The Confused Millennial is One Year Old!!!!
What a whirlwind of a year it's been!!!
I literally cannot believe that a year ago I was in the midst of a tailspin (< — TCM's first post) when the idea for my little corner of the interwebs was born!
I was literally ranting at my husband that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had just invested thousands into a coach and felt like I was building somebody else's dream. I was riding the aftershock waves of my quarter life crisis when I said, “I have no idea what I am doing, I'm just another confused millennial!” And that was it. TCM was born. The light bulb had gone off and I immediately went to purchase the domain (which someone already owned), so I decided to purchase confusedtwentysomething and confusedthirtysomething before I finally realized I needed to just add a “the” and became The Confused Millennial.
I spent the next 48 hours designing the logo, building the site, setting up shop on social, and writing/posting the first four articles:
1. Hello World! <— but seriously, read that post, because it's raw & real, but horribly titled.
Clearly, I was going through some stuff when I launched haha! But the amount of love and support I received from those initial posts was so encouraging and it pushed me to keep going. By month two, TCM had reached over 17,000 people! Today, TCM has reached over 100,000 people with 20% returning each month!
I am constantly in awe of this community, the love, and support you've shown me and TCM have been beyond my wildest dreams so I thank each and every one of you who reads, comments, shares, and e-mails.
From the bottom of my heart, none of this would be possible without you, thank you.
And you know it wouldn't be TCM if I didn't pick up a few life lessons along the way so without further adieu,
10 Life Lessons I Learned My First Year Blogging:
1. You don't need to be niche.
I've always been defiant – you know, the one who goes left when the teacher says go right. I like the road less traveled and doing things “they hard way” and my leap into the blogging world has been no different. I know all the experts say “niche down” “define your niche!” “you need a niche!” but I say F* THAT!
Y'all, we are complex people, with many layers. I personally could NEVER go to a blog that wrote about the same thing every day (whether it's fashion, business tips, or movie reviews), it's simply not who I am. So I figure there must be other people out there like me, who like to play Russian roulette with their content consumption, and I think I am right!
Based on my reader survey last year, all the respondents except for 2 said they appreciated the diversity of content because it introduced them to things they weren't previously thinking about. If they don't like a post topic, they skip it, no biggie. And I love that!
If you are a blogger just starting out, get to know your audience, but also write about things you are passionate about. Passion and purpose will always win in my book.
2. Get clear on what you want.
Whether it's with your blog or in life, you need to be trying out a lot of things to figure out what you do and do not want. It's a lot easier to scale things personally and professionally when you have clarity. That clarity becomes part of your mission and becomes the lens you can filter many future decisions through.
Also if you are a blogger, and you are not niching down, then getting clear on your blog's mission is a 100% must!
3. F* Fear.
TCM was born after dealing with the fallout of some very fear based people. Throughout this year, I've watched fear turn the most b0$$a$$ babes into insecure, fear based, nervous wrecks. EVERYTHING we desire in life will usually bring some level of fear (fear of losing it, fear of not being worthy enough, fear of (fill in the blank)), it's our responsibility to say F* Fear and march through tough times with our heads held high, knowing we did our best. Every fearful moment we encounter is an opportunity to choose growth.
4. Embrace community – but set limits.
I am all about community over competition. I am a huge support of having a tribe that can help elevate your business or personal life, we NEED community. I would be nowhere without community. – And if you are saying F* Fear, then the only competition you should be in is with yourself!
With that said, a quick little PSA: there are only so many hours in a day to get everything done, and if you choose yourself sometimes that's okay. I think two big things are happening:
1) Please take advantage of what community means. Yes, I am all about community over competition, but I also make a living from my blog and from my coaching/consulting services. If you send me an e-mail asking me to audit your site or if you can “pick my brain” the answer is no. That has nothing to do with community, it has to do with getting paid for my expertise. Which leads me to…
2) A trend I noticed this year where people say “community over competition” as if those are the only two choices. Sometimes it has to be self-care over community. Sometimes we need to choose ourselves over others, and that's okay. Which leads me to…
5. Limit the amount of other people's content you consume.
I've written about this before, but ICYMI: when we consume too much of other people's content, it can be easy to fall into comparison paralysis and lose our own voice. Too often, I see bloggers or content creators getting upset about similar content to theirs being published –
side note: it's become so commonplace for people to get upset about similar content that I actually got an e-mail last week from a girl starting a millennial blog asking if it was okay to have similar content and opened the e-mail with, “I have no idea… if you will want to slap me at the end…” she was afraid of offending others because her blog was going to be similar to theirs –
But the reality is, most of us are millennials going through shared life experiences and thus, are going to be writing about shared experiences. The issue comes in, when you are reading SO much of other people's content, you can't remember if you are writing from your perspective or theirs.
6. Be creative AND flexible
Whether it's in the blogging world or in your day to day life, we are meant to express ourselves. We are meant to be creative and messy and raw and beautiful. It's the fun part of #adulting. Butttt with all of that said, be flexible. Be ready to go from 0 to 5,000 in a milisecond. Be prepared to have a “yes” turn to a “no” so quickly you get whiplash. Roll with the punches because that is when you are upleveling your passion in life.
7. You will never stop learning – if you want to succeed.
Every time I feel like I am starting to get a pulse on something, I feel like it evolves. Which means there is always more to learn, and more to strive for. Find friends who can be supporters and teachers. You all will be thankful for it in the long run as you figure things out.
8. Get comfortable in limbo-land
This goes for everyone, but especially for those who are entrepreneurial. There will always be something else to work on, something else to learn, a new goal to reach. In blogging, and in life, there are a lot of balls to constantly juggle, goals to be working on, and things to be striving for. Remember to pause and enjoy the party happening around you because you will probably never feel like you have enough.
9. You must invest in yourself
Whether it's in your blog, in your self-care routine, in a coach, or whatever, it's important to invest in yourself and your future at this stage of the game. Don't try to cut corners because you will pay for it in the long run.
A lot of you know about the headache I went through when I moved TCM from Squarespace to WordPress – I built TCM on a bad foundation of “grids” since Squarespace didn't have the exact template of what I envisioned for TCM… which resulted in a lot of broken URL's and 404 errors (and many sleepless nights trying to fix them all). Upgrade your hosting, get a consultant, hire a VA, invest in the best Pinterest course out there, do what you need to do to make sure your mind is at ease and your foundation is strong.
10. Have fun.
Blogging is more work than I ever imagined it would be. No joke, unless you are a blogger or are extremely close with a blogger, I don't think you can really understand what goes into running a “successful” blog. If you aren't having fun, it's not worth the time (or monetary) investment. If things stop being fun, figure out what went south for you. Life is too short to spend it doing something that isn't fun anymore.