Blogging Journey 2023

Happy New Year! Although 2023 felt like an eternity, here’s hoping that 2024 brings you joy, success, and endless possibilities. I’m grateful to have checked off a few of my personal goals this past year. Let’s welcome the new beginnings with optimism and hope.

Given the current enshittification in quality of social media platforms, many are reviving personal blogs. This is a nostalgic attempt to regain control over content and platforms. 2023 truly became the year of personal websites, marked by an influx in new webrings and blogrolls. These brought back the essence of authentic connection, content ownership, and helped rebuild genuine online communities.

Seeing these polished blogs might make you feel a bit intimidated to make your own blog just as appealing. But remember, not everyone has the skills or resources to do this, and feeling a bit overwhelmed is a normal part of the journey!

In terms of my own experiences, there are times when I feel that my current process for publishing blog posts on my website, which is largely manual and therefore requires a significant amount of time and effort, is not as seamless or sustainable as the methods used by other bloggers.1 This has led me to consider making the transition to a different platform, such as Wordpress, Ghost, or — each of which comes with its own CMS that can streamline the entire process. On the other hand, I’ve also been contemplating the idea of implementing a headless CMS into my workflow. One of the main problems right away with this option is the lack of beginner-friendly tutorials available, which has made it difficult for me to grasp the concept and understand how to effectively utilize this tool.2

I would usually just give up and abandon it just like any other side projects and hobbies I’ve had over the years, but I think about how it all started and how in the past 5 months where I’ve spruced my website up, made it look pleasing to the eye (or my eye at least), and even learned how to use JavaScript — something I knew nothing about! And I successfully implemented the functionality in my photos. Who knew I could do that? I sure didn’t, especially when you consider that I started with barely any coding knowledge.

Of course, I’ve also been teaching myself how to write. It’s an ongoing journey, but consistency is now a part of my routine. I made a promise to myself that if I managed to publish ten blog posts this year, even when I didn’t know what to write, I would consider it a personal victory. (Yay for ~20 blog posts!) I have a collection of drafts that sometimes seem too daunting to finish or polish for publication. Yet, I keep writing, striving for progress, not perfection.

I’ve learned that the key to blogging is authenticity. Trying to imitate someone else’s style or voice can only get you so far. Instead, I’ve found that the most important thing is to be yourself and to share your unique experiences and perspectives, even if they’re not perfect. This is what makes your blog truly yours.

At the start (exactly one year ago!), all I wanted was a simple, no-frills, functional website to share my thoughts freely. But as time went by, inspired by other personal sites, my vision for my website started to grow. And I’m filled with a sense of pride at how far I’ve come. I remind myself that a website is a dynamic entity, perpetually growing and evolving. In the end, it’s your website. It’s up to you to decide how you want it to be. Make it a reflection of you.

As Manuel Moreale eloquently puts it:

A personal site is—or at least it should be—a reflection of whoever you want to be. It could be the complete you, one of the many versions of you, or even an aspirational you. Just be comfortable in your digital home. It’s all that matters.

  1. My current workflow is: Netlify > GitHub > GitHub Desktop > VS Code > push/pull through GitHub Desktop ↩︎

  2. I know there are TONS of tutorials out there, but they tend to be technical and assume you already know the basics. ↩︎

Thoughts? Email me.

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