Erratic Engineeress is two years old today!
Here we are, another year and my second blog anniversary. I kept trying to think what to write about this time, because I shared some starting-a-blog-lessons last year and I feel like they all still apply 100%, but I couldn’t find a particular topic to go with this year. I wrote the first anniversary post last year just before the whole coronavirus thing started, after a year of travel and life abroad. Well, this blogging year couldn’t have been more different and my life/work/blog balance got pretty messed up, so:
- Turns out that when you’re working from home for the better part of the year, work hours no longer apply (or end, ever) and it is extremely hard to keep a work/life balance when all you do is on the computer. Work meetings are online through Zoom, family and friends are online through Zoom, my blog is online, my workout videos are online…I might as well just plug myself in too at this point. However, although the downsides include later afternoon/evening work emails that actually got answered because I’m dumb, the upsides also include late night inspiration to read research papers because no one was forcing me to actually seat in the office and do that, more sleep because there was not transit time and a sh*tload of time for my blog.
- I learned that even though I was stuck at home for most of it and had time to work on my blog, I still haven’t made it through my travel backlog. I could probably go about 3 more blogging years without travel before I’d run out, because that’s not all I write about… but hopefully that won’t happen, because I need to get out of my chicken coop like yesterday.
- I set up a regular newsletter and got more organised with social media and my blog posts schedule in a way that is doable and sustainable even after life goes back to normal, because who am I kidding, I’ll probably and hopefully never have this much time for blogging in my life again. So in that sense, I got pretty good with the whole blog/life balance.
- I opened up and got more personal with my travel stories and advice, and I also published an ebook with my weird poetry, so it doesn’t really get more publicly personal than that for me. 🙂
- I also learned that people seem to respond well to lifestyle posts and recipes and that I want to share more sustainability/engineering related posts, so you can expect more of that in the future. I think it’s now pretty clear that my blog has evolved far beyond the regular travel blog it had started out as and I’m quite happy tending to my multi-niche, erratic mess. I’ll say it again, I guess I chose the name right!
- I took a CSS course, because extra skills never hurt anyone, and I started weekly book recommendations, because books are awesome and we should all read more. I also got into embroidery, because I finally got through the piles of my late grandmother’s supplies and I think that’s a more productive way of watching Netflix series than just watching.
- I started a podcast! This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I was surprised by how crippled I was with self-doubt when I first announced that in September. I wanted to launch my first episodes in November 2020 and since it was supposed to be low effort, it shouldn’t have taken me even that long to launch it, but I kept postponing it because I was self-conscious about my voice, hearing myself on recordings and doing videos. I finally launched it in January and although I said to myself that life and my PhD got in the way, I think it was more of a mental setback than anything else, because it really doesn’t take long to record and edit an episode. However, I’m over the first hurdles now and I already have 2 more episodes almost ready to go.
- Speaking of the podcast, I first planned to do a whole official thing with Patreon and offer episodes early for patrons, but after the launch delay I didn’t do it, and I’m glad I didn’t. This blog and all of it’s multi-niche attachments are primarily a hobby and I want to keep my freedom, because as soon as you’re obligated to do something, it stops being a hobby. Right now I’m only accountable to myself and even if I don’t post for a week or a month, there’s no one to scream at me that they want their money back and I want to keep it that way. I did add a PayPal button where you can support me with your money and I might also make a Patreon account for those of you who would be willing to support me on a regular basis, but there won’t be much extra special content on it. Also, you can still buy my ebook and I might start selling some other random creations in the future too, we’ll see.
So, that’s about it for the highlights of Erratic Engineeress year two. Actually, what a year! At least in terms of my online life, ha.
Last but not least, I would like to thank all of you again for your support, because it’s absolutely amazing to know that someone actually reads my ramblings and checks out my projects. So, a huge THANK YOU to all of my subscribers, readers, social media followers, everyone who bought my ebook or bought me coffee to support my blog, background lurkers and of course, my friends and family. In terms of numbers my blog now gets a solid average of 1500 views per month, which is pretty awesome and I couldn’t have done it without you. It is also starting to get noticed and featured around the world wide web and I had my first interview this year, so really, thank you!
I would also like to specifically thank some of my fellow bloggers for their incessant commenting and support, so here goes: Herb and Benjamin Thiel from the Haps with Herb and Brother’s campfire, Paul from Lightly seared on the reality grill, Matt from Cowboys from Space and A.J. McGregor from the Lonely meatball. I’d also like to thank Manca for her design troubleshooting, Naya Lou, Dimitra, Tanja and Miša for their Instagram shenanigans and of course Eva for her help with my podcast and Andreja, Samo and Matic for putting up with my blogging brainstorming all the time.