Wow, it has already been a month… (Well, a month and a few days, as I am not the most “punctual” person, even in the form of writing).
Blogging has always intrigued me. For the most part, my writing, usually staying in the category of fiction, has always stayed hidden in old, crusty notebooks tucked away on my bookshelf. Therefore, many years ago when I came across the idea of blogging, it was utterly terrifying. Not only would I have to start writing nonfiction, which, albeit was not the hardest requirement to fulfill, but I would also have to allow others to read it.
And not just read it… I had to figure out how to market my writing to other people. I had to make a path for others to read it.
That was the most terrifying part of all of it. When my old writing is mashed onto my bookcase, with no chance of another eye seeing it, there is no fear of rejection, or the uncomfortable feeling of wanting so badly for others to like your work. If there are no eyes, there is no judgement, right..?
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Getting Over Fear of Judgement
Wrong. While other’s would not have the opportunity to judge me, there was still one person who was disappointed in my cowardly behavior.
If I allowed myself to not do something I have been wanting to do for years just because others might not like it, then I might as well give up on being anything more than an insignificant fly on the wall.
Empowered people often times do not find that empowerment from other people. We find empowerment through ourselves.
Our own perceived self-worth is what gets us to get out of bed in the morning and decide we deserve whatever a full day’s worth of hard work may bring us. We create reward for ourselves – no one else can do that for us.
Therefore, I got out of bed one day, and I did it. I created the website, I bought my domain, and the next day, I posted my first article.
You Have to Listen to the Crickets
After my first article, guess what happened.
Nothing. Nada. Zip.
My little website was all alone on the wide abyss called the internet. There was no chance of my article, which I had been terrified posting, even being seen by one person.
It felt… quite cold, in a sense.
Listening to the crickets made me more motivated to post another article… and then another… and then another… I now have eight articles published (soon to be nine), and four articles that are still at the draft stage.
Soon, the fear of judgement was passed up by the gnawing want to be heard. I wanted my writing to become something that other people could connect with, and find helpful when they are in a tough spot much like how I was when I first started my college experience.
Blogging Takes Blood, Sweat, and Tears
As it turns out, blogging takes a lot of time and hard work. There are some weeks where I worked 80+ hours on the website, and others where I needed to take a break because I did not want the blog turning into something I hated doing.
The more writing I got done, the more opportunities there were for others to find my website and (fingers crossed) find my articles helpful enough to stick around and read more.
I had high hopes for the work I was putting out into the world, and there was no chance I was about to let my laziness refuse me the reward I wanted.
I had tried to create blogs in the past. I have tried feminism blogs, environmentally cautious blogs, and (one much like the one I have now) a college student blog.
However, none I connected to quite like the one I am writing now. I am positive the reason I could not stay motivated was not because of the topic. In fact, there are probably more things I could write about in regards to environmentally friendly swaps that I can about women’s college experiences and success.
I think it’s because of the angle I have chosen to take on my articles…
When I was in high school, and even somewhat into college, I had a very, very hard time in school. I consider myself intelligent, so soaking in the material was not a problem. Instead, I just had a tough time seeing myself as a person who could actually make it through school. I gave up on myself, and many college/school related articles only give tips from the perspective of someone who has not struggled in school like many of us do.
It is not shameful to struggle.
It is only shameful to quit, which is the angle I want to express through my writing.
That is the best tip I have for coming up with a topic for your blog. Take something you are passionate about (for myself, it was multiple things), and decide if you can strategically come at it from a new perspective.
Market, Market Market
Marketing is everything.
I cannot express this enough… Proper marketing can make or break your blog (depending on how far you want to go with it, of course). If you only want to write as a hobby, or use your blog as a creative outlet (much like Jenna on the television show Awkward.), then there does not need to be much marketed involved. Just write until your heart is content.
However, if you have an end goal with your blog (one that preferable includes lining your pockets with some cash), then marketing should be on your mind every single time you work on your website.
If you are interested in learning more about marketing a blog, I found and use this amazing article from another blog. It describes in detail different ways to market on all sorts of platforms. Check it out!
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Here is the Biggest Thing I Learned:
Blogging can make you money.
In fact, it is incredibly profitable, if you look at more established bloggers who make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
For us little guys, though, blogging seems like it is too much work for the money. While for some, that may be true. In fact, even for myself, if I did not love this topic and have a connection to this website, I would have probably given up on this blog, too.
Let’s face it: the gratification you will get from your own blogging journey is slow and small in the beginning. It is not instant, so all of those posts you have seen on Pinterst that say “how to make money with your blog on the first day” are lying to you.
If you stick with it (which I truly hope you do), and you do everything you can to ensure your blog survives the cold first days of existence, gratification will come.
As an example, I recently found out I had made a total of $4.63 through this blog.
It is not a lot of money, but with the work that I had put it, it threw me over the moon. I was ecstatic and immediately called my boyfriend to give him the great news. If you want to blog, I hope you find that excitement, too!