When I joined the blogosphere, it wasn’t as large as it is now( or that’s what I think). I just rounded off my NYSC and it was a tough year, as I had no job forthcoming and felt miserable.
On a fateful morning, I was scrolling through Instagram and stumbled on a picture of a lady, flaunting her natural hair with a huge smile,on my explore page. I clicked the follow button and discovered she has a blog.
That was the first time I discovered blogging and trust me, I was intrigued. Having to document your interests and your thoughts written to share with people you will probably never meet sounded good to me.
The fact that I could share whatever is of interest to me and have people share their thoughts and at the same time develop healthy relationships sounded like the perfect way to get out of my misery and stay sane.
This happened in December 2015. I started the blog and was quite consistent, but I was the only one reading my articles. I write and read them! Interesting.
The funny thing is I wasn’t ready to share, I was somewhat shy and wondered what people would think of my blog. Imagine.
Well, I summoned a little courage after I got some positive comments. There was a 6 month hiatus on the blog at a period, but I got back with a self-hosted site. Glory!
I have learned a few lessons in this art of blogging. I’m glad I started this blog, it’s one of the best decisions I have made. Honestly, if I would put an end to some aspects in my life, blogging has nowhere to go, we are stuck together forever!
What are the lessons I’ve learned?
1. Passion makes a difficult journey beautiful.
It got to a point I was frustrated with marketing the blog. I was upset at myself and the blog, wondering why it couldn’t promote itself. Each time I check my stats, I feel I’ve been wasting my time and maybe, talents. At least, I need a great number of viewers to proceed to making some money.
But then, I realised my “Why”, which is far from being a joke and got back to my senses. Passion will always speak. Most people who started their blogs shut it down after a while, especially when the profit isn’t forthcoming. Some just get tired, take a break and never return. You can’t abandon what you are passionate about, for anything. It makes the difference.
The good thing is these things we desire will come. Your passion just needs some form of test.
Most times, I am long done writing a post, but to get quality pictures and edit stresses me out! But then, the joy that comes with clicking on that “publish” button is unexplainable.
2. Start where you are and with what you have.
I had a small laptop and a blackberry phone when I started. I know it sums up all that’s needed to start a blog. But if I had waited, hoping to get some money for a good camera and a better phone, guess what? I’ll still be waiting.
It’s important to start from somewhere, that makes the story even more interesting.
Someone once said it is not the capital that really hinders one from starting a business, but an idea. I still argue on that issue, what if I want to buy and sell? Isn’t it capital I need to buy in the first place?
I believe you understand what I’m driving at though. Some even say they aren’t good at writing, so they can’t run a blog? Seriously, blogging isn’t meant for writers. As long as you can gather your thoughts and put them down, you’re good to go.
3. Comparing oneself to others is a silent killer!
This can never be overemphasized. At a point, I thought I could just start a fashion blog since I have some nice dresses and could always get more.
I had the belief that fashion bloggers were the rulers of the blogosphere as they are all over the place. This affected my blog at that period, I abandoned it.
I understand the temptation behind this, trust me. You see your colleagues flourishing and you use that to measure your life, it drains you. You are unique, you have what makes you YOU.
4. Be willing to grow and learn.
As far as I was concerned, all I needed to do was to write and publish. But then I realised there were other things that make up a great blog.
Things like SEO, email marketing, photography, brand partnerships, affiliate marketing were new to me. I didn’t know there was more to blogging. So, I started making my research to acquire more knowledge.
Recently, I’ve been binge watching YouTube videos on photography, I never imagined I’d delve into that aspect.
So, growth and the willingness to learn is very important in life. Even if you might not put what you have learned into practice, it is a plus for you. You have acquired the skill and gained the knowledge already.
There’s this bloggers’ support group I’ve been a part of. Being a blessing is an understatement, I have learned a lot and still learning. It is called The Bloggers’ Advocate (You can check them out on Instagram). Growth is necessary, always.
5. You’re your best cheerleader.
Most of the time, people won’t notice you at first. You are literally on your own, doing your thing. Persistence and consistency is paramount. It all boils down to passion, as mentioned earlier.
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. So, it starts with you, you have to be your number one fan. You’d be glad you didn’t give up when the benefits come.
Patience is key. Good things, they say, don’t come easy. I wish this wasn’t the case though.
These are the lessons I’ve learned so far. I’m still learning as far as blogging is concerned. It has widened my horizon and instilled the desire to grow and learn more.
I hope these lessons will inspire you in some way.
Which of these lessons are you holding on to? As a blogger, what lessons have you learned so far?