Since I began blogging in 2006, I’ve watched other bloggers, and even joined some of them in our wild quests for readership, following, and of course, blogging as a fiscal enterprise. We’ve been there and done it all from crying over SEO and HTML design to affiliating our way to the promised millions we never receive…
One of the most dangerous trends I’ve seen [and flirted with quite a bit myself] is a consistent need for approval and permission. So many of us fall into a trap from the start of a new venture — and bloggers are no exception. So if you’re looking for some pithy blogging advice offering the freedom to just be yourself, here’s what I’ve to offer:
DIY Your Blogger Degree: Everything you need to know is free online or at your local library.
Start with Boundaries: Acknowledge that blogging is a challenge and a responsibility. But these terms do not always equate to “stress”. It’s all in how one chooses to approach their blog, life, lifestyle and values. We are intrepid, flexible people. Create boundaries where necessary. That may mean using your no-thank-you’s.
Time Management: Time spent blogging — be it all one’s time or a mere portion of it — directly correlates to the values which the individual holds. Show yourself where your time goes and you just might be surprised by the identity of your values.
- Content creation, design & HTML, readership, following, and stats are all important aspects of blogging. But not all are necessary to the maintenance or life of the blog.
- One of my favorite blogging tools is my bullet journal — in it, I often create trackers to keep up with my current goals and to-do lists.
Blogging as a Job: Blogging is a vehicle -a well-written faux front, if you will- for the titles we truly hold. Maybe you’re an affiliate for Amazon.com. I officially give you permission to put “advertising” or “marketing” on your social media business card.
Success is determined by value added, not the virality of the content.
Insecurities: Understand that it is entirely possible to play the roles of your fear and the victim of it. Accept that the freshest, most pristine content publishes fully prepared to be outdone by the next best writer. [I recommend The War of Art.]
Plagiarism & Robbery: Imitation may be the highest form of flattery; but it’s still imitation. However, there’s nothing new under this sun; we share and share alike.
Blog Hops & Link Ups: Genuine interactions accrue the most true value over time. Be good to those you follow.
- Consider instead, carefully curating your reading list of blogs, scheduling time, not only to find new -to-you blogged material, but also to read those blogs which are your favorites.
- Comment or share regularly to continually add value to the lives of those bloggers you read. Comments / shares should be concise and sincere.
SEO: Doesn’t put food on my table. Page views mean nothing if readers gain no value. The more value added, the greater a chance more readers will show.
Affiliate Marketing: Remember that vacation where you toured America’s Greatest Billboard Advertisements? Me neither. Some are legit, but consider keeping them to a minimum.
Investments: Take care where you put your money. There are definite benefits to having a paid / hosted site, but take time to weigh pros and cons while building to that point.
- Trying to sell? PayPal purchase buttons can be inserted into an email; no website hosting or online shop necessary.
Blog Promotion: Accentuate the essential. And don’t allow yourself to be spread too thin in your blogging, social media, or life in general.
I trust these ideas inspire and encourage you. Blogging is a truly rewarding and exciting experience. Though I will also caution that blogging, like art, often imitates life. Be good to yourselves.