Lessons from Blogging: Middleground
I made around 3 blogs from 2020 to 2022, Middleground being my first one. Here’s everything I learnt.
Okay, so let’s start from the beginning. But before the story begins, I’d like to let you know that this is the first story of a 2-part series. In the next story, I’ll talk about what I learned about social media and readers from blogging. It’ll be published next Thursday.
The beginning of Middleground
So it was June 2020. I had been thinking a lot about mental illnesses and wanted to write about them, about people’s experiences with mental health issues, maybe also some creative content about mental health. I wanted to raise awareness about these issues and build a community around them, a community where people could anonymously post about their mental health issues and have a healthy conversation around them. I spoke to a few friends of mine and we decided we would be posting content by turns, some creative writing around mental health, some personal experiences. And this led to the Middleground Team.
The problems we faced at Middleground
We were very new to the world of content creation. We made a WordPress website, started putting in our ideas and just started writing. The initial response was amazing, beyond any of our expectations. The site got 200 views on the first day itself. We were so delighted, I was dancing in my head listening to energetic EDM songs at 1am at night, thinking that I made it big at something. For me, it was a huge confidence boost, and for the wrong reasons.
Here I’ll talk about a few personal flaws of mine. Firstly, I was very much invested in the idea that Middleground was mine. So I was really making sure that I stayed at the top, the leader, the founder. And as expected, I sucked at making sure the group becomes a team. We like to believe that as leaders, we’re giving everyone’s opinions equal importance. But looking back, I still think that there are people working as leaders who have the same mentality as I did back then, and it needs to change.
We are a team, leaders don’t own other people.
There’s also this one particular incident when I woke up to an email having some really harsh words about our writing. As far as I remember, it had something on the lines of “your poetry isn’t helping anyone, give some real solutions”. Yes, it was harsh, unexpected. I was furious at that time. Everyone in my team thought that someone was hating on us. I remember posting a very salty reply to this mail on my WhatsApp story, which caught the attention of so many people.
And honestly, looking back at it now, I don’t understand why did I do that. Because maybe someone was really suffering and wanted a real solution, I have been through mental health issues myself, and I totally understand the anger that builds up due to this constant feeling of helplessness. So definitely, it wasn’t hated. It was constructive criticism, just wrapped in rage. Some genuinely wanted help and I hope that person is doing much better in life now.
So, due to these issues, the team broke up and since then, I have been making blogs myself. But Middleground has still been my most successful blog so far and even though creating content about mental health is a slippery slope, these mistakes taught me a lot and I’m grateful to all my friends who wrote for Middleground and everyone who read the stories.