First Things First before we begin. I want to tell you a little about my own blogging journey. It began in 2007 over here on Typepad. At the time I had just discovered Scrapbooking, before you scoff at me:) Realize as a child I loved writing, photos and vintage Life magazines. I would create elaborate stories this way. Even cutting and pasteing my own magazine covers. I was straight up obsessed with mid-century design, fashion and a now by-gone era of celebrities. It was seriously so much fun. Then my teenage years happened and moved onto to a vibrant social life. I still wrote and took photos for years. But, craved telling stories the way I had as a child and that is when I discovered Scrapbooking and soon after-Blogging. It was definitely my jam. Then I started incorporating my love for design again and MAD MEN-the show came into popularity. My childhood love of Mid-Century really Blew up in style scene and so did my Blog. I was easily then getting 1000 of hits a day and Big Brands were even reaching out to me. I mean really Big ones like Kate Spade. It was crazy. And even got crazier when I started up a little side blog project called Avant Garde Crafting Association. I had a feature that was a spin off of a old AMEX ad, My Life. My Card and called it My Life. My Craft:) Super In genius I know;) And then I started interviewing some pretty heavy hitters that our now rocking it out like nobodies business. It was exhilarating and all the stuff Blog dreams are about.
But I stopped. Life happened and I was overwhelmed. I took a significant break from blogging and when I finally came back. I really struggled with the guilt for jumping ship when the tide was rolling high! But, I discovered a peace eventually that My Blogging was solely for me again and actually I truly learned to love my craft in a way I never did before. I am still in that happy place and I want to help you get there too. Let’s begin.
First I want to ask you a question... Why do you want to Blog? Really think about it. Is it to share with family or friends? A love of Writing and Design? Or a bigger motive? To market goods to potential/existing clients? Or Share your Faith and Passions on a larger social scale. Or even more Gigantic goals? Maybe being a Blogging Influencer? I am not here to judge. But, I want you to really figure out your motives before you read any further. It will really help you Brainstorm with the stuff I will be sharing. And another thing first.
Blogging is Constantly Changing. I know it has since I began. The Blogging Platforms, Style, Social Media and Readership is a whole new other ball game now. I still honestly long for those glory days when Blogging was simple and uncomplicated. All you did was show up, post photos, write your heart out and be happy with the few readers you had. But, times have changed and Blogging is definitely always evolving. And right now's trend is a major upheaval phase (social media overload, decreased readership to name a few) and I know this isn't a easy time for someone beginning a blog. I feel for you! and that is why I am writing this series. Though at times it might still seem 'easy' with all the wealth of info on Pinterest, Tutorials and Social Communities. But, it’s misleading too. We are currently in a era of Selling. Selling ideas to get readers and even blogging services. I see it all the time on my Instagram and Pinterest feed as Ads. I know you do too. That's a Blogging change/approach I hope goes away soon! Yes, Blogging does constantly change. But, they're are a few fundamentals that never do. And I am here to help with that. So, maybe you can find your own Secret sauce for beginning blogging YOUR way, Now to the Meat of the Blogging Sauce.
1//Blog Like No One is Reading. This was/is the BEST advice I ever got in my 1st year of Blogging. It allowed me to focus on my craft and not the comparison game. And Now the Comparison game is even more of a heavy hitter then before. I know you see all these polished blogs, amazing photos and your blog envy might get the best of you. BuT, DON'T LET IT. It's not a good place to be in... I have so been there and done that myself. Ugly I tell you. It truly steals your joy and that is why Blogging like No One is Reading helps. You begin to enjoy the process, find your own style in the meantime and learn to focus on the things you love to write about. And eventually something magical happens: readers do come. They enjoy your unique voice, love your vulnerability and eventually come back again and again. But, if they never come. It's OK too. Your being creative, In the end is what matters most. And If you are busting your ass for only readership. You have found the wrong niche. You gotta love what you do alone to keep doing it. Sometimes only a few people read my posts now and it doesn't bother me. Seriously it doesn't. Because I know I wrote and created for me. Try it, I promise it will be transforming:)
2//Be Confident Even in the Beginning. My first few years of blogging was a Hot Mess, yet I embraced the learning curve. I enjoyed overcoming my mistakes and learning new things. It was so much fun now looking back. But, the ONE thing I would of changed is being more confident in that process. Stop doubting my passion. I notice now so many new bloggers on Social media doubting themselves and even putting out a desperate kind of vibe. It makes me sad when I see on a Insta-Story with a tagline, "wrote another blog post. Though I am sure you don't want to read it." Actually now most people won't. If you are not confident in yourself, why would others want to be? We get what we put out there. Remember Your voice, thoughts and ideas do matter, even if it only reaches one person and in the beginning that one person is only YOU. Don't sell yourself short. God has given you this passion for a reason!
3//Authentic. It's definitely a buzz word right now. But, with how saturated the Blogging world is... Authenticity is Key. I challenge you to Find your most authentic story and tell it. Dig deep and let it flow. Make a list of what is truly unique about you and build from there. In a world where people just skim what they see and read. Give them the beautiful guts of what makes you tick and they too will be inspired. Blogging can be such a gift if we use it to help others by being more of own Authentic Selves.
4//Post when the Creative Spirit Moves you. I know you have read all over Pinterest, The How-To's on Posting 2-3 times a week. But, Posting to just Post kills interest even for yourself. Most People don't want to see hum drum filler posts and heck neither do you. Yes, done is better sometimes. But, when you really want to connect with others use your intuitive spark to creating content. Putting that 100% in maybe two post for a month is better than having 10 posts that talk about your dog or the new blow dryer you got (unless you are dog blog or hair blog:) It's better to post Less with awesome enthusiasm than More with Mundane.
5//Have Fun. Yes, I did say that. But, listen to me. Enjoy the creative process. Get out there and find your fun. I love Mid-Century, Jackie Kennedy and anything French. These are my most favorite topics to Blog about and most of the time people could give two shits:) reading them. But, damn I loved researching and writing them. Bringing me Joy! And maybe someday my future child will stumble upon them and think, "Wow, my Mom was creative and really Weird." Both is a win for me:)
Now my first of the series challenge for you. Is to pick one of these topics and write a post about it. Remember bring your Authentic, No One is reading Attitude to the page! Email or tag me on IG. @storyboardc I wanna read! Please know you can also email me any questions. I am here for you! Love, C (Cynthia)
Next up in the Blogging for Beginners: Blogging and Social Media. Let me know if they're are any specific questions you have.