When I started this blog I was shy, scared and I doubted myself the most part. I was already online in February 2014 but I spent a great deal of time researching and reading people’s content because I was scared of what people would say about my own content.
I worried about how I would come across based on the stories that I shared, in that it consumed me a lot I wasn’t writing as much as I wanted to. So to clip all these bad habits off myself I decided to seek for some advice from close friends, myself (turns out I give myself the best advice) and the internet.
So, as earlier promised this is the advice that has seen me through my first year of blogging consistently and still counting.
#1 On writing
Don’t be scared to tell your story, it will inspire someone. Ortega Ian
I was so scared of sharing my fears, my pains and my past mistakes. I wanted to be seen as perfect and successful. I never wanted to write about my unemployment, past mistakes and lessons learned. I wanted to be a super star; the only problem was I find it so hard to lie when I am writing so I spent weeks and months without writing any blog posts because I wanted the perfect story to happen so I could share it.
I struggled with this for a while and Ortega Ian seemed to have a blast sharing some of the most awkward situations about his life in public. So I went ahead and sought his advice and this is what he told me, Sarah you don’t have to be ashamed of sharing your story, it will inspire someone plus if you share all these silly embarrassing things about yourself nobody will ever be able to black mail you because you won’t have any skeletons in the closet.
Turns out Ian gave me the red pill and I published my first awkward story 9years of pain, why that menstrual pain could be something more than just pain. It was so personal but I grew so much from that experience.
#2 On consistency
Consistence is the key to development. Martha Nansamba
This was the hardest to grasp and it came from my sister who by the way doesn’t own a blog. She surely was rooting for me but at the time I felt insulted. Boy the arguments I had with her about how writing is something that comes as an epiphany, not something you just do just because you have to.
And she was sensible enough to hit a cord that got me thinking really hard. She told me, if you can’t write anytime you want, wherever you want and whenever you want, then you have no right to call yourself a writer, you are just a poser.
Aww!! That hurt although she was so right and I took her advice not as a form of self improvement but to prove a point to her that I was really a writer and she ended up betting 100,000/= against the fact that I would blog for the whole month of August and I did. I won the bet but most of all I became consistent and I have never looked back again.
So we should all be thankful to Martha for paying up the 100,000/= and teaching me a great life lesson because it doesn’t stop at blogging only. Consistency is surely the key to developing all aspects of our lives.
Advice from me to myself
#1 On making mistakes
I was the kind of blogger who would read, re-read and read and read and edit and edit and edit and spend four to five days making something perfect before publishing it. I was seriously obsessed with being perfect, it drained me so much until one day during meditation, I decided to deal with it and the end result was this quote I put up on my motivation board.
If you can’t fail on the world stage, you have no business desiring to win on the world stage. N.S.C
Blogging is something we do on the world stage, no matter how small or minute your blog is, there is no way you won’t make mistakes on the world level. You just have to accept your mistakes, correct them and move forward, it is so liberating.
#2 On comments and likes
We are all guilty on this one. I don’t know how many times I have thought a story is flawed, boring or not touching because it didn’t get a Facebook like, a twitter shout out and a discussion in form of comments. In that I reached an extent whereby if a story I wrote didn’t get a like, comment or shout out I would not write until it got at least a like.
But then I realized that if I don’t write daily because people are not commenting and liking the stories, I only let myself down and nobody else.
Good writing cannot be judged by social media likes and comments, it can only be judged by great writers and readers. N.S.C
So far I have the freedom to share and write whatever I like whenever and however, I guess I gave myself the freedom to be me and be authentic about it.
#3 On blog traffic
I don’t know why in the beginning I was so obsessed with blog traffic, visitor numbers and the likes. May be some of you are too. I spent countless hours watching my stats, setting illustrious traffic goals Kim Kardashian and Barack Obama would never achieve in one hour.
But somehow I thought if I had traffic goals like that, it made me a serious blogger. Turns out it didn’t, it just made me a worried blogger. It consumed my time and I wasn’t putting out any content because I was spending time watching my stats go up.
The day I got tired of chasing traffic goals is the day I started receiving decent traffic and that was because I set my traffic goals to this.
Write a story that will touch and change one person’s life…just one person not 100 or 1000 but just one person. N.S.C
And whenever I saw one person visiting the link on the story I shared I was done for the day. It brought me a lot of peace and a lot of traffic because it touched a lot of people.
#4 On compelling content
This one was also one of those things that stressed me. I wanted to be liked, I wanted people to love what I wrote but on some days it seemed like nobody was interested.
So I changed my method of writing from writing for people to writing for myself the most inspiring story that would change my life forever. N.S.C
Every single day I have come out to blog including now, I have written for myself and not for you and I am glad I am able to touch your lives but mostly I am glad I liberated myself from sharing content that you wanted to read to content that I wanted to read online.
#1 On negative comments:
You all know that feeling where you put sweat and passion into a post, publish it and before you know it there is this John or Alex or Sarah dissecting your story or concept in the most negative way you want to punch them in the face.
Well I found this advice online and it has been really helpful, people say a lot of dumb things most times. Sometimes you just have to forgive idiots for being idiots.
#2 On blog popularity
If you’ve been thinking about joining the online conversation, or dreaming of starting a blog, website, or publishing more, it’s time to start. The goal isn’t to have the loudest voice on the internet. It’s to have a voice: your voice.
#3 On writing
The point of writing is not to just publish for someone else: Writing and storytelling are about developing a relationship with your voice and ideas. It’s about finding and practicing ways of expressing your ideas to yourself, and then to others.
#4 On blogging
Part of the beauty of blogging is that a blog is personal and that personality always includes imperfection. Your post doesn’t have to be perfect. Blogging is imperfect by design.
#5 On leadership
As a blogger in whatever niche you decide to blog about, you present yourself as a leader in that particular industry. Your duty is to be a leader, show it even when you’re doubting yourself you need to pull yourself together because, you can’t lead if you have no faith in uncertain future. Chris Clark Epstein
This is the best blogging advice that has helped me create the magic that we have all been a part of and I am hoping to receive some more blogging advice from you.
So go down in the comments below and share with me, the blogging advice you follow.