I began blogging in January 2017 and today marks my 100th blog post. I can hardly believe it! Without a doubt, I have learned SO much about the blogging world. The biggest thing I’m realizing is that I still have so far to go.
If you are considering a blog, or if you just find the concept of blogging somewhat intriguing, read on! I’m sharing the biggest takeaways I’ve gleaned since I began this journey. Hopefully my insight will help you should this blogging gig be of interest to you!
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My 100th Blog Post // 7 Lessons I’ve Learned About Blogging:
Lesson #1: Putting yourself “out there” is not easy!
I never get over feeling incredibly vulnerable with my blog. Prior to starting this journey, I would have said that I am the type of person that doesn’t care a whole lot what others think of me. BUT…I have had to really work through self doubt, fear, and insecurity.
A few tips I have found to get over myself:
- Most people are more focused on themselves than they are on you. I realize this sounds ‘not nice’. But as soon as I started writing with the focus on my audience and their needs, the easier posting became.
- Sharing something that brings you joy feels good. When doing things we love, our passion overcomes the fears.
- “It’s none of your business what other people think of you” is a quote I’ve seen so many times and I just love it. I am currently reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. She talks about this mentality and I think it’s brilliant!
- Some friends feel uncomfortable discussing my blog. Blogging is a foreign concept to many and I’ve learned there are certain people that would rather not discuss it. They simply don’t know what to say. You know what, that is perfectly okay!
Lesson #2: Blogging is hard work!
Blogging is certainly not an easy gig. The technical aspect alone can make your head spin!
Plus, for DIY bloggers like myself, you have to actually complete a project. Not to mention take lots of photos, edit every photo, write the post, then promote each post…ugh!
If blogging is something you have ever considered, understand that you will be working your tail off. But, the positive that can be gained is so worth it, IF you enjoy the process.
I’ve learned so many things over the past two years that I am very proud of. A sense of accomplishment makes it all worth it.
Lesson #3: It takes time for a blog to grow.
I’m sure many of you have read success stories of bloggers making six figures after less than six months of blogging. It can happen, but that is extremely rare. Blog traffic doesn’t just happen after your first post goes live.
As a matter of fact, for most bloggers, many months can go by with only a handful of people reading your content. Google Analytics is a great way to dive into pageviews, what posts are resonating most with your audience, and finding where the majority of your audience is coming from (i.e, Pinterest, FaceBook, Instagram, etc.).
It can be daunting and a bit discouraging to work so hard and learn that only a few people have made it to your blog post.
Each month, you will likely see more growth. Slow, but steady. The key is to keep putting good content out into the world! Make sure there is value in every post you publish.
A few tips for growing a blog:
- Invest in a trusted course from the onset if possible. It’s really heard to justify spending money when first starting out, but if it is truly a passion, do it. A few blog courses I highly recommend: Elite Blog Academy (very pricey – I’m actually taking this course right now!), Building a Framework by Abby Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog, and Blog Start Up- 101 from Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom.
- Promote, promote, promote! Get your content out there – Pinterest, FaceBook, Instagram. Think of who your readers are and promote where you think they spend the most time.
- Ensure you are sending a regular newsletter to your subscribers. Those are your people!
- Have patience. It will not happen over night.
Lesson #4: Having a strong support system is a crucial.
The majority of bloggers go many months without making a dollar. This can be challenging considering the time investment you put into your site. If you are married, I believe it is crucial to have a spouse that is on board with the process.
I feel fortunate to have a husband who stands behind this dream of mine and encourages me to keep going. My revenue is still small, but is consistently growing. Jason knows that blogging is a marathon. I am not bringing in a solid income yet, but the potential is there.
Just knowing someone has my back is an amazing feeling. That encouragement helps push me when I am tired and feel like giving up.
I will admit, I have talked with several blogging friends who feel they do not have the support of their family and close friends. Giving up would be a lot easier without that encouragement.
Tips if you do not have full support of your significant other:
- Be very honest about how important this chapter is in your life. Perhaps a compromise can be made. Instead of spending money on courses (if that is the concern), there are many free tips out there to help you get your blog up and running. It might take longer to piece everything together, but you can find it. Amy at amylynnandrews.com is a great resource!
- Find a blogging accountability group. I have several FaceBook groups I am in that are amazing sources for encouragement. Many of these groups will also help promote your blog if you help them with theirs!
- I have also been fortunate enough to find some local groups with face-to-face contact to discuss blogging. For many, blogging is a foreign concept and having people that get you is a game changer!
Lesson #5: Be Authentic!
This should go without saying, but I find there is a lot of pressure in the blogging world. It would be easy to try to emulate another blogger with a bigger following in hopes of faster growth. Don’t do it!
I try to think of my posts as writing to a good friend. If you aren’t real, no friend is going to stick around!
As a matter of fact, I have a make-believe “friend” that I have in mind when writing the majority of my blog posts (I promise I’m not crazy!). This “friend” is a combination of two of my real life friends, plus a little bit of me. I try to write content that speaks to her interests, her needs, her fears, etc.
I’ve got to admit, putting that down into words makes me feel a bit crazy (see above under Lesson #1). But, my make-believe friend understands;-)
Lesson #6: Have Discipline with your writing
If you ever want your blog to take off, you need to treat it like a job. Schedule writing time into your days. This will look different for everyone, but the key is treat it seriously.
I’m a big fan of goals. I wrote a post about starting with goals for the year and breaking them down by quarter, month, week, and finally by day. This allows you to see your big picture and ways you can actually achieve your goals.
Be consistent. Your audience will not keep coming to your blog if you aren’t consistently putting up new content.
Lesson #7: Don’t compare yourself to others
This is SO hard! I have seen so much growth at Love Our Real Life. In some ways, I feel as though my 100th blog post just marks a new chapter!
But, there is always going to be someone that is doing a better job, has more followers, gets more engagement, etc. As with any other area of your life, just don’t go there.
Do your best and forget the rest (words by Tony Horton for you P90X fans 😀).
Thank you for joining me on this adventure! Are you a blogger? What are takeaways you could add to this list? Share your story in the comments!