Ask Rachel: How to Overcome those “First Post” Jitters as a New Blogger

first post on blog, starting a blog, start a blog to make money, blog fear

Today’s WBW Post was originally published on 5/3/16. 


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!

Hello!
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.
Thank you!


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 writer’s 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 people’s 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 you’re blogging for money, fame, or fun – just remember to let go of the fear.

let it go street art

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 in 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!

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Do you have a question you want some advice on? Let me know by clicking here!

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  • LiveJournal! I totally forgot about that! It was my jam…
    I had never thought about over-consuming content. It’s a brilliant (and so simple!) reminder to cut back and focus on your own voice and purpose.
    (If I could add an emoji right now, I would give you multiple thumbs ups)

    • Haha I still go back to LiveJournal and read my old posts sometimes haha.

      Thanks girl! Love your blog! You have your voice nailed and it’s such a good source for those days I feel like I am the only one who just cant adult.

  • Julie Viera

    This was extremely helpful- you hit the nail on the head. I found myself filtering my thoughts, worrying too much about layout and reading so much online content that I felt mine could not compare. I’m ready to just make it happen.

    • Thank you Julie! Do it! Drop me a link to your blog so I can check it out 🙂

  • Beth

    This is great advice! I remember how incredibly nervous I was the first time I hit "publish." I just signed up for the goal setting guide and it looks quite helpful! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Lori Lyons Luhrman

    This is great advice for the beginning blogger! I can’t believe it’s only been eight months since I pressed "publish" for the first time! I can definitely get on-board with not getting too bogged down with online content. I’ve found that it really drags me down when I get into too many blog courses, webinars, Twitter chats, etc. Just be you and focus on your mission. Thanks for sharing!

    • Totally agree Lori! One of the most liberating feelings is unsubscribing or hiding groups and promotional products from my feed or inbox when I feel overwhelmed!

  • Happy Curious Life

    Great tips for launching a blog! I remember when I started out, I was so nervous and thought that there was no way that I could come up with consistent content. Actually, last moth, I got a little discouraged, but reminding myself why I wanted to start the blog really helped. And now this is something that I remind myself any time I sit down to write a post

    • That’s awesome! I think staying connected to our "why" is so important!

  • Brigette Collins

    These are great tips! I often catch myself thinking of “better ways to say something” but then I realize, that’s not me and I correct it. I think that’s what makes blogging so awesome! You get to share your personality with the world!

    • Agreed! And that’s what turns readers into friends!

  • My first posts were so… boring, compared to now. I’m pretty sure it was because I was nervous and trying to tame myself so I wouldn’t offend! Those days are over, haha.

  • emily@happynfull.com

    Haha! Livejournal days… I used to have Xanga – back when it was a personal blog. Great advice on not filtering – I think many new bloggers are worried that what they post will be forever out there. For the most part I guess that’s partially correct, but as a website controller you can always edit or delete or hide posts in the future if you decide what you wrote today is unfitting.

  • Such helpful advice! I totally agree with consuming less content. I love reading other blogs but it’s so easy to fall into comparing yourself, better just to avoid it all together. Another piece of advice that I heard is that no one cares about your first post as much as you do. The more important thing is that you’re doing it and doing it consistently. Your voice will follow.

  • mckenna bleu

    This is a great post! You are so write about sometimes spending too much time reading other peoples blogs! I find myself doing it sometimes

  • This was excellent – when I first started blogging, I was so timid! It was like I had this weird “polite” veil on all my writing. Then I decided effff thatttt and started writing how I speak – really letting myself shine through my writing was the best decision I ever made. Because regardless if it doesn’t appeal to everyone, it certainly has made me a better writer and I actually ENJOY the process now because it feels more real, more me. <3

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Lol YASSS! And that comes through so much more! If someone wants to read stiff they can pick up a New York Times or other journalistic publication!

  • M.

    Great advice! I remember my first days of blogging, I read everything out there and only stifled my own creativity. I found that I was subconsciously inserting others’ ideas in my projects, so I had to stop the blog reading.

    • Exactly! It’s super harmful and so often I hear people overwhelmed or stuck and they don’t make the connection like you did!

  • Greta Hollar

    Yes girl yeessss! This post is so spot on!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  • This is a great refresh for long time bloggers too! Awesome post!

  • Miss ALK

    I started blogging over four years ago, but I still remembering the fear/excitement before my first post!! Great tips girl!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • nicole simonetti

    the most important thing about being a blogger is having an authentic voice. only you have the ideas & thoughts that you do, so utilize that! don’t hold back on any post, especially not in the beginning. first impressions last a lifetime, ya know? x, nicole // http://www.nicoleeigh.com

  • Kristine Circenis

    Only recently have I truly understood why it’s okay to not read every freaking thing that’s out on the Internet. Why that may sound silly to have only realized lately, you said it yourself. It seems like it’s something we HAVE to do in order to stay relevant and see what else is out there, but we end up losing ourselves in the process. Great work as always.

    xo Kristine

    • Haha thank you! Yeah I definitely started off reading all the things and couldn’t write anything! To this day I most skim stuff otherwise it’s just too much!

  • Great post, Rachel! I first started blogging in high school too, but that was a personal blog that only my friends and myself would see. My blogging kind of grew from there, and I created my beauty blog thinking only my friends would see it so I never really had “first post jitters”, which I am thankful for! But these are amazing tips, so helpful for anyone who wants to start a blog! I definitely agree that you shouldn’t have a filter, because your personality is what keeps ’em coming back! x

  • This is perfect! I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I started my blog but I am kinda glad that I didn’t overanalyze every step haha.

    • Haha that’s the way to do it! I honestly started everything so fast that I didn’t realize what was happening most of the time haha

  • These are great tips, I especially love the one on how much you read other’s content. I find when I am reading other’s content more, I start to doubt my content and my own voice. This is a great read for a new blogger!

    • Agreed! I think we are all victims of falling into that trap too, no matter how long we’ve been blogging!

  • Yes, fantastic tips! It can definitely be nerve-wracking clicking ‘post’ for the first time. I love your points on letting your personality shine through and also not looking at others’ content too much. Loved this post!

  • Courtney Patterson

    I always tell newbies, “Be you. It’s the most glorious gift you can give to your readers otherwise, why even bother blogging?”

  • I agree it’s good to do it because you love it, not hoping it will get popular or make money (although hopefully you do)! If you enjoy it it will come across in your writing and be more fun to read.

  • Absolute truth! Love that you’ve nailed the real challenges of a newbie blogger. Some of these are relevant even to experienced bloggers – filtering thoughts, for example 🙂

    • Agreed! I think no matter what stage of blogging we are in, we can all fall into the filtering trap!

  • This was such a good read! Awesome tips and those mistakes are good ones to point out. Ouch!

  • Chanel van Reenen

    such great tips girl! I also hate cluttered blogs with pop up ads all over the place!

    • UHHH YASSS! I look at blogs sometimes that are stuffed with ads and I am like “how do people read anything?!”

  • Great tips! These are totally true. I was afraid to self promote at first and have actually just opened up to my readers within the last few months.

    Liz
    http://Www.lizzieinlace.com

    • That’s awesome Liz! It’s so important to build a deeper long last relationship with your readers!

  • Jenna Condon

    These are wonderful tips! It’s so true too. I can relate to these feelings when I first began to blog about my personal life and feelings. I’m so glad I found your blog.

    http://abeautifulheart07.blogspot.com/

  • Melissa Dow

    As a new blogger I can totally relate to this. Great tips! I have tried several blogs before but got overwhelmed and gave up. Not this time, I know my mission and I’m so motivated now.

    • That’s awesome! So exciting to watch your blog grow!

  • This is great advice for new bloggers, I agree over filtering can make a blog so boring!

    • Right! The fun of blogging is the personality of it all! I can read articles by journalist if I want less personality!

  • These are such great thoughts. I worry that I over-filter on my blog because I want to appeal to/please everyone but I also try to get personal. IDK! You never stop learning, right? 🙂

    • Lol exactly! Doing a reader survey can always help figure it all out too!

  • Solid advice! I feel like when I first began blogging 6 years ago and was “only writing for myself” it was a whole different ballgame. But I did end up getting jitters once it got more public.

    • Yeah I could totally see that! When did that switch occur for you?

  • This is really great advice!! You rock, Rachel!

  • Such solid advice! I agree with you about losing your blog when you read too many posts. I lose my voice too when I’m consuming other people’s content too much!

  • Oh my goodness. LiveJournal. What a blast from the past! These are some excellent tips; it’s so important to identify your mission & overall goal. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Haha RIGHT?? My BFF and I go back and read through them all every now and then! I am so happy they never took them down!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    “Ask Rachel” – how fun is that! Can’t wait to see and learn from this new series!

    • Thanks! It’s actually not a new series though! Lol this is a TBT post from May. I do one of these a month usually!

  • I’ve been blogging off and on again since middle school on tumblr, (old!) blogger, wordpress.com, literally every platform in the book because I was just itching to get things out in the open. I’ve just started a full-fledged blog this month, though, and this post made me realize that I’ve been filtering my posts a little bit instead of just writing for myself like I used to! Thanks so much for including this advice – I’m going to try to sound more like me in my future posts 🙂

    • So happy you found it helpful Katrina! When you’ve been blogging that long and you make a more “official” change it can be easy to get in your head (I’m talking about my own personal experience there). Excited to see your blog grow!

  • These are really great tips for new bloggers Rachel! And this is such a cute idea for a series haha!

  • I think I was too excited to be nervous when I make my first blog post. This was back in 2009 when blogging was still pretty new and honestly it never occurred to me that people would actually READ IT!

    • Love that your brought that up Rachel! It’s funny excitement and nerves sit the exact same way physically in our bodies! It just comes down to whether your perception is positive or negative!

  • Amy

    Such great tips!! I remember how nervous I was posting my very first post!

    xoxo,

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    • When did you start blogging?

      • Amy

        I started summer of 2014, so about 2.5 years ago!

  • Thanks for this post! It’s given me great perspective on how to better approach the blog portion of my travel business and the confidence to just put myself out there and infuse that into my brand!

    • For sure Chelsea! I am getting to your e-mail later today too!

  • Ashley Mason

    Awesome tips, Rach! When I created my first blog four years ago, I was so worried about how my post would look!

    • And now you are thriving! It’s so cool to watch you continue to grow beyond your blog!

  • mQs

    Self promoting is definitely not easy. Do you have any advice for it?

    • For sure! I’ll write a post on it in the next few weeks!

  • Kari Jonard

    Interesting. I hadn’t thought too much into this because it’s been a while since I started blogging. I think I came at blogging from a different angle and the biggest mistake I made was not having a clear idea of what I wanted to blog about. All good now though. 🙂

    • That’s good! What did you start off blogging about?

  • Meileilan

    These are all great advice. ❤️

  • Tessa Lynn

    Great advice. When I started, it wasn’t as a business or a way to make money–just simply to write. Now, it’s transformed quite a bit, but I remember how nerve-wracking it can be to press publish!

    • It’s fun to see the growth and change isn’t it?

  • Carly Ned

    Such a great post! I still get nervous about some of my ideas. Great advice xx http://www.thecarlycollective.com/

  • These are such great tips! I remember struggling with first post jitters back when I started blogging again (after blogging here and there like 3 years prior). Thanks for your honest, encouraging advice!

    Stephanie | http://www.stephanietherese.com

  • Great tips for new bloggers! I agree, it’s better to run with it and have fun than to overthink every little detail. 🙂

  • Wow! Thank you so much for this post Rachel! I’m a new blogger and lately I’ve been constantly googling mistake not to make as a new blogger (because I’m not incredibly good at it yet….haha). I think the biggest challenge for me is that I read too many other blog articles on the internet, and I’m so glad you pointed that out! Thanks again!

  • Maggie Reimherr

    Oooh I love this post, especially the part about getting your first hate comment. I have a post coming up that I feel like is probably the most “TMI” I’ve ever written. I’m nervous to publish but know it’s that kind of authentic content that’s going to attract new readers. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Maggie | amillennialmarriage.com

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