“If I only knew”
Not the Tom Jones track, but the phrase you internally exclaim after learning some lessons you wish you knew before hand.
I decided to blog at around this time last year, even though I actually picked it up much later. Being a person who likes to visualize progress, I thought I’d list some things that I’ve learned since then and that may just serve as a kick starter to the aspiring blogger reading this.
Here’s the 10 things I’ve learned after a year of blogging.
1. Just start
Things are almost never gonna be perfect from the get go. But the longer something is in your mind, the longer it remains unseen. You cannot build like that. This was a tough one for me, having a perfect launch in mind only set me back a few months from actually doing it. When it comes to blogging, I wish I knew earlier on that a visible rough draft is better than a perfect idea.
2. What’s in it for them?
Generally, people want to invest time into things that would benefit them. It’s become such a rare commodity to many. Time became more valuable than money and I for one certainly don’t want to use my time to read anything that will not add value to me. This is why I tend to gravitate away from “things about me” posts (which I did at the beginning) and more toward “how this helped me and can help you too” posts.
3. Good is better than perfect.
I’ve written a blog post about this but it’s worth mentioning. Because I get to do this in my free time, I seldom have enough time to get something exactly the way I envision it. In fact, I cannot recall ever having a blog or vlog post ever be exactly the way I imagine it before posting.
1 good posts vs zero perfect posts sounds good to me.
4. It’s a marathon, not a race
Each one has their own pace they go at. It’s good to look at others for inspiration, but once you start comparing yourself, you’re doing yourself a great deal of injustice. I cannot imagine posting everyday like some of the bloggers I follow.
There’s analytics and formulas to certain things but a blog is so unique to self that a copy and paste method simply doesn’t stick. There is no one plan or path for all. You’ll quickly grow tired of mimicking someone else.
You’ll find that once you stick to being yourself and go at a pace that matches your lifestyle, ideas starts to flow naturally.
5. Share the noodle.
Referencing PB&J, that means your brain. (Sidenote : How old am I?)
There’s always something you know that someone else doesn’t. I had this mindset that people would either not find what I know interesting or that it’s old news. The truth is, if the people I learn from in the online world never posted content for these reasons, I wouldn’t know what I do now. There’s always a place for teaching and there’s always a place for learning. This is why the content creators & influencers community is so special.
6. Use of images is legit a winning move.
A picture is worth 1000 words…so stop it with the beauty mode selfies! Lol.
No, seriously. Once the mind realizes a pattern, it gets bored. Images spices up your posts and says more with less. This is why apps like Instagram are so successful. Again, referring to the fast pace online world, you can get your point across and save people a lot of time while still helping them with that “How to” posts.
Readers tend to appreciate that little bit extra.
7. Don’t collab outside of your spectrum/niche.
If you’re more of a tech blogger, don’t review food products. That’s the gist of it. You want to encourage brands to work with you and not repel them by not being able to offer enough on your end of a collaboration.
8. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
It’s kind of like anything really. You benefit from the habit of writing. So keep at it. Even if you’re not posting as often as you write, keep at it. I’ve got drafts for days. Some of them may not even get published, but I wrote them anyway.
(Here comes the philosophies, sorry not sorry). Potential cannot do anything in a dormant state, what’s inside has to come out. *Cue church organ sound
9. DON’T do it for the likes
This can stop any new blogger in their tracks before they even had a decent start. At the beginning, those juicy, pink Instagram hearts that pops up upon launching the app were life! Nowadays though, a week can go by without me posting anything and it’s as dry as can be.
If you’re really looking for the applause, a negative response can be crippling. It’s better to start with the WHY before the HOW. Why do you want to blog/vlog? Once you get that right, it’s all systems go.
I’ve never thought myself to be the social type…quite the opposite actually, but I had to learn to be. (Thanks to my wife for completing me there, lol). I love how many creators there are right in my hometown. Make a point to reach out. Go the extra mile by using what you have to benefit someone else’s field. People remember impact more than they do words so leave a positive mark.
That concludes the list for the top 10 things I’ve learned in my first year of blogging. The most important thing of all is just be yourself.
Thank you for reading. I hope that this list helped you at least a little. Let me know down in the comment section what the one thing is that you’ve learned in the last year with regards to your field of influencing.