Patience and persistance

Patience and persistence are key when you first start blogging. Why you want to write publicly is totally your idea, how you do so is by using WordPress and its many users’ intelligence.

Almost 2 years into my blogging adventure, I still find it an amazing tool to get your voice heard. When I started blogging, I simultaneously wrote on Blogger as well as on WordPress, just to find out what was the perfect tool for what I wanted out of my blog. After blogging on both for a while, I became very dissatisfied with the lack of settings Blogger had in comparison to WordPress. The choice to drop my Blogger profile was an easy one to make, and to this day, I am still amazed at what WordPress offers its bloggers.

When starting a blog, it’s easy to find fantastic themes and widgets to go with your blog. Match your content to your style of background, for example, if you want to blog about history, it would make sense not to use a background of people partying, or if you want to blog about something serious, don’t use one that is perpendicular to the content of your posts. Play around with themes, upgrade to have Custom Design added to your themes and/or buy a Premium Theme and if you can afford it, have WordPress give you a designated domain name (web link name).

WordPress offers so many themes and layouts that in my case, I’ve changed themes so many times I fear I am playing with my readers and followers patience and understanding a wee bit. Why I say ‘understanding’ is because of one of the main topics of my blog: living with multiple sclerosis and its many very and utterly annoying symptoms like eye trouble. My eyes seem to dislike the rest of me and often have me wearing sunglasses indoors or when I am writing on my laptop because of the brightness of black letters on a white background. It is causing the often-heard “Aaaaargh…” when I realize I have been writing, researching, reading newspapers or Facebooking too long.

However, that cannot be a reason to annoy my blog followers because they are my backbone and because of them I want to keep improving my writing, my blog and my online presence. We live in an online symbiosis and like any other company, the owner has to respect the rights of its clients. This means that no matter how much I love playing around with WordPress themes, I have to respect the needs my users expect of me.

That aside, what I also want new bloggers to know is to be patient. We all secretly want to be the next Dan Brown, Shakespeare or another literary marvel, but unless you come forward with answers to why Egypt’s sphinx really has such a small head, or know the answer to the true identity of God or if you have content so revealing, interesting and ready to be published by the biggest names in the business… you… need… to… be… patient…

Don’t be alarmed when you have few readers and followers at first. Keep writing, check other people’s blogs to see what works for them and don’t be discouraged if it takes you a while to get your mojo. Like I always say: Rome wasn’t built in a day either. Or in two.

Another thing is not to be afraid to write what you believe in because after all, freedom of speech is what we all strive for, and if it’s important to you, it just might be important to someone else.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions in the weekly Community Pool, which is sent to WP users every Sunday where you can ask others what they think of your blog, and if they have any tips to improve your blog. If you want to find out where your strength as a writer lies, take part in the Daily Post and Weekly Post challenges, it is a fantastic way to finding out if you prefer one or another writing style, what you like writing about and whether you can write ‘on command’.

Lastly, don’t forget to Publicize your posts by going to your Sharing Settings so you can link your blog to your Facebook profile, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and other social media websites. This will impact greatly on the number of people visiting your blog, and otherwise, just be annoying for a while and tell all your friends and family that you are now a blogger on WordPress (been there, done that… I fear my family and friends are still going through Billie-phobia).

Good luck with your new blog and please feel free to ask any questions or post other comments, and do come back regularly to see what I am up to on WordPress. I always check back in on your blog to do the same!

Written as Daily Prompt challenge of May 7, 2013:

Give your newer sisters and brothers-in-WordPress one piece of advice based on your experiences blogging.

If you’re a new blogger, what’s one question you’d like to ask other bloggers?

© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

14 thoughts on “Patience and persistance

  1. Nicely done. I especially appreciated your pointing out the strengths of WP. It’s where I started, and never even considered going elsewhere. You have confirmed that decision for me in spades. Gratitudes!!!

    1. Thank you for your nice comment Sarah!

      Yes, I thought it was important to talk about the fantastic settings and tools WordPress has. After fiddling around on Blogger in the beginning, I kept on getting more and more frustrated about the lack of tools I thought blogs should have. I have not checked out other blog-sites simply because I am quite happy with WP. Looking forward to reading more of your blog! :)

  2. Thank you so much! Just what I needed to read. I’m having a hard time coming up with my “world view” at the moment and with which lens I’m going to write through and I feel as if I’m getting impatient but as you said, patience is key so I’m just going to give it time. Thanks again!

  3. This is a really great post. I hope you don’t mind if I link back to it when I do my next post to help fellow readers grow into bloggers, too.

    For me, I actually had my little piece I techie blog world a secret. I actually am embarrassed that I write about such personal matters in an open and “exposed to the world” way, but I want others to have a place to find answers… When I couldn’t after numerous attempts at research. Now, I have family an friends call me up to ask about MS and things related to MS. I’m not an expert, but I know more than they do about it. If anything, my little blog world has spread awareness an that’s ok with me.

    Being a new blogger (technically), I just wonder what my readers think about my blog. Lol I kind of bounce around topically about MS, parenthood, and life as a homemaker. So, it’s strange to think that people actually DO read it, but I’m glad they do for whatever reason. Getting comment love makes blogging so worth it, it gives you a sense of accomplishment.

    As far as publishing… Self-publish! You don’t need a publisher to get your book ideas out there. Start with an e-book for ease. You will still feel the honor of wearing that “published author” badge. ;)

      1. I didn’t find any faults so don’t worry, I always read over them anyway :) I just spend editing and re-editing my spelling mistakes just now :D

    1. Please Ila go ahead and link all you want :)

      Thank you so much for your great words, I truly appreciate it! I try to put an honest answer out there about what life with MS is really like because too many people have their own preconceived ideas in their mind about what your MS is or should be like. I put a few words in Italic because from experience I found that – even people really close to me – would have an idea in their head about my own illness because they would talk to other people with MS to find out what is wrong with me (instead of asking me directly) and then come back to me saying ‘that is new to me because this person told me that is like this and something else blah blah blah.’ Needless to say, hearing those people doubt you is very hard. When I was diagnosed I was told that I would have to educate people about MS because too many people think they know about MS when in fact they know absolutely nothing about it. Googling symptoms is not the same as an MSer telling you what the symptom feels like in a manner of speaking :) So I thought ‘alright, I can talk for Ireland, so I’ll see if I can actually write for Ireland also.’

      When I started blogging I thought I’d only blog about MS, or only about life in Ireland. I realized that I would have to do both at the same time because I did not always want to talk about MS simply because there is more to life than being remembered about it. Also, my experiences of living in Ireland are intrinsically linked to living with MS. Later on, my love for books were added to my subject list and this is where I am today. I never ever thought I’d end up with 288 followers and 11000 hits on my blog in the space of maybe 110 posts because I thought that nobody would be interested in it. I was wrong and I am glad I was wrong :)

      Basically it means that there is a definite audience out there for what you and I write about, especially because some people are looking for the simple answers to living with MS. They might not hear these answers of their medical team so they look elsewhere and this is why blogging about living with MS is so important. Newly diagnosed people – obviously living in limbo, not knowing what their life will be like 5 years down the line, need to know about the daily things, the often – to other people – ridiculous questions like ‘is it normal that taking a hot shower is making me feel awful afterwards, or why do my hands start shaking when cooking hot food?’ To healthy people these questions sound over the top, to an MSer it’s important to know they are not having a relapse, or if they do, what can be done to relieve it. So please keep on blogging, I was mighty impressed when I read your blog. It’s very clever, personal (which is a must, otherwise you can just see if a refrigerator knows why MS feels like this or that :)) and it’s simply fantastic. I don’t know many blogs out there that are being written by the spouse of an MSer, which adds originality as well as a different view to it (how does a spouse react and live with someone with MS). Keep it going so! :)

      And yep… self-publishing is something that might eventually happen, but for now I am enjoying WordPress and it’s daily prompts and weekly writing challenges. It helps me get a feel for ‘writing on command’ as well as seeing if I am capable of keeping readers entertained and interested. I’ll keep this going for a while and then see if I have any authorship in me :D

      1. :) Thanks for this reply. I love the detail and thought you put into them, I do the same thing.

        & Yes, to many those would be silly questions…but I don’t see them as silly. In fact, I’d probably respond with “even your own body temperature rising can make you feel like crap”

        1. I try to put a lot of thought into what I write, hence me always returning to my posts and seeing what I can add to it. Blogging has become a major part of my life and I love spending time on WordPress and adding hopefully posts that others can relate to.

          Absolutely, it can happen to healthy people also but it’s worth telling people to turn down the heating a bit because you’re roasting, or to just step outside for some fresh air to cool down. I often feel cold to the bone and the only thing that helps warm me up is taking a hot shower, but then I get out of the shower with tremors that could rock China and I need to lie down for an hour. Not everyone understands but ppfffttt… sure, next time don’t take hot showers like that :D

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