One of my biggest pet peeves is scrolling through social media and seeing people with blogs describe themselves as an “aspiring blogger.” That to me says you need a hug and some confidence. If you have a blog where you write and publish, you ARE a blogger. Before you created your site, maybe then, you were aspiring, but once you hit publish, call yourself a blogger.
I’ll admit, I was so timid in the beginning. I had zero confidence, but at the same time, I wasn’t writing for anyone but myself. I still put myself first, but I do try to appeal to readers some. I’m also trying to grow, but at a pace that works for me.
I thought there was a list of criteria you needed to meet before you were a blogger. I thought you had to be established to a certain degree. Let me tell you, I’m still not a big time blogger who rakes in tons of money, but I am still a blogger, damnit!
Being a Blogger isn’t defined by money, views, or followers.
There’s so much that comes with having your own blog. Whether you’re self-hosted or using a free blog building website, once you have your space to write, you’re a blogger. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt like a failure on numerous blogs that I’ve had in the past because I didn’t have a following, but it took time for my confidence to kick in and convince me that I WAS good enough and so were my blogs.
If you got into blogging because you want to work at home and make money, more power to you. I just believe starting for yourself and having a love of writing should be the most important. The money and other positives will follow if you’re really passionate about it.
Finding a niche is where they tell you to start.
I struggled with finding what kind of blogger I wanted to be. I started out with Tarot, spirituality, and holistic lifestyle as my first blog. It did so well, but it hit me hard when I realized the people who were around me weren’t being genuine. They thought I had some “gift” and used me. My connections with those friends weakened when I refused to read their cards. That blog ended in a very bitter sweet way.
I love Tarot and will always be a spiritual person in my own way, but I won’t post about it. I may do a birthday Tarot post for myself, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever hit publish on that topic again.
I’ve had other niches I tried cracking into as well, but when I became a mom, I couldn’t stop talking about it. I thought blogging about parenthood would be incredible and a good outlet for never shutting up about my kids.
I didn’t want to only blab on about my babies though. I get bored and bounce around a lot. I am by no means an expert blogger or coach, but here I am, giving my “advice” because I love having a variety of topics to write about.
I love beauty, but I’m not a makeup artist. I love style, but I’m not an Instagram model or fashion expert. I love food, but I semi-homemake almost everything. Get my point? I felt like I couldn’t narrow down one constant theme to write about. Well guess what? Lifestyle label to the rescue. I’m a mom and lifestyle blogger. Boom!
SEO and domain authority still puzzle me.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization. There are a lot of components to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites are linked to you. SEO is about making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand.
DA: Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score. A Domain Authority score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. Domain Authority is totaled by evaluating multiple factors. This score can then be used when comparing websites.
My DA is only 7, but I’m okay with that. I’m just starting to dive into SEO and DA. For me, success in terms of numbers wasn’t a priority when I started. To be honest, it still isn’t a big deal. I just really enjoy posting and engaging. At some point, I want my blog to grow, but I’m pretty happy with my progress. Being obsessed with numbers will only destroy my love of blogging, so I want to take it at my own pace.
Growth comes from research and constant work.
To grow numbers, get sponsored posts, and do well over all, you have to put in the time. You need to research. You need to read and then put out good content. You need keywords and so many other aspects. I’m not one of those professional bloggers that coaches other people on how to blog. I’m right there with the people who are looking up ways to improve their site. It’s important to set a pace for yourself and remember that success takes time. You have to stay positive and work hard.
Editing never ends.
I’m constantly writing and rewriting. I still have posts I go back and fix. I’m sure there’s a broken link or messed up image floating around on my site. I’m always trying to edit something, so I’m putting my best effort and content out there. Everyone makes mistakes, so don’t stress out over typos and broken links. Go back, edit, and improve.
Blogging is a constant job revolving around creating content. Your blog isn’t just words. You have images, tags, headings, links, and so much more. Hell, I just started making my own images a few months ago. I used to just use pictures and memes from my phone. I had no clue what I was doing. It took time and a ton of editing, which I still have some to do.
For images, I use Canva. I love the free templates and editing they have to offer on both their app and website. It has really helped me improve my posts and social media sharing, especially On Pinterest. I’ll always have improvements to make, but that’s okay. Blogs take constant work.
You don’t need to copy the big time bloggers.
When I first started, I was so concerned with making my site look like other blogs that were popular and super successful. I was constantly updating my layout and trying to have enough ads and buttons. I was tweaking colors and sidebars almost daily. I was never happy with what I was doing, because I was always comparing myself.
Don’t compare. Don’t imitate. Be original. It’s hard to find your footing in a world where there are tons of blogs. One of my more popular posts is called Millions of Mom Blogs, because I felt like I didn’t have a chance. I know a lot of other bloggers have felt defeated, and that’s okay. Brush off those feelings and put your heart into it.
It took me a fair amount of time to realize every voice is unique, and you should be proud to be yourself. Make your blog the way you want it to look. Take tips for growth, but ultimately, make it yours.
Find your voice, and have confidence in it.
I’m a very methodical person. I love lists. I love instructions, but sometimes I tend to sound like a robot. That’s not my voice, so I continually work at projecting my real voice. I want to sound the way I do when I’m talking to my friends. I want to relate to the readers and not sound like a bot. It took me a lot of time to find my voice but still keep my personality.
Balance of how I speak, write, and think aren’t always easy to combine. I do my best not to sound fake, but I also don’t want to use my ranting voice. I swear a little more in person than when I write. I’m a loud person, so I try to temper myself into a writing voice that still suits me. It’s not easy to explain, because everyone has a different voice and style. What matters most is that you find yours and have confidence in it.
Engage in the blogging community.
I was terrified of social media platforms. I thought all bloggers would be in this intense competition, so people would be mean. I could not have been more wrong. The blogging community has helped me understand the writing world. There are some awesome people who will support you and engage. It’s so refreshing to find others with similar goals and interests and who are also encouraging each other.
Finding other blogs to read and support is something I honesty enjoy. I don’t just read blogs for tips on blogging or parenting. I follow blogs that are all different. Beauty, fashion, mental health, books, parenting, travel, and lifestyle blogs are the bulk of what I follow and read. I love supporting others, and if you give support, you’re likely to gain support as well as friends. We’re all in this together.
The biggest takeaway is be yourself and do this for you.
Support others. Grow your numbers. Find your voice. Be unique. I could give you tips all day, but the biggest piece of advice that I have for anyone who wants to blog is be yourself and do this for you. You can make money for your family or whatever other reasons you have for blogging, but ultimately, do this for you. Once you’re happy and doing what you love, the rest will follow. I don’t have to be a big time blogger to tell you that.