I know a lot of bloggers who write similar posts about how they got started or how it feels to be a writer. But usually it’s along the lines of “Why I Blog” or “How Blogging has Changed Me” but how it’s made me a better person. There had never been anything I cared about more before blogging. I wasted my time and felt pointless. I hope that in the time I’ve created these spaces I have changed or brought joy to someone’s life.
I haven’t held onto any kind of hobby for this long. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel real, that I get to just sit on the computer and put my thoughts and feelings down for others to read and enjoy. I cannot believe it’s truly been the best 7 years of my life! Aside from being married all that time as well, I’ve never been so proud for sticking with something before. I love to write, I always have.
Improved My Writing
My writing has definitely improved over these past seven years. I’m still always learning and growing as far as typing and grammar go but, it’s been a journey. I have started to work on making my titles better and including everything in each post that I need to so it can be successful. Aesthetically though I have worked hard in creating a post theme and layout that works. I always include a signature and “call to action” when I have one available.
Built Lifelong Friendships
I’ve started and grown some of the best friendships that will last a lifetime. I’ve bonded and shared with these new women in my life who are similar to me and busy following their dreams. Collaborating with like minded people makes you more creative and think harder than you do on a daily basis. I trust them with giving me vision, opinions and brutal honesty when I need it. I hope that someday we can all meet face to face but screen to screen is close enough for right now. They don’t feel like my real friends- they are my real friends. Actually I often speak with online blogging friends more than people in my own home town. But why that is, I don’t know. I love them both personally and professionally.
Sense of Confidence and Self-Development
Blogging has done one major thing in my life and that’s helped me cut out negative people who always took me for granted/manipulated me. I learned to trust others around me and everything my gut tells me. When I have the slightest intuition it’s usually right. I’m much more confident in myself than I was when I began. In addition, blogging makes me want to be a better person in my self development-become a more well rounded person. And so far, it’s working!
I love coming up with posts and personal stories to share with friends and family. Because I’ve been blogging here for so long and gone through so many changes and titles, it is literally a living memory book. My favorite thing is to go back, update and relive all the good, bad and the ugly times. It’s a comfort that I have every detail recorded somewhere. Seeing a timeline of how I’ve changed and grown into my own person is also pretty neat to have for keepsake. It’s really neat knowing that I have record of so many things I’ve done big or small.
This has been a difficult one because I’m not the best at scheduling things in my everyday life. I’m continually working on making a daily schedule and an editorial calendar so I can stay on track for my blog deadlines. Having everything happen on time is something I can really take pride in. I use many tools like Hootsuite and Trello to stay on top of my time management needs to keep to a schedule or deadline. I also really love the app called Forest which is a fun concentration game where you cannot exit once the time starts making you be productive on your single task in a sense. Unable to use your phone for 30 mins more or less- definitely cuts down on my darting tendencies. If you have troubles in this area I highly reccomend looking on Pinterest for ideas or following my Productivity board here. Or my Motivation board here.
First, I’d like to mention that I am now offering a few (like 3 spots open) to Virtual Assisting. If you are a blogger in need of extra time or you just don’t have enough hands to get it all done-look no further. I can help you with all of your blogging and social media management needs. If you are interested please take a look at my WORK WITH ME page and email me ASAP.
If you’d like to start out on the right foot with this whole process here’s a few main things I think you need to know to do. These may seem very obvious but indeed they are not. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busy day to day and forget to stay on top of the work that needs to be done to help you be successful. So when I first started blogging it was very relaxed, ho-hum and this can work for some people but I always wanted to be seen and be social.
This is a big one! I never thought it mattered being on a schedule or having any kind of consistency. But at the end of the day you have to be reliable for your readers. I started out as an all week long blogger. 6-7 days and short and sweet posts, mostly linkups. This isn’t a good way to blog or be successful in any kind of way. Now I blog 4-5 days a week with longer and more helpful posts on a variety of topics and less linkups, maybe one to two per week. You can also reuse old content, freshen it up and make it shiny new. This will make your hard work show better and appease your target demographic. It’s a bit of work for a larger payoff-a new graphic will sometimes turn it all around. So here’s my top points for a smooth start to your new space.
Being social to me means, talk to your peers and people you look up to. Communicate and share you genuine thoughts and feelings on their content and what they put up. Engage them in conversation aside from blogging on social media and get to know them. You never know what someone might help with,
Whereas having a good technique with social media is different but also needed. You will not get seen at all if you don’t share, share, share! Make your readers and the public aware of your content and why they should read it. Pay attention to certain times of day that work best for each network you’re on. This does not mean link drop constantly or bombard any groups and things. Don’t be that person, it’s rude and it will get you booted from groups and/or blocked.
- Find your sisterhood or tribe
Being a blogger you will hit burn-out at some point. It’s nice to know you have things in common and people in your corner. I have found, begun and continued many friendships with quite a few ladies I wouldn’t have ever met otherwise. These friendships have been so valuable over the last six years and I have relied on these gals when my friends have been busy or otherwise not cut out. It’s a special thing when you share your thoughts and ideas with people. You genuinely want to see success and give success to them by supporting each other. These bonds form easily and also by working with each other you get a new found sense of friendship.
There’s a huge debate. Or was. Should of you have a niche or main topic to your blog? Or does it matter? Should you not and just write what you love to no matter what? Well honestly in my opinion, it’s both. You should have a focus. But you shouldn’t narrow yourself for the sake of a niche. It’s not an all or nothing thing. I consider myself a lifestyle blogger but I also write about love and marriage, pets and a lot of other things. I say do what you feel most comfortable with and just stick with it.
- Use Visuals (even if they are just stock)
Your blog posts need to have some sort of visuals, even if they aren’t the very best quality. I’d rather look at cell phone pictures instead of one big long text with nothing to break it up. I have learned this lesson the hard way. Recently I have just simply used royalty free stock photos and customized them all to fit my blog. This has paid off pretty well and fit my audience in the best way I know how. Occasionally I will take some personal pictures (still just high quality amateur photos) relating to the topic, if I have them.
- Have a signature or sign-off
It’s the end of the post. What do I do now? Well it’s a part of branding and making your blog or site look cohesive. So create or have a friend or designer do it for you and make a signature, a farewell bit, a funny little ‘bye now’ or later gator or just your name. It’s a great way to have people remember you, by not only the language you use in the post but also in the sign-off. Something that is just you and will be original to your site.
The main point is to just put the time and effort in from the start. It’s a lot easier than going back and forth to fix or correct everything a year or so later. If you learn or saw any insight in this please leave a comment down below telling me or even better share with a friend!