Is it just me or can the blogging world sometimes seem a bit intimidating?
Firstly there is the size of it. So many amazing blogs (including yours if you have one already) vying for attention.
There are millions of blogs. I doubt if anyone actually knows the exact number. Not to mention there are new blogs being started every day.
Then there is the incredible array of talent and the amazing credentials that come with the talent.
You see them all over the place. People with multiple bestsellers, experience at running successful companies, start-up geniuses, coaches, gurus, experts, people who get 100,000 subscribers in record time, people who pull in the big dollars.
They have experience and knowledge and they are not afraid to use it.
You read someone’s about page and they have rows and rows of credentials (that you possibly don’t have).
Like I said, it can all be a bit intimidating.
I came from a secretarial background. I didn’t go to university or college. Basically, I started work when I was 16 and have been working ever since.
My passion for writing made me decide to leap over to the Internet.
If you are like me and don’t have any formal business, technology or marketing experience, here are 10 things to give some thought to when it comes to staring a new blog.
Prepare yourself for a learning curve that will never end
I have mentioned the learning curve before in my post considering starting a blog, read this first.
I was talking to one of my friends (who knows nothing about blogging but thankfully regularly reads my blog) one day about how I was struggling to make the progress I had anticipated over a particular timeframe. He mentioned that a considerable amount of time when I first started was consumed by just learning how it all worked. He reminded me that since I had started from scratch, I had a lot to learn.
He was right.
The learning curve can be both a joy and a headache. For those who love to continuously learn, which luckily applies to me, it can be a wonderful thing.
On days when you are frustrated and stressed, it won’t seem like such a great situation to be in. You will probably be thinking; enough with the learning, make me an expert already.
The interesting thing about blogging is that there is not always one way to do something. Part of the learning curve is working out what advice applies to you. For example, one blogger will give one set of advice and another will say completely the opposite.
You are the one that needs to make the decision on which advice to follow or ignore.
Actually, while we are talking about decisions, as a blogger you will be making a lot of them. You will be working out which plugins and social media to use, which autoresponder, should you use video, podcasts, webinars or written articles. The list is long, be prepared.
If you want to be a blogger, my advice would be to get comfortable making decisions.
Related post – Warning: The One Big Mistake That Could Kill Your New Blog
World domination might take longer than you think
There is a reason so many people give up blogging and throw in the towel.
They think they’ll be rolling in money and traffic in six months. They think posting every day will be easy – (think again on that one!)
They might assume blogging is completely passive income.
Yes, there are some amazingly quick success stories. Some of the people behind these successes have a lot of experience in the blogging field already. If you have a successful blog or name in the business, it is far easier to start another soon to be successful blog.
There are bloggers who arrive on the scene with no experience, take on an already crowded niche and blitz it. And yes we all want to be one of those!
I read somewhere that we shouldn’t assume it takes forever to build a blog either. I read that if it is taking too long to get traffic and subscribers, you should consider giving up. There is probably a lot of truth in that but ultimately this is a decision you need to make for yourself.
Related post – 5 Awesome Websites to Help You Grow Your Online Business or Blog
It’s about who you know
I read somewhere recently that blogging is like being at high school all over again; you need to get in with the cool kids.
I had one true friend in high school, who is still my best friend today after forty years. I don’t have a lot of experience playing with the cool kids.
By my own admission, I was far too insular as a blogger when I first started (don’t try this at home).
For a while now, I have been reaching out to people and I’m really enjoying the experience.
Don’t feel like you are trying to hustle your way into some exclusive club. Just be yourself, be respectful and make friends.
Help people and be appreciative of their help whenever you can.
Get over the intimidation
To succeed you need to break through your fear. This little snippet of advice pretty much applies to everything in life.
It definitely applies to blogging.
- You have to be brave enough to submit your work for guest posting opportunities.
- You have to be brave enough to write and launch your own products (or at least sell someone else’s).
- You have to be brave enough to set up your email list and start building a relationship with your readers.
You have to be brave.
Related post – 5 Awesome Websites to Help You Grow Your Online Business or Blog
Understand your unique skills and what you can bring to the table
You need to forget about all of the expert bios and think specifically about yours.
What unique perspective can you bring to the table? What have you specifically got to offer?
I have to admit, this isn’t always easy when you don’t have the degree or business experience. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- What life experiences have you had? How can they help you with your blogging pursuits?
- What is your unique voice/style when you communicate?
- Do you view the world in a certain way? Can you see a situation from different angles?
- Are you creative?
- Are you passionate and have strong views on certain topics?
- What has your career taught you? I will give you an example. I may have been a personal assistant for many years, but assistants can be privy to a lot of what is going on in a corporate office. Not to mention, we have tons of experience dealing with different personality types.
- Do you love helping people?
Related post – 12 Blogging Lessons Learned from Watching Soap Operas (Yeah seriously!)
Believe you can do it
Some of the successful bloggers started off in completely different professions.
Remember all the blogging gurus and experts had to start somewhere too. Before the sold-out conferences and bestsellers, they were all beginners.
You have to believe you can achieve your blogging goals.
Don’t worry about the competition
Seriously if you spend too much time worrying about the competition, you could drive yourself crazy.
Focus on your patch of the Internet and make it the best you possibly can.
While it certainly doesn’t hurt to know what the competition is doing in your niche, don’t dwell on it too much.
The other big no-no is watching the competition so close that you start to copy-cat their work. With so much information available online, it can be hard to be original all the time. Regardless of this, don’t copy anyone else’s work.
Related post – How to Deal With Blogger Envy
Understand it is hard work
I have said this before in my post One Piece of Information You Need to Know Before Starting Your Online Business.
Blogging takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
If you are not up for the work involved, you might want to reconsider.
Love what you do
Despite all of the above, I love blogging and hopefully you will to.
Blogging can introduce you to some amazing people and experiences. Blogging can help you build an inspiring community of like-minded, fascinating people who you would never have come across otherwise.
Understand it is about building relationships. Forget about the traffic stats just for now.
Think about the people you can help with your unique view of the world. Think about how you can add value.
Knowing and doing are completely different things
I was watching a video from an extremely successful blogging expert this morning. At the end of the video, I realized that I already knew the advice she was offering in the video.
And therein lies the rub.
Sometimes we know what to do, it is the doing part that we fall behind on. All the knowledge in the world won’t help if you don’t apply it and get the work done.
The experts got where they are today because they continually take action on what they learn.
On that note, it’s time for me to go and DO some of those things I know but haven’t put into practice yet.
Start your blog, enjoy the process and work hard. Bring your unique part of the Internet to life and make your mark.
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