It's been awhile since I have blogged about blogging because well, I just haven't felt "on" for the past few months when it comes to this whole online world. Remember those consultation services I offer? Yeah me either, it's been so long since I've committed to doing one. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to offer help in an area you feel helpless in? And it's definitely not a "want" issue right now, it's a "holy shiz I have no time for this stuff because I am too busy drinking martinis with girlfriends, fake reading books for book club, and grocery shopping every single night because I can't focus long enough to plan out a weeks menu at one time.." thing. Okay and Instagram if you want me to be honest. It's a lotta part her fault too because it just takes SO MUCH TIME TO LOOK THROUGH EVERYBODY'S PICTURES. Really what I am saying is I am a professional at choosing activities that aren't necessarily what you call "productive". However, there is hope. So while I don't feel like I can offer a whole lot of "do this, and then do this, add in this, and bam..you've got it" right now, I do feel like I can offer you my mistakes. Don't feel bad learning from them, it's all the good they really offer at this point.
1. We are going to start with the major one: Don't bite off more than you can chew. I saw the warning signs all along. Stomach ulcers, gray hairs poking through, meltdowns in the middle of a bath, but I kept telling myself "you don't have an option..you have to keep adding in these things. It's just part of it." Instead of under promising and over delivering I suddenly became this person who was constantly over promising and under delivering. This doesn't feel good no matter what aspect of life this is in and lends itself to a lot of "you suck at everything you said you would do but won't actually do" type of mentality. I think I am still struggling with these thoughts. In blogging you will be presented with a lot of opportunities--product reviews, sponsorship, meet ups, emails, giveaways, etc. Be overly conscious of what you commit to and take a few minutes to think about saying yes before doing so.
2. Know what your main focus is. Blogging can be tough because there are so many parts to it. There is the writing content part, the building a loyal following part, creating a solid community out on social media part, making your page look pretty part, responding to comments and emails part, and so on. Obviously all of these are important but you will have to decide at some point in time what your daily goal is. For me right now my one goal for the day with my blog is to get a blog post up. Content is king in my world and if I am not producing content I will feel like I am not doing what I came here to do..write a blog. This means I suck horribly at some of the other facets right now, but it's okay. As much as I want to do it all, I can't.
3. Respond to negativity by not responding to it. Oh how I failed at this early on. My first experience with "hate" in the online world fueled all sorts of emotions in me and my natural instinct was to respond publicly with hopes that the person/people who sparked these emotions would be embarrassed that they hurt me. I wish so bad I would have never addressed it publicly. Since that time I have seen my name many a times online (not in a positive light) but I have chosen to ignore it and continue loving on others and their blogs. Love wins every time, even when you can't see it right away. One thing to add to this. It is so easy to say things either on your blog and/or social media that are directed at others but you don't actually direct at others. Check your heart before hitting publish and make sure that what you are about to say isn't out of anger, jealousy, hurt, etc. It will be obvious in most cases you are referring to a certain individual or group of people and it doesn't paint a pretty light. Just be careful...words have serious power.
4. Work with people who truly inspire you, you believe in, and know that they have something of worth to offer to your audience. Everybody loves free stuff. It's hard to turn down cash. Anything can be made to "look" good with a little extra fluff. Choose to work with people/companies who don't need any of your fluff. Recently I have become way more "in tune" with the influence bloggers have with businesses/bloggers that they truly believe in. In the next month or so I am planning on really tightening the reigns on my sponsorship options so I can ensure that what is placed on this blog is something I wholeheartedly want to share with you. There is a fit for everybody in blogging, but it doesn't mean they all fit with you.
5. Somebody will always be "more successful" than you. Let it inspire and motivate you. We all want to feel like we have made it online and in the real world (whatever that even actually means). This can be frustrating when we see others pull off a giant link up party, gain 1,000 new followers in a day, reach 20k instagram followers, and so on. Instead of allowing it to discourage you, allow it to fuel your passions and know that such things are possible. There is no timeline in blogging. Seasons come and go. Work hard, love well, and have fun. You'll get there, wherever there is....
What is one mistake you have made that we could all learn from? Leave it in the comments below, I think we could all benefit from being a little more honest on things we have failed in.