Exploring the Blogosphere

Well, I’m taking part in Blogelina’s biggest Commentathon and am at a bit of a loss on what kind of blog post to write. Participating in a blog event is a mixed bag – you have a deadline to meet , you have a prompt to adhere to and basically there are rules you have to follow. These can sometimes be restricting because you have a strict format while on the other hand they can make blogging easier as you have guidelines to help blow the cobwebs away. Today I thought I’d write a post on my blogging journey so far, using some of the tips that I’ve picked up from Blogelina.

The first step – the Newsletter

Like Johnnie Walker in the famous ad, the journey of a 1000 miles always begins with a single step. My first step on this journey began so long ago that I’ve kind of forgotten what it was. I do remember, however that I began writing a blog on MSN and I had called it chowmiaow, a play on the words in my native language Marathi which translated as tidbits. I thought it was a catchy and humourous title that would encompass my topics of interest chow as in food and miaow as in gossip. Sadly, no one appreciated the pun or the humour and least of all remembered the spelling. After trying to get all my friends and relatives to visit my blog, I stopped trying to remind them especially when all of them expected me to send them personal email links to every post, everytime. This was frustrating because every other week I’d put up a post since my primary aim was to let my friends and family ( particularly my daughter) overseas know what was going on in my lifewithout having to write to each of them individually.

Step Two – Reaching out

I then moved on to Blogger which was a better blogging platform. I increased the number of followers by joining a bloghop called Skywatch Friday. I didn’t know any better about bloghops and automatically assumed that this would be a great way of interacting with other bloggers and increasing my followers and following. It helped that I was interested in photography. What I didn’t contend with was the number of followers who I didn’t really feel comfortable with – some were downright weirdos ( so I thought) who came from a very different demographic to what I was comfortable with but I did make some wonderful friends along the way – bloggers whose photographic contributions I looked forward to  like Sylvia whose wonderful skies and inspiring quotes always made me wonder how her skies were so brilliantly coloured while mine always varied from bright spotless blue to dull murky grey- very rarely did my skies show the variation in colour and texture with cotton wool clouds and gorgeous sunsets. But what was amazing was that through Sylvia’s headers I came into contact with another blogger living just 25 km away from me and who till date I haven’t met physically. Suranga Date is an enthusiastic blogger who blogged under the name kaimhanta which I thought was Spanish or some exotic tongue till I realised it was my native Marathi which translates as “what are you saying!” Suranga used to design Sylvia’s interesting headers and I tracked this designer down to my own backyarard.

Discovering gems – making friends

I actually called Suranga one day and found that we had many interests in common and that there were several times when our worlds collided though we still haven’t come face to face with one another. However, my quest for improving my blog let me to other friends I’ve made like Corinne, Vidya and many more. I found bloggers overseas like The Aran Island Girl whose stories of her life in faraway Ireland are fascinating. Chicinitie, a blog capturing the life of an American living in Italy reminds me of my brief but all too enjoyable stay in Milan. I look forward to  wonderfully heartwarming stories of Stuart M Perkins and Anamika Agnihotri, Sakshi Nanda to name just a few.

Along the way – spreading wings

Over the years I’ve joined blog hops like Skywatch Friday, blogging challenges like Arlee Bird’s A to Z, Corinne and her Write Tribers and picked up many tips and friends along the way.

I’ve diversified into niche blogs like foodities.in where I talk about food memories through recipes and restaurant reviews and  nappytalesandme where I share my experiences as a newly minted grandmother.

In my quest for improving my blog I’ve met many bloggers, heard of many developers and blog designers, intereacted with “Blog Doctors” who did nothing to improve my blog, some who’ve ripped me with their advice and left me in more of a mess…..

I’ve made lots of mistakes and booboos along the way, ruffled many feathers, upset many apple carts with my frank and unvarnished accounts so that I’ve learnt to temper down my opinions and be more gentle on my reader. I’ve learnt to write not only to write for myself but to write for others who come to my blog to read, be amused, learn or just accidentally meet another soul in  the blogosphere.

The path ahead – more mystery

     

I wonder where the path ahead will lead me? I’ve joined blogger’s fora like Blogadda and indiBlogger, attended their meets and interacted with other people like Keerthika  who first told me how I could take my blogging from a plain and simple blog to another level – one where I could actually write, be published and develop a fan following. I’ve won several cash prizes and discount coupons and even gone to Malaysia as the winner of a competition arranged by Blogadda! I recently attended Blogadda’s mega event where I saw the potential of future that could be mine but I wonder if will I reach there yet?

In the words of the famous American poet

I’ve had a wonderful journey so far- one that’s taught me new skills, introduced me to new people, new ideas and is an every changing road map that keeps the explorer in me thirsting for more.

What has your journey been like so far?

p.s. I’d love your comments and critiques on my other blogs and blog posts too!

Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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88 Responses

  1. Brock says:

    As someone new to the blogosphere, I really appreciate this article. I am in the midst of really just getting started on my first blog and participating in my first event like this. I’m really happy to hear that you eventually made some friends along the way. I can also particularly relate to feeling uncomfortable continually referring friends and family to each post. Good to meet you!
    Brock recently posted…Time Value Of MoneyMy Profile

  2. Haley says:

    I started blogging in April. I was looking for a new way to be creative and I have always loved computers and internet. I loved all the things I have learned. It amazes me every month when I look and see all the countries that list me, and how I have connected with bloggers all over the world. One of my favorite international blogger is from Hungary. I am in USA and seeing all the places I dream to visit one day. Thanks for sharing your journey and I hope your blog continues to grow!
    Haley
    Haley recently posted…Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup 51My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Yes indeed making international friends in the blogosphere reminds me of my childhood days of snail mail when we made internation ‘pen friends’. I hope you too enjoy a wondrous journey in this virtual world

  3. Interesting to meet you through Blogelina. Have not been to Mumbai but loved Delhi and surrounding area. My TV production business partner grew up in India and she and her parents have made many films there. Not quite sure what to expect from your blog from this post, but enjoy recipes and lifestyle. Odd you criticised my post for the repetitive/boring photos when your post does not even have any images? Have a great week.
    Talent Hounds recently posted…Book Reading Nursing HomeMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      I appreciate your comment and agree that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones but being unable to keep a pet and actually loving dogs,I was disappointed not seeing more pix

  4. Erin says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. You have a lot of good insight to offer and share it well. I’ve been blogging for 9 years and still learned from your piece. Thank you!
    Erin recently posted…Stop It With the Helicopter ParentingMy Profile

  5. Pam says:

    So interesting to hear about other bloggers journeys – every one is unique! I have found that blog hops ARE a terrific way to connect – and to find blogs you enjoy reading. Guest posting is something else I’ve done a lot of to grow my tribe.
    Pam recently posted…Let’s SLOW DOWN & Simplify in OctoberMy Profile

  6. This is a fun recap of your blogging journey. What has been your favorite step in the process thus far? What did you find most challenging?
    Suzanna @ One Hoolie Mama recently posted…Currently {a link-up}My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      My favourite step so far was actually tracking down the blogger and making real time contact. I loved playing super sleuth like Nancy Drew . The most challenging has been doing the A to Z blog hop : to bog every day is quite difficult but fun.

  7. Stacy says:

    Hi from Texas! I had so much trouble coming up with a topic to write about as well. I still don’t know if I picked the right topic, but c’est la vie. I started blogging in May, and I am still getting things tweaked to the way I like them.. You’ve given me some things to put on my agenda!
    Stacy recently posted…Albertsons Deals 9/23-9/29My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Well ideas begin to flow once you start writing so like the Nike guys say : Just Do. It! Glad to be of help… Yes it takes quite some hits and misses before you get the blog of your dreams. Good luck and keep writing.

  8. Shelah says:

    We know nothing about blogging so this is really valuable information for us. We need o get working on our newsletter.
    Shelah recently posted…X is for Explore!My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Glad this information was useful. You seem to be taking the right step by using Blogelina! Good luck and enjoy the journey .

  9. Rachel says:

    What a great post. I am new to blogging and really enjoyed you sharing your journey.

    What I am going to really take away with me is ‘I’ve learnt to temper down my opinions and be more gentle on my reader’. Even as I reread the last sentence my head shakes in a new understanding.

    Don’t some of the connections we make come with a heart felt thanks and appreciation. You really bought that home too.

    Rachel.

    • Bellybytes says:

      Thanks for your appreciative words. It feels good to know that our words are impactful and is always advisable to use them with care. Enjoy the journey and hope you’re good friends like I do!

  10. Heather says:

    My blog is a year old and I still have so much to learn and these tips come in handy. That’s awesome that you have won some things through blogging, that gives me inspiration for the future.
    Heather recently posted…What Does Serving Really Mean?My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Yes , I enjoy blogging as it also gives me the ability to publish instantly without having to send off things to magazines etc and yes you do get a chance to win so many things especially the high of winning!

  11. Tina says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey into the world of blogging. As a new blogger. I am continually amazed at how much I am learning as I go along my own journey. Not only on the technical side of blogging but digging deeper into myself.
    Tina recently posted…7 of the Best Things to Buy in Late September Early OctoberMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      I agree with you about the never ending journey. I started out as an accidental blogger several years ago but only took things seriously last year. And yes you find out more about yourself too…like adjusting to newer and smarter technology!

  12. Lisa says:

    You did a nice job tying quotes into your post. I enjoyed reading about your blogging journey.

    It’s neat to look back at all the changes in the blogging landscape over the years! It makes me wonder what tomorrow will bring…
    Lisa recently posted…Random Pictures of the KidsMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Perhaps we’ll get blogs that have a smell track as well? It’s amazing how communication has evolved and how “easy” it is to share ideas . But this constantly evolving technology forces us to keep learning new things each day.

  13. Monica says:

    What a beautiful journey! I am very new to blogging. My sister and I both took the plunge late last month. Participating in a big event like this is very intimidating but I went for it! I hope to make friends along the way as you did. By the way you are a great writer.

    • Bellybytes says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Blogging is really a great way to connect with people and yes it can be challenging to write every day but soon it becomes as normal as brushing teeth.

  14. Miranda says:

    Wow I love this post. What a great journey! And that Robert Frost quote is one of my favorite. In fact, you have inspired me to look up some of his poems and maybe use a few on my blog.

    So nice to “meet” you.
    Miranda recently posted…Praying Hard ThingsMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      It’s nice to know that you enjoyed this post . I’ve been blogging for years now but only recently have started using graphics and quotes- and what fun it is to scour the Internet to find just the right words to add punch to your writing .

  15. Leilani says:

    I’m sure like many of us, I laugh when I look at some of the first photos of food on my blog. Many were taken in a dim kitchen with a flip phone!! And that was just 5 years ago. Wow…I can’t imagine what the next 5 will bring.
    Leilani recently posted…Tips For A Stress-Free Dinner Party (plus a little trick)My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Me too! It’s really amazing how technology advances faster than we can remember acronyms and understand why they stand for

  16. Leila says:

    I feel like even after the 4 1/2 years that I have been blogging, I am still learning. I feel like I will never know everything there is to know. We all start out making the same mistakes and we all move forward. One thing I have learned is to have an end goal and work to achieve that end goal. I did not have an end goal 4 years ago when I started, but I have started anew this past year and have an end goal that I am aiming for!

    • Bellybytes says:

      I agree with you about the constant learning and thanks for the tip on having goals to achieve my blogging deadlines.

  17. Myriam says:

    I love this journey that you have invited us to. I am somewhat new and have so much to learn. It can even be overwhelming at first trying to do it ‘right’ according to so and so. i will be checking out some of the links mentioned.
    Myriam
    Myriam recently posted…5 Things I Wish I’d Known About PRAYERMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Do approach this journey with a more relaxed attitude ….. It’s a fun activity that you will love after you get better and more familiar with

  18. What an interesting journey and how wonderful to have made such great connections that were so helpful to you! My journey’s pretty boring, and hasn’t really deviated much from when I started it two years ago.
    Lisa/Syncopated Mama recently posted…Latticed Learning: Week 4My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Oh dear that’s a pity. You should start reaching out to others via comments and blog hops. May be this is the first step?

  19. dana says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing your journey. Good info that could help others even seasoned bloggers.

  20. Shannon says:

    Welcome to blogging! It looks like you are doing great so far! Just go slow and be yourself 🙂 Have fun too. That’s very important!
    Shannon recently posted…Food and Fitness FridayMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      I loved that one – have fun. Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to achieve a goal, meet a deadline that I quite forget to enjoy myself . Thanks for reminding me to smile more while blogging.

  21. Julie S. says:

    One of the best things about blogging is the people we meet and friends we make 🙂
    Julie S. recently posted…Rent Your Maternity Clothing with Bella GravidaMy Profile

  22. These are some great tips! I’m still getting used to the whole blogging thing, even after a year of doing it!
    Jennifer Corter recently posted…Be Unique With JORD Wooden Watches!My Profile

  23. Blogging is quite a journey. I have met many wonderful people as a result of blogging. I hope you have nothing but a pleasant journey.
    Crystal Green recently posted…Small Victories Sunday LinkupMy Profile

  24. Erin says:

    Our blogging journeys started out very similarly. Like many other expats I know, I started blogging to share snapshots of our life with family scattered across the globe.
    Erin recently posted…7 cookies, 1 doughMy Profile

  25. hmm…well…I first started with an “online diary” back in 2001, back before there were such things as blogs! I then created what’s considered a “blog” on blogspot in 2007, I think. But ti was mostly just for friends and family and wrote about personal life stuff that most people probably wouldn’t care about. But then I stated my first OFFICIAL 🙂 blog, The Screenwriter’s Wife, on wordpress and intended as a more public face in early 2014. So I suppose while I only consider myself a newer blogger – I actually have been writing/journaling online for almost 15 years now, and longer than most people have!

    I do it because I enjoy it. Not necessarily because I’m out to reach some sort of goal through blogging. That’s helped me keep perspective.
    Ronni @ The Screenwriter’s Wife recently posted…GIVEAWAY: At-Home Date Night Subscription Box from Unbox LoveMy Profile

  26. Lerie says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey and what you have learned. I started blogging more for my friends and family and just as a journal/diary. Then picked up several hobbies and made separate blogs on those. I only came across bloglelina earlier this year (or was it last year?) and I have learned so so much from her. I’m a slow work in progress. I think my weakness is consistency but I always come back because I love blogging anyways 😀

    • Bellybytes says:

      Welcome to the Club . I often think of abandoning blogging and going back to my first love of writing and actually writing a novel . I’ve already published a cook book so that’s given me the courage to swim in deeper waters.

  27. Millie says:

    Blogging is such a crazy journey. Glad that you have enjoyed it and decided to share with us.
    Millie recently posted…Top 7 Driving Tips for Lady Drivers in KenyaMy Profile

  28. Missy says:

    First, let me say I love the photo background you have on the blog. Very pretty!

    The blogosphere has undergone so many changes in the past X years, it’s truly grown and changed a lot. Some for the good, some not so good. But change is inevitable. right. It’s fantastic to see so many blogs, bloggers, niche topics and awesome awesome content. I especially love (and have mad respect) for the foodie bloggers, they make it look easy when its anything but.

    Your blog is great, and this post was a nice wrap up of the blogging journey many of us are taking, will take or have taken. Thanks!
    Missy recently posted…Chicago Bloggers Local Link Up – 9/10/2015 #MidwestBloggersMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Thanks ! Yes food bloggers make things look easier than they are but honestly cooking is a no brainer – my dad always says serve every dish with aplomb because no one really knows what you wanted to serve it as

  29. Shannon says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey with is! It is a fun thing to experience and everyone does it differently. My only feedback is that I have a hard time reading the text on your blog. Great post though!
    Shannon recently posted…Festive Fall Apple Print Painting for KidsMy Profile

  30. c. lee says:

    Love the blog name and look. Glad you’ve joined the commentathon; it’s been fun. I loved hearing your journey.
    c. lee recently posted…Smuckers snackation was great, now it’s back to schoolMy Profile

  31. Melissa Vera says:

    I have made myself come out of my comfort zone this year. Forcing myself to get out there and meet other bloggers and it has been such a rewarding experience. I think we all as bloggers need to stretch our wings and get out of our comfort zone so to speak to learn and to grow. Thanks for sharing.
    Melissa Vera recently posted…The Comfortable Way to Play BingoMy Profile

  32. Rebecca says:

    I have had one or two blogs in the past that lasted all of about a month so I guess you could call me a new blogger. My blog I have now I would love to see grow and build a following. I laughed at your experience with family members wanting a personal email. I have a hard time getting my family to even acknowledge that I have a blog. I know I have so much to learn about blogging and networking with other bloggers. The little that I have networked I have seen what an amazing community we have. I am sure I too will make many booboos while I am finding my way in this blogging world. Hopefully, like you I can come out just fine on the other side.
    Rebecca recently posted…The Pressure to Make StridesMy Profile

  33. Marie says:

    You have some great thoughts about blogging. It definitely is a journey, oftentimes an uphill journey, but a good one too. I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of people in the past 3 years that I’ve been blogging and love it now. Thanks for sharing your journey!
    Marie recently posted…Friday Food Focus: BeetsMy Profile

  34. Catrina says:

    I’m glad to know that sometimes going to the meetups can pay off. I’ve gone to a few in my area, and sometimes there just isn’t anything that is relevant to me or my blog.
    Catrina recently posted…Ultimate Potato Soup Recipe You’ll Want To Make Right NowMy Profile

  35. Networking with other bloggers has kept me motivated. I like following bloggers that have similar interests so that their posts can inspire me.
    Brittney Minor recently posted…Back to School Treats with YumEarth Organics Fruit SnacksMy Profile

  36. Agreeing with lots of the above comments: this post is fun to read and well-written! I’d say you have more of a blogging history than many of us, but we’re all making connections and (one would hope) doing some good along the way.

    God bless you! It’s been so interesting “meeting” all of you in through these posts. 🙂

    • Bellybytes says:

      Well I’ve been around for a while but not quite doing things right. I hope this online class helps putting things on track.

  37. ChristyK says:

    I’ve been blogging for the past 6+ years but just as a hobby more than anything. Just this past month, I began getting more serious about blogging and hopefully turn it into some part-time income. It’s very overwhelming to me at times, but exciting too. I’m just trying to take it one step at a time. Thanks for sharing!
    ChristyK recently posted…Stop and Taste Some Tea!My Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      I too have taken it seriously just this year and haven’t really earned anything. Seriously blogging is hard work

  38. TJ says:

    I have enjoyed reading your post. As simple as some of these things may seem they are so easy to overlook. Thanks so much for sharing!
    TJ recently posted…My Birthday… My 5 ResolutionsMy Profile

  39. Crystal says:

    My blogging partner and I have been blogging for almost 4 years now and we have learned so much in the process. We have found that connecting with other bloggers is one of the most important keys to building your blog.
    Crystal recently posted…Let the Magic BeginMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Yes it is and you should connect to different groups so that the network widens else you find it just becomes one round robin.

  40. I started blogging a couple of years ago. I’ve since had two little ones, so I don’t have as much time to blog anymore. And then, this summer I decided to change domain names, so I’m basically starting afresh on blogging.

  41. Nikki Rae says:

    I love connecting with other bloggers. Hearing their input and reading the content they create has helped me stay focused on my own blogging goals.
    Nikki Rae recently posted…5 Self-Care Timeouts for Moms Guest Post on Mommy My WayMy Profile

  42. LizZ H. says:

    Still being fairly new myself, I quite enjoyed your experience and perspective.
    LizZ H. recently posted…Fall Planting PlansMy Profile

  43. I’ve been blogging for two years and it has absolutely changed my life. I began writing about life taking care of my mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease and I still do that on The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, but I recently started Rena’s World which is blogging tips and creative writing.
    Rena McDaniel recently posted…RENA’S WORLD RECEIVES TWO BLOGGING AWARDS!My Profile

  44. Jamie says:

    Great tips!! It’s always nice to share this information with those that are new. Really helps to get your feet wet and enter this great blogger world! 🙂
    Jamie recently posted…Make a Utensil Table Helper #TigerStrypesBlogMy Profile

  45. Karen says:

    I have been blogging about 3 yrs now. It is very interesting and also can be very frustrating! There is so much stuff to learn. Its nice to visit and meet new bloggers and inmage in the conversation that’s going on! Right now, I am working on the Newsletter/ 🙂
    Karen recently posted…York Photo – FREE Address Labels!My Profile

  46. Zoe says:

    Enjoyed your blog!
    Journeys are good 🙂

    And who doesn’t need their feathers ruffled from time to time…

    Best wishes!
    Zoe recently posted…Are You At A Crossroad and Unsure of What to Do?My Profile

  47. Bryce Rae says:

    Yes, blogging is very much a journey and there are things to be learnt everyday.
    Good to read someone else’s story and see the similarities.
    Bryce Rae recently posted…Helping Your Teenager Stay Active and Healthy with CancerMy Profile

  48. andi says:

    great information to be shared with both oldtimers and newbies 😀
    andi recently posted…Over $30 In New Savings Available Today!My Profile

  49. April Grant says:

    I thought I could start a blog just to sell things, directly. I didn’t really think about engaging my potential clients. I just told them facts. I’ve changed a lot over the last five years, growing and learning who I am as a blogger and writer.
    April Grant recently posted…I Can Do All Things…My Profile

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