- Making money isn’t a good reason to start a blog. It can be a nice side benefit, and you may be very successful at it, but it isn’t enough to keep you excited about blogging and your readers will feel that.
- Find your voice. Writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but even if it doesn’t you can find your voice–a writing style that feels natural and sounds like you. Letting your own style shine through conveys part of you, which you want. Just make sure you’re using correct grammar and spelling, please. 🙂
- Shadow others to learn, but don’t copy. Choose someone to shadow online. Watch them for a few days and notice when they post, what they post, and how they promote themselves and others. Now tweak that to fit your blogging style and your audience. Learn what works for others and then figure out how to make it work for you.
- Participate in webinars. I’ve learned so much from webinars. My favorites so far are the ALT Summit webinars. I’m amazed at what I’ve learned about blogging so far, and I know there’s still a lot out there.
- Reach out to others. Even if you’re an introvert (like I am), you have to reach out. I actually find it easier to reach out to others online than in person, especially about blogging since we have that in common. When you make the effort, others usually respond positively. And if they don’t, you’re really not out anything. But reaching out is your way of marketing yourself.
- Follow your heart. You can’t be anyone but yourself, and you don’t want to be. Stay true to your heart and your passion, and everything will work out.
- Stay grounded. I personally get carried away a lot of times, so staying grounded is something I aspire to.
- Say thank you. It’s just polite, but a little gratitude goes a long way. It lifts everyone around you and it makes you more aware of all the great things around you. (Thank you! to each of you for your support–I love each comment and visit!)
- Go the extra mile. Don’t just do the minimum, go a little further! If you say you’ll have something done by Friday, try having it done on Thursday with a little more than was expected. Send someone a hand-written note along with whatever you’re sending. Make others feel special, and they’ll know that they’re important to you.
- Don’t judge. The older I get the more I realize that this is so important. When you get a crazy comment or you don’t know how to respond to someone, resist the urge to pass a judgement. No one really knows the whole story, and I know I don’t want to be judged and neither does anyone else. Instead, be gracious and kind, and you’ll never be sorry.
- Make business cards for your blog. Yes, your blog is a business whether it makes money or not. Making business cards solidified this for me, and I’m excited whenever I get to share one with someone. Just think: if you tell someone about your blog and they’re even remotely interested, they now have to try to remember a random web address unless you give them a business card. Now pass them out like candy. 🙂
- Talk about your blog to everyone. I’m amazed at how often I meet new people who are interested in crafting and I am able to mention blogging. Now that I have business cards, I’m more eager to talk about it because I can give them a physical reminder about our conversation.
- Make your own opportunities. No one will seek you out if they don’t know you. You have to do the leg work and figure out what opportunities are right for you. Stick to your goals and make them happen!
- Make all your efforts intertwine. I took a college course on Integrated Marketing, and it all made so much sense. Integrated marketing is making sure that everything you put out (blog posts, social media updates, printed materials, etc.) tell the same story. They serve different purposes, yet they’re part of a greater whole. That principle really hit home once I started blogging.
- Love what you do. Really love it. Love it so much that it’s part of you and that you can’t separate yourself from it. I may not get to create every day, but every day that I do I’m more grounded and happier. It’s an indelible part of me, as is writing. So blogging is a natural fit.
- Be the best you can be. Mediocrity never inspired anyone, including yourself.
- Get deep. Every social media has more tools and depth than you’ll probably ever use, but learn a few in-depth tools in each to make your life easier and to get ahead just a little.
- Go to conferences. While I haven’t done this one yet, it’s something I really feel is important. I look forward to going and networking with other bloggers. There’s so much information out there and so many amazing people willing to share!
- Network! I read somewhere that you should spend 10 times more time networking than blogging. And while I’m not there yet, it illustrates just how important networking is. I can’t believe how much I love the friendships I’m building that began by networking.
- Try new things. That’s one of the things I love so much about creating. It seems like no matter what new thing I want to do, I know I’ll be able to figure it out through some research, trial, and effort. Having the confidence to try is half the battle! And first attempts aren’t always aesthetically beautiful, but knowing that you tried something new is always a beautiful feeling.
- Be timely. If it’s approaching a holiday, make sure you’re blogging on topic. The vast majority of readers aren’t going to care about a Valentine’s project if Christmas is coming up. Be aware of what’s going on and figure out how to make your passions and your subjects timely and appropriate.
- Think like a magazine editor. When you get your November magazines (in October), they’re probably going to be filled with Christmas-themed projects and inspiration. And they probably started thinking about Christmas in July. While blogs don’t have to be that far ahead in production, you do want to be planning your editorial calendar out several months so you’re on topic and relevant. And getting ahead in your planning always helps you create a more cohesive and polished blog.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. When creating tutorials, there are times to take your readers step-by-step and there are times to refer them to a great step-by-step that’s already in existence. Your time can sometimes be more wisely spent on creating something new rather than explaining the basic.
- Enjoy yourself. Let yourself sit back from time to time and enjoy the blogging process. The thrill of sharing something that excites you, the sweet comments that someone leaves, the feature on your favorite blog–all those little moments should be enjoyed before going on to the next task.
- Take opportunities that come to you, but be selective. Sometimes you’ll have unexpected opportunities, especially once you’ve established yourself. And you’ll want to take advantage of those opportunities. But also realize that every opportunity isn’t necessarily a good fit for you or your blog. Be gracious, but let them go if they don’t feel natural or they don’t fit your audience.
- Don’t try to do more than you can handle. I am so guilty of this one, and my husband (bless him) reminds me when I’m trying to do to much that it’s not good for anyone in the family. Ask for help. It’s hard, but so worth it. As Chad says, “take off your SuperWoman cape!”
- Let go of the numbers. Growing a blog is fun and hard at the same time. It’s fun to watch your numbers grow and see people return to your blog. But if you find yourself in a panic over getting your pageviews up for the day (or month), you may need to take a step back and breathe. I know that paying attention to numbers is important, but agonizing over them and stressing over them won’t help.
- Keep your design clean. A while ago I had an opportunity come to me, and when I asked why I was chosen for this particular opportunity, one of the reasons was that my design was clean and uncluttered. It was open and cohesive. Whatever your style is, just keep it uncluttered and make the design elements work in your favor, not against you.
- Don’t become a slave to your blog. You are more than the person behind the screen. Get out and do something for yourself. Time away from blogging is healthy and rejuvenating. You can make it a major part of your day without making it the only priority in your day.
- Get noticed by those experts in your field. You know who they are. They’re the people who inspired you to blog or who seem to have all the answers. They’re the ones you can’t ignore (not that you’d want to). Those are the people you want to focus your energy on.
- Leave intelligent comments. Sometimes you want to just leave a quick comment on a blog, but thinking about it, asking a question, or pulling details from the blog post make an impression on the person you’re
- It’s going to take some soul-searching. Yes, blogging. Be true to yourself and find out what you really want out of it all. I’ve been pondering over where I want to be in 5 years, and although my vision isn’t complete yet, I’ve discovered some things about my wants and desires that are helping shape that landscape.
- You can’t do it all. You’ve heard the phrase, “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything” right? Pick what’s most important in your blogging and personal life, and prioritize.
- Have fun!
Now, with all the blogging thoughts that I’ve shared, you’d think I’d shared everything I’ve learned. But I continue to figure new things out each day. That’s what makes this whole thing so amazing.
What lessons have you learned through blogging?
Today is Part 3 of the 101 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging series, and it’s the last. If you missed it before, you might want to also check out Part 1 and Part 2.
Hi Lisa! Good list… I have to admit that my WonderWoman cape is… abused, lately! I have to put it in the closet for a while! I am guilty of a lot of your list points… let it go, don’t take too much, save some family time… I’m trying to step back a little but I feel lost when I see my blog so empty… I know that I need some rest, but with my new patternmaking adventure and all, I really find hard! PS: would you like to know how to start your lists with anything else than “1”?… Read more »
That Wonder Woman cape gets me in trouble. Luckily my husband is great at helping me see when my priorities have become misaligned and he helps me get back to a more balanced state. And THANK YOU for the list-numbering link. I’ll have to go fix it–it was driving me crazy!
Wonderful tips and inspiration! Now I’ve got to get some business cards made”to pass out like candy”!
Love it! Pinning!