So, you've decided you want to be a blogger.
This is brilliant news despite what a naysayer might think in terms of the blogosphere being saturated.
There's actually no better time to start than now, because although there are many people blogging, the demand for bloggers is ever increasing as brands and companies see the value of genuine people marketing and being the face of their product.
The opportunities are endless and really up to you in terms of how far you're willing to take it and how hard you're willing to work.
There's only one thing that separates you from any other Jo Blogg [pun intended], and that's determination, consistency and longevity.
I recently finished one of my 2017 reads called 'The Million Dollar Blog' by Natasha Courtenay-Smith and I have to say ths book is definately a must have for anyone who has decided to embark on this journey to becoming a blogger.
There are so many hints and practical tips to get you started as well as to keep you going if you already have. I'll link the book right here
Literally, this book put everything into perspective for me, especially when it came to my own blogging journey.
I started roughly towards the end of August or early September, and although I've tried to work hard on it, I feel there's been setback after setback.
Luckily for me, the book touched upon all of these one by one and I genuinely feel as though I've had my head screwed back on and can now get back on to a level playing field.
To sum up though, all that I had learnt from the book is in the title: to be a blogger is a working progress.
I knew when I started that I had to be in it for the long haul, and that I wasn't going to receive massive amounts of traffic after a few short months but I still managed to get discouraged.
Below I'm going to list very briefly some of the reasons why, from the book, and what I'm doing to overcome them, which hopefully you can relate to and use too.
#1. Not knowing what to write
Now, I find this can be me alot of the time, especially after a couple weeks of starting my brain began to go dead. It was like one minute my brain was brimming with ideas for content and posts and the next minute I was drawing blanks. Personally, I feel this happened to me because I was looking at my blog on such a long-term basis, I literally couldn't imagine having blog post content for a year or even beyond that, and it put me off.
I've managed to counteract this first obstacle by:
- Writing blog post titles as and when they come to me in a diary or my phone
- Looking at my blog on a shorter term basis instead of years ahead
- Be almost willing to write about anything
- Challenge yourself to a blogging challenge
Since doing these small key things, I now have two pages of blog post ideas and they keep coming to me daily which is such a relief. Not only that but I have taken up a challenge to write a blog post every day for 30 days, which for me starts with this post you're reading now! Natasha suggested to do this in the book but I've tweaked it slightly to writing a blog post for 30 working days simply so I can manage around my family life. I'll need those days on the weekend to plan photos and also shoot videos for my channel.
Whether you're a new or established blogger, how do you motivate yourself to produce content for your blog?
#2. Measuring your traffic and success too soon
I'm 100% sure every blogger has been guilty of this. I am a slave to the google analytics app on my phone, checking it daily to monitor the amount of people who visit my site per day. For a blogger who's starting out, this is a surefire way to get discouraged quickly, because the reality is that MOST people that read your blog to begin with are family and friends. It's easy to keep looking at these numbers, often dipping to zero and feel like you're wasting your time but the reality is it takes time to build up a following. In the book, Natasha advises bloggers not to judge the success of their blog for at least ONE year. That might sound crazy but in reality it makes complete sense.
As you continue to post content on your site, your rankings with google SEO will continue to go up, so judging too early will ruin you before you've even really started.
Rather than number crunching and agonising over the amount of visitors you get just focus on getting quality content out, and working your social media to promote it. The more work you put in, the more results you'll see over time. Remember, this is not an overnight flight, it's a long haul.
#Tip: Use google analytics to study which blog posts are most successful so you can produce more of that type of content. This will help drive more traffic and also encourage visitors to return as they know where to find the content they're most interested in reading.
#3. Comparing yourself to successful bloggers
Can I be the first one to put my hand up and say guilty?
There's something about human nature that sees the success of others and wanting that same success with little or no work and wanting it straight away.
Since starting my blog, I've done alot of research into some of the most successful bloggers and youtubers and one pattern remains the same: They've been doing it for years!
Some started on youtube then created blogs, some started by blogging and then created channels, but regardless of the avenue they take, the graft is clearly evident.
It's so easy to become disillusioned with the success of others when you're seeing them going to the places you want to go, working with the brands you want to work with and being gifted with products that you could only dream of owning. That all said, the reality is it took them a long while to get there and unless you're one of those lucky viral stars, the same is going to be said for you.
Rather than looking at the top bloggers with green eyed envy - look at them for motivation and inspiration. That if you keep going and work hard at it - there's nothing really to stop you from getting to where they are.
#4. Quit making excuses
There are a hundred and one reasons why you shouldn't bother starting a blog, but all you need is one gut wrenching reason why you should.
I would say the most obvious excuse would be 'Everyone is blogging now,' and maybe that is true, but I can give you two reasons why that doesn't matter
- Most bloggers that start give up very soon after for the reasons we've already discussed above
- It doesn't matter how many people are doing it, there is only one YOU
Your take, your experience of a particular product or situation will be completely different to someone else's and maybe there's people out there that have bloggers available to them regarding certain subjects that they just don't relate to. They need someone like you!
Personally, I feel one of the biggest hinderances to my blog and it's progression is time. At the moment, I have an 8 and 1 year old with another baby on the way.
My 1 year old takes up so much of my time during the day. I can only really get work done on my channel or blog when he's either at my mum's or sleeping. [Hence why I'm sitting up writing this blog post at 2am in the morning] I made a vlog on my channel to show people how I have to manage my time around my kids. You can watch it here.
If I'm honest, I don't have a clue how I'm going to manage this all when the second baby arrives and it freaks me out just thinking about it, but the reality is, if there's no pain there's no gain. I know what the driving force behind my venture is, and if that means I have to lose sleep every night I'm going to have to do it.
What sacrifices have you, or will you have to make in pursuit of your goal? Weigh up the pros and cons. If the end goal is worth it then why not just go for it?
The aim of the PANDORA ROSE is to carve a career for myself, so I can still be involved in the fashion industry that I love so much without sacrificing time spent with my family.
My second aim, although for me it's just as important as the first, is to become a successful role model to other women who may be scared to step out of their comfort zone and pursue dreams because of similar commitments or maybe just because they're afraid.
I want my journey to be honest, open and clearly documented so when anyone looks back to where I started, along with the challenges I had, they will believe they can also make it.
For me that's worth busting my butt for and I hope you're willing not only to follow my blogging journey but to start yours. Whatever your blogger dream is...