I recently started writing again, I blogged for two years before taking a break. I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned through this blogging journey to hopefully give a little insight into what to expect for new bloggers and writers.
1. It’s okay if your writing isn’t 100% perfect.
Focus on the message and point you are trying to make.
Big verbose words do not matter, simplicity is key. The majority of adults read and write between a 9th-grade — 10th-grade level.
There is numerous software that can help you improve your writing. I use Grammarly, a free writing, spelling, and grammar checking app as I write. There is a paid version that has many more features.
The time wasted in trying to be perfect cannot be taken back.
2. Be inspired by others but be yourself. Don’t try morphing into your favorite writer.
You have a unique perspective on life. Use it and let your own voice be heard.
There is plenty of regurgitated content from writers who write the exact same articles but word it differently. Put your own unique twist on your writings and don’t follow the crowd
It’s okay to be different. It’s how to stand out from the crowd.
Also, always check resources and copyright laws. This can save a lot of time and unnecessary research when writing about an already written topic.
3. Try not to waste too much time with themes and plugins
Having a nice-looking website is important, but too much focus on themes and plugins will easily become a game of distraction.
A simple and easy user interface is the way to go
Some plugins will crash your website if they do not work with your selected theme
4. Self-hosting is the best route to go if you are wanting more control over your website
It’s cheaper in the long run if you are wanting to build a business
You have more control and say-so over your writings
I personally used Bluehost before the break. Their customer service has been great, and the prices are doable. Now I am starting over on wordpress.com.
I’ve had both self-hosted and non-self-hosted websites with wordpress.com and wordpress.org. Both are great depending on what your writing goals are. I plan to write a post on the differences and opportunities of both soon.
5. There are many ways to repurpose content to reach a bigger audience.
Make a YouTube channel and vlogging about your written blogs. (I’m in the process of doing this)
SlideShare can help you turn your content into PDFs, infographics, videos, and more to easily share across the web and its platform.
Turning phrases into shirts, mugs, canvas art, and other fun products for readers who enjoy your writings and would like to support you and receive something from you. This helps with a side income as well.
Turning your blog into a magazine or book
There are many ways to repurpose your content. It just takes a little time and creativity.
6. When first starting out do not worry too much about monetization, it will come with time if you are looking to make blogging your career or side income.
Focus on content and gaining readers. This takes time and patience, however, it is worth it. This helps you build trust, transparency, and readers who cherish your work.
Pageviews are important in the blogging world, but they are not the main goal when wanting to share your voice with the world. The main goal should always be to provide useful content to readers to gain something from.
If you’re doing this for a hobby, that is great. Don’t try to keep up with the crowd. If you love writing just to write then keep on doing what you love. Money isn’t everything.
I started as a hobby blogger and now I’m trying to grow in order to build on my dreams. If you are a hobby blogger wanting to grow it is completely 100% doable.
7. Information overload is real, and it is easy to fall into.
Procrastination can easily happen when you are trying to figure things out on your own. Hours upon hours of research only to find half useful articles, missing steps, and confusion. Learn to do as you read and make mistakes work in your favor.
Mistakes are like that one teacher who everyone thought was horrible, but in reality, had good intentions when looking deeper. Like Professor Snape from Harry Potter.Tweet
Research and apply. All the absorbed knowledge has to go somewhere or it can become jumbled or easily forgotten.
Learn as you go. The best lesson comes from actively doing.
8. Rest and recharge when you need a break
For the first two years, I never took a break. I was constantly either working on the back end of my website, writing or researching. I burned out and had to take a break to regroup.
Taking a step back is necessary in order to process everything you learned, what direction you would like to take next, and to give your analytical mind a rest.
The work will still be there when you come back. If you don’t go back to it that’s okay, it may have not been for you. Something better will preset itself.
New opportunities are found when stepping back.
Don’t forget to go out and have fun. Going out gives us fresh new ideas and outlooks.
9. Write what you are passionate about, or it will become a chore
There will always be days when you just don’t feel like doing anything. This is normal, however, if you are writing about something you don’t have true passion or interest in it will feel like a regular mundane job that you feel you are forcing yourself to do. It is not a good feeling at all.
You can tell passion for writing from writing where people are just trying to make a quick buck.
It feels better to write about a subject that excites you
10. Don’t worry about the negative feedback too much
I had an individual write a whole article on how I was a waste of time and space. A response to sharing the darker parts of my life journey with readers who had been following my blog for a while. The article I had written was the reasoning behind my strong stance in the mental health community. It hurt for a while, but I didn’t let it phase me too much.
Don’t respond. I wish I did this, but I responded with kindness and tried to understand why he would be so harsh. People who are obviously trying to be rude and arrogant in your writings WANT you to comment. It’s how they get views and reads. Just delete the comment and move along.
Focus on the readers who support and enjoy your work.
Listen to the positive constructive criticism to grow as a writer and leave the trolls behind. They are everywhere.
Blogging is an emotional journey, though so is life. There are good days, bad days, and days where you just want to pull your hair out. However, if you enjoy writing it is also a beautiful journey that takes you to many unexpected places of learning and inspiration.
Meeting new bloggers, and writers, and joining a community of words has been a wonderful experience and I’m excited for this new chapter with writing once more.