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You want to write to thousands of people. You see posts getting liked and shared like crazy and you think to yourself “I could have written that”. You’ve got a bunch to say and you’ve heard it all before. The same old posts coming from the same old bullshit blogs. I hear ya!
There’s already thousands out there!
Well let me tell you something about what actually happens. I get messages from people regularly. Not just one or two, like fucking hundreds. And they all say the same thing. They want to be a blogger and they want to show the “real side of parenting” and blah blah blah. You know, "original shit" like that.
They ask me what’s the best way to get more followers. That they’re just starting out and if I could check them out and give them a share they’d appreciate it.
It’s actually pretty depressing when you think about it. It’s basically just a one way conversation where no two stories ever really fit with the other.
But for some reason people see a few shares on Facebook and it looks glamorous. And I can totally get that, but let me tell you this - at some point you’ll get 100 likes on a post. You’ll set your next target for 200. Then you’ll chase down 500 and one day you’ll hit the 1,000 mark. Soon enough 1,000 won’t be enough and before you know it you’ll dismiss anything you write that doesn’t perform well.
What I’m getting at, is that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. I learned that a long time ago.
If you have a burning desire inside of you to write something, pick up a pen and fucking write it.
Write to the people who follow you. Give them your best version of what you’re trying to say and forget everything else. Most of them will be family and friends when you start out. If you’re relatable and you can strike a chord they will like it. If you can go all meatloaf on their shit and ‘take the words right outta their mouth’, then they’ll share your posts and scream it from the rooftops!
Their friends will see it and they’ll start to follow too. And if you can do that to them a few times over they will follow you forever. They’ll sift through tens of posts each month just to find that golden nugget that connects them to you even more than they already were.
What I’m saying is, that the writing should always come first. And it should come regardless of outcome. It should come because you have something you can’t keep inside of you, not because you want a few likes on Facebook.
Sponsored posts can become a cancer in your blog. Every time you post and someone doesn’t interact with it, Facebook uses this to stop showing you on their wall. The more they scroll passed it the less they will see you in the future.
It may seem cool to start with but people hate sellouts. They want you to write because it means something and it’s relatable. Not because you’re getting paid for it. Nobody has a burning desire to read about your latest vitamin.
If you can get your blog to a stage where you want to monetise it, there’s plenty of options that don’t involve begging people for likes and shares during a product giveaway. If you can’t grow your page without giving shit away you still haven’t figured out what it is about your writing that keeps them coming back.
If people only liked you because of the potential free shit, they have no reason to keep reading once it’s over. You’ll end up with all these followers who don’t interact with your posts and inevitably your reach will go down.
I’d rather 10,000 followers who interact with my posts than 1,000,000 who don’t.
If you’re motivated by money then absolutely. There’s nothing wrong with making money from your blog, especially if it’s a part time job and you're sinking countless hours into it. Just know that people will be less likely to read if they know it’s sponsored. So align yourself with the things that matter and at least enjoy the collaborations.
Writers block is single handedly the toughest challenge to overcome on a daily basis. I can go days or weeks with nothing to say. I try my best to think of new ideas and I come up with blanks every time. After the second day I begin to stress that I haven’t posted in a while.
My two tips for overcoming writers block:
I once missed an entire month because of this. My first post back was one of the most successful I’ve ever had.I’ve also posted because I felt the need to and it was just content without substance. No real message, and they always flop.
Don’t be scared to take your time. People don’t randomly search for pages just to unfollow them.
I attribute most of my blogging “success” to writing about the things that others wouldn’t. If there’s something that happens in your life, chances are it happens in other people’s lives. Don’t be scared to try something new. It may just be the refreshing read someone’s been waiting for.
Some of the best writers out there are struggling to get their blog off the ground. Blogging success has absolutely nothing to do with grammar, big words or the ability to skew the English language.
Two people can write the exact same thing and get a totally different response. A post is about a message and the impact is in the delivery of the message.
Telling someone about your day as a parent has little impact over them. But you tell them every single thought that ran through their own head today and you got yourself a fucking Hail Mary.
You see the best bloggers are relatable. And people relate to stories, not language.
That’s the thing about blogging, there is no next. You’ll just keep writing. That’s what it’s all about. Every time you post you’ll think you’re done with nothing else to say and every time you’ll be wrong again.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to read your own blog. I don’t mean read your posts. I mean read your blog. From start to finish. Give yourself a flavour of what they will see. In that moment you will know what you need to do to be the kind of blogger you want to be.
For me it takes about an hour a day. Some days more and some days less. I write daily, no set schedule, I just have a few half baked posts on the go at any one time.
I take pictures more now and I edit them daily. Sometimes I edit the picture first and it helps me think of what I’m writing about. There’s no routine to follow. Routine can’t help you.
Don’t be nervous. The people who know you already know your values. And the people who don’t... well, who cares?! The point is that you have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there.
It’s like seeing someone naked for the first time. At first it’s a big deal but after a while it’s kinda just them.
It really depends what you’re trying to get out of it. We get recognised pretty much every time we’re in a public place now. It’s funny. But it’s also strange to know people could be watching us at any given moment. The excitement wore off a while ago.
We get offered free shit all the time. I can literally message most brands and get whatever I want from them. But it means I’ll have to pimp them out and piss off my followers. It’s not really a perk. Everyone I know reads what I write. The first thing that rolls off most people’s tongues is something about my page. As I see them for the first time in a while that’s all they seem to want to talk about. It’s really not that life-consuming.
But there is something that makes it all worth it. Every now and then I get a message from someone telling me how much I’ve impacted them. How much light I’ve shone on their life and how I’ve helped them get through something, without even knowing. And that’s really powerful. That’s something I’m actually proud of. That little ol' me could help someone, anywhere in the world, without even knowing them.
And at that moment I feel like I’ve known them forever.
That’s why I write. That’s what makes it worth it for me.
If you’ve got a burning desire to write. Just fucking write. Don’t be scared to take the leap of faith. I really enjoy writing and I’m so glad I fell into this space.
It’s hard out there. There’s thousands of great bloggers. Don’t put a value on your blog by how many followers you have or how many likes you get. Some of us get a lucky break. Almost every big name had a single unicorn post that helped them get there. Don’t compare yourself to the people who win the lottery. I started my page with 50,000 followers from a single post. I was lucky and I had a platform from day one. Most of the others have done the same so don’t compare yourself starting out to that.
The value in your blog is in the impact you have on the people who do read it. The likelihood of having a million followers one day is pretty slim. So don’t base your self worth on that. Not many of us will ever get there.
Just be yourself and rest assured that you can still leave a little imprint on this world with the followers you do have.
Best of luck with your blog, guys. Make sure you leave a link below and I’ll be sure to check it out!