Before I get into the thick of this post I feel I should make a few things clear:
1. By baby blogger, I don’t mean a blogger who writes about babies. Although if you do write about babies and you’re a new blogger, then yes, you’re the ultimate baby blogger.
2. I’m no authority on how people should run their blogs. Or on anything useful really. Bear with me okay?
3. If you’re trying to turn your blog into a business, do the exact opposite of this post.
Alright, now that we’ve tidied the disclaimers up, let’s figure out what the heck I’m talking about. I’ve been writing semi-regularly for nearly a year now. There’s been months where I’ve posted daily or multiple times a week, and there’s been times where I wanted nothing to do with writing. I was totally okay with both.
In this quickly evolving world of the internet, bloggers are being sponsored by major companies and designers and YouTubers are living in multi-million dollar homes. They’ve managed to turn their hobbies into careers with actual, tangible results with a lot of hard work and a definite force of luck. But they all started in the same place as all of us: just a bunch of confused people looking to try something new.
Being able to monetize your hobby is probably the ultimate dream, but if you start blogging or making videos with dollar bills in mind, you might not get very far. This should be a passion. A need to create. An outlet. A space where you can be the truest form of yourself. If you’re not genuine, people will know.
But without further ado, here’s a twist on the rules that everyone preaches to new bloggers:
1. Have a posting schedule.
Setting and meeting deadlines is a great skill that is absolutely necessary in school and work. By posting regularly, you offer your old followers the assurance that you will always provide content. The more often you post, the more likely you are to attract new followers.
But you’ll also be putting pressure on yourself to create content that you’re not necessarily proud of. When life gets busy, you’ll feel guilty for not being able to put out a new video or post. For people just starting out, creative outlets are usually a place to let off steam and work through stress. It shouldn’t be a place that contributes more to your stress. Write when you want to. If you don’t want to, well hell, you’re the boss. You don’t owe anyone, anything.
2. Have a theme.
Having a theme for content helps identify a target audience. It encourages people who are already following you to keep following you, because they know the content posted will be something they’re interested in.
But restricting yourself to writing about only one type of topic can drain your inspiration and get a little boring. If you’ve got a beauty blog but you want to write about a really cool book you read, you should. If you typically write about music but you want to share pictures from your recent vacation, you should. This is your space. Having a theme may be smart for attracting advertisers but if it caps your creativity, it isn’t worth it. You should write whatever you want to, whenever you want to.
3. Keep posts short.
Society’s attention span is ever-shrinking. Keeping posts short, increases chances of keeping your audience engaged and thus more likely to like, comment, and share the post.
If you’ve got more to say but don’t want to risk losing readers, you’re really selling yourself short. Not to mention, it compromises the whole “true to yourself” thing. If you want to write a thousand words on your favourite sports team, do it! Writing about what you care about and publishing what you’re proud of is the best way to keep yourself motivated to keep going.
Without rambling on for too long, I just want to emphasize how important it is for blogging to be empowering, and not just another money-making scheme. With hard work, honesty, and true passion for creating, an audience will surely come.
Don’t compromise yourself or your needs to fit what you think is the cookie-cutter way to success. At the end of the day, you should be proud for having the courage to put a little part of yourself out in the world, no matter how many people are watching.