What makes a great blog?

In my personal opinion, individuality is what makes a great blog.

A blog that showcases individuality is one that I will come back to read again and again and again.

So many blogs just seem to be different variations of the same thing. And, while that’s all fine and dandy, it’s just not interesting to me. What is interesting to me is finding something new and different to view every day. What is interesting to me is finding someone who makes me think differently about the world, someone who opens my eyes to something I’ve never realized.

If you want to run a great blog, you need to ask yourself what stands you apart from the other 75 million blogs on WordPress. If you want to run a great blog, you need to ask yourself what you can do differently.

“I’ve been blogging for a year and I have 40 followers.” 40 followers is awesome. How about celebrating the fact that you’ve managed to connect with 40 strangers and ask how you can build upon that, not speak of that like it’s a bad thing.

“Why don’t I have more followers? Do people just not like me?” I think you’re asking the wrong questions. People don’t really know you. Remember, the goal of any blogger should be to make a reader care about their content. Have you been writing content in hopes it’ll make you famous, or have you been making content in hopes it’ll make people care?

In blogging, you shouldn’t be measuring your success by your follower count, you should be measuring your success by the fulfillment you get from making a post, by the fact that people are coming to your blog, reading a post and coming back. Views are great, yeah! If someone comes and reads your post and your view count goes up for a day, that’s awesome. But, if they never come back then you’ve not given them a reason to come back.

I follow blogs that have follower counts from 8 to 140,000. And let me tell you, the person with 8 followers has just incredible of a blog as the one with 140,000 followers. The person with 8 followers has successfully made me want to come back, time after time.

If you’re wondering how to make your blog stand out, wonder what makes your blog individual.

So, what makes you an individual?

Things I think about when I’m trying to fall asleep at night…

“Did I lock the door?”

“Is the oven off? I haven’t cooked in hours. But, what if I left it on? I know I shouldn’t let my OCD win, but what if? Oh, anxiety you SOB.”

“How many times do you think I roll over in a night? I wonder if Fitbit could ever make an option to track that rolling over. That’s got to count for calories burned, right?”

“I wonder if there’s a way to send supplies to people struggling in North Korea.”

“I wonder if people in North Korea know they’re struggling. If that’s all they’ve ever known, maybe it’s just normal to them?”

“Why are avocados so expensive?”

“I wonder if I’ll ever get a job.”

“Passport to Paris is the best Mary-Kate and Ashley movie ever.”

“I wonder if I ever cross anyone’s mind when they’re trying to fall asleep at night.”

“Can the right pair of jeans really make my butt look that much better? I don’t want my butt to look average, do I? Or, do I really care?”

“English accents are just so adorable.”

“How can I start my own business?”

“I wonder what serial killers think about when they sleep at night.”

“Now that these ancestry kits are available where people are sending off their DNA to find out where there family comes from, do you think serial killers are wondering if their family members might be sending off their DNA and that, could eventually, lead to their getting caught?”

“If you get arrested, own up to it. If all you have is excuses, this likely wasn’t your first time and probably won’t be your last doing whatever caused you to get arrested.”

“I miss cheese. Oh and bread. And chocolate.”

“You should sleep.”

“You should really sleep. Why do you lay awake like this?”

“I have to pee.”

“Reading a book will help me sleep.” Picks up book and gets bored five pages in. “Yeah, I don’t want to read a book.”

“Why do people think Canadians talk funny?”

“Why do people think Canadians apologize so much?”

“Why do I apologize so much?”

“I wonder what people say about me behind my back. I mean, I don’t want to know because I know that it’ll eat away at me. But, at the same time, I’m curious.”

“Why do I have such a hard time sleeping? How do normal people go to sleep?”

“I wish I could sleep.”

12 more months of me

I have renewed my WordPress subscription for twelve more months, so I guess it’s time for me to get a whole lot more creative. Also, I would like to be a whole lot more thoughtful with respect to the things that I say with my blog moving forward.

The career series is still coming. It’s something I very much have my heart set on doing. I got a little tied up with the whole situation wit my cousin and her son, then there was a baby here for ten days… not sleeping. Needless to say, It was a few weeks that seemed to fly by, but also somehow, last a lifetime. If I told you I was going to email you, that email will still be coming.

*If anyone remembers my post about my cousin’s son, there is a familial match, so we are grateful for that blessing and hopeful for the prospects that brings for her son’s health.

Instagram vs Reality

Instagram is a tricky beast. I love sharing photos and I love looking at photos, whether they’re of people, places or things, but I am also abundantly aware of how fake the platform is.

There are some incredibly creative people in this world, people who quite literally share their talents with the world thanks to Instagram. But, for the most part, the platform seems to be a beauty worshiping pit of vanity. So I have always been hesitant to share photos for fear of feeding the beast.

A few days ago I stumbled about an YouTube video made by someone from Vancouver who spent nearly 45 minutes going through her perfectly curated Instagram feed to talk the truth behind the beautiful photos and catchy captions she’d been posting for years.

With 2.1 million Instagram followers, hearing the truth behind her photos was actually quite shocking. As much as you know people aren’t truthful with their Instagram accounts, you tend to just envision people’s lives as perfect because… well because that’s what they want you to think. But her life, well it’s far from perfect. I was quite shocked about how far from perfect it was. But I found myself respecting her so much more after knowing the actual truth behind her photos.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start sharing some photos on Instagram and, in the comments, sharing two captions. Firstly, I’ll share the caption I would write if I were trying to make my life look perfect, and secondly I’ll share the reality of what was going on at that point in my life when I took the photo.

And, if anyone else wants to include this ‘Instagram vs Reality’ captions on their photos too, let me know and I’ll follow your Instagram.

Honestly, while I think my life is far from interesting, by any means, I do live in Canada and this entire country is basically the equivalent of a ‘Wish You Were Here’ postcard. So, I do have some pretty beautiful photos. But, as with all things in life, there’s two sides to every story…. Instagram versus Reality.

Starting in January

I’ve thought a lot about it and one of the things that I would like to do, starting in January, is a series (or maybe a one off depending on who wants to participate or not) about careers. What is your career? How’d you land in your current role? What drew you to the industry? What is your education? What are the requirements to do what you do?

If anyone would like to take part, and be my first guinea pig for the series please email me at millenniallifecrisis12@gmail.com.

Whether you have a relatively common job, such as a teacher or a nurse, or a relatively uncommon job, such as a Biochemical Engineer or the Travel Agent for the British Royals, or anything in between, I’d love to hear about it.

FYI: The series (or one off) won’t give away any specifics, like the name of your employer, I just want to do a series on careers and what people do to achieve them.

Update: I’ve gotten a lot of responses since posting this! More than I ever thought I’d get. It might take me a couple of days to get back to you. But there are some pretty cool people with some pretty cool jobs that I look forward to sharing more about in January!

I’ve you’ve sent me an email, I will send you one back, I promise! It might just take me a day or two!

Letter to a thin-skinned soul

Dear Self,

As hard as you try, not everyone is going to like you. That’s a fact of life. And that’s totally okay. Don’t break your back over someone who’s opinion of you is never going to change. Quite frankly, their opinions don’t and shouldn’t matter to you. What should matter to you is who you choose to be, day in and day out.

Be yourself. Be authentic. Be true.

Those who know and love you will appreciate you for exactly who you are. Those who don’t, well, don’t waste your time or worry on them. You’re perfect just the way you are.

And if you do change, don’t change for anyone but yourself.

Sincerely, Me