I’ve been taking some time lately (in between helping people buy and sells homes, of course) trying to sharpen my skills (photo-editing, WordPress, Instagram, Blogging). Even though I’ve been blogging for over a year now, I still view myself as a newbie. Over the past year I had so many life changes that I both learned and blogged sporadically – which definitely didn’t help with blog engagement LOL.
Now I feel like I am starting 2018 fresh and much better equipped to blog. As all of my fellow bloggers know, this is not an easy business or hobby. Blogging is something that takes passion, commitment, sometimes unacknowledged work, and patience.
As someone who is crossing the threshold out of the newbie stage, I can definitely relate to and completely understand all of the standard blogging difficulties. What’s more, I can help you try and overcome them!
So grab a cup of coffee (or Twinnings English Breakfast with a splash of skim milk, like me) and get ready for some blog talk!
Blogging Difficulty #1: WHAT IN THE WORLD DO I BLOG ABOUT?
If you haven’t even started blogging yet and are trying to figure this out before you start, then great. The best advice I can give is this: blog about what excites you. Blog about something you seriously geek out for. Pick a topic you know you’ll never tire of. But also make sure you don’t confine yourself too much that it becomes difficult to sustain your blog over time.
If you are like me and already have a blog up and running, keep writing about what excites you – regardless if you feel a topic is tired. I’m a lifestyle blogger. Sometimes I have those days where I think to myself, everybody and their mother has written and read blog posts on yoga practices, so why should I even bother touching on it? This type of thinking is dangerous and is simply revealing an unfounded fear. Your topic may not be totally original, but you are. Your thoughts, opinions, and writing style are original because they are yours and your true followers care about what you think – not the bloggers who may have come before you.
Simply put? Stop worrying, be genuine, and #doyou.
Blogging Difficulty #2: FINDING YOUR BLOGGER VOICE
I’m going to be straight with you. I had such a hard time with this! Before blogging my writing was one of three things:
- Journaling (for my eyes only, thank you very much)
- Academic (because I took on thesis writing like a boss)
- Poetry ( both blunt and mysterious AND more emotional than my day-to-day self would ever allow)
The problem? NONE of these were appropriate blogger voices. I started experimenting with different tones and writing styles, but my early editors kept sending each post back my way. I lost count of the times they told me something like this sounds like a term paper.
Finally I figured out that I needed to write as if I were chatting with my best friend. I needed to pretend that I was sending ridiculously long texts to my BFF and that’s when my blogger voice was finally born. It’s not as easy as it sounds, I know. But once you get the hang of it, you can almost predict your BFF’s responses to your writing and those responses can sometimes reinforce the direction you were heading in with your writing – or even alter it completely.
Your blogger voice needs to be as relaxed, engaging, and thoughtful as your conversation over a bottle of red at girls night.
Blogging Difficulty #3: ALL OF THIS TECH IS SO OVERWHELMING!
I have three things to say here:
- Take the time to play around. You’re not going to do irreparable damage to your blog, I promise (just starting out the odds of that are pretty low). But you should be familiar with navigating your site, the backend of your site, an the multiple social media accounts that are linked to it. By exploring a little, you can get over that fear of the unknown before focusing on learning the ins and outs and customizing.
- Learn. Read, watch YouTube tutorials, and research what fellow bloggers have done. A lot of the answers to questions you have in the beginning of blogging can definitely be answered in this way. One of the books I used all the time was “Blogging for Dummies”. I suggest you start there, too!
- Get help if you need it. There are some things you just won’t know – and some things you think you know but are scared to death to attempt. If you are serious about blogging, sometimes it really pays to seek out the help you need. I could not have started my blog without Heather of Viva la Violet. She was a brilliant partner and a much-needed level head when a task I knew was insignificant for her left me feeling overwhelmed. Her price-points are fair, and honestly Heather was worth every penny I ever gave her. You can find my stellar review and page on her portfolio HERE!
Blogging Difficulty #4: SOMEBODY PLEASE TAKE MY PICTURE
I never really gave this one that much thought. I bought myself a fancy new camera and walked out of Best Buy hugging the SONY to my chest like Hello Instagram, I’ll take that little blue check next to my username now, thanks. What I didn’t foresee was trouble getting pictures of me. I generally snap candids representing my lifestyle throughout the day. But is a friend/family member always around to take a picture of me? Of course not.
The solution? Always have a camera ready. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to snap a quick picture of you (offer them hugs and photo credit LOL). And join local blogging groups (I belong to Boston Bloggers on Facebook) and meet up with local bloggers to collaborate and photograph each other!
Blogging Difficulty #5: WHY IS MY ENGAGEMENT GROWING AT A TURTLE’S PACE?
I’ve been super frustrated with this, myself – especially on Instagram. But I know that it is 50% my fault. Consistency in theme, posting, and personal engagement is the name of the game – and I definitely can’t say I’ve been super consistent.
Be consistent and you’ll grow exponentially!