Today is double celebration day: Firstly, it has been officially one year since African Students Abroad came alive (from a mere idea in my head….and many months of break in between) and secondly I have officially hit the 100 visitors’ mark which calls for a celebration:yay :D!
I know this is very small (almost insignificant) compared to the other blogs I follow…but I have learnt to trust my own journey, stay on my own lane and remain committed to my own vision & goals.
This post is inspired by That Hayet Rida (http://www.thathayetrida.com/ ), and A little bit of Lacquer (http://alittlebitoflacquer.blogspot.co.za/), which encouraged me to share a few lessons I have learnt thus far as a blogger. I just want to take the time to thank all my readers for the support received thus far…you guys are awesome! Asante Sana (Thanks in Swahili) to both the unknown readers, and those I know personally (i.e. friends I forced to read my content, lol!).
Do not do it for the money, do it because you love it
It is safe to say that I am not making ANY money from my blog yet. In fact, I spent a bit on the blog to register the domain and also select the template. As y’all know, I do have a full time job and am doing this outside of work hours. When life gets busy and you do not get the response expected (visitors/readers), the only thing that will keep you going is the fact that you genuinely enjoy writing and sharing. In my case, I know in my heart that ASA has a place in the blogosphere as I did not come across anything similar. This (and off course the visitors) keeps me going when I lose motivation.
Writing has become my escape, while I enjoy it-it is also dangerous because it can start affecting other areas of my life negatively (e.g. boring task to complete at work takes the back seat compared to this awesome topic, I would rather be writing about it). I am still getting there, but I dedicate ~2-4 hrs a week on blogging maximum. Sometimes this is enough for a blog post, and other times it is not…but this is what I can afford at the moment. I plan to commit to a blog post schedule post September when my calendar clears, but this shall be the case for now.
If you have read more than three of my posts, you know by now that my mind tends to run in 1000 directions, lol! I try to keep my blog focused based on its purpose and resist the urge to post about everything that crosses my mind e.g. my opinion on Congolese 2016 elections as ASA is not a blog about political affairs in Africa.
Learn from those whom you admire
Safe to say that my go-to blogs are: Kongo Travels (http://kongotravels.com/tag/kongo-travels/ ), She leads Africa (SLA, http://sheleadsafrica.org/ ), Opportunity for Africans (OFA, http://www.opportunitiesforafricans.com/ ), Small Starter (http://www.smallstarter.com/ ), and A little bit of Lacquer (http://alittlebitoflacquer.blogspot.co.za/) and That Hayet Rida (http://www.thathayetrida.com/) and off course the beautiful This is Ess (http://www.thisisess.com/ ).
It takes time
Unless you are some kind of Shakespeare, writing/planning a blog post (especially, an opinion peace) takes time. Be prepared to steal some of your sleep hours 😉
Become tech savvy
Confession: I changed the name of my blog at least once-it used to be called Etudiant Immigre (Immigrant Student) and later felt that African Students Abroad was a better name & catchy. I wish I spent more time on my blog before it went live, there are a couple of features still to come that I need to incorporate e.g. subscribe button, translation into French and Portuguese for my non-English readers, sign-up with programmes like Google adds. All these will happen in good time, one step at a time.
I hope you enjoyed this post. My vision for ASA is to become a platform of exchange between African students in the diaspora to share our views, challenges , personal hopes/dreams and get off course get inspired! Based on the stats of visitors, I am humbled to know that my readers come from all over the world, and do hope you found my content helpful. We all have one thing in common, #weloveAfrica! Looking forward to many more posts, and taking you along this journey as ASA grows.
Lots of love!