My Biggest Blogging Mistake: What, I Have to Promote This Website?

3 years ago

I started blogging back in 2008 with a head full of ideas about parenting Asian mixed-race kids. Coming from a journalism background, I knew I could apply the research and storytelling skills from my jobs and use them to shed light on the experiences of my family and other people like us. I bought a URL and hired graphic designer friend to build me a spiffy site. Each post was written with care, revised, re-written and accompanied with a cute photo.

So why wasn’t anyone reading it?

At the time, I barely had a Facebook account (I was tricked into joining by a cousin who sent me a link to view wedding pictures) with a few dozen online friends. I didn’t post links to my blog because… that would be embarrassing. I just wanted people out there on the Internet to read it, not my actual friends. After all, I knew so many multiracial families, surely someone must want to read my blog.

Toiling in obscurity was my biggest blogging mistake. I don’t even know how many readers visited my site, because I wasn’t that savvy about analytics, either. Months went by without posting, and I became discouraged. There were other blogs about parenting and blogs about Asian American life and mixed-race issues, so why weren’t those people finding my site?

Me, back in the day

Then a few years ago, with my 40th birthday looming, I decided it was time to put it all on the table. I stopped lurking and started commenting on other blogs. I set up a Twitter account. I started cross-posting on other sites, such as BlogHer. I even shared my writing on Facebook—so people I knew in real life could read them. And guess what? I didn’t die of embarrassment. I actually had more to talk about in real life with casual acquaintances, because I had put a bit of my authentic self out there.

Since then, I’ve met new friends, reacquainted with old ones, found freelance writing gigs, even became an editor at BlogHer because of the connections I made through taking my blog public. The thing I was most scared of was the best thing I ever did.

What was your biggest blogging mistake? Did you find a way to turn it around? Tell me in the comments, or link your post up below!

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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