8 years. Wow. Has it really been that long since I started my blogging journey? From my very first WordPress days to buying my own domain, here is a list of things that I’ve picked up and learned over the last 8 years. Consistency is key
Consistency is hard.
Let. Me. Tell. You. Again.
Consistency is hard.
I started my blogging journey back in 2011 but I have not been consistent. And it shows. Sometimes I feel like I’m way far behind where I should be. I think part of that is true. If I would have stayed consistent over the last 8 years, I probably would have been more well known for my blog. Honestly, I don’t know if I have ever hit 12 blog posts in one year. Maybe I have but that just shows you how inconsistent I had been with my writing. Though some years were a lot more productive than others, I had some years where I didn’t blog for several months at a time.
You know, I’m not saying that you should blog every single day of every week for every year. Unless you know you can fully commit to that. If you can only blog once a week, bi-weekly or only a few times out of the year, consistency is key.
Consistency is hard, but it is oh so essential.
Guest blogs are essential to growth
I think it is so great to be able to share your talents with other audiences. One of my friends and I actually guest posted on each other’s blogs and it was honestly so much fun. There is just something about creators coming together and sharing their strengths with each other.
Honestly, this is something that I’ve learned with podcasting as well. If you can share an audience, you will essentially grow your audience. It’s a great opportunity since there people who didn’t already know who you were or follow you before. Guest blogs open your audience to new voices. If you are able to share your talents with others, I say go for it. If you are able to allow other people to share their talents with you, I say go for it.
Not every writing opportunity is beneficial
Sure, guest posts are essential to your growth.
However, I will disclaim that not every writing opportunity is beneficial.
Over the past 8 years, I’ve had so many emails with people trying to get me to write for their product or service. At first, I was flattered that random people would reach out to me to write for them. I used to think every writing opportunity would be beneficial to me and my blog.
But not everyone is after your same mission.
Some people really just want to self-promote and will look for any opportunity presentable. I get it. I understand. Everyone wants to share their content and have eyes on their content. I mean, who doesn’t?
But, self-promotion isn’ always great exposure.
Last year, I had a company email me a very promising opportunity. I won’t name the company as I don’t believe in blasting people online. Though, I will say this email looked like one of the best opportunities for myself as a writer. The company promised organic exposure on their website and all of their socials. So, I wrote the blog post. I promoted the business even though I had literally never shopped their store before.
And you know what?
I never heard another word from them again. I was never featured on their profile. And you know what? I didn’t even get a follow back.
Ya know, I still have the blog post on here. I think it’s under private settings but I never deleted the post. Do you want to know why? Because it was a lesson for me. I took a chance and never got the promises the email assured me that I would. But I learned from the situation. I moved on. And that’s okay.
Your niche will either broaden or shrink, be open to either
Most every content creator, entrepreneur, thought creative, natural born or learned leader on the Earth has pivoted. And probably more than once.
If you’re not familiar with the term “pivot”, it basically means to turn around. You come to the end of your road and you are either graced or cursed (depending on the way you look at it) to either quick or completely scrap your idea and choose a different route.
When I first started blogging, I really just had a lot of thoughts and one-too-many journals filled out. I had opinions and thoughts and questions and I felt like I needed to get them out in the open. I thought many people struggled with the same things I did. There was never really a specific purpose for my blog. But I felt like it was a good idea. My voice is better through paper anyway, so I went for it.
Over the past 8 years, I am still learning just exactly what my “niche” is. I have a heart for women. But I also have a heart for business and fashion and travel. I have a heart for decorating and painting and being creative. My mind is all over the place. Honestly, no matter how many cutesy tabs or labels I slap my thoughts under, I am constantly changing. And so is my niche. But I think that over time, your niche will broaden and shrink depending on the situation and who you are as a person.
Be there for it when it does.
Your writing style will change
Accepting change is vital for growth, of any kind.
Like previously stated, sometimes you have to pivot. Things will change. Your thoughts and ideas. Your questions. Life situations and circumstances seem to change you as a person. Whatever creative outlet you find works best for you, your still will change over time.
If you look over my past blog posts from the past 8 years, it is so easy to see that my writing style has changed.
I think in another 8 years, this post will look a lot different then as well.
It’s okay to take time off for yourself
You know what I said about staying consistent? Taking time off for yourself is also vital.
If at any point in time your creative outlet craves a resting place, listen.
Consistency may be key to growth but so is taking time for yourself. If you’re consistent in your writing but your mind and heart aren’t in it, your work is not beneficial. To you or anyone. If there is ever a time where you need to stop and reflect on your goal, do that.
Take time off for yourself if you are ever doubting the work that you are creating.
Try new writing material
One of the best takeaways from taking time off for yourself is that fact that you have new writing material!
What did you learn on your time off? Are there things you never realized until you took a break?
Write it down. Learn from it. Teach on the subject if you have to.
I think one of the best things about writing is that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all”. There are fiction and non-fiction, biography, self-help, comedic ventures, etc, you name it. If you ever feel stuck, maybe you should try to change up your style. If your life isn’t permanent, why should your writing style be any different?
Even if blogging fades out, never stop writing
Never. Stop. Writing.
For me, writing is a safe place. Whether it be my personal blog, the blog posts for our podcast, my personal journals, or really long Instagram captions, writing is safe.
Writing is my strength. Did you know that I’ve been writing and journaling ever since I was 8 years old? Think about that for a minute.
I started when I was 8. I’ve been blogging now for 8 years. And I never stopped writing.
Even if blogging fades out for me, writing will still be one of my best assets. Even if I never hit publish again, writing will still be a part of my life.
If you never hit publish or clicked the share button again, can you still say that you will still pursue your passion?