Blogging can mean so many things to so many different people. I’ve heard it described as pointless, rewarding, career-building, therapeutic, creative, and technical. Before I started blogging, I had an idea of what a ‘blogger’ might look like. To be honest, the image was not pretty: overweight, lives in parent’s basement, writes sad poetry… However, two years plus of blogging has taught me that most people are just passionate people trying to tell ‘their’ story, whatever that may be.
The blogging roller-coaster of emotions can be draining sometimes:
how many people visited my site?
Who liked my latest post?
How many people follow me?
Who is commenting on my posts?
How can I get more people to read my stuff?
Maybe I am terrible and I should quit?
Why did I think this was a good idea?
I can’t imagine doing anything else!
See where I am going with this? Whilst I am considered fairly new in the world of blogging (some people have really been doing this for a long time!), I feel that I have learned a lot about blogging, writing, and myself in general in these two short years. So rather than keep all of this wisdom to myself, I wanted to share with you some of my tips that I have learned along the way about blogging and life.
1. Blog For You!
This is me!
*Virtual waves from the screen!*
I love my readers, “Yup, you right there, reading this post.”
I value your support, your shared love of writing and books, your comments, your recommendations, and your articles (for those of you who are fellow bloggers). While I love you, you aren’t the reason why I blog. I blog for me. And I think that anybody blogging should be doing the same. It might seem really self-centred to blog for yourself, but I feel like it is the only way to stay sane. As soon as you start blogging for other people, for likes, for admiration, for fame and fortune… it can be easy to get lost. Remember to write about what makes you passionate (that shouldn’t be about making the monies!). Yes, if you get noticed and build a following that is great. If you find a way to make money from your blog, even better! But remember, the people following you aren’t doing it so you can get paid. They are doing it because they felt/feel connected to what you were saying, what you were passionate about. So remember, blog for you!
2. Pick a theme.
If you are a creative person, you usually have more than one passion. I would need a toilet roll to list all of the creative things I love talking about and doing, but not all of them will fit one blog. In my opinion, I find the best blogs are ones that have a theme and stick to it: writing and books, lifestyle, travel, knitting, painting, music… Just because you should have one theme per blog doesn’t mean you are never allowed to combine or branch out. Heck, if you have the time, start ten blogs! What is most important is that you think of a theme for your blog to help you tie everything together.
As an exercise, try to think of three words that sum up your blog. My three are:
What about you?
3. Don’t be afraid.
When I first started my blog, I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my husband. I made the blog one afternoon when I had some free time alone in the house. I was terrified that someone would find out I was blogging. Even to this day, I have no idea what I was so afraid of?! Over the first few months I slowly started to reveal my big secret: I had a blog. Some people didn’t care at all, others were supportive… So it goes.
It took me months until I decided to share things on social media. It took even longer before I dared start my own Facebook page. I was so concerned that people would judge me, think I was stupid. Until, I just decided that I couldn’t care anymore. I literally had no more space in my brain, time, or energy to care about if people liked my blog. So tied in with point 1., don’t be afraid to write and remember to blog for you.
The road to blogging can be scary, but you’ll never know if you never ever go.
How do you feel about blogging? What advice would you give to someone about writing online? As always, remember to share the reading love.
Blogging was terrifying at first, because I honestly didn’t know if my writing was good enough. The best advice I could possibly give would be to make sure you proofread, and that you’ve looked at other blogs to see what they’re writing. Not necessarily to compare writing styles, but to make sure all your bases are covered. I hate looking at a blog afterward, and realizing there’s something else I could have included or done differently.
That is really great advice Brown Books! I have looked around at hundreds of blogs for ideas and inspiration. There is a lot to be learned!
I think your first point is the most important (which, I’m guessing is exactly why you chose to roll with it first and foremost!). At the end of the day, the thing that is going to keep you coming back to your computer, is what you personally get out of it. So, if you write for yourself and no one else, you’re going to keep writing. Pure and simple. Although, it’s always nice when someone else appreciates it as well!
I also think that people respond more to writing when they feel it is genuine.