Today, I’m celebrating my 6th blog anniversary.
I never thought this day would come when I first opened my blog. I just wanted a place to share the things that I loved. And six years later, I’m still here. But my journey wasn’t easy.
I’d love to say I was an amazing blogging out the gate, but that just didn’t happen. When I first started, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I didn’t run any weekly backups. I didn’t create surveys to figure out what my audience wanted to see. And I didn’t build an email list until it became popular. I learned how to be a better blogger by trial and error. And fortunately for me, I made a lot of errors.
I say unfortunately because those errors taught me how to be a better blogger. Which is why today, I thought I’d pay it forward to help another blogger on their journey. Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned as a blogger.
Follow your own path
When I first started out as a blogger, I emulated some of the things I saw other bloggers doing because I thought it would make me more successful. I never knew by doing so it was crippling me. My audience never knew who I was, therefore how could I expect them to visit my blog again. Staying authentic by following your own path is what really gets you noticed by brands, visitors, and your peers. So figure out who you are as a blogger and make sure your blog tells the same story. Never be afraid to be who you are. That’s how success starts.
Write about things you’re passionate about
I truly believe I wrote about every topic when I first started. But for some reason, it never dawned on me to write about the things I was passionate about. Writing about anything, usually means you’re writing about nothing. And who wants to spend their time writing about nothing. Figure out what you love talking about and focus on that. Don’t worry about the topic not being popular. And don’t worry about the topic being overdone by other bloggers. There is only one you. And no one else can deliver the same message as you.
Some blog advice may not work for you
One of the most interesting lessons I’ve learned as a blogger was to stop reading every blog advice post I could find. I know that sounds strange but the truth is there is no one size fits all solution to every blogger problem. One blogger may have solved a problem, wrote about it to help others, and it may never work for you. Not because you did something wrong, but because every blogger/brand is different. We all have our common problems as bloggers, but we also have different issues unique to our own brand. So you have to learn to apply what will work for your situation and dump the rest.
Don’t be afraid to take a break
When I think back on my first three years as a blogger, I can’t recall a time when I actually took a break. Well, I eventually did after I discovered I no longer liked the direction I was headed. But I believe I would’ve figured that out sooner if I simply took a damn break. Taking a break allows you time to rejuvenate. And since your blog is about you, how do you expect to be successful at it when you’re burned out. Think about it.
Becoming a successful blogger takes time
Some new bloggers believe they will start a blog, make money overnight, and become a success story in six months. I hate to bust your bubble but every successful blogger I’ve ever met has been a blogger for more than 5 years. And in rare cases, the situation above only happens to 1% of bloggers out there. The truth is, you shouldn’t become a blogger because everyone else is doing it. You should become a blogger because you can’t wait to share your passion with the world. If that sounds interesting to you, then figure out what you want to write about and do so consistently. And don’t forget… only check your analytics weekly to avoid aggravation, keep your day job until you can dump it, and have fun with building your brand.
Blogging isn’t perfect. But then again perfect is overrated. I love being a blogger and I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned. And I hope what I’ve learned will help you in your own blogging journey. Thank you for celebrating my 6th Blogging Anniversary with me. Here’s to 6 more years.