I get a lot of questions about blogging, and honestly … it’s one of those things that I have learned to be trial and error. No matter how much I tell you about what I did, or how I started, you have to create your own way. Until you try, and mess up, and try again … you won’t grow. I do believe that a little useful information will take you a long way. With that said, here are a few things that I wish I knew when I first started blogging.
Invest In Your Blog. Quality Always Wins.
It’s true, if I would have invested more into Circa88 in the earlier stages I would have grown a lot faster. Instead of trying to “bootleg” my way through the blogging world, I should have put more into it early on. If I could start over I would invest in a good and clean site, and a good camera. If you don’t have a good camera you need to master your iPhone pic skills fast! I used an iPhone for my first year, because I just couldn’t spend hundreds on a camera and lens at the time … so I turned up my editing skills and rigged my iPhone pics to mimic what I felt good quality looked like. Nowadays the iPhone camera is pretty good, so you shouldn’t have to work nearly as hard as I did for a good shot!
Good Things Take Time.
You know, Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither is a good site. When I first started I would get so frustrated with how slow I felt my blog was growing. I practically stalked my stats and eventually that brought me to the point of being discouraged and not wanting to post. I had to reset my thinking and realize that good things take time. I kept reminding myself that with consistency my blog would eventually grow.
You’re Not The Only One.
For the first few months of my blogging experience, I would always compare myself to other bloggers. That’s the quickest way to drive yourself crazy. I would always try to check out bloggers in my lane … plus bloggers … to see what they were doing so that I could be different. Well instead of focusing so hard on the “competition” I should have been spending that useful time making sure my blog was top notch. Why? Because the reality is, there are thousands of bloggers out there, and hundreds of them do what you do. It doesn’t matter that the same content is being circulated over and over again, what matters is YOUR personal touch and how you make it stand out.
Know The Difference Between Being Inspired and Stealing.
The reality is, it’s normal to be inspired by people who influence you or someone you admire. That doesn’t mean you should steal from them. As a new blogger you are now an influencer to your new audience, big or small. You are trying to create your own voice as a writer, not just echo the masses you hear. With that said, read W I D E L Y and L O O S E L Y. Find the general message in content that you like, and recreate it with your own voice. One tip, anytime I would read for inspiration, after I finished I would leave the site, page, news article, or whatever it is that I’m reading. This helped me create my own authentic opinion without being influenced by the original source. Please don’t steal content, you will wake up to a cease and desist letter in your inbox, for sure.
So if you’re stuck on getting started with building a site, whether it’s for business or personal use know that it can be done, and the make or break point is ultimately determined by your drive and attitude along the way. I will be sharing more tips in the future, so feel free to comment with what you would like to learn along the way!