5 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Blogging
In my two-plus years of blogging, I’ve learned a few things. They don’t have to do with converting followers or driving traffic to your site. In fact, I won’t make a peep about graphic design or photography (and you know how hard it is to for me to shut up about those topics!). There are five main things I wish I had known when I began blogging, and I will do my best to share them with every blogger or aspiring blogger that I know.
My blog is TWO YEARS OLD now, like what even. I was going through old posts, and I realized that I’ve changed so much over these years. What an amazing journey it’s been. But if I could go back in time and tell myself just five things, here are the things I would say.
1. Typos Mean You’re Human.
Seriously. There will be typos in this post, AND THATS OKAY. (<< intentional typo.) In the beginning, I would take it a little personally if someone found a typo in my posts, or if I discovered that *gasp*, I’d forgotten a link. Big deal! Even if some people are OCD, or if you’re OCD about your typos, please remember that typos mean you’re a real person with real mistakes. Mistakes are okay. I make them all the time, online and in real life, and I haven’t had any unforgivable disasters happen (yet). Don’t get hung up on them to the point where they stunt your growth.
2. Sporadic Posting Is Okay.
Sporadic posting used to keep me up at night. I’m not kidding! I would lay there and think, gosh, all the (two) people who read my blog are really wondering what happened to me and I should really update it and I’m a horrible person for not blogging and wow it’s already midnight. Guys, come on. Not posting means you’re out in the world living, and that’s way more important than keeping your blog up-to-date. Blogging is wonderful and fun, but it should never take the place of your real, face-to-face life.
3. Being Authentic Is More Important Than Being Aesthetic.
I love pretty things. I love it when a blog is so gorgeous it makes my jaw drop. The world is just brimming with beauty, and I love it when people display that on their blogs. However. I’ve wasted a lot of time focusing on the aesthetic nature of my blog rather than the authentic heart behind it. Just because it looks better to write a certain way or make things look just right doesn’t mean it is better for you as an individual. Do things the way you want to, not the way that seems to work for someone else.
4. Don’t Be Ashamed Of What You Do.
When I found out that people besides my best friends and my parents read my blog, I had a lowkey freakout moment. What do they think of me? My blog reveals a lot about me! I feel vulnerable having the public read it! It was at that time that a friend said to me (paraphrased): “keep being real, Aliyah. Your unashamed, down-to-earth personality is why I love to read your blog.” I realized then that what people think of my blog is not important. I love hearing your opinions, don’t get me wrong. But let me make one thing clear: I will not always heed to your opinions. This blog makes me vulnerable and it does sometimes scare me to think that anyone could be reading the deep thoughts of my heart. But I’m still here, and I’ll keep being real and honest as long as I am here.
5. Soul Growth – Not Stat Growth – Is The Goal.
Growth is a wonderful concept. It’s sometimes painful at the time, but everyone can agree: the end result is beautiful. In recent months, I’ve been thinking of my website and blog in terms of, how much traffic can I direct to my site? how many followers can I gain? That kind of growth is really cool. I’m not gonna lie, I love to see that little icon on Instagram that shows I gained a new follower. But before I can gain followers online, I need to remember that I am a follower. And it’s not a social media term, it’s a soul identity. My priorities with this website and with my life ride on the will of my leader, Jesus Christ. So, yes, statistics for my blog are addicting and I love watching my passions grow through social media. Yet my end goal is unchanging: follow Jesus to experience soul growth, not stat growth.
So there are my words of advice. They’re definitely bold and heartfelt. I hope they mean something to you, and I’d love to hear from you! Which point resonated the most with you?