Owning a blog is one of the center pieces of my adult life, that really made a big difference and impact on my life. It brought me numerous job and freelancing opportunities, as it clearly demonstrated the digital competence.
But also running a blog is definitively a good way to be self taught about numerous things in the digital environment, and many modern day jobs require just that.
As far as the learning goes, starting your own website is one of the journeyes that pushes you outside of your comfort zone, and forces you to acquire simple online problem solving skills. These skills are in demand in the modern workplace market. Take advantage of the opportunity.
Running a blog helps you reflect on your own self-improvement cycle, as you’re creating content, and it also helps you retain the knowledge you acquire. Sorting out the knowledge and information in a meaningful way helps you personally be more organized.
But beside these objectives, I can confirm that starting my very own first website has defined my career, and as such, I think it was one of the cheapest schools I’ve ever went to. Costed me the measily price of monthly hosting, and I still keep on paying it.
The big part of blogging is writing. Writing is a very hard skill to acquire, and even harder when you’re not that great at it, and you are pushing yourself to share your thoughts with the rest of the world.
My English is far from perfect, but I’ve never allowed myself to be stopped by that. The quality of your idea will exceed the format of your writing. If you are genuine, and you’ve got something to offer, blogging can really make a big difference for you.
And at the end of the day, blogging takes a lot of time, and in the early stages of it, and intitally it financially doesn’t make sense. Especially if you are hoping that it will quickly replace your job, newsflash: it won’t!
I am not telling you to start a blog and count on the income from it, because it’s rather hard that you will break some significant revenue in a while. Unless you go at it full time, your blog will give you some hobby money in return, and most likely will cover your hosting expenses, and things of that nature.
What I do tell you, is to dive in slowly. Blogging allows you to passively create those life changing connections that can take your life in a completely different direction.
Alpha Efficiency has been running 8 years and counting
I owe everything to this website, it has been a part of my progress for those long years behind me, and as such, I still come back to it. It is one of those projects that I don’t ever want to give up on. So I frequently return to it, write an article or two. Drop something every month, and kinda forget it. Never truly went all in on Alpha Efficiency, because life just got in the way.
10 Hard Blogging Lessons that I really Want You To Know
One of the first lessons I want you to understand is that your traffic doesn’t define you. With the increase of the interactions on the web, I’ve started to yearn more for the quality of the interactions, as well as for the contact that impacts my readers. Chasing pageviews, search engine clicks is pointless.
Many blog readers that find you through Google, vast majority of them that is, will just skim through your blog. If your topics aren’t truly focused, you will have them for that one little brief interaction in time, never to see them again. That’s why I think being very strategic with your content creating game, is one of the critical reasons why you want to have some form of an actionable plan.
1. Don’t be afraid to hit publish the publish button
Often times I had pieces that were written in one swoop (such as this one), and I would get stuck on not publishing them, because I’ve believed that article wasn’t good enough. THan I’ve hit that publish button, and people were absolutely exilirated with the content, and thanked me for the advice.
This is why you can’t be the judge of your own content. Let people decide wether the things you’ve said make a difference or not. It’s nice to hold yourself accountable to high standards, but Done is Better than perfect.
3. Don’t waste time on social media
Social media helped numerous bloggers get out there, and it definitively granted me my social media audience. But your social media audience doesn’t always translate into the blog audience. These things are not directly intertwined, and that is due to the nature of the goals of the platforms. I will talk in this example about Twitter.
Twitter’s goal is not to allow you to share links, but to keep their users sticky to their platform, and it is using your content, as a means to have users come back over and over again. Every time you’re spending time on social media, you’re building content for somebody else’s platform.
This time would be much better spent if you were simply writing for your own website, and Google would reward you more with the time and energy created.
Social media is adictive, and you will quickly drop in the whirpool of consuming content, without even promoting yourself. It requires ungodly amount of discipline in order to get the results that you truly want to obtain.
4. Fast Writing Has Produced me More Articles than editing
Writing in a barrage, where you let your mind flow is quite effective strategy for creating content. Don’t be so strict with your blog posts, let them take you where you want to go. The reader is embarking on this reading journey with you, and you’re truly writing this content for the people that are actual readers. People that enjoy reading will follow you. Writing in the burst gets your mind into a writing mode, and just keep going as long as your energy permits you.
I’ve been creating these 1000 words daily challanges, and I’ve ended up with 500–600 of never published articles. It’s pretty bad when you write that much, but at the end of the day, you never truly publish anything, out of the social anxiety.
Only thing I can tell you, is that if you find it hard to publish under your name, get yourself a pen name, and this will get your social writing anxiety a little bit elevated.
5. Blog for yourself sometimes, not only for others
When you do nice things for yourself, you will come into a situation that you’re doing something that you like. Blogging is like going to the gym. It takes time for you to build up, and writing is one of the essential activities that you will need to build up.
If you keep trying to please your audience, and you do the things that others will enjoy, while not covering where your heart is, will lead you to blogging burnout. The main reason why I’ve managed to keep blogging for all these years, is because I’ve often wrote for myself. I’ve written about things that I am really interested in, and I didn’t care for audience much.
6. The quantity of content is not crucial, but through quantity you reach quality
I am a believer in improving oneself through doing. And the more you blog, the better you will become at blogging. You will allow yourself to express the thoughts and ideas more clearly, and truly be helpful to your readers and followers.
When you write often enough, you will get better at creating great things. Repetition is one of the corner stones of my success. Everything that requires a habit to get better at, is what offers you a competitive advantage as a blogger.
My content is unique, because I am putting my personality in it, but my personality wouldn’t be able to shine through, if I didn’t put years upon years in improving my English, my second language.
7. Being A Better Reader is how You Become A Better Blogger
The type of content that you consume is impacting the type of content that you produce. Reading is essential if you want to keep being a solid blogger, and it should be a part of your daily ritual. We’ve all stopped reading, and we’ve dissed it for short Twitter snarks instead. I know, I have been guilty of doing it as well.
8. Looking at your blog stats can get addictive, and often doesn’t produce anything of value
When your blog is small, getting into its analytics of a blog is a way to tap yourself on the back on the good job you’ve done of attracting traffic. Numbers don’t mean much. Internet is the intellectual super highway, and your energy is radiating, and all you need to do to change your life, is to find one person that agrees with you, and sees value in what you’re doing.
Really focus on who sees your articles than how many people see them. People and their opinion don’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. We’ve all got opinions, and majority of people that come to see you, won’t have any much of an impact on your life, most likely won’t make a difference in creating the lasting business relationship that could leave to dramatic change in your life.
Analytics are a distraction from creating and promoting your content.
9. Focus on Engagement.
When you’re just starting, that’s where every interaction matters. See who are the people that are leaving comments and ask you questions. See who those people are, really pay attention. Focusing on these one off interactions, and trying to establish a pattern of who is reading your stuff. This will help you discover who you are as a person, and it will allow you to learn what kind of people you attract into your life, with the thoughts that you project onto the internet.
10. Don’t bash yourself if you fall off track, just get back on it
When you try to establish the discipline in blogging, you can often lead yourself into a trap of chasing every day to finish a blog post, that won’t feel as good when you produce it.
Try staying on track, but if you don’t find the work fulfiling, than just try to do something else that inspires you more. The blogging isn’t a job, so don’t transform it into one. Try to work on an article that truly inspires you, so when you are doing it, you really enjoy yourself.
When you’re blogging out of pleasure, and you like the output, you’re bound to do more of it.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my piece. It took me roughly 45 minutes to write it, and additonal 15 minutes to go through it, fix the grammer and dish it out. That’s how much it takes to produce a large quantity of content, when your writing skills have been built up. And I’ve enjoyed every second of it.
It took me years to get to that point, but as I keep on doing it, I am enabling myself to reach the next level of writing. I hope I enabled you to do the same.