Thanksgiving seems so far-fetched this year as the majority of us had plans for 2020, and while some came to fruition, some didn’t. And as humans, neglecting the blessings and focusing on the blessings yet to come is inherent. Even as bloggers, we had our ups and downs, and that came in different experiences.
Regardless of all the surprises that 2020 threw at us, a few bloggers shared how 2020 has been for them. They shared some of their successes and how they’ve been able to navigate difficult situations.
Please, read through, relate with their experiences if you can, but most importantly, learn something to keep you going for the rest of the year and in 2021.
MALAYA DEAN: THE AFRO COLUMN
Your name and your blog name: My name is Malaya Dean, and my blog is The Afro Column!
Location: I am a Black American currently living in Louisiana, and I am originally from Southern California.
What you blog about: On my blog, my goal is to uplift the Black community by showing that we are more than a trend or hashtag. I do this by promoting Black businesses, discussing mental health topics to break the surrounding stigma in the Black community, and share Black stories that signify our excellence. https://www.theafrocolumn.com/
How has your traffic increased this year? Or by what percent or number? I started blogging in July 2020, and from then to now, my traffic has grown by 30%! In my first month, I had about 400 page views which I was very proud of 😭. In the past two months, I’ve reached 1200 to 1300 page views, so I am slowly growing.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? I feel more aware and in tune with myself. I feel like this has opened up an unknown part of myself, and each day I am learning more. For example, I have learned that I actually enjoy writing and surprisingly, creating graphics! I enjoy starting from scratch to bring my vision to life. This journey has been amazing, and I am so motivated to use this platform to bring about change.
How have you channeled negativity this year? It seems like this year has been a bundle of negativity, but how I have channeled it is by realizing the positive that came out of it as well. When things are going bad, we often are blindsided and don’t see any positivity around us. So, I ensure to journal every day and make it a priority to name one positive thing that has happened each day and three things I am grateful for.
Were there times you felt down? There were times I felt down and overwhelmed! I never knew how much work bloggers do, and it was a huge wake-up call for me because as I learned more, I had to add more to my daily tasks. The most frustrating thing for me has been with coming up with themes. I overthink, so anytime it happens, I stress myself out to the max and always think about my readers first!
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger this year. What are you most thankful for? My most memorable experience as a blogger was recent. I did a post on Instagram covering the R&B singer, Patrice Rushen, and she commented on my post. She also messaged me directly, telling me how she appreciated what I was doing. I was on ‘cloud nine’ the whole day! Some people don’t know who she is, but I listened to her growing up, so the little kid in me was extremely happy.
I am most thankful for my boyfriend honestly because there’ve been times I felt so overwhelmed to the point of tears. He was the person who would comfort me and made sure I took breaks, so I am thankful for him.
Share some of the best comments you received this year: Some of the best comments I’ve received are the ones from Patrice Rushen, which I mentioned above! Some also include, “I love and appreciate everything you are doing, we need this!” I always love those comments from people, saying how they didn’t know something or how insightful my blog posts are.
RACHEL: THE BLACK BOOK BLOG
Your name and your blog name: My name is Rachel, and my blog is The Black Book Blog.
Location & Nationality: I was born and raised in London, but I’m from the Caribbean-Jamaican and Guyanese, to be exact.
What you blog about: I blog about books: from book reviews about books by Black authors to bookish content, such as the importance of representation, the need to support Black British authors, and even about the Americanization of Black History Month. I have a sole aim to encourage everyone to diversify their bookshelves. I grew up reading a limited amount of books by Black authors, but there are so many available now. It’s important to read diversely!
Check out my blog at www.theblackbookblog1.wordpress.com
How has traffic increased this year? Or by what percent or number? In all honesty, I started blogging in February, but I love how my traffic continues to grow. Obviously, it fluctuates each month, depending on how often I post; like this month, there was less growth because I wasn’t as active.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? When I first started blogging, I was incredibly nervous. It’s weird because you’re putting yourself out there, and it could either be received positively or negatively. I remember asking my sister to proofread my blog posts at least twice. I was so nervous about making mistakes and having people read my writing. Now, I’m more comfortable. I think I’ve found my style, and it’s important to include it in your posts because it helps to create a unique voice. I’m more confident enough to proofread my posts, and it has helped me with my self-assurance overall.
How have you channeled negativity this year? I channel negativity into something positive. Regardless of what it is, and whether it has something to do with my blog or not, I use it as a source of motivation to upgrade my blog. Whether I sit and think of a creative post to discuss or pour my heart into a book review, I refuse to let negativity bring me down this year, especially with everything that’s going on around the world.
Were there times you felt down? Gosh! There were millions of times I felt down. Sometimes, I would want to crawl into bed and cry. But I think it’s healthy to allow yourself to feel down and then move on.
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger? What are you most thankful for? There are so many! I’ve had such an incredible nine months already, that I’m thankful for every single moment. If I had to pick, it was probably partnering with The Rio Ferdinand Foundation and creating content for them. It was such an incredible opportunity, and I loved every moment. It forced me to get out of my comfort zone, and I can’t express how thankful I am for that. From now on, there are certain things I know I’ll be more comfortable doing.
Share some of the best comments you’ve received. There are so many, but I’ve picked out two!
“Hey! Just came across your account and wanted to say it’s wonderful! (our office is from a Canadian university so just letting you know you have a broad reach and impact!) excited to follow along, just finished reading The Water Dancer and loved it!”
“I was looking forward to this review and now it’s a straight purchase!”
How do you keep rising regardless of all the things that seem not to be working? Just keep trying. I know it can seem so futile, but I’ve learnt that if you keep trying and continue to have faith, God will meet you halfway. It’s hard to remain positive, especially when everything feels like it’s working against you. But I try to remember that sometimes just because a door closes doesn’t mean it can’t open again. Maybe God wants to lead you down a different path that will allow the door to open later on. Never give up and never stop trying.
As Maya Angelou says, “And Still I Rise.”
ATINUKE WALE-AWE: THE TINUKE.
Your name and your blog name: I am Atinuke Wale-Awe, and my blog name is The Tinuke (thetinuke.wordpress.com)
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
What you blog about: I blog about faith, lifestyle, and personal development.
How has your traffic increased this year? Or by what percentage or number? I’ll say 30%. Thankfully, more people have discovered my blog this year, which is refreshing.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? I started in 2016, which is a long time ago, and before that, I needed a platform to pour out what I’ve learnt and experienced. I also needed to hone my writing skills. Years later, which is now, I feel amazing about how much I’ve grown, learnt, and how I’ve been able to build an online community I love so much. My blog, which started as an avenue to share my experiences, has allowed me to have people who look up to me, and that I don’t take for granted.
How have you channeled negativity this year? A lot of negativity came with this year. Honestly, it’s been tough, but I’ve been able to channel them in the right direction, and this took intentionality. I am an expert in seeing the positivity in every negative situation; most times, I check past comments on my blog or go through my friends’ chats, telling me how amazing they find my blog.
Were there times you felt down? A lot of times! There have been times I’ve been down, and all I wanted to do is to shut it all down (yes, deleting the blog). But we are humans, and it’s impossible not to have these moments; it’s how we react that matters.
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger this year. What are you most thankful for? This year, I got featured on an Instagram live on the SARMLife platform, a lifestyle brand, and it was such an honor. I got to speak about my blogging experience and lessons over the years. I am thankful for that opportunity.
Share some of the best comments you received this year. People rarely leave comments on the blog these days, but I have received comments off the site. Recently, a friend I had not spoken to in a while sent a message, telling me how he has been blessed by my blog posts, especially the faith-related ones. This same year, another person reached out, complimenting the way I write in such a way that anyone could understand and relate. This means a lot because that has been one of the goals of the blog.
How do you keep rising regardless of all the things that seem not to be working? I try. And the only thing that keeps me going is my passion for writing and inspiring people. For a while, I have found pleasure in sharing positivity in any way I can, which is why I keep blogging. Also, people’s comments help me a lot! And guess what? Most times, these comments come in when I’m down. This helps me to understand how much God is intentional about me.
YASMIN A: MASTER PEACE.
Your name and your blog name: My name is Yasmin A, and my blog is Master Peace.
Location: New York City
What you blog about: My blog is about mental health and social justice issues. I want my readers to master inner peace and world peace. https://masterpeaceblog.com/
How has your traffic increased this year? Or by what percent or number? I started my blog in September 2020, so my traffic is still growing slowly. After taking a couple of SEO courses and doing a little more research on SEO, I have learned about the different ways to increase my traffic, but I am yet to see a spike in my traffic. I hope to continue working on it and establishing a firm base of readers.
How do you feel now as a blogger compared to when you started? Any changes? When I started blogging, I didn’t realize how many parts come into play into being a successful blogger. I am constantly learning new things and improving my blog for myself and my readers. I am overwhelmed now because I realize that there is so much work to be done, which I’m both excited and nervous about.
How have you channeled negativity this year? There were definitely times when I obsessively looked into my analytics and felt disheartened because of the decrease in traffic. I like to remind myself that it is difficult to gain a lot of traffic and attention very early and that it takes hard work and effort to get to a place where I am satisfied and where I have a firm base.
Were there times you felt down? Sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed and stressed about my blog, especially with social media and promotion.
Share your most memorable experience as a blogger this year. What you are most thankful for. I am most thankful for the people I have met and other bloggers. It’s heartwarming to see many people going through the same thing and having similar mindsets. Many bloggers are positive and sweet, and it has been so nice to hear their stories and be inspired by them.
Share some of the best comments you received this year. One of my favorite comments was on a post titled:
”I absolutely love this! So powerful! I’ve never thought of myself as a “feminist” but I am a woman of faith as well, and for the same reasons as you, it compels me to keep fighting for the rights of women in all settings. Love love love your post!”
I loved this comment because I think it is so beautiful that I could connect with someone from a different faith background. It goes to show that we have so much in common with others and that we should try to focus on our similarities. We need to lift each other and be more open-minded.
How do you keep rising regardless of all the things that seem not to be working? I try to remind myself to be patient and wait for things to improve. I’m going to continue working hard and doing my best, but I know that ‘good things take time.’
THANKSGIVING: CHANNELING NEGATIVITY THROUGH POSITIVITY
You’ve read from these intelligent ladies, and it’s apparent that the journey hasn’t been easy. But, one common thought is how they all channeled negativity by looking at the bright side. And, staying positive is hard when you are surrounded by the wrong people.
So, in the coming year, and as you shed some 2020 weights, look into your circle and see if you can count on someone to pick you up when you are losing it.
Next week, I will bring the last series where four other bloggers shared their 2020 experience with us. STAY TUNED!
Until then, remain positive.