As I’ve mentioned in my About Me section, I’m an author. And what do authors do? Sit in a corner and cry? No! We write! (And then we cry. Especially during the editing stage. FYI.)
Coming into the blogging world, I honestly thought it would be easy. Because I’ve written a novel (Into the Shadows), I thought that blogging would be a walk in the park. I mean, come on…I wrote a 300+ page book! How hard could a few posts a week be? Right?
Okay, I’ll lighten up a little bit. The truth is, once you get the hang of it, blogging isn’t so bad. It’s actually fun! Plus, if you’re a time-management whizz (unlike me), then you probably got the hang of it way faster than I did. 😉
Get-to-know-me-fact of the day: I am a professional procrastinator. I got my license in seventh grade, when I worked on my science project the night before presentation day. I was such a prodigy, that I was still gluing stuff to my board five minutes before my turn to present. However, I am humbly giving up my title due to my starting college in a few months. I’ve been told that procrastination and college are two things that should never go together.
So! Back to the topic at hand. I felt a little reluctant to write this post at first. After all, isn’t it standard to read about blogging advice written by…an expert blogger?
Well, I’m no expert. I’ve just gotten through my first full M-W-F blogging week. But! I thought I’d write about the lessons I’ve learned in my blogging journey so far. After all, if you are a newbie blogger yourself, now might be the time you need to read this. Now, if you’re a professional blogger, don’t leave! Stay and read on. And feel free to laugh at me for only figuring these things out recently!
Here’s a list of some things I’ve learned so far:
1) Be patient.
Unless you’re Beyonce or Stephen King (I have no idea why those two are even in the same sentence…sorry), chances are, your first blog post won’t get a million views in one day. Blogging is fun, sure…but a lot of work has to go into it. When you begin, remember to put the work in, never stop, and watch your progress.
2) Don’t go “notif crazy”
It’s finally happened–you see that little orange dot beside the bell on the top right corner of your screen. That can only mean…people are starting to stumble across your site! You hold your breath and click that icon. The little rush you get when you see your notifications is great! Just remember to get right back to work after liking, approving, replying, and following back, as opposed to…you know, checking for new notifs every hour.
3) Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Now that people are starting to follow your blog, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of seeing your follower count grow. But it’s good to keep your top motivations in mind. For example, the top three reasons I started this blog were: (1) to inspire my fellow YAs, (2) to promote my book, and (3) to create a community of YAs who encourage and support each other.
4) Give people a chance to stumble across your site.
Yes, you promote your blog–how seriously, is up to you, but spreading the word is a great way to get people to check out your work and even follow you. However, my advise is this: don’t hard-sell too much. Give some readers a chance to find you on their own. When they decide to follow you based solely on the content you’ve put out, it’s a good thing!
5) Have a schedule and follow it.
Yes, the Procrastinating Queen is officially trying to de-throne herself! Not only having a schedule, but sticking to it, is super important. This has happened to me countless times–I’ve made myself a schedule and I start following it, but some time during the day, I’d find myself doing the most random things (Some of which include watching music videos on YouTube, looking at old photos, and making myself a snack). The lesson: focus.
6) Write from your heart.
Don’t worry your pretty little head about whether or not the post you’re drafting is going to get you a record-high in views. As long as you’re honest, you’ll be alright. Sometimes, the more you try, the less people respond. And vice versa. There’s something about honesty that draws people in. So, when you write, be personal. Be true. Be you! Write from the heart. It’s okay to let people see you for who you are. There is something inside of you that no one else but you can give.
7) Don’t draft a blog and check your twitter feed at the same time.
8) Take breaks.
If you’re like me, you can lose track of time–especially when you’re preoccupied with something you enjoy. However, taking breaks is important. Being in front of a computer screen the whole day isn’t good for your eyes, your brain, or your stomach (for those who “forget” to eat). So take breaks. Make time during the day to do something that doesn’t involve a screen. Go for a jog. Have a nice cup of coffee. Wash the dishes. Have a conversation with someone.
9) Make time for yourself
Yes, we are bloggers. We have blogs. But we are not our blogs. Does that make sense? Make time for yourself. After all, it’s quite hard for an author to write content when he/she hasn’t been properly taken care of (getting enough sleep, eating right, being happy).
10) Give back.
No one likes someone who’s all take and no give. Appreciate the bloggers who take the time to read, comment, like, and follow your posts. Take note of who they are, and interact with them. Connect by checking out their sites. Leave a comment. Add some new sites to your Reader. Be real. Say thank you and give back.
There you go, folks! Those are just some of the lessons I’ve learned in this new blogging journey of mine. And there’s so much more for me to learn, so I’m excited. Here’s to us and our awesome blogs!
Any blogging lessons you’ve learned recently? Feel free to comment, my friend!
Oh! Just want to give you guys a sneak peek–I have a special surprise for y’all on Friday, so stay tuned! Be prepared for some YA AWESOME-NESS! 😉