I guess yesterday was supposed to be a day for celebrating rather than complaining to the internet that my arm hurt- I didn’t get the memo until it was too late.
Sounds about right for me.
It turns out that yesterday was my five-year anniversary of signing up with WordPress to host my blogs. Now when it comes to this particular blog, it’s only really been active since March of 2015 when I wrote my very first post, “I’m Not New, I’m Improved.” I’ve referred to this post many times over the past three years because this idea has become something of a mantra for me.
Improving who I am rather than trying to be something different, something that I am not. You can’t be new, you were new when you were born and from there you can only improve.
Deep. Meta. Shit.
But Josh’s Universe wasn’t my first blog on here. I originally signed up for WordPress all those years ago for my professional blog Digital Walls (formally Have You Met Josh?). I had been using the platform for both personal and professional entries but realized that the crossover wasn’t always that great and the educators following me there weren’t all that interested in my fitness posts or travel stories.
So I migrated over to Josh’s Universe where you now have all this nonsense.
These aren’t my first attempts at the world of blogging. I actually got my start way back in the days of Livejournal being the go-to for angsty teens. I used it through most of high school and into college but fell out of it when it caused too much drama in my life. I’m assuming those blogs are now defunct and gone since I couldn’t even begin to remember passwords for them much less my username.
I tried the tumblr thing and I’m pretty sure those are still kicking around. Matter of fact both of my WordPress blogs do cross-post to Tumblr so those are still alive albeit a little sad.
I am fairly certain I’m personally responsible for a large number of abandoned blogs across a large number of platforms. I, at one point, had an ongoing series where I recapped my adventures on the road but that got boring for me and the three people that followed. I tried niche blogging about Disney but there were enough people doing that and I had nothing new to say.
I sometimes wonder if I would have found success if I had stuck with my early blogs from high school and kept them growing.
I’ll never know and that’s fine.
I often joke that I’m a terrible blogger because more often than not, I am. I’ve been working on breathing more life into Digital Walls this year and even then I haven’t been doing the best of jobs. I’m trying to post more here which I’m doing slightly better at.
A lot of people often wonder about the whole thing. What it means to be a blogger and, to be honest, I don’t have a full idea.
Do I make money from it? Sometimes, not a whole lot though so don’t get too excited. Do I get free stuff? Sometimes, but same as the income, it’s not a lot.
After three years of blogger here in particular, I still don’t know what my goals are with it all.
That’s not true.
One of my biggest goals has been to work on my writing.
When I really started to put an effort into keep this whole thing up to date, it was when I was working through some writer’s block. I wanted to move away from working on my book but wanted to keep writing so I started with some weird little updates.
Then I started recapping races and talking a little more about my health and fitness. Then I wrote a bit about my struggles with mental illness. Then came my random adventures here and there. And then Josh’s Universe took shape into what it is today.
Complete and utter nonsense.
I’m okay with it.
There are so many bloggers out there that focus just on fitness or travel or finances or whatever. Those are all well and good but I’ve always been too much of a scatter brain for one topic to hold my attention. I think that’s why I struggle with Digital Walls sometimes, there’s only so much you can say without getting boring and repetitive. I try to avoid that but I also have to keep my business afloat.
Angry double edge sword.
Do I have any solid advice for bloggers?
Not at all.
If anything, just do your thing. There are no rules so long as you are enjoying what you are doing. I love my weird little blog and the people that follow along.
I often find myself wondering why anyone follows this nonsense but then I think about some of my favorite bloggers and their nonsense. Hidden within it all is an escape, sometimes advice, sometimes something amazing that inspires me.
I know I have been in inspiration to others. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around because I have a mental illness specifically designed to make it impossible for me to wrap my head around it (it’s called imposter syndrome and it’s loads of fun).
So here’s to five years of terrible blogging!
I really have no idea what my intention behind this whole post was now that I’m wrapping it up but I’m going to go ahead and stick with it.
I’m really sorry if you came here looking for advice of blogging because I don’t have any.
Well okay, I’ll offer you this:
Blog for you. Write about what makes you happy, what inspires you. Write about your adventures, your hopes, your fears. But write about it for you, not for the people you hope will follow. Don’t write for followers or fame or fortune. Sure some people find that out here on the web but they all started from doing it for themselves.
If you’re looking for advice on making money on your blog, be careful. I’ve seen the people out there that offer courses on how to do it. Pay them $100 and they’ll tell you all their secrets. Those secrets are bits of advice that you can find just about anywhere else for free. You want to know how they’re making their money? Because you just gave them $100.
Maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe you disagree.
At the end of the day, I’m just a weird guy with a weird blog and I’m okay with that.
Because this is my universe.
And I have a fork.