The world of blogging is intimidating. There are bloggers that have invented what it means to blog as a full-time job, who have been active for 10+ years and who are still dominating their genres. It’s such a challenge to maintain confidence when you’re side by side with these powerhouses. Every day we find ourselves learning something new about blogging either through an illuminating article or through day-to-day difficulties. It seems that as people discover the bliss that is freedom of expression, more people in the business aim to give you advice.
As new bloggers, we rarely come across an article that makes us feel better about our freshman position. It is a challenge to be new, slowly growing, and developing. Whatever your position is in this world, whether you aim to create a business out of your blog or whether you are aiming to just write and have people tune into your ideas, we all have to start somewhere. Even the biggest and best started small. Over the past three months, we have encountered a few obstacles and enjoyed some fabulous gifts that taught us a little bit about what it means to move forward with this overwhelming journey.
Clickbait Articles Are More Damaging Than Helpful
One of the more common methods of learning how to blog is through advice posts written by other bloggers. While it can be helpful to learn from experienced professionals, not all of these articles are written with the honest intention to support your journey. Some of these articles claim that if you follow their succinct steps, you can achieve overnight success, make a six figure wage, and receive thousands of page views.
What we have learned in our short time blogging is that blog growth is slow. It takes time for your ideas to reach a large audience! Join groups, ask questions, receive support – but avoid the clickbait! You will be disappointed if your intention is to follow the same rules as everybody else and achieve immediate success. If everybody does the same and follows the same rules, we are all uniform. Sameness or uniformity is the exact opposite of what blogging is meant to be. Use your instincts to grow your blog. If it feels right to reach out and move your blog forward, then do it!
Routine is Everything, but Finding a Suitable Routine Can be Tough
Building a routine from scratch is difficult, especially when your time is not open-ended. A lot of new bloggers (and established ones!) actually claim blogging as a second career. There is nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed with the daily tasks that it takes to keep a blog moving. We pride ourselves in making content that incites passion in us. Our quality of writing is important, and high quality content takes time that sometimes it feels we don’t have.
We have learned that a specific and strict routine is everything. In order to balance our careers and blogging, we need to divide our time and our responsibilities. Break down your blogging into tasks – spend time brainstorming, scheduling, writing, and editing or designing. But don’t worry about doing everything at once. You will find a routine that suits your lifestyle, your personality, and your needs. If it takes a while, don’t stress – your routine will come with more experience.
You Cannot Master Every Part of Blogging
We began this journey as writers. Not as photographers. Not as graphic designers. As writers. There is such an intense pressure to be amazing at every facet of blogging right away. The push to be “the jack of all trades” really emphasizes uniformity too, which isn’t always a good thing! We try not to create content just to fill in a space in our blog. It’s important to us to write about topics that genuinely interest us.
To do this, we really stick to the “quality vs. quantity” argument. Our vision relies on integrity, honesty, passion and interest. We aren’t here to be conventional. We don’t care to be amazing at everything. Uniqueness is valuable and the most important way to achieve this is to stay true to why you started. Learning the other parts of blogging will come with experience, but for now, we are trying to produce quality content that we feel passionate about and that interests our readers. It’s okay to excel at just one part of blogging when you start! You are doing just fine.
Pay Attention to Statistics, but Don’t Obsess
The obsession with statistics is not lost on us. When we did our research and began the venture into blogging, many articles discussed Google Analytics or other tools which enable you to pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. We have learned that statistics aren’t everything. A while ago, we learned about the difference between a large audience and a loyal audience. Sometimes, a smaller, loyal audience is beneficial for your growth! You receive constructive feedback, your work is read consistently, and you connect with people in a much closer manner. Loyal readership is everything to us and it has taught us to pick and choose what we pay attention to in terms of statistics. Sure, we look at page views because it’s a good indication that we’re moving in the right direction, but we have chosen to focus on the portion of statistics that tells us which posts work and which posts need to be altered in the future.
Overnight successes are rare and often not grounded in their content. If you are new to blogging and you sometimes feel the weight of failure because you aren’t receiving as many page views as you thought you might, please don’t fret. Pay attention to your statistics as a means of improving, but remember that blog growth is slow. Just because you aren’t receiving thousands of views a month, doesn’t mean that your work is not appreciated! Somebody loves it, and that is worth everything.
The Possibility of a Full Time Career as a Blogger is Distracting
We are certified home-bodies and there is nothing we would love more than to have a career that was based in our own living rooms. The allure of such a career is a beautiful, beautiful fantasy. It’s possible, but like anything, a full-time career does not pop up out of thin air. If you are starting a blog for the purpose of a full-time career, you may be disappointed due to the slow growth of blogging in the first place. Take a step back and find your vision. Figure out why you’re doing this in the first place! Do you love to travel? Are you a make-up artist who wants to share their ideas? Are you a writer who needs an outlet? Find an organic vision and work hard.
The day might come that you can leave your career for blogging, but that might take time as well. When we started our blog, we made a point of committing to a posting schedule that wasn’t too overwhelming. Between the two of us, we easily meet our posting schedules without it impacting our full-time jobs too much. It is our dream to make our little blog a career, but we have to enjoy life on the way to that goal as well!
The Freedom and Open-Endedness of Blogging is a Beautiful Thing
We love being involved with this world for the freedom alone. Blogging is fluid because it is based on creativity and individuality. You can write and be whatever you want here! Don’t obsess about involving yourself with a niche or a genre because you will find it. If you are writing what fulfills you rather than what stifles you, there will be a time where your niche becomes obvious. Writing and creating is artistic. Every aspect of this world is centered on the creativity of another. There is power in being confident enough to produce what excites you and not what you know people will click on.
We made a point of creating a blog that wasn’t tied down to just one genre. We regularly blog about what we love most because we wanted our blog to reflect our personalities – a combination of a lot of different interests! Our goal is to maintain our confidence, post what we feel fuels the freedom of blogging, and continue to share our passions with the world. It’s easy to forget this when everything around you is telling you to market, advertise, connect, and pay attention to your statistics.
Partnerships or Relationships Between Others Will Help You in Your Toughest Times
We co-own our blog and it was the best choice we made. Connecting and bouncing ideas off of one another is a different kind of bliss! Our blogging relationship allows us to share responsibility and build a stronger friendship, all while engaging in a project that fulfills our creativity. As we delve further into blogging, it’s clear that relationships and connections are the core of what makes this world valuable. There are so many groups of people you can connect with and join. Through these groups, you can find dozens of people willing to connect and support you through your journey. People are selfless and welcoming in the blogging world!
There are difficulties and obstacles thrown in your direction every day as a new blogger. Occasionally, these obstacles can really impact your confidence and the motivation you might have to progress with your blog. Take each of these experiences with a grain of salt and find something to learn from within them to move forward. Our general rule of thumb is to stay true to your original vision and to blog what you feel passionate about most. Everything else – the page views, the social media follows, the connections – will fall into place in time.
You are doing exactly what you should be! Happy blogging, friends.