Long before I started my blog, I planned out my blog. I literally had a small notebook filled with scribbles, ideas, and mostly disconnected words. Armed with Thesaurus.com and a dream I jotted down everything and anything that came to my mind or inspired me. I loved reading other people’s blogs and I finally decided it was my time to claim my own little corner of internet-land.
Part of my research mainly included googling how the heck do I even start a blog. Is there a manual I could find? Turns out there’s approximately 1 million guides out there so I just stuck to 3 that I felt were easy to read and relatable. I love:
One of my biggest goals for 2018 is to focus on self-reflection so that I can grow from mistakes and successes. Now that Lovely and Green has hit the 3 month mark I thought I would share what I’ve learned so far in my blogging journey.
Blogging is hard
I’ll just get this one out-of-the-way. Blogging is hard work. I could write an entire blog post just about how hard blogging is (especially if you’re a perfectionist). There are SO many other things to do behind the scenes than just writing a few paragraphs. There is SEO, taking photos, editing photos, marketing, etc. If you’re not tech savvy then you can add learning about WordPress, plugins, and related tools to the mix as well.
My advice to other new bloggers is to try to not let it psych you out. The best way to learn is to do! Don’t let the volume of things you feel need to be done overwhelm you, take everything one step at a time. Your blog isn’t going anywhere so just work on quality content and continue to improve everything around it as you go. Trust me, you will start to figure out a system!
You can’t do everything at once
This brings me to my next point. I quickly learned I couldn’t do everything at once. I’m only one woman totally new to this world! If I had a lazy Saturday or Sunday I would really beat myself up for not doing at least one thing related to my blog.
A jack of all trades is a master of none. I used to hate that quote because it seemed clichéd and overused but the older I get the more I realize how true it is. Instead of spreading yourself too thin and putting out a high quantity of lower quality, I have found it’s better for both my sanity and blog to focus on one or two things at once and doing them to the best of my ability.
How to keep commitments and accountability
Like I mentioned in my Goals vs. Resolutions post, I am really, really good at making excuses for myself. Terrible habit, I know. Thanks to the blog and my pride, I would be too embarrassed/disappointed in myself if I started slacking on the blog. On the days I’m feeling lazy or unmotivated, the thought of adding another installment to my Hiking Diaries series will be the motivation to get my booty on the trail.
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to stay consistent with a blog, you may actually surprise yourself. If you’re blogging about something you’re truly passionate about and can find creative ways to expand on it, you may enjoy being consistent and putting quality content out there every week.
Different social media networks need different strategies
So, I’ve learned Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have different strategies that work best for them. I still really don’t have a very good grasp on any of them at this point. I am taking things slowly trying to master one at a time.
At this point I don’t have a ton of advice I feel I can offer.
How to create balance and manage my time
With all of the many facets of blogging that I mentioned above it is so easy to fall into the Pinterest/YouTube/Googling rabbit hole. I would set out looking to learn one thing only to realize I had to look up more information. I found myself losing 2 hours at a time.
Time is valuable. In order to better manage it I implemented a couple of things. First I set a timer for things like writing. I force myself to write whatever I can, whether it is a post, post ideas, or mind maps, I must do it for a set amount of time. Even if I feel like I am writing complete crap, it can always be edited later! Getting ideas down on paper or a Word doc is of utmost importance, you never know what you can morph from an initial simple idea.
The other thing I have been using is my Inner Guide Planner. I love this thing, it is easily the most comprehensive planner I have ever used. It helps breakdown your schedule from the month all the way down to the hour. I try to map out all my time slots to help me manage. I am still learning how to use it to the full potential but am thinking about doing a dedicated post to it, that’s how much I love it.
I still have a long way to go with time management but my recommendation is to start a routine ASAP. Once you form a habit, you will avoid the dreaded “blogger burnout”.
Creating relationships with people I’ve never met
Now onto the fun, less scary side of blogging. With blogging, I have “met” so many kind and interesting people! Even if you are shy (like me!) there is still the comfort of vague anonymity the internet provides.
In real life it can be intimidating to network with strangers, especially if you’re introverted. Bloggers and Instagrammers WANT to interact with you though.
At first I was too embarrassed to comment on a strangers Instagram or blog post. I thought they would think I’m weird. This is actually the opposite of the truth. Once I started commenting, I would receive kind and encouraging comments back. Soon I was regularly visiting my Internet friends to see what adventure they were on next or what advice they could provide. Just like your “in real life friends”, their wins become yours, and yours becomes theirs. I use these platforms as a way to learn about others’ way of life and make meaningful online connections.
The number one thing I learned about blogging in the past 3 months…
There is still SO MUCH to learn!
Bloggers wear many hats:
- Photo editor
- Social media strategist
- Sales woman
- SEO specialist
I could go on. Most companies have 1 or more designated people for these roles! So the most important thing to remember is that you aren’t expected to know everything at once. If you did, you should probably be running a company and not a small hobby blog!
It is important to tackle one thing at a time, continue learning, and most of all, keep writing!
Interested in learning more about your WordPress blog? Check out my WordCamp post!
What are some struggles you experienced on your blogging journey? Let me know down below if you also feel like you are chasing your own tail sometimes!