New to the blogosphere? If you are a new blogger, you may be consumed by questions, anxiety and doubt. No wonder. It takes courage to put yourself out there, to follow your dreams and let others judge you without knowing you. Take heart, you are not alone. Here is a list of five worries you might be having, along with some words of encouragement and strategies for dealing with them.
No One Will Read What I Write
That is certainly a valid concern, but if I have learned one thing as a blogger it is that the internet is vast and far-reaching. I first learned this from my Etsy shop. It’s a hat shop, and I told no one about it, except my immediate family. (Now I am shamelessly including it in this blog post, but I need to illustrate my point.) You might think it’s strange that I kept my store to myself, but I didn’t want my friends to go “sympathy shopping”. I wanted customers to buy my hats because they really liked them, not just to support a friend’s business. The first person who “favorited” my shop was from Ireland. Ireland?!? Yes, the internet is a vast place, so chances are quite good that someone out there shares your interests and will want to read what you write.
I Won’t Have Time to Work on my Blog
Scheduling is definitely a challenge, especially for those of us who work full-time. I have a full-time job that I love. I’m a school librarian, and I hope I get to have this position for a long time. I decided to explore blogging because I am a new empty-nester, so my schedule is a bit more free. However, it’s summertime, and I have had the luxury of long, lazy afternoons to focus on my blog, my website, social media, and all of the other components of blogging. When school starts, I will be blogging in the evenings or early mornings, trying to stay on track.
One idea I am going to try is an editorial calendar to schedule blog post ideas and social media posts. Many of the examples I found were too complex for me. I designed my own, with just a space for blog post ideas and a space for social media each day. I am also going to use Buffer, which is a social media scheduling platform. The basic version is free, and users have the option to link to their Facebook page (not personal profile), and Twitter account. For Facebook, I use the scheduler within Facebook to schedule posts to my Facebook group (referenced below). With Pinterest, I pin a few pins manually each day, and I also use Tailwind, which has been a lifesaver. A great timesaver!
I’ll Run Out of Things to Write About
Many bloggers worry about where to find topic ideas. One thing I am going to try is having a repeating cycle of themes. I’d like to post at least once a week, so at the beginning of each month, I will sit down and fill in my editorial calendar with a revolving list of topic categories, to be repeated in a cycle. For example, the first blog post each month might be a recipe roundup of easy recipes I’ve tried.
The second post each month could be about new books released for kids or adults. The third post could be about household tips. Other posts each month could be about travel, saving money, decorating, etiquette, or gardening. There! I have eight post categories already. I will fit in seasonal topics as needed, and perhaps review new educational technology tools occasionally. You can probably find some different categories to rotate through in a month, whatever your interests may be.
I Won’t Be Able To Take any Time Off
New blogs do require a lot of attention, but after the initial website setup and all of the tasks involved with getting a new blog noticed, there are ways to schedule time off. Many bloggers invite guest postings from other bloggers, and some bloggers update old posts with new material. Experienced bloggers post updated text in a different color and insert the new text in where appropriate. You could write a stash of blog posts ahead of time. You might use a web-based platform like Google Docs (as suggested by fellow blogger Erica A. Webster-Russell of the blog ThePreppingWife) and save posts for the future. Erica noted that she changes the title of the post in Google Docs and adds the word “done” when she has posted it. There are a variety of ways to be able to take some time away. It just might require some planning.
I Won’t Make Any Money as a Blogger
Orbit Media has surveyed bloggers every year since 2014 and asked a variety of questions, trying to gauge trends in the blogosphere. In 2017, although they didn’t ask the 1,377 respondents specifically about money, only 7.3 % of the respondents reported that their blog delivered “disappointing results”. These bloggers most likely had been blogging for awhile in order to be included in the survey, and “disappointing results” could mean many things.
Money can definitely be made out there in cyberspace, but, according to a recent article in Forbes magazine, “nearly 1000 websites are created every single minute of every single day”. That’s daunting, but each case is different, and there are some amazing success stories. The key seems to be perseverance and consistency with posting in order to gain a following. After that, you might be able to start earning some money from sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or other revenue streams.
Pinterest is a Great Place to Increase Engagement
Pinterest is an excellent place to promote your blog or business. If you would like to get some encouragement and learn how to promote your blog there, you should join the Facebook group I started. It’s called Blogging Well with Pinterest. We have daily share threads, tips and advice. It’s a very supportive community of bloggers and entrepreneurs looking for ways to boost their Pinterest game. It would be great to have you join in!
Other Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out
Connecting with others is another way to promote your blog and gain a following. I’m always on the lookout for ways to make online communications more convenient, and I enjoy learning about innovative ways to interact. If you are a fan of technology tools, you might like to read my review of Visme Complete, a terrific tool for creating infographics, or my post about the free Zoom Meeting tool. You might also like my eBook containing information about some excellent free media tools for bloggers.
It’s free to subscribers, along with many other resources for bloggers and teachers. I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas about tackling new blogger worries. I’m always here if you need to reach out for some encouragement. If you’re starting a blog and need some tips, check out my free Start a Blog e-course, no strings attached! I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. Now go out there, be awesome, and share your ideas with the world!