Blogging encompasses a vast number of areas.
When you become a blogger, you take on the role of an editor, a graphic designer, a social media marketer, a web designer, and much more. Blogging is much more than writing posts and publishing them.
I joined blogging in January 2016 with absolutely no idea about what it involved. I learned through experimenting and by looking at what other bloggers do. But even after almost 5 years of blogging, I don’t feel like I know all there is to blogging because I haven’t explored the monetization or self-hosting side of things.
There is a lot that I learnt in all these years of blogging but when I look back on it all, there are some things that stand out. I want to talk about those today, and it might help you as well.
All bloggers are kind and welcoming
I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that. I was always shy to reach out to bloggers for help or to ask something. But once I started to, realized that everyone here is really nice and welcoming. No matter the niche or age, bloggers welcome new bloggers.
There is always space for more in this community and I find that so heartwarming. I’ve never seen this widespread attitude in any other platform or community that I’ve been a part of. Instagram and Twitter are easier to start with but it’s not very easy to start making friends and approach people there, as far as I’ve seen.
Big numbers are also more intimidating on social media but it’s all the same for bloggers. Whether you have 20k followers or 20, your content is still viewed the same. And it’s because statistics are not the first thing you see when you visit a blog so that layer of judgement is removed.
Your content matters the most, not the number of connections or followers.
It is not easy to make longlasting blogger friends
Unlike social media, blogs don’t have a messaging medium. The only form of contact is through comments. It is not easy to form connections only through comments. At some point or the other, you have to move to social media or other forms of communication.
Also, the comment back culture does NOT help because you can never be sure if you’re friends or if they’re just returning the comment.
Because blogs don’t facilitate one-to-one communication themselves, it’s often hard for bloggers to make the first move and contact other bloggers. All blogger friendships that I have seen were truly formed on social media.
I tried with a couple bloggers before through EMAIL. I know, who was I and what era was I living in, right? But at the time I didn’t have any social media profiles linked to my blog. I only had a private personal Instagram account. Also, the bloggers whom I followed didn’t have social media profiles listed on their blogs as well. Hence, email was the only medium through which I could reach out.
Emailing did not work. While it allows conversations, it doesn’t allow real-time conversations and it is simply not as good as social media. Until I made social media accounts for the blog, I was NOT able to make friendships.
If you want to form friendships and actually get to know other bloggers, you need social media. It is hard otherwise.
As per my experience, it can be hard to become friends with bloggers even with social media. You have to keep in touch often and unless both sides are open to texting a lot, it might not work out well. I’m not a huge texter so I never formed close friendships. It would be great to have a close blogger friend whom I can bounce ideas with & discuss relatable things. But you have to be extra social and talkative in order to maintain friendships online.
You might never be completely happy with your content
There is always something more that you can do or something that you can change and do better. On some days, you might want to start over.
And that’s alright. It happens to all creators.
This feeling is not a good one but it can lead you to content that you will be happy with, at least for a while. The only way to get past it is to not let it take you down.
Half the time, you might not be happy with your content because of other blogs. That is VERY common. We all go through the imposter syndrome, and we can be jealous of how great others do. But at the end of the day, step back and understand that what you do is unique.
Your content, your voice, and your opinions are different. And there are definitely others who look up to YOUR blog.
Even if you’re not happy with your content, pat yourself in the back for your content because it is something unique and interesting.
Niched bloggers have more tight-knit communities
And it’s because niched bloggers can relate to EVERYTHING that others in the community talk about.
It’s not a bad thing. It is just how things work.
If you’re a blogger who doesn’t stick to a niche, it can be hard to feel like you’re part of any community. And as far as I know, there is no specific community for bloggers who don’t stick to a niche.
Every community is welcoming and friendly. If you blog about multiple things and can relate to multiple communities, it will be hard to fully be a part of any community.
This fact made me quite sad in the beginning because I wasn’t able to fully be a part of any community. I was mainly looking at the book blogger community and teen blogger community.
But now, I understand that it can be a really cool thing to be part of multiple groups and know very different kinds of people.
If you’re a blogger who doesn’t stick to one niche, I hope you enjoy the fact that you can be a part of multiple communities.
You can grow out of your blogging niche
Specific niches like “teen” and “college” don’t last forever. They can be your entire niche during the time but you can grow out of them and feel out of place.
I was a teen blogger for three years and when I turned 20, I was sad that I have to leave the identity of being a “teen blogger” behind. That label helped me make many friends and form connections online. I was not ready to let go, even though I realized that I won’t relate to that content much longer.
As I didn’t stick to a niche, the only label I could use was that because it did not matter whether you spoke about books, life, or wrote poetry. The fact that you’re a teen is enough. That’s why I clung to the label that hard.
It honestly never occurred to me that I’d have to form a completely new identity after turning 20 until it a few weeks before my birthday. I took a while to introspect and become sure of what I wanted to call myself. But it really caught me off-guard.
The other scenario is growing out of your niche creatively. You might simply be interested in another niche more and might not feel inspired by your current one.
If that does happen, don’t stick to your niche because you will be happier blogging about what inspires and motivates you.
This happened to me with creative writing. I used to write so much poetry and also short stories on this blog. If you go far enough in my archives, you’ll find that content. I recently went back to look at some poetry, just to see what I used to write about, and it feels like an entirely different person wrote all that. I do not relate to that content anymore.
You can grow out of your blogging niche whether you’re ready for it or not. The best way to handle it is to dive headfirst into change.
You can’t follow all blogging advice
It was only after blogging for two years that I found out bloggers are concerned with SEO. I took it in stride and dove into researching about SEO through Google and Pinterest. One link led to 5 other links which lead to 10 other topics. Within an hour I was overwhelmed.
There are TONS of blogging advice posts out there (including mine haha). There are posts that give tips for every single part of your blog. From advice about what niche to blog in, what generates the most revenue, formatting posts, to how you should inject more personality into your posts.
There is a surplus of blogging advice posts, especially on Pinterest. Once you start seeing them, you will never stop. There are way too many and it is easy to become overwhelmed. The posts will have you thinking that you HAVE to do all of those two thousand things to be a good blogger.
It is simply not possible to follow all blogging advice.
And this might be an unpopular opinion but you SHOULDN’T unless blogging pays you. If it is not your job, don’t put effort into following every single tips post out there. Follow what you can do and have the time for.
In the end, content matters the most. If you start treating blogging like a job when it’s not, you can easily burn out. Don’t do that to yourself.
I’m saying this because I tried and it is unnecessary. If you’re blogging for fun, don’t make it into a job!
Everyone’s pace is different
Some bloggers post every single day and others blog once a month. Popular advice posts say that you should blog at least twice a week and have over 1k words in each post along with 3 different types of graphics.
That does not mean you can do that. Blog according to what you can and want to do.
Blogging more often can also reduce the content and quality of individual posts. Quantity never matters more than quality. Especially because if the posts aren’t how you want them to be, you will become disappointed and discouraged. That is never good.
One great post is worth more than 4 mediocre posts that you’re not happy with.
That said, I definitely suggest playing with different paces and routines until you find what works for you. It took me 4 years to find a routine that works for me and I have been on the exact same schedule for the past 8 months. And it works for me!
Good posts take time to write
I’ve been writing this post for almost two hours now and I haven’t even started on formatting or graphics yet. It’s literally the rough draft that I’m typing with reference to the notes that I made. But I know (well, hope so) that it will be worth it in the end.
Content that makes you really happy to publish and share take time. Don’t rush through writing or any other part because you need to get a post out there. Delay your schedule if you need to.
I took a long time to become okay with messing up my schedule to write posts that I’m passionate about. But the best part is publishing them and seeing it receive all the love. In fact, most of my popular posts are ones that took me a long time to write and polish. I spend extra time because I want these posts to be just right.
Let yourself take more time for posts, if required. Don’t be impatient.
Consistent blogging is an ongoing struggle
No matter how long you’ve been blogging, you will never be perfectly in-sync with the schedule that you’d like to maintain.
I mentioned that I’ve been on the same routine for 8 months but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t take breaks in the middle or switched things up when needed. It’s hard to maintain a schedule for months together without having spells in the middle where you just don’t have the energy or motivation to blog.
And “consistent” is different for everyone. Don’t compare your pace with that of other bloggers.
Don’t be afraid to change
Especially if you’re not inspired or motivated with what you’re doing currently.
I took a few advice posts to heart and tried to keep a specific theme for VERY LONG even though I wasn’t happy with it for a long time. I was afraid to change the blog’s look and have it be unfamiliar to my readers. I was also unsure of changing my blog’s logo which was the same for almost three years.
But recently, I simply did NOT like them anymore and impulsively made changes before I could talk myself out of it. And they were good changes. I’m way more inspired to blog because I like how my website looks. In fact, my new theme has inspired me to create new graphics which I really like and make more changes.
Change is good because it can take you out of a rut.
It might be unfamiliar and different than the brand you maintained but it can also be something much better.
These were the biggest things that I struggled with during my blogging journey so far. I hope reading these points helps you, especially if you’re a new blogger.
What have you learnt from blogging so far? Do you relate to any of the points that I mentioned?