At the time of writing this post, my blog is not yet public.
That’s not exactly true because this blog is actually already live and can be found online.
But I haven’t yet told people: the name of my blog, how they can find it or made much attempt to raise market my blog to start building a readership.
Some of my friends do know that I am blogging and a couple of them have taken the initiative to search for it via Google and already found it!
There are a few reasons why I haven’t yet made it public:
1) I’m Still Writing the “Pillar Content”
Hopefully the correct term is ‘pillar content’ and what I mean by this I want there to be at least a few chunky posts already written that will help to create the identity of my blog and help me to begin building a loyal readership who are coming to this blog for the reasons aligned with why I decided to create it in the first place.
I have a folder on my laptop which is called “Blog posts” and within it are lots of draft word documents for blog posts that I have begun writing and are still drafts. I find that with every post I create, there is so much I want to write, but keep reminding myself that I should ideally keep each post fairly short so that you, the reader, do not lose interest and open an new tab to search for funny cat videos on YouTube.
Every time I re-open a draft to write some more, I find myself re-writing what was already written. Is this a bad habit? I reckon most bloggers would edit posts they have published if they re-read them, maybe it’s a rule that bloggers never re-open past posts to avoid the inevitable self-assessment where they realise something could be re-worded to read better? Or is that just me…
2) Finding the Time
This is a poor excuse, but so far I just haven’t made enough time to dedicate towards designing my WordPress site and a writing the content. It has been quite far down my list of priorities and so I haven’t taken time to sit down and write!
But there will hardly ever be a perfect time to do anything, we all have to make time for whatever is important to us.
Anyway, that is all changing now and I have decided to fully commit, and so from this point I will consider this blog one of my priorities, which is easy to do since I really want to blog! No one is forcing me to do it, it’s not a requirement of my dental studies, nor is there anything in it for me directly.
And there are so many little pockets of time in my day-today life which I am now dedicating as “blog time”.
The key window of “blog time” in my usual routine is the time I spend every day sat on a train commuting to and from dental school; I live west of London and study in East London, so I typically spend 75 minutes one-way travelling, which is 3 hours a day! That’s a lot of time to kill, and up till now I’ve spent that time:
- Reading “Metro”, the free daily newspaper
- Catching up on sleep
- Flicking through Snapchat and Instagram
- Listening to music; I’ve created a massive Spotify playlist titled “The Commute”
And the newest addition to the above list will be “BLOG TIME” baby!
3) Writing doesn’t come so naturally to me
I wish I was more eloquent when writing, it’s one of my much weaker soft skills and what better way to challenge myself to try and improve than by sharing my written thoughts with the world through this blog!
I’ve always struggled with my writing, be that scientific writing, writing texts (just ask some of my friends!) and just writing in general. Unfortunately I can’t blame this on English being my second language, I was born here and English is my mother tongue even though I am from Iraq.
English was one of the subjects at school I just couldn’t master. Perhaps if I read more books when younger that might have sharpened my mind to written word but who knows. We all have weaknesses and writing is one of mine! This may come across so please let me know by commenting on this or any future post! I’d rather know than to continue oblivious.
4) I’m Nervous and a Little Bit Scared
I want to be completely honest, and one of the biggest reasons why it has taken me a while to get things started for real with this blog is the fact that I am worried about how it will be received by readers.
So many thoughts keep running through my mind, including:
- What will my friends think?
- Is the content going to be of value/useful or will it be a pointless flop?
- Can I keep this up? I don’t want to start something only to then give up on it
- Will it in anyway stand negatively against me with regards to my future career in dentistry?
- Will people leave me negative/abusive comments?
One thing I should have done but didn’t is get in touch with other people who have stated blogs to find out if they had similar feelings? Am I the only one or did other bloggers have similar initial concerns, and it would have allowed me an opportunity to get advice from others.
I do intend to contact people based in the UK who currently or have previously had dentistry-related blogs to talk with them and see if I can get any useful tips to help me moving forward.
5) I’m New to WordPress
This is the first time I have ever done anything like this, so another reason why it is taking me so long is that I am going about designing my blog’s website very slowly. And I’ve been very indecisive when it comes to choosing a theme – I am trying to find the best one for me from the countless free options that can be used on WordPress.
I’ve already committed to WordPress as I have paid for my website’s domain name but I also keep thinking that perhaps there would have been a different option to use, such as Blogger? Or Blogspot…? There are so many different ways to create a blog, it was all a little overwhelming!
On this side note, I really do think it should become a thing that students at GSCE/A-Level are given the chance to become more proficient with regards to technology and be able to at least understands the basics of coding. But anyway, I risk running off on a tangent and that in itself would be a great post so I’ll put a bookmark there and discuss it in more detail another time!
When I find the time, I do want to teach myself how to code – either using C# or Java to begin with and see how I get on.
6) I’m Moving House
Supposedly, moving house is one of the top 5 most stressful situations a person can experience. It’s up there with the loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss and major illnesses.
It’s been a long process and I cannot wait for it to all be finally over with in December (2016). As a result, many other aspects of my life have either taken a back seat recently, or have been put on hold temporarily. So because I’ve been busy with the house move business, I haven’t had as much free time, which I could have dedicated to working on this blog. But that is all about to change!
6) I don’t want to release my blog as a ‘work in progress’
I could have easily shared this blog with you all a few months ago but I wasn’t keen to release an unfinished piece of work. It won’t be completely ready when I do make it public, but it will be in good enough shape.
Think of it like one of those new-build blocks that are being built all over London. It starts off as bare empty land (the website domain gets bought), then slowly slowly it gets built, starting with the foundations (my pillar content) and then the structure is put up (the website design), then more posts are created and it gets to that stage where a building is surrounded by scaffolding but isn’t quite ready. Well that’s the stage when I’ll release my blog and begin to market it! Eventually the scaffolding will come down and the next steps will be the interior design (i.e. all the posts made moving forward and further tweaks to the website design etc).
That was a terribly made analogy^ – I apologise!
So anyway, thanks for reading. And please bear with me! I’m doing my best to speed things up and in the next few months I will probably try to start sharing this blog’s distance to build a loyal readership and try to spread word to dental students, dentists and most importantly young boys/girls who are thinking about dentistry as a potential option!
Loved reading all your posts, the wait was definitely worth it! Keep it up and good luck for all your future work; we are looking forward to the next update!
Maryam and Melody xx
Proud of you Al! It’s a great body of work, I look forward to more updates x
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