I can’t believe I am saying this, but last week, I published my one thousandth blog post. I have been blogging since 2013, and my life has changed a lot since then. Since I started blogging, I graduated from undergrad, taught high school, quit that job, moved back to New England, applied to and got into grad school, got my MA, had 3 joint surgeries, developed 2 more illnesses, got my current job, lived through a mystery illness and the many procedures needed for it, and more. But through it all, this blog has been a constant. So today, I’m going to look back at the last 1,000 posts and discuss the lessons I’ve learned, my favorite posts, and the most popular posts.
Lessons I’ve Learned from Writing 1,000 Blog Posts
Go with the blogging flow – Blogging has changed a lot in the last 6 years. When I started, posts were short and it was common to see a post about what someone did over the weekend. Unless you were a fashion blogger, your pictures were taken with a grainy digital camera or just taken from another site on the Internet. And Instagram didn’t become a crucial part of blogging until ~2 years ago! What I’m saying is that times change and 6 years from now, if blogging is still around, it will look different than it does now. So go with the blogging flow and don’t stay too set in your ways.
Write about what you like – Blogging will become a chore if you’re not writing about things you like to write about. At the very least, it should be a fun hobby, so make sure you like what you’re writing about. Now, you’re not going to like writing every single post; just like with every hobby or even a job you love, you’re going to have down days, days when you’re less excited with what you’re doing, etc. But if you are writing about a topic you like and/or like to write about, you are going to make it longer in this industry.
Utilize SEO – Blogging has changed a lot over the last 1,000 posts, but something that probably hasn’t changed is the necessity of SEO. If you’re starting a blog in 2020, learn about SEO and start using it from the start. If you’ve already started your blog but you haven’t started using SEO yet, start now! You don’t have to use it in every post, but you should use it in most of them. Learn more about SEO in this post.
Use nofollow links – If you are going to make money from your blog, then you need to know about the various laws that govern the Internet in your country especially but also across the world, anywhere your blog might be accessed. I did not think about these things when I started, which, long story short, led to every single one of my blog posts being taken off of Google search results.
My Favorite Blog Posts
The 8 Things a Millennial with Arthritis Wants You To Know – I love this post because it addresses something head-on, which is that a) millennials and young people do, in fact, get arthritis and that b) arthritis is so much bigger than just osteoarthritis. The most frequent comment I get when I share that I have arthritis is that I’m too young for it, which isn’t true. This was also one of my first posts to be popular, and I’ve always been proud of it.
Is Arthritis a Big Deal? – This post means a lot to me because it addresses another frequent comment that I get is that oh, arthritis isn’t a big deal, so why do I care so much? Arthritis can be a “small” deal for some people, but it can, in fact, be a big deal. I mean, even if your arthritis “only” causes you to get a joint replacement, that’s a big deal! But it can also lead to death if not properly treated.
Accepting Your Body with Chronic Illness – I love this post because, to be completely honest, I got to be sassy in the comments. This post is about how you should love yourself and your body even with chronic illness. But I knew that, given the title, people would think I was saying something different. To prevent that, I wrote in the image that “(it’s not what you think)”. But someone still commented something along the lines of it’s so sad that I’m accepting being in pain for my entire life and not doing anything about it, etc. So I got to comment “… did you read the post?”.
Not All Disabilities Are Visible – This post means a lot to me because I was able to explain the reality of disabled people like myself, who are disabled but don’t “look” it. Many people are disabled but treated poorly because they don’t look like people expect disabled to look.
9 Reasons Why Tailwind Is Worth the Money – This is one of my favorite posts because Tailwind has made a HUGE impact on my blog traffic and I think every blogger should use Tailwind (unless you’re brand new to blogging, in which case maybe wait a little bit to make sure you’re going to stick with it). The thing that stopped me from using it earlier is the price, and I want other bloggers to at least consider using it.
Why an Editorial Calendar Is Really Worth the Time + 164 Blog Post Ideas – This post means a lot to me because using an editorial calendar is one of the things that changed my blogging life and, again, I think every blogger should consider using one.
8 Ways To Lower Your Bounce Rate – This is one of my favorite blog posts because I love sharing what I’ve learned with other bloggers, and bounce rate is a big thing for bloggers. Bounce rate is the percentage of sessions where the person visiting looks at one page and then leaves. So if it’s 80%, 80% of sessions were to only one page. In this case, you want your bounce rate to be lower.
Chronically Ill Tips: What To Do When a Doctor Isn’t Listening – I love this post because, like many people with chronic illness and/or chronic pain, many many many doctors haven’t believed my symptoms. (I mean, it took 9 years for me to be diagnosed with RA.) Earlier this year, I had a particularly rough couple of interactions with doctors, which inspired me to write this post. Doctors not believing you is like an annoying rite of passage for chronic illness/chronic pain patients.
Why Isn’t My Blog Getting Traffic? – This is one of my favorite blog posts because I’m addressing a super common question that I see from bloggers on blogging Facebook groups. There are many reasons why someone’s blog isn’t getting traffic, and it generally depends.
The Most Popular Blog Posts
Loving Someone with Chronic Pain – I think that this is a popular post because there are at least as many people who love someone with chronic pain as there are people who live with chronic pain. (I mean, think about it: if every person with chronic pain had only 2 people who loved them, there are twice as many people who love chronic pain patients as there are patients.) This post contains advice for those people.
Accepting Your Body with Chronic Illness – I love seeing people liking the posts that I love writing! I think that this post is popular because accepting your body is hard enough, especially when it’s a body that doesn’t work correctly.
10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Received My Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis – I think this is a popular post because it is freaking hard when you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, including autoimmune arthritis. It’s very common to want advice when you’re in that position, and that advice is best (in my opinion) when it comes from someone with the condition you were diagnosed with.
40 Blog Post Ideas – Here’s some advice for bloggers: write a post with blog post ideas! Those are generally popular.
POTS and Heat Intolerance – I think this post is popular because POTS is a rare condition and, as such, there isn’t a lot of information out there. And heat intolerance is a common symptom of POTS, so people want information about it.
What Does Endometriosis Feel Like? – I think that this post is popular because it addresses a common question. As I mentioned above, it’s very common for people with chronic illness/pain to be ignored by doctors. I think that people are wondering what endometriosis feels like because doctors are dismissing patients’ symptoms (again, common) and so patients are trying to figure out if what they are experiencing is endometriosis.
My Biggest Fear Realized – I think that this post is popular because I lived through a totally bat-shit situation (a whole year ago now!) and it was horrifying.
A Weekend in Boston – Honestly, I don’t know why this post is more popular than my other posts about Boston!
Hacks for Living with Chronic Conditions – I think that this post is popular because people want to know how to make life easier with their chronic illness/pain/other conditions.
Thank you to everyone who has read any post, but especially to people who have been here from the first 100 posts. I couldn’t have done this without you.