And while I am still a baby-sailor learning to navigate these blogging waters, I wanted to share a bit more advice that I’ve learned.
I could try to tell you about building community and kicking butt at sponsorships, but that’s already been done by other fantastic people — and very well. (Plus, I’m still figuring that stuff out!)
But I want to kind of talk about something that’s been on my mind, lately, and it’s:
When you start blogging — and even when you get into the thick of it — there is so much information out there. At first it’s fun to read every single thing out there that says what you could be doing to make your blog even better.
But then there comes a moment when it’s too much.
All of sudden, you see all of these tips about how you could be better and what you must do to improve and you start feeling like your blog doesn’t measure up.
You think, “Yeah, the colors I use are totally dumb.” Or: “Oh man, how come I can’t just figure out what I want to say in 300 words or less?”
But here’s the thing about advice: it may take a few minutes to read, but you’re reading lessons that took people months or maybe even years to figure out. And I think sometimes advice givers can overlook how intimidating it is to be a beginner and to really let those concepts sink in.
So, here’s my advice on how to manage the overwhelm:
1. Go at your own speed.
Most things worth knowing and understanding can’t be grasped overnight. And that’s okay! Keep learning, keep growing, keep changing — but pace yourself.
2. Love your blog right where it’s at.
Trust that your blog is exactly where it needs to be and go from there. Know that even if there are a million things you could do to make your blog “better,” it’s probably off to a pretty good start. And some of those “mistakes” that you’re making may very well be what people love about your blog. So don’t be afraid to do your own thing even as you’re learning.
3. Tweak over time.
(I said tweak, not twerk!) Maybe choose one certain thing to focus on, work on that, and then when the time is right, tweak it again or tweak something else. I do it all the time with various pages on here, with the layout and font, and with the sidebar. Because as I grow, my blog grows. (What a mantra/affirmation. Repeat after me: “As I grow, my blog grows.“) But seriously, small changes over time can add up to something really big!
4. Don’t wait until you’re perfect to start.
Just dive in. A lot of advice will say to wait until you’re ready. Wait to sponsor another blog or offer sponsorship when you’re completely ready. Wait to do this partnership or ask for this thing or write this kind of post once you feel 100% confident. But I say: just do it! I kind of dove into sponsorship, but here’s the thing: I’m learning as I go! Sometimes doing it is the best way to learn what works for you. So you may make a couple of mistakes or do some embarrassing things — whatever, it’s okay! Just learn from it and keep going.
Read also: What Is a Side Hustle, and How Do I Get One?
5. Be picky.
With all of the information out there, you really have to get good at filtering out what’s best for you. Know that you don’t have to follow every suggestion or tip! If you don’t want to do something, then don’t do it. If it doesn’t feel like you, then forget about it. It doesn’t matter if 10 billion other blogs out there are doing it, do what feels right for you!
I’m going to really further emphasize this point because I think it’s important: If you are uncomfortable doing giveaways, then don’t do them. If you don’t really want people to guest post on your blog, then don’t do it. There are some people who respond to every comment (I try to be that person), but if you can’t or don’t want to, don’t do it. If you don’t care about SEO and don’t want to use the most efficient “Google” search title, then don’t do it.
I’m not saying to not be open to trying new things (see #4), but just know that it’s not the end of the world if you’re not doing what everyone else is doing.
6. It’s okay to change your mind.
I’m piggy-backing off of the last tip, but also know that it’s okay to change your mind at any time. Maybe you were against sponsorships but now you see how they could work for you — then that’s okay. Maybe you were doing linkups and now it’s not your thing — that’s okay. You are allowed to change your mind. You’re allowed to go back and forth. You’re allowed to try something and then if it doesn’t feel right or good, you’re allowed to say, “Not for me.” It’s your blog and it doesn’t have to stay the same. Again, “As I grow, my blog grows. As I change, my blog changes.” It’s all good.
7. Share and communicate.
I love these topics, which I’ll have to develop a little more. I’m not necessarily found on these subjects and it bothers me a bit, I must admit. Communicating and sharing, even exchanging, happens on social networks, or on your blog when you have comments.
Concerning social networks, for my part, I use Buffer that I always complete at a time when I’m freer like the weekend. I use it to let you know about my articles and those of my little friends (yes, most of the time girls). I also use Pocket to put aside an article that I want to read and share (maybe) later.
Okay, so I just wanted to get that off of my chest because this is what I feel a lot when I start to overdose on too much blogging advice.
But don’t get me wrong: there’s tons of good stuff out there!
I just know that I went a couple of years feeling like I shouldn’t even have a blog because I felt like it wouldn’t be good enough. Don’t let that stop you — share your story with the world! (And then leave your link in the comments because I most likely want to read it!)