Monday, June 27, 2011

Reflections on blogging: 2005 to 2011

The second-last post in my series of celebratory posts (yes! Not A Ballerina is turning six tomorrow!), and on the suggestion of a reader I've decided to get a bit reflective and think about how blogging has changed over the past six years. Obviously, six years ago, hardly anyone had even heard of blogging, and these days it's becoming a lot more mainstream. Who would have thought ten years ago that I'd be able to run successful courses teaching people how to blog? (Not me, and not my career advisor ... hmm although my school days were considerably more than ten years ago ...)

Map of my travels in Europe until just before I started blogging!
But I digress. If I take a look at my own blog, I can quickly see some stuff that's changed dramatically over the last six years, mostly because I've learnt a whole lot more about blogging. Some of my early posts had titles like Do you know these men? and On the road - titles that really don't tell you anything at all - and these days I know that you probably need to give a better idea of what's in a post in the title so that your busy readers will bother to click on it. Fair enough, too! All that SEO stuff (search engine optimisation, if you must know) barely existed back in 2005, and so nobody told me to give my blog a more suitable title either. Although using creative phrases instead of SEO-appropriate ones has become known in my classes as "ballerina-syndrome", so at least it was good for something.

How my blog looks today ...
I wish I had a screen shot of how simple my blog looked right back at the start. These days, templates are fancy, and there are all kinds of extras, like pictures of my Facebook fans and a running list of my Tweets. Whatever happened to a blog just being a blog? (Although I do kind of like the extras). The advertising has got fancier too, and the revenue a little more (well, definitely more than nothing, which is how it started off in 2005, of course), and having this blog as a public face of me as a travel writer has helped me get all kinds of excellent freelance work over these past years. A good change there is that the work has become better and better paid over that time!

One thing that hasn't changed is that I still love blogging. I just love owning my own little tiny corner of the web, a place I can write exactly what I feel like, where people leave lovely comments and where I can continue my obsession with travel, without necessarily having to leave home (although I do love the leaving home part!). I'm pretty sure my most loyal reader over these six years has been my mother (thanks, Mum!) but I'm also grateful to everyone else who's stopped by at Not A Ballerina over the years - and I hope you'll keep coming back. (You definitely should tomorrow - there's cake!)

2 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, inappropriately-named ballerina blog! If it makes you feel better, almost the only people ever to arrive at my blog through search engines are kids trying to write their term papers on the Odyssey. When I realized that, I laughed! And then I added a subtitle to my blog. What are some weird searches that made it to your blog?

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  2. LOL, yes those students were probably a bit disappointed! I did the same thing with the subtite. I get lots of odd ballerina-related stuff, recently "hairy ballerina", "ballerina lived in Nicaragua", "ballerina drowning", "ballerina damaged life" and even "jellyfish ballerina". Gives me a good chuckle!

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