Don’t Make my Blogging Mistakes
Starting a blog was REALLY high on my bucket list for many, many years. Blogging seemed like an awesome vehicle to funnel the creativity I’m sure is in me somewhere. I can’t draw, sing (really, really can’t sing) play an instrument, or paint…you get the idea.
I had all these conversations running through my head. I’m a working mom, so, basically, I have no close friends to share these conversations with. I’m hoping it’s not that I’m too weird to get to know (I don’t think so, at least), I’m just super busy.
I saw many Mommy blogs and the moms seemed so happy, and they had these really interesting lives. Giving it a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that these moms most likely CREATED these lives so they would have something to blog about.
Fear held me back
I suffer from anxiety and depression. The problems have been with me for as long as I can remember. Maybe one day I’ll tell you about their origins, but honestly, none of us have the time for a post like that. We’d be here for days.
I’ve also dealt with low self-esteem since childhood.
I do work very hard to overcome all three of these affliction (medicine, developing a community, exercising, succeeding with small accomplishments), so they are manageable…but they’re still here.
Petrified into Paralysis
When I first entertained the idea of starting a blog…I was petrified into paralysis. What if no one liked my blog? Would people make fun of me? What if the public threw “figurative” rotten tomatoes at me? Finally, what if I have nothing to say?
As year after year passed by and I read more and more blogs, the desire to create something grew like crazy. It became a little person tapping me on the shoulder whispering “You have to do this.”
The little person slowly turned into a medium-size person smacking me in the head saying “What do you have to lose?”
Finally, I had a monster weighing me down screaming “Don’t be a wuss!”
Last year, I finally bought a brand new shiny laptop, and Microsoft Office. I was ready!
I reasoned that I needed to know more about blogging before I started one myself. Everything I read was pinned on Pinterest. I looked at other Mommy blogs, and paid attention to what I liked and didn’t like about them.
Fast forward to this year… I found Mix and Match Mama. Shay is my favorite, favorite blogger. I get super emotional reading through her blog. Her life is totally amazing, and the fire starting burning in me again.
I won a give-a-way on her blog, and when I thanked her, SHE RESPONDED!! I couldn’t have been more excited if it had been Gerard Butler responding (ok, sorry Shay, Gerard MIGHT win out). She encouraged me to start the blog, and something in her words made me believe I could do it.
I stopped worrying about what I knew or didn’t know about blogging. Then, I ignored the voices in my head that told me I was going to fail. Finally, I just jumped in with both feet…totally oblivious to what lay ahead.
For two weeks, I spent every night crying my eyes out! All of the articles that said you could have a blog set up in 15 to 20 minutes lied their you-know-what’s off! I have NEVER felt so dumb in my life.
I followed the directions…. I signed up for Bluehost, and then WordPress. I purchased the framework (Genesis), and a child theme (Silver). I called all of the moms with the “Starting a Blog is Super Easy” articles a lot of names. I won’t repeat the names…I don’t want you to think badly of me.
My husband didn’t know how to help me since he knows nothing about computers…. all he could do was watch me cry.
I was so frustrated, and started to think that all of my fears about myself were true. I COULD NOT DO THIS! All of my techy friends that said they would help me suddenly wouldn’t answer my texts and messages.
Money is a STRONG Incentive
Fortunately, I had an incentive not to give up…I’d already spent a lot of money.
Did you know that you actually have to UPLOAD the theme that you purchased??? OMG, I felt so dumb…but SOOOOO relieved that I’d finally made progress.
I’d already written a bunch of articles, so I had content to post… at least I didn’t have that pressure hanging over me.
That was over a month ago…and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned. I don’t claim to be an expert. I still have a long, hard road to travel, but I have advice for anyone who plans to start a blog.
Don’t Make My Blogging Mistakes
Just Do It
Don’t worry about all of the reasons you shouldn’t start a blog, and just start. Otherwise, you’ll just psych yourself out like I did. I worried about having the money, time, and energy it would take to start and run a blog. Now that I’ve launched my blog…I wish I would have started it earlier.
Research the Server and Framework You’re Going to Use
There is NO way you will be able to know everything there is to know about blogging before you start. I learn more and more every day, and I don’t think I’ve even made a dent yet.
Most of the stuff I’ve learned is through hands-on experience., and by making mistakes. However, research the server and framework you plan to use. I still don’t regret jumping in feet first…but hindsight is 20/20…I should have read a little bit more about WordPress (learn the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org) and Genesis.
Many, many amazing articles and YouTube videos were created to help bloggers decipher the many functions of WordPress. You won’t learn everything, but you can get an overview.
Read the Instructions
I’d forgotten that I’d purchased a Child’s theme (Google that, it’s important) until I went back to “My Purchases”. I read the instructions, and uploaded it…smooth sailing after that.
If you don’t know how to do something: Google it, watch YouTube videos, read forum posts, etc. Do NOT try to figure it out yourself. Too many resources are available for you to go through the frustration that I experienced.
Ask for Help
When all of my real-life techy friends disappeared, the thousands and thousands of bloggers did not. I’ve met the most amazing people since I started blogging. It’s amazing how much everyone wants to help each other. Warms my heart!
Join Facebook Groups, not only will you learn from other bloggers, but when your site is launched, you will be able to share your content and get feedback.
Forget about Failing and Focus on Learning
Have at least 10 to 15 blog posts ready for when you launch, but don’t stress about people hating your writing. The more I read and study other blogs, and research the many, many blogging resources, the better my writing feels to me.
I don’t know if I’ve necessarily improved my writing…but I feel more confident with it. ALWAYS set aside time every day to learn more about blogging and writing.
Blogging isn’t easy…but it is SO totally worth it!