Yesterday was a very big day for me, as I turned two-years old! Well…at least my blog did. Although I think that I look pretty damn good for 34 if I do say so myself. Not that I’m conceited or anything.
October 23rd, 2011 was the two-year anniversary of the day I published my very first post on The Mommyologist. Would you guys believe that I got the idea for this blog AND started it the very same day?
Yeah…I’m not a planner. I’m more of a spontaneous kind of gal, and I tend to do things when they just “feel right,” or some shit like that. I’m about as far away from Type-A as a person can get. I more like Type-Z or something. And I dig it.
The past two years have been somewhat of a whirlwind, and I won’t sit here and lie and tell you that my journey has been an easy one, or that I haven’t had days where I wondered why in the hell I’m doing this or what my end goal with The Mommyologist is.
The truth is that I really don’t know where I’m going…but I’m definitely on my way.
If you are curious as to how I survived two years of blogging without losing my mind or throwing in the towel, I’ve put together a list of do’s and don’t's for you as far as what I’ve learned about the whole blogging gig.
Ok, I feel like I need some sort of disclosure here…
*Please note that all opinions expressed in these tips are purely my own, and may or may not apply to you and your philosophies on blogging. This is only advice, not a “how-to” guide to blogging or anything remotely similar to that. This is a list of what worked for me, so don’t go all postal on my ass if you read this and decide to quit blogging. And please forgive me for deviating from my humorous tone for this particular list. Some things have to just get said without being funny.
How To Survive Two Years of Blogging and Still Want To Keep Doing It
1. DO know your mission and your brand and DO NOT try to be somebody else. Quit worrying about what other bloggers are doing with their blogs and focus on what YOU are doing with YOUR blog. People will return to your blog because you are unique and different from everyone else, which is what you want to strive to be every day.
2. DO NOT let the success of other bloggers intimidate you or make you feel like you are doing something wrong, or that you or your blog “just aren’t good enough.” That is NOT TRUE. There will ALWAYS be someone who gets more opportunities than you and is more well known than you are. But remember that they are not YOU, and you are special and worthy and have SO MUCH to offer people with your blog. And remember that there are plenty of bloggers who look at YOU as “that blogger” who they’d love to be like someday.
3. DO let yourself be motivated by people instead of being motivated by money and numbers. The minute I take my focus away from striving to help women and make them laugh and shift it to trying to make my paycheck bigger each month, I find myself losing my voice. This also happens to me when I get too caught up in my numbers and worry about how many followers and subscribers I have, etc. I actually only check my stats now about once a month, and money is not a reason for why I hit the publish button on my posts every week. I get paid when someone leaves me a comment, or sends me an email or tweet telling me that they read something I wrote and it inspired them to get out of bed, take a shower, put on a cute outfit and makeup, and rock their Mom Sexy that day. You just can’t put a price on helping other women remember their worth.
4. DO NOT get upset or worry if there are people who don’t like you. It’s OKAY if not everyone likes you. Always remember that you can’t please everyone, and imagine just how boring life would be if everyone liked you. Think about some of the people you most admire in blogging, or just in general, as far as being successful goes. Now take a good look at that person and think hard. Does everyone like him/her? I didn’t think so. Not everyone is going to agree with what you’ve got to say…and that is OK. Haters are a good thing.
5. DO the best you can with your blog each week, and let that be good enough for you. Remember that it is OK to have a life outside of your computer. What on earth would you blog about if you didn’t? There are some weeks when I post three times, others where I only post once. And I’m OK with that. I do the best I can when I can do it, and that is good enough for me. We have enough guilt in our lives and should not put any more on ourselves. Stop being your own worst enemy, and remember that YOU are in control of your blog. YOU say when and how often you post, and the only person who can give you a hard time about it is yourself. QUIT beating yourself up for having a LIFE.
6. DO step out of your comfort zone as often as you can if you want to continue to learn and grow with your blog. Yes, you will be nervous, but that’s the whole idea. The first time I ever interviewed a celebrity, I was nervous. The first time I ever went on the radio, I was nervous. The first vlog I ever recorded, I was nervous. The first TV segment I was featured on, I was nervous. But you know what? EVERYONE who has ever done any of those things for the very first time was nervous. If you don’t get over your nerves and try new things, you’ll never get used to doing them. Take that leap!
7. DO NOT let anyone undermine your success or your blog in any way. Sadly, there are people who either don’t want to be happy for you, or just don’t get the whole blogging thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “How did you get invited to that?”, or “How can blogging be a job?”, etc. Instead of letting those people get under my skin and make me question my self-worth, I instead choose to focus my energy on people in my life who support my blogging journey, because there are plenty of them. THOSE people deserve my time…not those “other” folks.
8. DO realize that it’s OK to say no to people. You know how precious your time is, and you know that there is only so much that you can put on your plate at any given point during the day. You DO NOT have to post something because someone sent you a really nice email and wants you to promote their shit for free. You DO NOT have to accept every single product that is offered to you for a review/giveaway just because the person addressed you by your first name and told you how much they love your blog. (NEWS FLASH: They “loved” about 100 other blogs that day too). And you DO NOT have to cater to each and every single request from each and every single person in your life each and every single day. You are only one person, and there are only so many hours in a day. LEARN TO SAY “NO” and be alright with it.
9. DO NOT throw a hissy fit and assume that you’ve failed the first time you hit a valley in blogging. Blogging is a series of peaks and valleys, and my entire two-year adventure has been a total up-and-down whirlwind. There are times when I really feel like I’m rockin’ and rollin’ and have an incredible groove going on, and then there are other times where I feel like I’m totally out of the loop and wonder how on earth I’m going to keep moving forward and grow my blog any further. Ride the peaks when you have them, and gather the strength to climb out of the valleys when you find yourself at the bottom of those. The only person who can declare that your blog has “failed” is YOU.
10. DO develop relationships and friendships with other bloggers and people in the social media space, and DO NOT be afraid to ask them for help or inspiration when you need it. I would never be where I am if there had not been people willing to answer my questions and show me the ropes along the way, and I strive to give that back to others whenever I can. I won’t lie…there are people out there who are “non-sharers” and are afraid that they’ll let out the freakin’ blogging secret of the century by answering a question from another blogger. If you encounter a non-sharer, just move on and ask someone else. There is ALWAYS someone who is willing to help. (For the record, I am one of those people, so you can always feel free to email me if you have questions. I will do my best to answer them without sounding like an asshole).
Stay tuned for next year’s survival post on my THREE year anniversary. Yes, I plan on making it that far.