This month marks the one year since All the Things I Do launched and let me tell you I’ve learned a lot (and am still learning). This past year has been crazy and amazing. I had no idea when I started, it would be the roller coaster ride it has become. When I first started the blog I had a plan. I would write the blog, share it shamelessly and make my income selling ad space and doing product reviews. I quickly learned that this was not the path for me. I realized I needed to focus more, learn more and connect as much as I possibly could with my fellow bloggers. I won’t say I wasn’t scared because I was. What if people didn’t like it? What if I was wasting my money and time on redundant and uninteresting posts that no one cared about? If you are a blogger you are probably familiar with these fears.
While your blog is a safe haven, like all things in life, you have to realize that there are some things you just can’t control. No matter how bad you want your blog to succeed or how hard you try there are a few things you just have to accept. That’s putting it too nicely…. There are a few things you just have to get over because, it is what it is.
5 Things you need to accept if you want to be a blogger
You can’t do a twitter chat every night and if you can you’re probably slacking
I love Twitter chats, don’t get me wrong, but you cannot do them all! There are some amazing chats out there, hosted by some amazing online bosses but if you spend every night participating in a Twitter chat one of 2 things will probably happen…
- You’ll start to slack on your blog content and sharing.
- You will become VERY burnt out.
For me, part of the appeal of twitter chats is that I do about 2 a month and they leave me feeling inspired, excited and with some new twitter friends/followers. As much as I wish I could hope on to twitter every night and have an hour long discussion with fellow bloggers and solopreneurs it just ain’t happening. I barely have time some nights to finish my freelance work or blog marketing. Plus, sometimes you need a night off! Sometime you need happy hour with your bestie, a Netflix night with your sweetie or just a nice bubble bath and some DVR purging and that’s okay.
This isn’t just about Twitter chats in case you didn’t see through the subtext…. it’s about everything. You can’t be in every Facebook group, you can’t participate in every Instagram giveaway, you can’t subscribe and read every blogger’s newsletter.
If you try to do it all you will get burnt out. I understand the urge to do as much as you can with the hope of growing your blog as fast as you can’t, but take it from this eager beaver, don’t overwhelm yourself.
Little by little becomes a lot
This lesson goes hand in hand with not over-extending yourself.
Blogging is a full time job and a lot of us are doing it with a job (or 2). Combined with family, friends and everything else, it is a lot to handle.
You won’t come out of the gate and win every blog award, have a million page views, 5,000 Instagram followers, etc. You have to build your blog and brand over time.
Each new post is a piece of the puzzle. Each time you make a new connection you are building your community. When you start your blog it will probably be a slow process and that is perfectly normal. As long as you are producing good content, being genuine, being consistent and learning as much as you can you will see growth.
There are so many resources out there to help you and so many awesome people in the blogging community who want to see you do well.
You don’t have to have it all figured out on day one. All of the super successful bloggers I know will admit that it was a process for them. They often teach using their mistakes as lessons. Which brings me to my next point.
You will make mistakes
I will never forget when I finally was ready to premiere my first content upgrade. I checked everything a 20 times and was so excited to use it to grow my email list. My first content upgrade was my Writer’s Guide- 55 Prompts to kill Writer’s Block. I was so excited about it and worked super hard on it.
So when I hit publish early one Monday morning in December I was horrified when not even 20 minutes later @BloggerRT retweeted it and someone responded, “Is one of the tips to use spell check?” Yes, it was passive aggressive, sarcastic and in my opinion, a rude way to let me know my post graphic had a grammatical error but I couldn’t even fixate on that, my big moment had been ruined!
Long story short…. I use Canva for most of my images and because I typed in the wrong word but still a real word it didn’t register it as a mistake. FACE PALM. I scrambled to go correct the graphic and fix it anywhere I could but in my mind the damage was done. This ruined the whole “roll out”! Everyone saw this guy’s comment calling out my totally human error! (Because as I’m sure you know, everyone on twitter sees every single tweet ever tweeted… btw this guy had about 69 followers on Twitter…so obviously my reputation as a “serious blogger” was forever tarnished!)
I can joke about it now because that shit will happen, no matter how much you proof read or how many eyes you have on something, sometimes mistakes will be made or something will slip through the cracks and that’s okay. You’re human!
The key is to fix the mistake and move on.
Side-bar: If you see a fellow blogger has made a mistake try to just send them a private message and let them know. If it’s in some place (like Twitter) where you can’t do it quietly, say it politely, we’re all bloggers so let’s be nice to each other. Let’s not try to make each other feel bad about being human, because none of us are perfect.
Say something like, “Hey I was checking out your post and noticed ____. I just wanted to let you know. Great post.” I’m not saying lie, if you don’t like the post say, “… Just wanted to let you know. It happens to all of us.”
I work for a Marketing agency, we have at least 2 people proof any single draft for errors and almost always, things gets missed that first time. When you are a one-person team chances are you don’t have anyone to proof your work. This funny thing happens in your brain when you’re checking your own work, because you know what you meant to say, your brain will autocorrect errors and you might miss them, no matter how alert you are (so never mind how easy this can happen when you have been working 9-5 then 6-11 and just want to get the piece done).
2 Tips that do help with this:
- Reading out loud.
- Reading the article backwards sentence by sentence.
Some people are just mean
There is a reason people came up with the term “Trolls,” some people don’t have an any of positive energy or goals of their own so when they see you trying to do something bigger they just want to spread negativity and hide behind their keyboards. Sometimes people just don’t think before they type and although there is probably a photo of you on the same page as the post they are online and can’t fathom that the mean things they are saying are going to be read by an actual human with feelings. Finally, sometimes people honestly don’t realize when they are being dicks, they may make a comment they would make to a friend or say something that wouldn’t hurt their feelings. They may make an innocent observation and you are just having a lousy day and it hits you like a punch in the gut.
No matter what this will never end. You read the negative comments, respond, delete them or however you choose to handle it and then just keep going. Not everyone will agree with you or like what you have to say. The people who do want to hear what you have to say are the ones who matter. They are the people you need to connect with and the people who will love you, support you and grow with your blog.
You don’t know it all
Never close yourself off to learning from your peers. Never shut done someone trying to offer advice or just a helping hand, simply because “you got this.” I’m sure you are rocking it but there is always something you can learn from anyone you meet, even if it’s simply, what not to do.
We are all experts at something. Life is about growing and learning from each other. Guess what? So is blogging.
As I said in the beginning of this post I am still constantly learning. Anything I post, tips or tricks, any advice is stuff I’ve learned from my own personal experience in blogging and business. While I have been writing my whole life, blogging for 3 years and running All the Things I Do for a year now, I don’t pretend to know it all.
Different things work for different bloggers, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa.