Every blog you come across has a section dedicated to teaching their curious followers “How To Start A Blog” so I figured I would join in the fun.
However, me being me, I’m not going to do a post that resembles the posts I see from other bloggers.
If you want to know the logistics behind a blog, then I support you in searching for somewhere else that will detail that for you. I still barely know what I’m doing 90% of the time and I’m not qualified to tell you which paid service is the best compared to others, especially not with an affiliate link. *Looking at you, bloggers making money from your “advice”*
Nope. I’m just going to tell you what to do. (Telling people what to do is kind of my specialty. It’s a first-born child thing.)
Be Authentic – what does that even mean?
Find what you like and talk about that – do you like books? Outerspace? pig farming? molecules? Dope. Talk about it. Tell your readers what inspires you about the things you like. There is nothing better than sharing in someone’s pure excitement about something they love.
Share the parts of yourself that you’re not sharing elsewhere – use your blog as your space to be everything you wish you could be in other aspects of your life. I do and I’m telling you, it’s the most liberating feeling ever.
Don’t worry about follower count.
Like some Christian people say, Jesus only had 12 followers. From where I’m standing he seems to have been a pretty influential dude for only having 12 dedicated followers. Don’t let the numbers game get into your head. I’ve done it and it’s not fun. Your self-worth and the value of your ideas and opinions are not directly reflected in your follower count so don’t use it as a measurement tool for such things.
Don’t pretend to be an expert on everything unless you are one. (And if you are an expert on everything please call me I have a lot of questions.) It’s okay to say “I haven’t looked into xyz very deeply but here are my initial thoughts” or any other variant of that concept. It’s okay to evolve in an online space where it seems like everyone is watching and measuring you. Trust me, they definitely are and it definitely doesn’t matter.
Keep your heart in it.
Don’t do things just because you think it will make you money (that’s what working a meaningless day job is for). Start your blog because you have a desire to share and connect with others. I don’t think it’s really important what the subject matter of your blog is, as long as it’s something you’re passionate about. When I started my blog I had literally zero ideas what I wanted to talk about or how I would do it, but I knew that I needed to write and connect with people in a format outside of Facebook and Instagram. (Short form media isn’t my thing, I’m an elongated expressive human, unfortunately.) Stay true to yourself and you won’t go wrong.
Get comfortable being vulnerable.
Sharing any aspect of yourself is nerve-racking. Even if you just want to share a recipe that has literally zero personal information attached to it, it’s still your creation that you want other people to enjoy. Release the judgment of others, most people will more than likely comment or interact with you in a positive way at first.
I hear consistency is important.
I have yet to master this skill myself, but I hear rumors that it’s very helpful not only to get in algorithmic favor but your creativity is also expanded with a regular, consistent schedule of creating.
Celebrate negative backlash.
I remember the day vividly when I got my first “rude” comment. I told my husband right away, “Well, I got my first hater so you could basically say I’ve finally made it.” It was such a happy day. Having someone be critical, for me, is a good sign. Someone had such a deep emotional response to what you shared that they felt compelled to take time out of their life to type a comment or reaction to you. Sure, it was “negative” but you impacted someone’s day. That’s some powerful shit right there. You can’t control the way your work affects other people. If you created with a good heart, it’s easy to accept the haters and move forward.
Supporting other bloggers is important. I’ve always seen other bloggers as a sort of extended family. Sure, some of them drive me crazy with the choices they make, but we all have the same goals and dreams. Supporting one another is crucial to our collective success, I believe. Why would anyone care to read your blog if you never bother to read and interact with other people’s blogs? Connection is important and I find a lot of times I’m further inspired by the work and opinions of other bloggers in a variety of categories.
Enjoy The Process.
What’s the point of doing anything at all if you’re not enjoying it? And if you’re not enjoying it, find ways to make it enjoyable. Enjoy the process of creating graphics that don’t turn out well, enjoy sharing the writing that you know isn’t your best, enjoy the time you spend investing in yourself as a creative worthwhile person. Otherwise all of the above things on this list won’t matter a lick and you’ll be caught in a position of either learning that you in fact did not want to start a blog for the right reasons, or you will let yourself down and be upset that you didn’t enjoy the growth and creation process more fully.
I look forward to seeing what blogs and creative endeavors you all take on, feel free to share any and all of them with me directly either here in the comments section or in a private message.