One of my personal goals this year is to continue to build my blog, with a particular focus on scaling up and adding value to you guys wherever I can. I often get asked very specific questions about blogging. I’m no expert but I am making a conscious effort to read more and learn more, with the intention of sharing that knowledge with you. After receiving a lot of positive feedback from this Instagram post where I shared my answer to the FAQ: I want to start a blog but I don’t know what to talk about. How do I choose a topic? I have decided to extend the tips to my blog as a series. So let’s get started.
I’ve been blogging seriously for just under 2 years now and there are sooo many things I wish I knew on day 1 of this journey. *Take the word mistakes lightly! I totally understand that not everyone blogs for the same reasons or with the same goals in mind.* These are just a few general points that may help, and that I personally wish I knew sooner.
I’ll be breaking these points down into separate blog posts so it’s easier to digest. Here’s the first mistake:
Mistake #1: Running out of steam; starting strong and then dropping off
This is such a big one! I’m guilty of it too, take my YouTube channel for example lol. When I first started blogging I genuinely thought I’d be bursting with inspiration, motivation and energy to create content constantly. But the reality is, for most people it just doesn’t work like that. Ask any creative person! Creating is a process which is quite difficult to force (for me personally).
As a result of this harsh reality, many people hastily start something and then suddenly stop, just as quickly as they started. It’s such a shame and it saddens me, particularly when the content is (well, was) good. So how can we avoid burning out… our content quickly drying up… and running out of steam?
The first thing I suggest is to think carefully if you can really commit to this thing before you start.
In the context of being a disciple, the Bible aptly calls it, “counting the costs” before beginning:
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ …” — Read the whole passage Luke 14:25-34
Now blogging is not as serious as the commitment of discipleship. Ha! Far from. However, Jesus shares applicable points about commitment… won’t you first sit down and consider your ability? Do you have the time and capacity or do you need to create it? Once you’ve properly considered this before starting, you’ll theoretically have a stronger conviction to see your project through.
Another way to avoid running out of steam prematurely is to meticulously plan ahead.
I always encourage new bloggers to draft at least 10 blog posts before “launching” their blog. That way, you have a grace period to create more content whilst you’re releasing what you already have drafted. But realistically, 10 posts isn’t even enough and I’ll explain why. At best, that’s approximately only 2 months worth of content by some people’s standards. So why stop planning there? I recommend creating a 1 Year Plan detailing the type of content that you want to create over the coming 12 months. It doesn’t have to be a dissertation, but do make sure you have a backlog of ideas. It’s all about ideas. Draft as much as you can and as often as you can, seriously. You will really thank yourself on those days when you’re having a creative block and you lack inspiration.
Next, you need to identify your creativity triggers.
When do you create your best work and what hinders you from creating your best work? Is it when you’re in a cafe, when you’re listening to music, at 3am in your bedroom, on your commute to and from your 9-5 job? When is it? For me, I really struggle to write when I’m in a bad mood. I’m working on not letting my output be impacted by my emotions but until then, I actively seize every opportunity to blog when I feel happy. But if you lack discipline and you don’t want your blog to suffer, I personally recommend coming up with some kind of content schedule ASAP. Some people prefer to write when they feel like it and post when they feel like it, but for those of you that value the importance of consistency, learn to schedule your posts in advance! Especially if your content is written or audio – nobody will care if you post something that you drafted/recorded 4 weeks ago, people just want to see new content, frequently. It’s a lot harder for your audience to detect and potentially be put off by you creating “bulk” content on blogs than it is on YouTube, which is more visual for example.
My final nugget is my favourite tip and probably the most important thing I will share today. If you take nothing else from this post, remember this:
KNOW YOUR WORTH AND WHOLEHEARTEDLY BELIEVE IN YOUR CRAFT.
Yes. It does sound painfully obvious but I honestly believe this is the route of why most new bloggers run out of steam. A lot of us quit prematurely because we’re insecure about our craft. We don’t believe we’re talented enough, we are overly critical to a fault, we don’t celebrate every small victory and we’re far too busy focusing on what other people are achieving (oh comparison is a huge topic which we’ll discuss in depth in another post, don’t you worry).
In summary, I need you to stop doubting yourself. If you followed my first tip, which is to be sure that you’re ready to make this commitment, then stick to it. The fact is, you’re only ever as good as you think you are and there is so much power in self belief. Having true confidence in yourself as a content creator can propel you into doing amazing things, walking in your purpose and really serving people to the best of your ability. You can do this, keep telling yourself everyday that you are worthy if that’s what it’s going to take to believe it.
So that’s it for today’s post. Upcoming common issues I will be tackling in this series for new bloggers includes unhealthy comparison, coming up with a promotional strategy, networking and providing value to your audience. If you enjoyed this, let me know! And most importantly, if you have a related question, please leave a comment down below or contact me.
For any seasoned bloggers reading, what is one thing you wish you knew before you started blogging? What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far?
And for any newbie bloggers reading, what are the major challenges and road blocks you’re currently facing in blogging?
And if you’re not a blogger, share your thoughts on the topic in the comment section down below too. Your opinion is still always appreciated round here lol.
God bless you!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21