1. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean it to discourage in any way. It just happens to be the truth for me and I wish that someone had told me this before I started. I read enough “How to start a blog and make money immediately” blogs to be motivated to start a blog. So I just went for it and sure, it WAS easy to get started. Or more specifically it was easy to choose a name, register a domain, find a host and have your own website for your blog in a matter of minutes. It was also possible to write a few blogs to post and publish within a matter of days. However, to have a published, fully functioning, beautiful, and reader-ready website was a whole different story. It’s been a little over a week since I officially launched my site and I’m still working out the behind the scenes stuff that those other blogs didn’t warn me about. There’s so much more to learn that goes into the details of building a website like editing photos, making a logo, all the coding and computer lingo for making your site function the way you want it to. For a newbie like me, it can be overwhelming so just a heads up! Definitely, don’t do what I did and publish your site before it’s to a point that you’re happy with.
2. Give yourself a break (figuratively and literally but especially literally).
Don’t be so hard on yourself and take breaks every so often. I found that it’s more productive than constantly working hard. Like when I’m writing or researching things for example, when I take a break it allows me to rest, retain information, and reset for a renewed perspective. Once you get back to work you’ll be surprised at how much more you are able to accomplish.
3. If you ask for advice, don’t be gullible.
If you’re new to blogging, or new to anything for that matter… you will need to utilize multiple resources. One of those resources being the advice or opinions of others. Though it could be a valuable tool when learning something new, be careful what you let yourself believe. It helps to get feedback that gives you a different point of view but just prepare yourself for responses that may not be in alignment with your vision.
I had asked a person in a blogging group for their opinion on a certain topic and the advice that I was given almost had me changing my original plans for my blog. So, take what works for the benefit of your specific niche and don’t feel pressured to do it someone else’s way. You have your own unique voice, style, and vision for your blog or whatever it is that you’re aiming for. Don't let anyone's opinions change it or take it from you!
4. Don’t judge your work based on comparison.
This sort of goes hand in hand with the preceding point. Critiquing your work on the basis of how it compares to another could hurt the vision of your blog, especially when comparing to “veteran bloggers”. Not to be offensive, I mean, it was helpful to see what others have done to become successful but once I began to compare my blog to theirs it only held me back. Comparing made me start questioning myself to the point of wishing I could change the entire theme of my blog thinking that what I’m doing isn’t what people want to see or hear. That’s a lie, so be careful! People DO want or better yet NEED to hear what YOU have to say. So compare away but PLEASE don’t let it change who you are. Keep it real and be YOU.
5. Try not to set your expectations TOO high so soon.
It’s easy to set our goals high and have great expectations, especially when doing something that you’re passionate about. We get excited and jump in running at full speed expecting it to be a breeze since it’s something we enjoy. Then come the hurdles and the hoops that slow us down and we’re reminded that success doesn’t come as easy as we hoped. Even when we’re doing what we love we still have to work at it. So don’t get discouraged if/when you don’t progress as easily and quickly as you had hoped. Embrace your obstacles as learning opportunities and grow from them. Keep working hard, be patient, and keep your eyes on the reward. Which brings me to my next point…
6. Don’t forget WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
What’s motivates you? Maybe it’s your kids or your desire to help inspire others. Whatever the reason is, don’t lose sight of them. Keep your motivations in the forefront of your mind and when it gets hard you can be reminded that the things that were worth starting for will always be worth continuing for. When you reach those points of accomplishment that lead to your success you’ll be able to look back and be thankful for the things that kept you going.
7. Most important of all, keep God involved in all of your work.
Your thoughts, your plans, your hopes and dreams… in everything, keep God first. He will get you through those times of discouragement and doubt. He will help you remember the things that motivate you. He will give you rest when you need a break. Seek his word and his will and his advice will never steer you wrong. Pray about everything and the Lord will help you through all of your struggles and lead you to success. You’re already cruising through life unsure of what’s ahead (we never really know for sure) so just let God drive while you sit back and enjoy the ride. No matter how bumpy the road gets, you're safe in the father’s hands and will eventually get where you’re going.
Be encouraged! The Lord will fight your battles!
Remain at peace, The Lord will fight your battles. -Exodus 14:14
Love & Blessings!