I know, although you think that every single blogger on the planet now blogs about blogging, there are still some of us that began blogging because we wanted to tell stories.
Take this blog for instance, I started from a BlogSpot that was all about my personal chronicles in the music industry. However, things have evolved drastically since I first hit publish over 7 years ago on a post. Businesses and solopreneurs caught onto the fact that blogs can also be great marketing tools.
However, standing strong is still a community of thoughtful writers looking to share their stories and eventually publish books or write for some of their favorite publications. This blog, though I share information on both writing and business, also mainly consists of my personal opinions on those things, life, love and much more. And so I’m a part of the tribe. I without a doubt still consider myself a personal blogger. But what I can say is that as personal bloggers, we also have to learn to adapt.
My ultimate goal? To write books, help others writers and visit lots of different beaches with my honey. We have to realize that this goal is very different than many of the “bloggers” we see that have “made it” and make everything look like glitz, glam, webinars, and six-figure launches. No shade, I promise. I’m just saying. However, what I have learned in my years on Earth is how to take the information I need from a model, even if it doesn’t all actually apply to me. *Side note: you will catch me on some webinars! Lol.*
So I want to tell you about a couple mistakes I think we make as personal bloggers that I think may help in your endeavors.
1. We think because we wrote it someone should read it. WRONG! So what you spent hours laboring over an amazing op-ed piece or crafting the perfectly laid out essay. Sure, I believe in amazing writing. I also believe that the cream will rise to the top.
But in the age that we live in, if you are not promoting your corner of the internet where this writing lives, NO ONE is going to care outside of the close friends and family that you share a link with.
And guess what? Eventually they won’t even be avid readers. I wrote a whole post about the art of promotion because what I have learned from many of my clients is that they have a hard time promoting their work. They don’t want to feel sleazy or puffed up about it. I get it, believe me. But we have to get over it in order for people to actually realize our work exists.
2. We wait to be inspired to write. The problem with this is, readers like consistency. Sure your blog may have followers now, but they will begin to dwindle if it’s been 3 months since your last post. They are not going to wait forever and we can’t blame them. I’m not saying you have to post 5 times a week. Let’s leave that for the gossip sites. But even once a week will help your audience feel as though you care. We don’t have to write fluff pieces. That’s not where I am going with this. But what I teach in my writing workshop, The Writer’s Muse is that we have to learn how to be inspired by more things. I literally think of post topics ALL DAY long. I don’t use all of them. But I write them down and then when I have time to write, I flip through and see what I am interested in expanding on. You still need a schedule friends. I mean IF this is something you really want to make into something. If it’s just an online diary for you, then by all means.
3. We don’t invest in learning our audience. Everything that we post is just about us. Pretty narcissistic if you think about it. You are writing for other people to see but you don’t care at all what they’re interested in reading. Sure, I started out that way just like most of us. But when I started clicking on the pages of people who followed me and reading their sites, and learning from them, I realized I had this whole audience of other writers. That’s when I decided to split the site between my own writing and musings, and content to help other writers in their journey. I want us all to win! I care about those that are reading my work and I’m grateful that they spend any part of their day reading what little ole me has to say.
4. We ignore design, tech, and SEO. I know we can’t be great writers and also great at everything else. It’s not my expectation that you’ll be a tech wiz. But I am saying, take a little time to get to know how to optimize your site. That is if you can’t afford to pay someone to do it which is normally the case for me. But maybe if you guys follow Nicole Waters, yall are Rich Friends and can do that. I learned enough to be able to move in a way that I need to. I can create graphics, I built this site, I can do back end things on the site when I need to. Even if you DON’T do all that, which I COMPLETELY understand. Just make sure that you are learning a little of what it takes to house your writing on the interwebs and to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
Click to Tweet/// Just make sure that you are learning a little of what it takes to house your writing on the interwebs.
5. We don’t think branding matters. We just want to write. Sure. Yes. The art. Blah, blah, blah. But packaging is still important. Most of us struggle with how to cultivate a brand that includes more than our writing. Hopefully if you follow me you realize that I love journals, tea, reading, laughing, etc. I find ways to incorporate that into my branding. I also spent last year making sure that I had a solid brand and that people understood exactly what I did and what colors represent the site and yadda, yadda, yadda. We tell stories that are undeniable, but packaging those stories is a whole other ball game that comes with getting people to invest and getting people to care. I hate to break it to you but it matters.
These are my thoughts. But I tell people and remind myself ALL the time. Take people’s advice with a grain of salt!
Of course I hope this may be helpful to you, but what I found is most effective for me is listening to the information and then picking out what applies and what doesn’t. That is one of the most important skills that you can have. Otherwise you will just end up trying to copy what someone else does.
My goal is not to help create mini-mes. Sorry but I’m taken. LOL. My goal is to help you think about how to successfully create and expand your own writing voice. YOURS! Get to know it. If you are like, “Screw tech I hate it!” Cool. But maybe something else applies.
In the event that you are looking for a little one-on-one help with your writing as a personal blogger, check out the Dreamer Session consultations. We evaluate, set goals, and get on timelines to make us more productive and more creative in the process.
What are some mistakes you've made in your journey? Share in the comments below!