Confessions of a newbie blogger
READ TIME: 4 MINUTES
Today marks two months since I quit my job to pursue my dream of being a writer!
Maybe you want to quit your job and try something like this. If that's you, here are some things I've learned that I'm happy to share with you.
I have some confessions of ignorance to make so here goes!
I thought blogging was about being a good writer.
Wrong. Very, very wrong.
What I've found out is that the best bloggers aren't the most popular. The best writers aren't the most accomplished authors. There's an ocean of difference between possessing talent and fulfilling your potential. Not Indian Ocean...Pacific Ocean.
Being a good writer is a good start to becoming a successful blogger.
Marketing plays a much larger role than I anticipated. Specifically, social media marketing. And while I hope to someday hand over my social channels to some professionals, for now this is the price of gaining a following. So, for the time being, I’m writing some and learning social media A LOT.
The bigger lesson is understanding that I have the privilege of growing my dream! Developing my talent, learning complementary skills, becoming a person who will change the world — that’s a monumental gift! Think about it. God could have made us all perfect, no need for growth & development. But then we wouldn't have the gift of become more disciplined. We wouldn't have the opportunity to say, "God, You gave this to me, and I choose to use it for You."
What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God.
I thought my blogs were amazing.
For one post I wrote , I spent a ton of time crafting it only for it to be crowned my "Worst Performing Blog Post Ever". Like a sculptor, I chiseled every angle precisely as I saw fit. When something looked off, I started chiseling again. It was majestic. Certainly one of my best word crafts I've created. But in the end, it lost people. I didn't get good feedback, and it got really low stats. I was crushed. But, oh did I learn! I learned not to over-craft a blog. A blog is supposed to be more raw &real than a book. The events I describe are more recent, and emotions are more raw. It should feel a little bit under-developed, and certainly not over-developed.
I could have interpreted the stats to mean I was a crappy blogger and a worse writer. I could have thrown in the towel. My "best" was obviously total garbage.
But this was a pivotal time. Up until that point, when I posted a blog, I would check every single hour to see how much traffic it was getting. In my mind, my stats showed my worth as a writer. That was wrong. Instead, I learned to measure my success over the long run, not one post at a time.
Don't get emotionally caught up in the performance of one part of your work. When judging yourself as a blogger (or any other job), rate your entire body of work. When imagining your growth potential, review your entire timeline of evolving in that role.
Since I began blogging in 2013, my readership has (at a minimum) doubled each year. Rather than focusing on my one terrible blog post, I can look at this stat to show I'm growing as a blogger and then do a happy dance!
I wasn't sure how to define success.
I realized I didn't know what I wanted out of this whole blogging thing. When I began, it was just a stepping stone from my private journaling to one day writing a book. But now that I've been doing it for years, I love how quickly I can share my words and help people! So how do I decide when I've done all I want to do with this blog? You probably have a similar battle:
What does success look like in my life and my work?
Success for me is never being content with comfort. Success for me is not calculating my value based on what I fail at. Success for me is following my King Jesus, living as He lived. Success for me is trying, and trying again.
Define success on your own terms and pursue it!
You only grow as you try new things. And if you try hard enough and really step outside of your comfort zone, you will fail...at first. But failure isn't absolute; quitting is. So keep stretching farther than you can see yourself being successful.
I’m still learning
So that's it. Three little confessions — and major lessons — on my road to becoming a successful blogger.
Use this time to think about what success looks like to you in your chosen profession. If you have a side hobby you’re hoping to turn into a business, what does success look like with that?