I will be totally out of my confort zone surrounded by a lot of younger and much more creative ladies than me but that’s also what makes it so appealing. I look forward to learning so much from all of them.
So on the lead up to this, I was reflecting on my blogging journey for the past 9 months. I’ve been through ups and downs, picked a few tips and resources along the way but I still have to learn so much.
Here are the 10 stages of being a new blogger and what to do about them. Would love to know if this resonates with anyone and if you have more tips for new bloggers ?
You have this brilliant idea for a blog. You are 100% sure that nobody has ever written about it before. You picture traffic, fame, a book deal, cash from advertising and the promise of an easy lifestyle.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]
Tip : Enjoy that phase. It is the most interesting, exciting, liberating, exhilarating stage of all !
Think carefully of your blog topic to distinguish yourself from the millions of blogs out there. Monica from The Travel Hack suggests that you consider three areas that you know very well. The cross-section of those will be your niche topic.
2. Creative rush
You run a brainstorm with yourself all the time. You see blog topics on bus stops, on the Sports page of the daily newspaper, on cornflakes boxes at breakfast. You want to use all the designs and lay-out of the magazines and websites you read every day.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]
Tips: write down all these post ideas and plan an editorial calendar for your first two months.
Choose a design that you like but can be easily adapted in the future. Bluchic has some lovely ones. Mine is from Themify (the Elemin theme). Invest in a logo or header for your blog (you can find designers to help you with this on Dribbble or Etsy). Mine was done by Hickie and Hickie.
Aaargh, the computer is not your friend. Blogging platforms confuse you –WordPress, Blogger,Squarespace? – and you don’t know the first thing about hosted versus self-hosted, domains names, hosting companies and plugins.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]Tip: have an informative chat with a friendly blogger. Find out if you can really master this technical beast. If not, find a developer who will help you. For WordPress, try Freelancer WordPress.
You can find out which plugins a favourite blog by going to what wordpress theme is that [/themify_box]
It’s live ! You have done it, you have brought into this world a beautiful, healthy, glowing baby, euh no blog.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]Tip : ask for honest and frank feedback from your friends and family or online communities you’re a part of. Use this to correct key mistakes and evolve your tone and content to match your readers ‘expectations. I had some harsh but useful feedback from a local mums’ community and I’m sure the Blogcademy headmistresses will have lots more for me this weekend.[/themify_box]
You check your traffic stats as soon as you wake up. You login several times a day to see if people have made comments. In a desperate attempt to get more views, you even email Rob, from accounts asking him to check your blog.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]Tips : “let it go” as Mademoiselle would say. It will take A LOT of time to get to a decent traffic size so don’t fret over it too much.
download the WordPress app (if it’s your platform of choice) which will send you notifications when there are comments.
Install Google Analytics on your site and learn to only look at numbers that help you improve your blog.[/themify_box]
Lola from insanelysuccessfulblog.com told you that you ought to do blog promotion, social media, SEO, influencers outreach, guest blogging, AND awards applications. You are now struggling to find the time to manage all your social media accounts, your blog, and oh, let’s not forget your life!
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]Tips: Pick the channels where your typical reader will be and focus on these. My audience is women in their 30’s and 40’s so they are more likely to be on Pinterest or Facebook. However, to engage with bloggers, media and brands, Twitter is essential.
Develop quality blog content that we’ll entice those readers to come back to your blog after their initial visit.
Promote your blog offline as well with business cards or a customised iphone case.[/themify_box]
7. Low self-esteem
You compare yourself to other bloggers and envy their success seeing that they go to glamorous places or receive wonderful presents. You wonder how they did it.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]Tip : engage with them on their blog and various social media channels. Comment, interact and meet them in real life via bloggers events (Meetup is a good place to start). You’ll soon realise that behind their success is a genuine person like you who worked hard at it for many years and still do.
What struck me after meeting Anna from Mrs O Around the World, who is probably the most successful blogger in my niche in the UK, is that a) she is very generous with her time for her readers, b) she created a working life that allows her to be flexible so that she can jump on opportunities and c) she writes fast and her personality shines through [/themify_box]
Oh one comment ! Oh 5 more followers ! Oh, someone clicked your link, subscribed to your blog, liked your Facebook page. Hourray, your blog is not alone in the big black hole that is the internet.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]Tip : It’s starting to be fun ! Reply as soon as possible, try to give back (for instance I offer readers the possibility to submit their holiday challenge). Don’t be afraid to also ask for something in return (a like on Facebook, a share with friends…).[/themify_box]
Soon after the high, you hit a low. You don’t see a continuous uplift in traffic. You wonder whether you are wasting too much time on the blog at the risk of losing sight of your life or spending time with your friends and family.
[themify_box style=”white highlight” ]Tip: remember why you created the blog in the first place. A love of writing, the ability to show your photos, share your creative ideas, engage with a community ? You can still get joy from this even on a small scale. I read somewhere that the average time for a blog to take off in any case is minimum two years ![/themify_box]
10. … towards contentment
At some point, you will make peace with your blog, your expectations, your community and your own desire for perfection. You will realize that you may not win the Pulitzer or be a top influencer but in a few years, you’ll look at your blog as a keepsake of your life/creative work/ friendship interaction and think to yourself : “I’m glad I did it, it’s pretty and I like it !”
That at least is what I hope for me and for all of you dear bloggers, especially my fellow Blogcadettes.