5 Things I Learned This Year as a Blogger
It was around this time last year, I had my goals done, vision board set, and I was ready to attack the new year with new resolutions and new goals. Excited to accomplish everything I wrote down, I jumped right in but soon realized that things weren't happening the way I intended them to. I wasn't bringing in extensive amounts of traffic or income; there were no brand sponsors or hosting jobs, and everything was at a standstill. For about six months I was confused, trying to figure out what went wrong and why things weren't just happening. So, I started taking classes, paying attention to what I did wrong and how I approached goals in general. What I learned is: goals aren't going to happen without a solid strategy and plan to make them happen. Without a clear vision and clear direction, goals are just a list of wishes. Aside from this, there are five key things that I learned this year and below I'm breaking them down, and sharing how you can apply them to your goals and have a successful year.
Related: Getting My Voice Back
There are many bloggers out there that label themselves as experts or coaches, and while there are a few who are solid, be mindful of the advice and lessons you receive. What works for some, may not necessarily work for you, especially not in the same format. After following many lessons and trying to implement the teachings, I started to get lost in following their way step-by-step. While many will recommend creating content specifically for your audience (readers), I recommend creating content that speaks to who you are but resonates with your audience. Authenticity should be key in everything you create; people are much smarter than you would think, and they will know when content isn't true to who you are.
In addition to this, avoid comparing yourself to other creatives; your journey is not going to match any ones. Appreciate the work you're doing and the growth you're receiving – whether big or small.
Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you
Fear is real, and the fear of rejection, even more so. Let me be the first (if not, another) to tell you that you're going to receive 'NO' more than you receive 'YES,' and that's okay, but the fear of that no should not stop you from going after what you set out to achieve. Also, the fear may come from feeling like you don't fit into the blogging word or that your voice doesn't matter; this comes from comparing yourself to seasoned bloggers who've been doing this for years. If you are a newcomer, avoid comparison and develop your voice – someone out there is waiting for your story. But as I said; fear is real, it's scary and sometimes painful, but it's something we all going through and will continue to feel, so feel the fear and do it anyway.
Anything is possible if you work for it
Contrary to what many people may believe, blogging is work, and it's hard work. When I started at the beginning of last year, I thought creating new blog post consistently and tagging my pictures with SEO would drive traffic and brands will be calling me non-stop to sponsor content, this wasn't the case at all. I soon realized, if I wanted my blog to grow, I had to put in the work to make it grow, and that meant creating a blog business plan, content, and social strategies, promotion, and editorial calendars; work that isn't always fun or easy, but needed. Is anything possible, yes, but it doesn't come without work. Nothing, especially in today's oversaturation of blogging, is falling in your inbox and brands aren't just handing out sponsorships because you have a blog. You must put in the necessary work to turn the impossible into possible because the opportunities exist for those who are willing to work for it.
Timing is everything, but be flexible
No matter how much work you put in and how good your content is, opportunities will happen when they're supposed to. As a firm believer in Universal energy and the power of 'speaking it into existence,' I also believe timing is everything. When you begin to understand timing and how it can impact your life, you will start to use it as a tool to create opportunities for yourself. Also, fear may have you feeling like you aren't ready to receive an opportunity, this is when you need to be flexible, feel the fear and push through it. Towards the end of this year, I started to push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone, and while I felt like I wasn't ready, the Universe rose to show me I was. There is no such thing as luck; I believe in hard work and preparation – stay ready, so you don't have to get ready.
It’s work, but have fun
During those six months of confusion and discovery, I wasn't having fun. I was putting in the work, but it felt like work. I soon learned; I wasn't respecting the work and therefore I wasn't having fun. As I mentioned above, blogging is work. It's more than pretty pictures and witty captions, but when you respect the work and the process, you can have fun.
Continue to Live Your Life in Style and always Be Inspired