Time again for a post. I stare at the blank screen. What is it, this blog I’ve created? Yes, I want to share the story of the family I am struggling to raise, but it should be funny, heartfelt, and different. If I’m known as snarky and sarcastic, am I allowed to also be reflective and emotional? I am building a brand and brands have identities, definitive and set. I cannot be wishy-washy. Find something I think, and stick with it.'Brands have identities, definitive and set. I cannot be wishy-washy' Click To Tweet
Of course there are so many things to consider. How do I build an audience? And once I do, how do I get them to stay or share or comment in this hectic and chaotic world where content is spit out and fed to us in video, words, images, emojis, posts and 140-character summations? Even family and friends will bail if things don’t remain funny or sad or whatever makes people interested in who you are and what your story is.
I have an essay I would love to share about tolerance and acceptance, but this from a woman who wrote, “Random thoughts from a four-minute shower”? Will they even read it? They think I’m funny, but what if I have other sides? I also want to discuss issues outside of the parenting world. I don’t want to just write about poop and funny things my kids say. I want to examine pop culture and the other events I am attempting to hash through as both a woman and a human.
I feel like a middle-school girl nearing puberty. I am lost. Floundering. Wondering if everything I write is just a spin on something already done. What makes my spin any different? Is there value in what I have to say?'Wondering if everything I write is just a spin on something already done' Click To Tweet
Honestly, there are a million stories out there and some of them will be funnier, scarier or just plain better than mine. Why did I start this whole thing? Right, because my daughter wanted to send her sister to a kill shelter. I found it funny and thought, I’ll start a blog documenting all the gems my four kids come up with. Gee, we are a funny family. But, blogging is harder than one would think.
Although I still struggle to navigate this confusing online world, there are a few basic pearls of wisdom I try to follow as I find my way.
#1 Figure out what is important to you and what you are passionate about.
You need to feel strongly about your content because you will be writing about it for the long haul.
#2 Find other blogger mentors and friends, not to copy, but to emulate and even call upon during the difficult times.
These people will be your tribe. It is essential to have a mix of people. Bloggers you admire who have years under their belts are as vital as those you consider contemporaries. These are the people you will (in a sense) grow up with as you go through your blogging journey.
#3 Give yourself the time and freedom to figure out who you are.
This includes allowing for setbacks because you will have them. You may post less than you would like to or have a post you don’t feel connected to, that’s okay. Blogging, like any part of your life, is a changing thing. As you grow, your blog will too.
#4 While discovering what your blog is, remember it can be diverse.
You don’t have to be all funny or all emotion, all the time. You are a person with a million sides and angles, leading a complex and intricate life— let it show in your blog. It can be a platform, a keepsake, a humor bit, a personal history, or a combination of all of these things, because it is yours. Never forget that.
#5 If you want to try something out, do it.
The worst that can happen? Your readers don’t love it. If they don’t, they don’t. You can return to your regularly scheduled content.
#6 Have a strategy for submitting writing for publication on other sites.
You may at some point want to submit to other sites and blogs. This will, no doubt, cause even more Blogger Identity Confusion (BIC). Do you save the best content for your loyal audience or for the sites that pay or drive traffic back to your blog? There are many views on this exact topic. You need to figure out what works for you. I usually do one personal post dealing with family and our adventures per week, and the other post is reserved for more generic and brief topics. You will find the right balance for your blog.
#7 Be consistent with how often you post, but do play around with when and where.
Use different social media platforms and figure out when they have their greatest audiences.
Ultimately, blogging is a great deal of work, but there are benefits. You can say what you need and want to. You have created a tiny spot just for you and, if all goes well, the loyal readership you are beginning to create.