transparent this week.
If you’re a blogger, or maybe have an interest in becoming a blogger, this post might relate to you. By the end of this post, I hope you will have some thoughts of your own to share in the comments below because I want this to be a discussion involving your feedback.
Why does paytej.com exist?
I have now been blogging for over five years, and I originally launched my site to share updates about my family, my walk with Christ, and to create a space where I can improve my writing.
Some benefits have come my way that I did not expect! A friendly business network has blossomed, my thought life has become much sharper, and I’m meeting tons of new people every week.
Today, I have a strong appreciation for blogging. People have shared with me that the content found on my blog has benefitted them, and blogging has benefitted myself. That’s a win-win in my book, folks.
What kind of content works?
I’m happy to say that the content (niche) of my blog has not changed during my blogging journey. I generally write about what matters most to me, and it just so happens that many others value the topics too.
When deciding what you’re going to write about on your blog, I always say to write about what you want to think about. If you value it, a group of others generally will too. Don’t write about things you don’t value. It will show through your writing and you won’t sustain a following. Just be passionate and share about your passion.
An important balance with blogging deals with not only writing about your passions, but write about them in a way that matches any traction you already have online. Is there a social-media platform, group of people, or business that has given you traction? Fuel it with your passion by blogging about it, and you’ll do well.
That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing, and will keep doing.
What about generating revenue?
When I started my blog, I never launched the site in order to make money.
Unfortunately, this is the number one reason why many start a blog. You know how it goes — new bloggers typically hear about so-and-so starting one and now they get to work from home because of all the money they’re making from their site. So, new bloggers start creating content, and after a few months, they experience a burnout without any additional income.
When it comes to generating revenue for the type of blog I have, the two biggest sources are ads and sponsorships.
I don’t use Google Adsense any longer because it was simply not a product for me. In fact, I’m pretty sure some nasty malware entered my site through using Google Adsense ads once. That was not fun to clean up. I generated revenue through ads for about a year, but it wasn’t enough income compared to the amount of work it takes to do Adsense well, given my amount of traffic. Plus, you have to litter ads literally everywhere to get real clicks… I’m just not a fan.
Placing ads on my site is something I’m still open to, but I want to do it apart from Google Adsense. I’d like to place ads on my site through something like sponsorships.
Getting sponsorships is something I’m going to be focusing on this year. Finding businesses and blogs that share similar values to serve the same audience appeals to me. At this point, I am not actively seeking sponsorships but I’m waiting to see if any will come my way before I look into sponsorship opportunities intentionally.
My followers were generous to me in 2018. When I tell others that I receive donations on my blog, they usually don’t believe me. That is a small way I’ve generated revenue through blogging too… which, you can do right here if you’re interested. 🙂
Here are my biggest challenges.
My biggest blogging hinderance is just writing content. I always have fresh content in my head; however, due to my busy schedule, I’m not as freed up to generate content as much as I would like. The hardest thing about blogging for me is just making time to post about what’s in my head.
Now, this hasn’t been my only challenge… I’m about to dive into another challenge of mine that I faced pretty hardcore in the last year. I really challenged myself whether or not I should even have a blog.
Branding is one of those things that everyone has their own opinion on, and it’s really a tough subject. I struggled this past year, contemplating if I should build my own site (which has my name as its domain) and strive to build my own “brand”.
It even came to the point where I deleted my own Twitter account, where I had a decent following. I stayed off for some time, but then hopped back on after realizing that it’s okay to have my own “brand” without trying to climb to the top with it.
There’s a lot I could share on this, but you’ve probably put some thought into this subject yourself if you’re a blogger. The conclusion I came to is that it’s okay for individuals to have their own space to write and share their writings around social media. However, it can become something related to conceit and idolatry.
So, my site isn’t going anywhere, my Twitter activity is back (please please follow me here), but I’m content with not trying to put my site in front of everyone’s face. Not only would boosting my brand nonstop oppose my convictions, it’s also just not something really good bloggers do. They just write and let the people boost your brand.
One last thing on this subject— I’ve heavily involved myself back into The Majesty’s Men lately. And Discern Daily became a full show on The Majesty’s Men last year too. My site will continue to grow, but I’m focusing heavily on building these brands instead of my own. If my site and personal brand grows with these, then that’s awesome. That’s kinda the way I see that.
Let’s wrap it up.
I could seriously keep rambling on about my experience as a blogger, but I realize you probably have things to do today besides read more about this so I will wrap it up.
If anything here resonates with you, let me know about it! Trust me, I can write a lot more open thoughts about my blogging journey, haha. So if you guys have questions, I’d happily consider writing a part-two if there are enough votes.
To all the bloggers reading this, keep writing. And to all those who are thinking about blogging, do it. My site has blessed others and blessed myself.
I’m looking forward to what my blogging journey will hold during this brand new year.