What I’ve Learned from Over a Year of Blogging.
This post is going to be a bit of a deviation from financial topics, but I wanted to blog about blogging . . . just to say I did it.
So I’ve been blogging for over a year now on this site and a previous site. And it is nothing like I initially expected. First of all, it’s way more work than I expected. There’s so much more to it than writing articles, blogs, or posts, if you like.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, a blog is a great platform to let your voice be heard. If you have something to say, and your friends are tired of hearing you rant about this topic or that one, then you need a blog.
But don’t think that a blog is the ticket to quick riches. There are some bloggers that certainly make bank by writing whatever they feel that day, but that’s far from common. And even those very successful bloggers had to take their lumps, and stick with it.
Related: Check out Michelle from “Making Sense of Cents” and some her income reports!!
So if you do decide to take the leap, hopefully you can learn from some of my experiences. So I’ll let you in on some of the lessons that I’ve learned while transcribing some of my thoughts in this blog.
In the beginning of my first blog, I wrote what I wanted to read. But not many people read or cared about my leaky faucet problem. Please don’t go looking for that article. It was rather embarrassing. . . it’s gone now. . . thankfully. Perhaps I’ll rewrite it as a way to save money by doing your own plumbing repairs. But until then, it bears the dubious distinction as my least viewed post – read only by my wife and my Mom . . . and apparently 4 other unfortunate souls.
Then I tried writing about topics which I feel strongly about. And this was met with a better and more engaged response by some. But others either didn’t care or vehemently disagreed. And while controversy can be the catalyst to success, it can also severely limit your already limited exposure and reach. No one wants to read rants all the time.
The trick is to write both what you would like to read, and your audience cares to learn about. If you only meet one of those, either no one will read it, or your writing will lack passion and feeling. Add just enough of your self to the narrative to make it interesting, and to display the passion you have for your topic. Of course you can’t please everyone, but there are always ways to get your point across without ostracizing half your audience.
Now, I still don’t feel like I’ve completely mastered the balance of writing for my audience and injecting enough of my own passion to make dry topics interesting. But it’s always a work in progress.
Be Consistent and Persevere
In the beginning, you’ll have all these ideas bouncing around in your head. They’ll be just begging you to put them down on paper. And you should. Without a doubt. But don’t make the rookie mistake of posting them all right after each other each day. And in the beginning, don’t ever post more than once per day.
That pace is never going to be sustainable. You may think you have many great ideas, and that you could never possibly run out of great posts. But let me be the first to burst your bubble. You will eventually have a day or week where you don’t feel like writing. Whether it just feels too much like work or you don’t know what to write about, it will happen to you – eventually.
So to be ready for the inevitable down-times, set up a schedule. And stick to it. Be consistent, and post the same time every week. Whether it’s once, twice, or three times a week, you need to always post on the same days. For instance, I post on Mondays.
That way, you can take advantage of the inspiring moments. Get those ideas down, and schedule them out in time. By working ahead, you are effectively hedging your bets against your non-productive days.
And persevere. Don’t quit. I’m convinced that one of the keys to blogging success is longevity. The longer you write, the more people will know you. This breeds familiarity and trust. It doesn’t much matter if your content is good or great. Perseverance trumps all. Except sucky content. Your posts can’t suck. But if you can string some words together coherently with good grammar and spelling, you can be a success.
They say most bloggers quit between six months and a year of blogging. And blogging success can take a year or more. So obviously, most bloggers give up before they give themselves a chance to succeed. Remember what I said earlier, “blogging is hard work.” So don’t give up! Persevere.
Be Personable and Relatable
When you pick a topic to write about in your blog, make sure it’s something you both know about and love. If you’ve never even changed a light bulb in your house, you probably shouldn’t be writing about DIY projects. It won’t be relatable. You’ve never done it, and your readers will see right through it.
And speaking of readers, when you do get some, treat them well. If you ask them to comment, thank them when they do. Be polite, even if you disagree with them. This should go without saying, but if you blast a reader in the comments, they probably will never come back. And even worse, others will read those comments and most likely leave also. Be friendly and personable. If you share your posts on social media, thank those who re-share them. Most of this advice just comes down to what your mama always said. Say please and thank you, yes sir, no ma’am. Be personable.
So if you still decide to start a blog, I’m with you. It’s rewarding, and a great artistic outlet. Start with your own domain name. And please use WordPress. For hosting, I use Siteground, and have not had any issues. Some bloggers swear by other hosting companies, but I’ve had no problems with Siteground.
And if you need more inspiration, check out some of Pete’s content at do you even blog.com. He’s got some great tips and encouragement.
What do you think? Have you ever thought about starting a blog?
Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading and sharing.