Dear New Blogger,
Hi dear friend. I know we’re not technically IN REAL LIFE friends, but that’s the beautiful thing about this internet place – we can call one another friends because sharing life online really is real life. If we were hanging out we would likely have some coffee or tea between us and I know that you’d probably be wanting to ask about this whole blogging thing. I get that a lot; and trust me, that’s not meant to sound cocky. I’m really honored when dear friends, old and new alike, ask me about my job because the reality is that 97% of the time I have no idea what I’m doing. I can’t teach you code or build a site or which newsletters you should subscribe to. I can’t tell you what to say or what your voice is or how to insure that you’ll have millions of readers by next month. But what I can tell you is this: I can tell you my story. I can tell you the ups and downs, the good and bad, and what I’ve learned by making a lot of mistakes. I tell you that it won’t be easy, but it will teach you more about yourself than you ever wanted to know.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned in the last 5 years, and I hope you can take some of it and apply it to your blog and to your life. The internet, and the blog world in general, can be so hard to navigate, but when we all reach out and help one another it becomes such a sweet spot.
- Investing in relationships, both on and offline, will make it all worth it. After all that’s what this whole internet thing is about – creating ways to share information with other people. Just makes sense that relationships are a core component of that! Investing in others is what makes life fun and helps keep you authentic.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. No matter what. No one thinks they’re doing it all exactly right all the time. And no one IS doing it exactly right all the time. Do your thing the way YOU need to do it.
- Be nice. Be kind. I feel like this is a no-brainer, but if you would really, truly, REALISTICALLY never say something to someone’s face, then you shouldn’t say it. Don’t speculate or gossip. Trust me, I did those things in my early days and while the people I spoke about don’t know, I can’t undo that. It doesn’t feel good to know that I thought and spoke poorly of someone I didn’t know, especially when the reality was that those thoughts stemmed from jealousy to begin with.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask; the worst thing someone can do is say no (or not say anything at all). No big deal; the great thing is that there are a lot of people out there and Google is pretty smart too.
- Develop a thick skin. ESPECIALLY if you want to become well-known. This was hard for me, a recovering people-pleaser, to understand that not everyone will think I’m awesome and pretty and cool and funny. But that’s life. And I’m fine with being loved well by the ones who truly care.
- Go live your life. Otherwise what are you going to talk about? What can you pour back into your blog if you’re stuck in a blogging bubble all the livelong day? I can tell you – the bloggers I love to read the most (not just Pin their photos, but read their actual blog) are the ones who go out and have life experience to share.
- Learn to behold beauty. Not for Pinterest, but learn to see and identify the things that move you. As someone who is told on the regular to make sure that photos are “pin-worthy” (it’s part of working with brands) I can tell you that when I take pictures it’s only because I find something beautiful.
- Don’t make blogging your god. My faith is no secret on here, but I’m also well aware that not everyone who comes to this little space is a Christian. However this point still remains: making your blog and your brand the thing that you worship will only lead to disappointment. It will fail, in some way at some time. Don’t hold on to it as your source of happiness and joy.
My dear friend. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for you to start this adventure, the sharing of your life and part of your soul with the world. We need you, you are wanted. Your perspective is beautiful and unique and exactly as it should be. My prayer is that you remember that as you share the things that matter to you with us!