Letter From a Failing Blogger
Can you call something failing that has never been seen? Can you call something failing if no one knows about it? I guess you can if it is a blog. The entire point of writing a blog is to reach people. The entire point of becoming a blogger is because you like talking to people, connecting with people, and sharing things you like or things you know how to do with people. So, where are the people?
I know where...They are reading the other 500 million blogs other than mine. 500 million! Holy moly. That is a lot of “how to’s” and “look at my stuff” and “you should do this” blog posts. There are countless food blogs, business blogs, car blogs, healthcare blogs, small business blogs, education blogs…You name the subject and I guarantee there is a blog written about it.
As a new blogger, I am reading everything I can on how to be successful. I'm telling you - it's overwhelming. There is A TON of information about blogging out there. There was an entire world of information I had no idea about until six weeks ago. I've read so many posts on creating a website, affiliate links, reaching site visitors, creating social sites to promote your blog and SEO that my head is spinning with information. I have a whole list of "I need to do that" items.
I started reading several checklists of items (on blogs of course) bloggers should do if you want your blog to be successful. Here are some of the items that I checked off the list :
-Buy a domain name and create a website with at least 4 blog posts before it goes
-Get a business email. Check!
-Comment on other bloggers' posts and mention other bloggers in your posts. Check!
-Set up an Instagram for your business with at least 500 followers. Check!
-Join Business Pinterest. Check!
-Give readers an opportunity to sign up for my blog. Check!
-Submit a sitemap on Google Search Console. Check!
-Create your own Pinterest pins to promote your blog. Check!
-Engage with your site viewers ..... ummmmm. I thought this was a funny one to put on a new blogger list. I don't have site viewers, but I would engage if I did!
So now, I wait and write. And wait and pin. And wait and Instagram. And wait and research. And wait and write again. No, I didn’t think my blog would be an overnight success but I did think one person might find me charming. Just one. Soooo...let's move on to the pep talk part.
Comparing Myself to Other Blogs/Bloggers
Have you heard the quote, "Comparison is the Thief of Joy?" Man, this couldn't be more true in the social media age. It is so easy to fall into comparing yourself to how other people look, what others are doing, how others interact socially, and especially the beautiful pictures others take. How the heck do they take gorgeous pictures all the time?!
What I need to remind myself is that no one is perfect. I know, it sounds like basic advice but it's true. When I look at some bloggers sites with perfect pictures of perfectly organized homes and their seemingly perfect families, I have to remind myself of this; They are just really good at organizing and preparing for the perfect picture. I'm not. And that's ok! It's ok that I have dirty dishes in my kitchen sink right now. It's OK that the items in my cabinets aren't organized into labeled containers. It's OK that I don't take perfect pictures every single time.
My point? I can't compare myself to seasoned bloggers and neither should you. The cool thing about 500 million blogs? They are all different.
Not interpreting everything I read to, "Everything I Must Do"
I read in a blog (about blogging) that to be successful you need to have at least 2,200 words per post if you want Google to recognize your post so people can find it. Is this true? I have no idea but that didn't stop me from frantically looking at the word count on each of my posts and adding to them. Then I stopped and thought to myself, "Is this good content? Is this really information I need to share or am I adding fluff so I can be found by a search engine?" At that moment I realized that I needed to stop acting on each article or post I read. Not all of it is going to be good information for me. Not all of it worthy information for me to pause everything to analyze myself and my blog.
So, is there good information out there? ABSOLUTELY. There is a lot of great, helpful information out there. Just know that not all the information out there is helpful for you, personally. Each blogger is different, each blog is unique, so be careful about flooding yourself with too much information or unrealistic information that is just going to make you want to quit blogging before you ever have a chance to get started.
I know that my posts aren't going to be super long. I choose this. I want people to see my blog title and get straight to the information. Will my blog be for everyone? Nope. Will my personality and sense of humor be for everyone? Nope. Be good with it.
Willingness to Learn and Be Patient
This has been the hardest lesson. I was reading a blog post weeks ago on how to create a vision board. The first thing recommended is to answer some questions about yourself before you add things to your board. One of the questions was, "What is your dream career?" A simple question, right? No, it took me by surprise. I pondered this question and reflected on the career I've had for over 20 years. I realized at that moment why I wanted so badly for this blog to be successful. I want a life change. I want to work from home. I want to share with people in a new way. I want to learn something new and I want it all to happen quickly. Realistic? Probably not.
With a plethora of information at your fingertips to read and sift through it is easy to get frustrated if you don't understand something right away or if you don't get the results you want right away. I have learned that I need to slow down, allow myself to learn, and be patient if I don't understand something. My husband will be glad I've come to this realization. On many occasions, he has come to my rescue after hearing me yell things like, "I don't know where to paste this HTML code so my site can be recognized!" Then we watch a YouTube video, take a deep breath, and everything is OK again.
What I've Learned While Writing This
Basically, blog advice is the same advice I would give my teenagers about life: Don't Compare Yourself to Others, Have Fun, Be Real, Be Humble, Keep Learning, Be Patient with Yourself and Others, Work Hard, and Persevere.
I've decided after writing this, instead of saying "failing blogger," I'm going to say I'm a "learning blogger." Just because no one has seen my blog doesn't mean it's a failure. It just means it's yet to be discovered. I will hang on. I will keep writing. And I will keep sharing my VERY small (think of an atom) version of Oprah's Favorite Things (Oprah would be the earth) on my website Best Damn Things.
*Disclaimer: This letter contains no affiliate links. It is a letter from the heart. I see you, new bloggers. You will be okay. I will be okay.
Are you a new blogger? Reach out to me! Seasoned blogger and have advice? I'd love to hear it!