As I enter my seventh year of blogging (say what?!?), I’ve thought of some of the things I wish I’d been told as a newbie blogger. Therefore, I figured I would start a new series all about blogging.
People. For the longest time, I determined my success based on pageviews and visitors. There were times when I felt like blogging was worthwhile when compared with my stats, and other times when I wondered what in the world I was doing with my life.
Then, one day it hit me: Numbers don’t determine how important something is. So what if I don’t have thousands of views every day? So what if sometimes I only have a couple dozen visitors to Noveltea? I know Noveltea has made a difference in people’s lives because I’ve received emails, comments, and met people in real life who have thanked me for my blogging. Quality, not quantity.
But that’s no reason to quit. Keep giving it your best, learning, growing, and studying what it means to become a blogger. Read other blogs, read articles about blogging, search the internet from top to bottom to see what works for other people and what will work for you.
Despite blogging not being about numbers, you still do want people to read your posts. How did I find most of the bloggers that I follow today? From comments on other people’s blogs. The same way most of the bloggers on my blog found me. Comment around, share the love, connect on other social media platforms.
You. You are special. Made in the image of God. Created for a purpose. You have a combo of talents and skills and personality that was put together for something amazing. Don’t wish you were someone else, don’t apologize for your quirkiness or hide your true self. Will everyone like your blog? No. But does that really matter? There are people in life who you just don’t jive with. That’s not an issue, it’s just how it is.
For instance, have you ever heard of Ann Voskamp? She’s pretty much the epitome of a successful blogger. I am surrounded by people who are incredibly blessed by her writing and share it all over the Internet. But guess what? (Shhh!) I don’t actually enjoy her writing. I know, shocking, right? That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with her. Our personalities just don’t mesh. There will be people who feel that way about your writing. Don’t feel rejected, it’s okay.
Yo, folks. If you want to share a post, or even a small quote – along with a link and credits to the creator – then go ahead. But please, please don’t steal work from other bloggers, and just as important, don’t try and mimic their style. As mentioned above: You are special and don’t need to try and be someone else.
There are other bloggers who are pretty brilliant and I want to copy them, but then my blog wouldn’t reflect who I am and what I want to share with the world, plus it’s kinda like stealing.
On the flip side, if you do really like a blogger, then, by all means, contact them and tell them. Ask them for tips. If there’s a specific thing that they do that you want to try on your blog, you can either search around to see if it’s something they started (and if it’s a popular thing, then go ahead and start doing it yourself). Or, ask them what they would think of you borrowing it.
Plus, there are just some things that are a great idea, but in reality are a free-for-all. For instance, Paperfury (a blogger who’s really successful), has been a HUGE inspiration to me with how she interacts with her readers. Not only does she reply to comments, but then she goes and comments on that person’s blog as well.
When I hear from a newbie blogger I’m like “YAY! You’re asking for help? I’d be delighted to invest in you because I remember when I was in your place.” But, if you do contact a blogger and you don’t hear back from them, don’t take it personally. There have been times when I’ve been so busy with work or fighting off health issues that thinking of replying to an email literally brings me tears.
Emily gave me lots of tips when I first started blogging, and Kate from Once Upon an Ordinary was invaluable with how she helped me when I was first moving to WordPress.
Your blog design doesn’t have to be perfect. Your sidebar doesn’t have to be covered with a million buttons. Your world doesn’t have to look like it came right out of a magazine. We get that you’re human, and we appreciate that about you.
Getting into a rhythm with blogging is important so people can know what to expect. Do you want to post once a week? Choose a day and stick to it whenever possible. Do you want to post twice a week? Three times a week? Whatever you choose, stick to it for a while and see how it works for you. That way your readers will know what to expect.
The blog, Books for Christian Girls does a really good job of this. I don’t always read her blog, but I do watch her Youtube videos each Thursday. It actually works pretty well because I post my vlogs on Thursdays, too, so generally, I watch her videos as a reward.
Say What? I know, that’s exactly how I felt early on. (In fact, this is still something I’m learning.) Linking to other WordPress blogs has ended up being pretty fun for me, because not only do I get to share them with Y’all, but that blogger also gets a notification (called a Pingback) letting them know that someone mentioned their blog. Pretty cool, right? Nothing like spreading good content and the love.
And tags are important because they help categorize things, and also when someone is searching on the internet, then tags help pull up what they are looking for. A pretty cool story with this is last year I tagged one of my favorite childhood authors on a Youtube video where I talked about how much I liked their books, and then they commented on my blog. I was shocked, thrilled and could barely believe it.
My blog is about the life of a young author, so that means it’s really sporadic. I write about every-day life from the viewpoint of a writer. I write authorly updates, book reviews, month reviews, writing tips, and pretty much everything in-between. This works for me because I want to give others a glimpse of what it’s like to be an author, but I know that for a lot of people they have a better chance at surviving the blogging world if they choose a more specific topic for their blog.
What are some things you wished you knew when you started blogging?
And, don’t forget to enter the giveaway I’m hosting here!