WOOHOO! Got the first "Ask Rachel..." Question! I am (HOPING!) to make a weekly feature of "Ask Rachel..." where I answer reader's questions (on ANY topic!) and give some advice (FO FREE!). Submit your questions here!
Alright let's jump into it!
I am a struggling twenty-something working on starting my own lifestyle/life fails blog. Do you have any advice for me as a launch into this new endeavor? I have written some practice posts to get those"first post" jitters and to be sure that it is something I actually want to take on. I am currently working on design layout, etc. but am very nervous to officially "launch."
I'd love any advice, encouragement, etc that you have for me.
Ahh thank you for the question! I can totally relate to being at that point of "Is this something I actually want to take on" when I first started blogging.
Some back story for you: I have been blogging on and off since high school (What up LiveJournal days! Who else remembers those?? Drop me a comment!). I would go through spurts where I posted multiple times a day to not at all. I've had a public blog, a private blog, and an anonymous blog over the years. I have constantly struggled with this pressure I put on myself to create the "perfect post" or "perfect content schedule" ... I would obsess for hours over what other bloggers were doing and constantly compare myself...
...Which reminds me of episode 4 in Girls season 5 where Jessa tells Hannah she spends too much time reading articles and content on-line that it's actually made her stupid and is the culprit of her writers block...
As bitchy as Jessa was in this scene, there's some serious truth to it... I digress...
I actually put so much pressure on myself that I stopped enjoying it and would ultimately stop writing.
So the first point of advice: Limit how much content you are consuming on-line!
Seriously this is so important, I found that if I spend hours reading other peoples work, I lose my voice completely. I do like to read 3 bloggers regularly for inspiration, education, and fun, but any more than that I have found to actually be harmful.
Which leads me to my next question/piece of advice: Why are you blogging? What is your blog's mission?
Write that shit down! Seriously, WRITE IT DOWN. Cherish this. Never lose this. As your blog grows you will have challenges that may pull you away from your original mission or purpose, so stay connected to your "Why" - as in "why you are starting this adventure". Click here for more tips on how to write a mission statement.
Whether your are blogging for money, fame, or fun - just remember to let go of the fear.
Seriously, let it go. In the blogging world they say that your first "hate" comment or e-mail means you've made it. So really the only thing to feel "concerned" about is apathy... but at the end of the day if you are clear and focused about your blog's mission, it will connect with someone (because emotions are universal, and nobody is so unique that they don't have a tribe out there).
3 Big mistakes I see with new bloggers include (there's more I just won't get into all of them in this post):
- They filter. They filter their thoughts and words so much that we never really get to know them or their personality.
- They try to please everybody, and end up connecting with nobody.
- They have a really ugly/crowded layout that makes it impossible to stay on their site or finish an article.
- They are afraid to self promote (because people need to know you are out there!).
Ready to kick your blogging up a notch?
Grab the goal setting guide to reach all of your blogging goals!
I hope that helps!
Do you have a question you want some advice on? Let me know by clicking here!