BIGGEST BLOGGING LESSONS FROM THE PAST 5 YEARS
Oh blogging, you've taught me SO much.
Today I want to have a chat with you about the blogging lessons I've learnt over the past five years.
I find this so interesting and let me tell you - it’s unbelievable how much I’ve learnt over the past few years.
#1 | BLOGGING DOESN'T LOOK THE SAME FOR EVERYONE
Blogging doesn’t look the same for everyone. We’re all at different stages in our journey and we’re all trying to achieve different things.
It’s so easy to presume that we’re all doing this for the same reasons and that can really cloud your judgement when it comes to what you actually want to achieve.
We’ve all got our own goals when it comes to building an online presence and whatever those are, it’s important to respect that.
#2 | YOU HAVE TO CREATE YOUR OWN COMMUNITY
When you first start blogging, it can be really easy to fall into the trap of the "build it and they will come" mentality.
But you need to change your mindset about that as soon as possible.
You have to work really really hard to build a community.
There is room for everything, that’s the really great thing. The blogging world can never be full.
Take time to find your feet and really focus on building relationships with people, because you never know what can come from that.
#3 | IT'S NOT EASY
This is such a huge misconception, even to this day.
It’s not all free tips and PR’s constantly throwing freebies at you. And if you’re in blogging for that reason, you’re not going to get very far.
While it might be painted like that, you also need to be really savvy if you want to take your blog beyond more than just a hobby.
You wear all these hats and you need to be skilled at so many different things. And the thing is, most of us are doing this all by ourselves.
And while some people may roll their eyes at me for saying I’m stressed, it doesn’t take away from the fact that blogging is a really complex business.
But then if people argue and say, well this is something you’ve chosen to do, you have the power to change it - that’s true. But if you love what you’re doing, why wouldn’t you take a chance at that?
#4 | LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE & CREATE CONTENT FOR THEM
What I’m referring to here is my content and how that has progressed over the past five years.
The world of blogging is SO busy and there’s a lot of content that’s coming out. And just because you write content and put it out there doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to come and read it.
But you’ll find that if you network with people, they will be willing to offer you some help and advice.
And if every piece of content isn’t a success then that’s okay, because your content is a fundamental part of what you do online.
If you have this mentality that you are always sharing things as your brand - so I always have the "A Branch Of Holly" mentality - this will really help you in addition to a lot of other things.
But the really fascinating thing is that my community - you - just keep growing. You keep wanting things from me and asking me questions.
And when I know it’s something people want - I have to do it justice. You can’t just publish a blog post and be like hey guys I’ve got a new blog post out come read it.
You have to spend a lot time bringing people into your brand and show them what you do behind the scenes to make this happen.
I do as much I can for my blog posts because I know you want them and they’ll be of use to you. And that is definitely the right thing to do, that’s what I’ve learnt.
It blows my mind that you’re not only going to view my blog posts, but you’re actually reading them too.
There are so many people who blog about what I blog about - but you care enough to come to me. That’s the really wild thing and that’s what means so much to me.
And now with the YouTube channel people are starting to think, okay she can write but she can do video too? I’m gonna take a chance on that and spend time consuming her content. That’s amazing.
People like to consume content in different ways so people think, okay this is good in a blog post, but how about a video or a podcast and oh I’d love an eBook about this topic.
And I have to take all of that into consideration. Some of those things I’m working on right now.
Like the Blogging Breakthrough magazine - people want it to be bigger and better so I’m making it bigger and better.
And even if you put something out there and it’s not perfect - that’s okay. Because when you get those comments saying "thank you so much for this" or "I really needed this"? You know your heart was in it and it was easy for your heart to be in it.
If you know your audience so well and create content that you know they want - that’s how you run with things as a blogger. That’s a really big thing I’ve learnt.
#5 | ASK FOR HELP
This is something I’ve always struggled with but especially these past eight months in particular.
I have a really hard time asking for help and delegating and I don’t know why, I don’t really have a reason for that.
I usually feel like I’m fine by myself and that I can cope with everything so I don’t ask for help.
But what I’ve learnt is that I can’t. And I need to stop pretending like I can.
And it’s not only that you need to recognise you can’t do everything but also that you shouldn’t.
It’s possible to get something done even better than you ever could have imagined if you ask for help and work as a team.
I’m learning this with the Blogging Breakthrough magazine, where I now have a designer and a team of monthly writers who help me put this out to the world.
I’m learning this with my own business, where my fiancé and my mum have come on board to help me manage some of my systems and processes.
They’re both huge things and I’m learning to embrace the sort of teamwork mentality which is something that I never used to do.
And when my family offered to help me that made me feel really humbled, because I am so lucky to have people there who can support me in this season of my life. They recognise my weakness and can say okay, I can take this off your plate.
I think those were the five biggest lessons I’ve learnt, those last two in particular.
But I just thought it would be insightful to show you mentally what I’ve had to overcome over these past few months and the almost five years that I’ve been blogging. And those were some things that I didn’t really anticipate.
So I’d love to hear some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learnt as a blogger - was there a really big one that stood out with you?
Remember to keep learning those lessons so you can get one step closer to a breakthrough.