Blogging has transformed me in ways that I never knew possible. I’m not exactly new to blogging; in fact, my very first blog is still active via WordPress [which you can check out here and see the growth for yourself!] However, it wasn’t until January of this year that I decided to pursue my passion and start taking blogging seriously. The journey thus far has been exciting, though scary at times, but nonetheless exciting. I attended my first networking event in February of this year – something that I was always nervous about doing – to now covering events here on my blog. Won’t God do it, girl? Though the past six months have been a joy ride – for the most part anyway – there are a few hard lessons that I’ve learned about blogging over the past six months. So, to current or aspiring bloggers, listen up! Here are six lessons I learned in six months of blogging:
Lesson 01: Blogging ain’t easy. If you thought that blogging was just writing a 500-1,000 word post, designing cute graphics and flat lays, and taking bomb photos for Instagram, think again. The reason that many bloggers eventually seek to monetize their blogs is because it truly is work. To create unique content on a consistent basis, you have to work. To generate an organic, engaging following via social media, you have to work.
Lesson 02: Receive advice with caution. These days, almost everyone is an “expert” at something. In fact, that term has become so common now that it irks me. There is nothing wrong with receiving advice from others with experience in your field because, truth be told, no one knows everything about anything. If you can’t be a student in your field, then you’re going to struggle with being in leadership. However, always remember to follow your instincts FIRST. Go with your gut feeling, and be authentic to who you are.
Lesson 03: Don’t believe the hype. You don’t have to everything that there is to know about blogging in order to start a blog. You don’t have to have a $300 camera, ring lights, or a fancy office space to start either. What you need is to simply START. Right where you are with what you have. Don’t fall into the hype of believing that blogging – or anything else for that matter – requires you to know it all and have it all before you can begin. Learn as you go, and correct mistakes along the way. Build your “toolkit” piece by piece. Don’t pressure yourself too much – IT WILL BE OKAY.
Lesson 04: You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that is okay. There is a reason that bloggers have a niche, and one blogger’s niche is most likely different from another’s. You may not offer the sort of content that readers are interested in, or you may not have a personality that everyone loves, but the good news is that that’s A-OK. Determine your niche. Create content based on your niche, and engage your audience because while you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, you are your readers’ flight of champagne. Give the people what they want, babe…and that’s you.
Lesson 05: It’s alright to take a break and not feel guilty for doing so. Maybe it’s writer’s block. Maybe it’s just that I’s tied, boss. Blogging can become cumbersome, and it isn’t an easy task. Therefore, if you need to unplug, restart, or refresh, do so without any disclaimers. Sometimes, our creativity is blocked or hindered when we are overwhelmed, stressed, fatigued, or just having an #icanteven day. Take a #SelfCareSaturday or a #SundayFunday to unwind and to reconnect with your bestie – YOU. Or perhaps you have a bestie, in which case, you’ll probably want to reconnect with her, too.
Lesson 06: Success doesn’t occur overnight, so you have to practice patience.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but let me reiterate for the babes in the back: Success takes time. You will not reach 1K, 2K, or 3K overnight – unless, of course, you just have it like that – and in which case, we need to chat. On a serious note, however, I compare blogging to gardening. There’s a process in gardening that requires sowing, tilling, and harvesting. Developing creative content? Networking with other creatives? You’re sowing a seed. Engaging your audience? Remaining consistent? You’re tilling the soil. Earning coins or other opportunities from blogging? Well, that’s the harvest! If blogging isn’t just another hobby for you, then be prepared to put in some work in order to see your blog grow and flourish.