I remember my very first time just like it was yesterday.
For months I delayed and wondered, what would people think of me.
Would it all come very naturally? Would I know what to say or do?
Would I be disappointed?
Pushing the doubts and negativity aside, I took a leap of faith and published my first blog post in July of last year. One year later, surprise surprise, I am stilling blogging. This week I am sharing 5 lessons I have learned over the past year blogging and I hope it will be a blessing especially if you are a newbie blogger.
This one is still very much a struggle for me. Some weeks I am chill and killing it while other weeks I am struggling to keep my head above water. When it comes to blogging and building a loyal tribe, consistency matters.
Let me break it down for you. Think about your favorite TV series. Week after week you watch an episode and it leaves you on a cliff hanger high. Did she or didn’t she you question, eagerly awaiting the next episode to get your answer. But what if things were different, what if the series came this Monday and then next week Friday and then the next episode a month later? Eventually, although you like it, you are likely to lose interest. It is the same with blogging. You are building up a community that is grounded on what your audience know they can expect from you and your blog. They want to know that every Thursday or which ever day you choose, they can expect an encouraging word to show up in their inboxes or on the blog.
To do this, you need a plan. Doing things haphazardly won’t give you the full impact or the results you are likely hoping for. Took me a long while to realize this one.
Here is what I want you to do, make a list of all the task you have as it relates to your blog and assign a duration of how long it normally takes you to accomplish it. Think, writing and editing, scheduling social media, graphics, writing newsletter etc. Then once this is done, think about how much time you have each week to devote to blogging, be realistic. Once I completed this, I finally realized why I was always so overwhelmed. I needed 20+ hours a week to focus on my blog while realistically I only had 8 hours a week to work with. I was trying to do too much with the little time I had. Next up, you want to simplify your strategy. Identify which tasks you will focus on and which ones you will need to cut back on. For example, instead of sending a newsletter weekly you could switch to twice a month. Instead of being on all social media platforms, you could choose just one and really put all your energies into that one platform. Think about what will give you the greatest result and put your focus there, simplify your strategy.
Focusing On All The Wrong Things
I am sure you have heard it; the money is in the list. You need to build an email list, focus on search engine optimization and Pinterest, create a freebie, the list goes on and on. What I have come to realize is that the individuals that were promoting these initiatives, while they had good intentions behind them, they often had a team behind them, or were an established blogger. Here is my advice to all the newbies, go at a pace that works for you, once accomplished, move on to the next thing. Trying to do all is usually a hit and miss. Speaking from experience here, I have tried to do them all and my growth suffered as a result. Prioritize what’s important, then once you have completely mastered that item move on to something else. Don’t be a Jack of all trades and master of none.
Stop Signing Up For Every Freebie
Raise your hand if you love freebies and challenges? I am guilty as charged! While there are some excellent resources out there. I was signing up for pretty much every interesting freebie I came across. Some I didn’t even need and never quite got around to completing. The minute I started being more strategic, I realized my stress level went down, and there was one less thing on my to do list. Instead of signing up for every free webinar, I only sign up for things that meet my current goals. Signing up for every and anything distracts you. For me, it got me constantly overwhelmed because suddenly there was yet a new strategy that I must employ if I wanted to see massive traffic. Whenever you come across a freebie, ask yourself this question. Does this align with my current goals? If no then simply ignore it. Only sign up for freebies that align with your current objectives. If you feel like its something that you would love to check out in the future, create a future training’s word document on your computer and include the name of the freebie along with the opt-in page for you to reference in the future.
You Don’t Need to Fit a Mold
We are all different, thank God for that. How boring would things be if we were all a like? My blog started out from a desire to write and I chose to document my faith and life journey in the process. For years I have struggled with anxiety. Stepping outside my comfort zone with blogging has been a big step for me. But, I have pushed pass the fear and have shared my personal stories with you all. It is perfectly OK if you are still trying to figure things out or narrow down a niche. Everybody’s journey, everybody’s story is different and that’s what make us all unique. Continue growing, continue pushing forward and watch your blog blossom into a beautiful flower. My word for 2018 is GROWTH, my blog may not fit into what other’s may consider the perfect mold, but am going to continue writing and continue being a 100% me.
Blogging Isn’t Everything
Those closest to me know one thing my blog is my everything. Right out the gate I fell in love with blogging and hope to one day take blogging full-time. I was so obsessed with blogging that I couldn’t have a full conversation without interjecting a thought about blogging. Don’t judge! I am pretty in tune with relating to people so I picked up really quickly the annoyance, ” I could hear my family saying, really, are we talking about blogging yet again”? I also struggled with maintaining a work/life balance and my husband suffered the consequence.
I knew I had to do something about it, so I took a break from blogging and how liberating it was. I have come to realize that I can’t skimp on my devotional time, because ultimately my relationship with God matters the most not blogging.This is a big one for me. We can often get clouded by our long to do list and in the process push our devotional time aside, but that shouldn’t be. I have also gone ahead and created a date night album to make planning date nights with my husband stress free and intentional. Another helpful tidbit I would add here is to appoint days for blogging and other days for family time . Try not to become so consumed with blogging that you miss out on life happening right in front of you.
In celebration of my one-year anniversary, I am hosting a month long giveaway. I am giving away a copy of the book Wife After God: A 30 day Devotional by Unveiled Wife. You can check out all the details and enter below. I would love to hear from you, what are some lessons you have learned over the years blogging?