Dear new blogger
I know you’ve just started out and you’re reading through the masses of information out there on the internet and you’re wondering how the fuck will you ever know it all. I know that when you’re a new blogger everything seems so scary.
So here’s a little secret.
I don’t think anyone ever knows it all.
Sure there are the loud mouths who act like they know everything. They speak in a confident manner and perhaps they know a lot. Perhaps they know so much more than you and I will ever know but the truth is, they will never know everything.
Remember that people will brag about what they’ve achieved, but they don’t brag about the price they paid to get it.” — Penelope Trunk
Just when we think we know something – the gods of social media throw a spanner in the works and shake things up, making predicting how things will get the best results impossible. Sure there’s always a best guess but that’s not always accurate.
Instead of feeling panic-stricken as a new blogger when you see established bloggers using big words that you have no understanding of, cut yourself some slack, give yourself time. Eventually, you too will come to know a lot.
Here’s what works for me
Use it, don’t use it, but know that you’re not alone. Everyone started from the beginning. No one starts out knowing exactly what does and doesn’t work. Everyone goes through learning curves and it takes time.
Ask people you respect for advice or for help.
Not everyone will help you but many many others will. Many others will remember what it was like to be a brand new blogger feeling lost in the world. Many established bloggers will give you a hand up and help you with getting to where you want to be. Many others won’t. You just need to figure out who you can ask for help and who not to. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
I am thankful for the people who have helped me along the way and often still do.
Focus on what your needs and goals are
Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t follow advice about what you should be doing if that’s not what works for you.
You are not them. Your blog is not their blog. Your audience is probably not their audience.
You need to do what works for you.
It may not be what they agree with but that’s okay.
Take the time to do research and to learn and take advantage of free courses available. Use the resources available for free out there in the world.
There are bloggers who have built empires from nothing. Read their blogs. Learn from them. Use the parts that work for you and ignore the parts that don’t.
Find people who inspire you and learn from them.
Richard Branson for his try everything and always help others approach to life. Gary Vee for his inspirational and motivational talks and Penelope because, well, Penelope.
Penelope is this oddball woman who writes from her heart. She has built her business up over the years. She has developed her brand. Her name isn’t even Penelope. How crazy is that? She doesn’t pretend to be anyone she isn’t. She’s just herself. Learn from the people you admire. Let those people teach you.
Learn and grow and shift your focus or change your direction if that’s what you need to do. Change your niche or don’t have a niche at all. Do what works for you. Do what makes you happy and makes you reach your goals. Have goals in place.
Don’t be swayed by the goals of those around you.
We aren’t all the same. We don’t all have the same needs, wants, goals or desires. Focus on your own goals and make sure to keep checking you’re on track. Don’t be influenced by what other people want for their blogs or themselves. Focus on you and your needs. Focus on doing what you have to do to get to where you want to be. Learn from others but always remember your goals.
We don’t all want to do what everyone else is doing.
And if you want to make money from your blog, that’s okay too but don’t start a blog because you think you will get rich overnight. You probably won’t.The formula for failure is trying to please everybody all the time. ― Herbert Bayard Swope Click To Tweet
Blogging is hard work.
It takes a lot of time and effort and often money to make your blog work. It often doesn’t make money for years. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t feel pressured to work for free if you don’t want to but if you feel passionate about something, do it for free. For me, that’s promoting any cause I believe in.
I don’t work for free in general because I feel that my time is valuable. I believe in myself and I don’t spend time doing anything that doesn’t make me happy in one way or another but I am devoted to bringing change to a world with so much ugly in it and if it’s a cause I stand behind, I will do that for the passion not the money.
Write good content.
I can’t emphasise this enough. Write and review and rewrite if you need to. Write it, proofread it and read it out loud and make sure it’s getting your message across. Make sure you’re saying what you aim to say. If your blog is just aimless ramblings then that’s okay too but know that not many people are going to want to read ramblings about nothing. Just remember what your goals are. If you started your blog to have an internet diary of your daily ramblings then that’s totally cool too.
Content is not king – relevant, timely and authentic content is king” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive
Use tools like google keyword analysis and see what works for your blog and your goals.
Have a focus but don’t let that focus be set in stone. Allow yourself the room to grow as your blog does.
Most importantly, have faith in yourself. Even when your stats are small. Even when your following is only your mom, eventually, that will change. With time, your blog will grow and your audience will too.
Work hard enough and the money will come but be clever about the plans you put into place.
Know that there isn’t only one way to make money from blogging.
- You don’t HAVE to work with brands you don’t care about. You have other options.
- You can sell courses or products or services.
- You can use affiliate links or sponsored posts.
- You can collaborate and work with someone else and figure out a way for things to benefit you both.
If you need more ideas about how you can make money, read Melyssa Griffin’s article How to make money blogging
Don’t give up because it doesn’t work immediately.
Don’t feel like you can’t do it just because there are others who are already successful. Everyone started at the beginning. Everyone started with only one article. Everyone had to learn how to get it right. Everyone had to find their own path.
You’re not alone. Just remember why you started and focus on that. Focus on your goals. Write great content and never stop learning.