Being a blogger is an exciting and challenging journey—but especially when you’re new, it can feel like you’re out there exploring a big world with no idea what you’re doing.
If you’re anything like I was when I started, you might feel like there’s a lot you should know and do—and it can be both intimidating and frustrating when you don’t. So today, I just wanted to share a few pieces of advice if you’re just starting out with a blog (and honestly it works if you’ve been doing it for a while, too!)
Don’t sweat it if you don’t know things.
This is always my biggest problem, so I get it! I never want to start things if I’m not absolutely sure what I need to do.
It’s a hard mentality to let go of, but it’s also important to understand that there’s just no way you’re going to know everything right off the bat. Expecting yourself to know everything could turn into a pretty serious roadblock that stops you from blogging before you even get started.
Just for a bit of context, though, I’ve been doing this since what, 2013? And I still learn things about my blog every day. If I’d gotten myself stuck wanting to know everything before I started, I think I probably still would be waiting.
Give yourself permission to be new at things, and enjoy learning them when they come up!
Let blogging become your life.
Okay, that sounded kind of culty, but let me explain.
Our society puts a lot of emphasis on the idea of balance. Everything in moderation, all work and no play, the clichés go on.
The thing is, there will be times when blogging becomes all you think about. There will be days where all you can get out of your writing time is next week’s post, a plan for something new, even a launch when you start getting into the more business-oriented side of things.
At least for me, the most toxic part of those experiences wasn’t the fact that I didn’t follow the rules for balance. It was the fact that I felt guilty about it—about dedicating my time to something I truly love doing.
That, dear reader, is what I mean by my statement. There will be times where you don’t ascribe to the culture of balance, and when that happens, don’t feel guilty. Accept that it’s happening, and trust that your balance will come back. That way, you can focus on what you want to do, and trust me—that’ll help you get it done a lot faster.
Practice, practice, practice.
It doesn’t often get its due as such, but writing is an art like any other. Everyone has the capacity for it, but it takes time, effort, and patience to hone it into a true skill—the sort that’s worthy of a masterpiece.
As a blogger, it’s important to recognize that you aren’t just committing to writing blog posts; you’re committing to developing your skill as a writer. Writing regular blog posts is a wonderful way to work on it, yes—but unfortunately, one style does not a writer make, so you’ll need to find other ways to develop your skill, too.
It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated; I personally love practicing through short stories, poems, and journaling. I’ve also seen others have great success just by setting aside 10 or 20 minutes a day to write whatever comes into their mind.
What really matters is that you find ways to practice, because any and all writing you do will improve your skill—and will end up improving the work you put into your blog in the long run.
As a bonus, these practice techniques are also typically really good for snapping you out of writer’s block, too.
Don’t feel like you have to do things a certain way.
One of my biggest pet peeves about the world of blogging is that everyone and their various relatives are out there telling you the “right way” to blog. Here’s exactly what you need to do to gain followers, this is the secret sauce to make your blog successful, you know. Stuff like that.
Yes, there are some established techniques out there that help. But there is no one right way to blog—and especially when you’re just starting, it can be damaging for you to feel like you have to do certain things or you’ll never succeed.
Instead, try to focus on defining what you want from your blog, and do some research into how you can make that happen. Decide for yourself how you want your blog to exist and operate.
- Do you want it to be a for-fun hobby?
- Do you eventually want it to help bring in a little cash on the side?
- Do you want to figure out SEO for it?
- Do you want to get involved with social media?
These are all your decisions, and they help you set your own set of goals.
Keep in mind, too, that you can always change these goals you set later on, as you get more involved in your blog!
The main point is that by setting your own goals early on, rather than following someone else’s formula, it will feel like your blog—and that will help you stay positive and passionate about it as you work on it and grow. You’ll be able to set and celebrate your own milestones, rather than wonder if it’s measuring up to someone else’s idea of success.
And as a bonus, it also makes it much easier to decide which of those established techniques I mentioned would work best for your blog later on!