So, I’ve put a lot of consideration into this blog and my future as a blogger. I have poured several hours into reading, writing, and researching what has been known as “the blog project” for over two months now. Several times I have considered giving up the idea of becoming a blogger. If I had free time at work (which is more often than you would think) I was on the blog project.
I read up on so many different bloggers putting in their two cents about the creation of a blog that I have a board on Pinterest dedicated creating a blog. And I tell you what, that board is easily 50 pins deep with 50 different bloggers’ opinions and what worked for them. That’s a lot of voices swimming around in my head.
Some people were saying, “start on a free site and then move to a paid site!” Others said, “if you love your blog or anything at all NEVER PUT IT ON A FREE RIDE.”
Okay, okay. Everyone needs to calm down. *Looks around* Oh. It’s just me. And I’ve barely started… oh. :-/
Some people said, “Just have fun!”, while in other places I read, “Think of it as a business from day one.”
Which is extremely confusing. I want this to be a form of income for me one day, but is that day not today? Is it not next year either? I mean, really, I’ve seen successful bloggers on both sides of that spectrum.
Some say it is absolutely imperative for you to have a niche. Some say, “You will die alone as a reader-less blogger if you don’t have a niche.” But then I read, “you don’t have to have a niche! Look at me, I’m successful without one!”
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Where does the madness end?! What do I listen to?!? *a small scream escapes from mouth* This is all very confusing.
But have no fear! I am here! But I still don’t know what I’m doing…
That’s right! For one of my first posts, I’m going to tell you what I learned after hours of research into the world that is blogs. You can take my words as being the thoughts of a blogger noob or take this post as the thoughts of an outsider looking in. Watch out folks, things are about to get real up in here.
A lot of people have a lot of their own opinions when it comes to blogging.
There are many well-meaning folks that are trying to get other bloggers off the ground. They tell you the best way to create a blog in 15 minutes, what plugins are best for a blog and how to make money off your blog. They give you free worksheets and tips and pointers and oh dear goodness you have to be careful!
Do not get me wrong. These are the same people who have helped me on this journey of where I am today. But if you are not careful, these thoughts, opinions, classes, and worksheets can be super overwhelming. I personally have always been the visionary type. I like knowing what is up ahead for me. But when you like seeing the big picture like me, you’ll have too much going on in your mind at once if you read all of the pointers one after another. People are talking about their success stories and how much they are making a month when I am struggling just to come up with a name.
There is one thing that everyone in the blogging community can agree on, and that is to not compare yourself to others.
I have had to learn that my progress is my progress. Everyone has taken a different path. Everyone has different stories and through this, everyone has varying degrees of experience and pay. And that is okay. So do yourself a favor if you ever start a blog. Don’t compare yourself to others. It never works. If you want something, make it happen!
And speaking of names…
Finding the right name is a giant pain.
This has been the biggest roadblock of this entire operation. I can write, I know my voice and personality. I have read so many different blogs, absorbed their techniques and have used their free worksheets. But what I couldn’t tell you for the first few months of the blog project is my brand name. It was that block that was just two inches too high to jump over.
I lost track of how many names I’ve tried to bounce off my family, my friends, my co-workers… *sigh* poor people. Especially my sister. She was so fed up with my name searching that she would tell me to stop bouncing names off of her. For a while, I was on my own.
Because if you have or are trying to come up with a blog name, you know what I’m talking about. You try to bring up a new name, but it gets shut down. But there is a select few that get through, that everyone loves. You go to type it in the host and…
THE NAME IS TAKEN.
And the worst part is that I go to these websites and they are practically dead. One domain that I liked was taken by a lady who posted about her life every now and again. Another was someone promoting their personal business (professional business, kids! Come on, not everyone airs their dirty laundry 🙂 ) that hadn’t been updated in over a year. Stop hogging the domains, people! *pained laughter*
When I wrote the bulk of this post, I still didn’t have a name. It just came to me one morning as my brain was trying to escape its sleepy fog. I thought, what do I want my blog to be about when it comes down to it? And so the name was born. I thought it would have already been taken, like the 50-100 other names I tried out.
But in all seriousness, I actually had to write:
(insert story of name because I still don’t have one as of 9/21/2016)
… In this post because I didn’t have that perfect name yet. I will say, having a few posts under your belt before you start is super helpful. It has made it so I can start up my website with a few articles for visitors to read! I highly recommend it.
You can’t be a blogger and be absent to your blog.
This is super important, kids. If you are serious about blogging, this is your baby now. It needs to be taken care of, posted on, promoted, and kept up to date.
Yesterday, I kind of took the day off. And by day off, I mean I didn’t look at WordPress for 8 hours that day… Anyway, I wake up to a text that morning from my brother, telling me he loved my blog but there was a 404 error on one of my posts! Jeez Louise!
I then proceeded to try and figure out how to fix it and hopefully the plugin that I got took care of that. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen all the time. But this is now my full-time job. And when I mean full-time, I mean all-time!
I have a feeling that some of this will die down as the beginning prep stuff cools off, but my guess is that I’ll still be busy with different responsibilities. Any older bloggers have any comment on this?
We are here in a supersaturated blog market.
Okay, so imagine you’re in the same situation that I am in. You’re working your butt off. You’re putting out good content.
But you just can’t seem to get noticed.
This is my fear, that I am going to write to all of the Internet and it will stay silent. Thankfully, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure my voice is heard. I’m a self-motivated kind of lady.
There are many things that I have learned about blogging. But one of the most important pointers I have learned is you have to be you. Don’t try and be someone you’re not because then you will get caught in the tidal wave of all of the other bloggers. I have read some blogs where I just did not like their style of voice, and that’s okay. Somebody somewhere likes it. And I appreciate them for having the decency to be real with their audience. Which kinda sorta leads me to my second point…
Blogging is so much more than just writing.
I’ve been writing for a very long time. Ever since I could hold a pencil, I was writing. As I grew up, I shared my work with people. Some people told me I should start up a blog, which is where I am today!
But here’s the catch.
There is a lot more tech know-how than I realized. There’s a lot of marketing and photo editing and picture taking… Don’t even get me started on being a food stylist! So many things rolling through my head yesterday as I was cooking, I could start #foodstylistproblems. 🙂
The funny thing is, everyone makes this blogging thing so easy looking. Start a blog in an hour?! Pfft. More like, take half the day trying to figure out how to get a coming soon page on my website and the other half wondering if I am actually cut out to be a blogger.
Seriously, though. I was, and continue to be, on a learning curve not in my favor. Has it stopped me?
No! Next point!
You can’t give up so easily.
I was sort of aware that blogging was going to be a lot more than just writing. Many bloggers warned me that this was going to be hard work. My first two weeks, nothing seemed to go right. There was just so much to do, so many expenses, so little money… and the fact that I caught the oven on fire while testing my first recipe.
Oh yes. It was a tiny fire but it made the biggest mess.
Let’s just say, there were a lot of steps along the way in the last few weeks that made me want to give up. I wanted to throw in the towel and go back to my normal life. But stubborn, stubborn me, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I kept chugging through, and I continue to keep going. I have never worked so hard on any one thing in my life up to this point.
If you’re the same way, you got to learn how to tough it out, honey. Show the world what you’re made of!
This is all worth it.
All the pain, troubles, and anguish that came along with these first few weeks all were worth it when I was able to turn to my family and friends and say,
“I opened my website today! Go visit it!”
To own my own website is so humbling. I have a place on the Internet, even though I made it myself. The amount of pride I had in myself for not falling under my own pressure to quit has made me so happy. I wish I could bottle that feeling up and drink it whenever I need that little boost.
So what did you agree with? Is there anything you don’t agree with? Let me know in the comments below!