Monday, August 3, 2015

10 Truths No One Tells You About Blogging

Starting a blog is possibly one of the best decisions I've ever made. 

Over the years, I picked up and dropped a variety of hobbies but the most life changing one is blogging. It started out on a boring afternoon as  an effort to entertain myself during my first job. Two years later, it has evolved into a platform to meet and inspire people across the globe while growing as a person. Not only has blogging forced me to become a better writer but it has also opened up countless windows of opportunities for which I'm thankful. Waking up to a positive comment on the blog or a simple word of encouragement on Twitter is undoubtedly the highlight of my day. But like everything else in life, there are definitely some less than amazing aspects to blogging. 

Today's post is an attempt to give aspiring bloggers a peek behind the curtain while also sharing how bloggers can embrace these daily struggles.

Spoiler: Blogging is not for the faint-hearted.

If you are looking for that overnight spike in traffic or a quick way to make a few bucks, you'll have to look elsewhere. Blogging is a hobby that's both time consuming and nerve wracking. It requires a lot of time investment and constant effort. You'd be hard-pressed to find bloggers who have hit success overnight. Growth is hard and slow. You will always feel like you are a step behind. It's frustrating and most of the time you will struggle to find a reason to keep going. There's a lot of hair pulling, self doubt and plenty of going back and forth.

Yes, it's tough. But as you'll soon find out boy, is it worth it.

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Focus is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. More than two years later and it isn't gotten easier. There's a lot to consume on the internet and our news feeds are clogged up with 'inspiration'. So it's easy to get caught up in the cycle of reading about how to do it rather than actually doing it. 
Less reading and more doing is perhaps, something that every blogger needs to focus on. Waiting for inspiration to strike does not quite work so sometimes you just have to write. The myth of perfection is only going to cramp your progress so start out with rough edges and little phrases and edit later.
 Being human.

Be yourself. I can't help but groan every time I hear this because what exactly does 'being yourself' entail? 
As annoying as it is to hear this frequently tossed nugget of wisdom, it is undeniably one of the most important pieces of advice you'll hear. Finding your blogging voice is essentially the most important and hardest thing to do. So start out with being human first. It is so easy to slip into the habit of sounding less human and more like a preacher when we blog so a little mindfulness goes a long way. 
It can be tempting to immaculate that brand new, quirky blogger's voice - Hey if it works for him, why not try it? Don't. Do less replication and more you.

Blog-preneurship?

Blogging is like running your own start up. Like with every new business, it can be seriously overwhelming and crazy stressful. You'll soon discover that writing your blog posts is only the beginning. 'Write and they'll come' is a myth and I've learned this the hard way. There's going to be a lot of not-so-fun stuff like marketing your blog posts (eeeek! What if I sound spammy?), coding (it's like organic chemistry all over again) and reacting to negative feedback (*reads mean comment, loses faith in humanity and wows to never blog again*).
But boy, do you learn. From SEO to branding, you learn something new everyday.

Squad Goals.

The community is  undoubtedly one of the best things about blogging. When that sneaky bastard of a blogging slump sneaks up on you, your blogging buddies are there to cheer you on. When that one troll decides to wreck your day, your squad has got your back. Blogger drama is scary and real so it's always to great to know that someone has your back.When you hit publish, there are those awesome peeps who'll be the first to boost your blog post.

One size does not fit all.

Blogging tips are my favorite kind of posts to read. While it is tempting to read all of these posts and try them out, you must remember that both you and your blog are unique. What works for one blogger may not work for you. Whether it's about deciding which social media fits you best or what your blogging voice is, there is no magical free size that fits all of us.

Sorry. We have been in hibernation.

Slumps are real and are not reflection of your success as a blogger. There is absolutely no shame in calling it quits or taking another hiatus. As humans we outgrow people and dreams so why not blogging? Whether it is saying goodbye to blogging or taking a short break to recharge, do as your please.

Shake it off

There will always be a bunch of people who don't get it.
'So you blog? About books? Hmmmm.' 
While it is tempting to go 'Terminator' on condescending people, it is perhaps healthier to resist that urge. A sarcastic one-liner and a hair flip however, is not forbidden. ;)

Living like a blogger

Chances are that your addiction to your blog will leak into your real life. A perfectly random conversation with your friend about that new pizza place could turn into a possible blog post idea. A walk through the mall might bring out potential blog discussions and you start seeing props for your blog photography everywhere. Of course, the best ideas often pop up right before you sleep or during your shower. Don't even get me started on the extreme lengths we go to take that perfect Instagram snap.

Nuggets of wisdom. Or maybe not.

Not everything you say will be profound. 

This one's pretty self explanatory. Sometimes the best we can do is add at least a modicum of value to our posts so that readers find it useful. Put a new spin on that old topic. Explore new topics that correspond with your niche. Don't sweat it. Lighten up. ;)
Is blogging worth it?

I think Sarah Dessen says it best,
“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing.  Then everything would be.  It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.  When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.” 
Blogging isn’t just working on the things you like. It also means doing the things you don’t enjoy so you can do the things you love the most like writing and meeting your “tribe.

So hustle, baby. Hustle. ;)

OVER TO YOU:

What unexpected things have you discovered during your blogging journey? Can you relate to any of these? Confess away, we promise not judge! :)

Liked this post? Remember sharing is caring! Follow via Bloglovin' to be the first to see similar posts. 

Want more? Check out my other discussions.

Happy Reading/Blogging! :)



xoxo

8 comments :

  1. I couldn't agree les with all of the things you listed Nizaifa!

    (I have an ongoing battle with mom about blogging being worth it. Methinks she's more worried about profit.)

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    1. It is so worth it, Sophia so do keep on blogging! While monetization is fabulous, it is not for everyone.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Well you officially ROCK this blog tips list-thing. This post needs to be shared all over the internet! Yes, yes to all of this! I especially love the "living like a blogger". If you can turn on that side of your brain so that you're unconsciously thinking about life through that lens, it will change a lot! :D :D

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    Replies
    1. Haha! Thank you so much, Chloe! :D

      Exactly, once you start thinking like a blogger you'll start seeing inspiration everywhere. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. AMAZING post!! Loved it Nuzaifa!
    Haniya
    booknauthors.blogspot.com

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  4. Girl, I've missed reading your discussion posts. They are the best!:)
    I agree with every single thing up there! I thought that blogging would be a hobby, a way to past time, and an escape to help me relax. But now, it has become a huge part of my life, a time consuming. stressful yet amazing element of my day to day life.
    Wonderful post, Nuz!:)

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  5. These are all so true. Interesting post, Nuzaifa! Blogging is definitely not easy but if you're doing something you love, it's all worth it. I've been blogging for two years now, but I'm still struggling with some things. Best I could do is just roll with it and enjoy. After all, talking about books is something I really love. :)

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

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  6. Great post! I love the bit about being human/more you ;) I think I actually found my blogging voice by writing articles... I feel like that helped my reviews too!
    There's some really great tips in this post, I'm going to save and share on my Sunday Post this week!
    I agree that blogging never easy. For two 2 1/2 years I isolated myself from the blogosphere, never even knowing it existed really. The only posts I did was reviews. Now I'm happy I've found the rest of the fish and am happily swimming along! It's given me the confidence to do memes, articles, and creative writing posts too! Again with the whole "they have your back" thing, right? ;)
    Have a great week,
    Amy x

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