7 Lessons In 13 Months Blogging

Don't Ever Stop Learning

When you are just starting out as a blogger it can all seem so confusing and totally overwhelming.

Plugins, tags, SEO, editorial calendars – what’s that all about? Backup Buddy, Aksimet, WP Biographia, Link Within, Add New Default Avatar PRO, Shareaholic, Google Analyticator….

Your head is ready to EXPLODE.

Once you’ve been blogging for a while it’s easy to forget what the experience was like. The experts in our niches can assume a level of knowledge and don’t remember how humble their beginnings were.

The Better Business Better Life blog has existed for 13 months so for beginners I’d like to share some things I’ve learned that might help you on your journey. For the more experienced bloggers, you might have a lesson or two you’d like to add.

Mistakes Are Okay

 

Lesson 1. You won’t do everything right the first time.

Maybe not the second time either. And that’s ok. Here are a few favourite quotes from leaders in their respective fields:

“Each failure brings you one step closer to success.”
- Zig Ziglar

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
- Thomas Alva Edison

“Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met were temporary setbacks.”
- Dottie Walters

Leaders understand that not everything goes right all of the time. In fact, they encourage mistakes because the sooner you make them, the faster you learn from them and increase your knowledge.

Lesson 2. All things blogging are a-changin’

What works now may not in the future. Why is this important? It teaches us to focus on the pursuit of excellence rather than expecting perfection.  We should ensure continual improvement rather than a ‘set and forget’ strategy.

Master marketer and blogger Seth Godin argues that perfection is not possible so we should ask ‘when is good enough?’ rather than ‘when is it done?’

The fact is perfectionism stops us being productive. We cannot continue to create if we can’t move past the first post, design, headline…

If you need some tips to increase your progress can I suggest the Expert Enough article ‘Why You Need To Quit Demanding Perfection From Yourself’ and Problogger‘s ‘Is Perfectionism Stalling Your Productivity?

Bloggers Take Newbies Under Their Wings

 

Lesson 3. Bloggers are amazingly supportive people.

I attended my first ‘in real life’ blogging event, Problogger’s Training Day, last October. Living in a rural area the handful of attendees I knew, I’d only met online, but they welcomed me with open arms. It was gorgeous meeting them face-to-face and then they generously introduced me to their blogging friends.

Some of the lovely bloggers I met that day included Jade Craven, Annabel Candy from Successful Blogging, Laney of CrashTest Mummy.

At the Digital Parents Conference in March I wanted to give back and support first time conference attendees. Chatting on Twitter before the event led to a bunch of ladies having dinner together prior to the pre-conference drinks. Marissa Roberts of Beautifully Organised has become a life-long friend since.

Fear not though. You don’t have to attend conferences all over the country to meet and enjoy the support of bloggers. Amazing people I’ve connected online with include Kimberly Creagan of Joyful Roots, Michelle Schaeffer of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge, Pam Moore of Pam Marketing Nut and Kellie Lieberman host of #PinChat.

Sisterly Love?

 

Lesson 4. Love your readers like they are your brothers and sisters – you may not always see eye-to-eye but they know you are always there for them.

Unless you are using your blog as a personal journaling tool, your readers are essential to your blog’s existence. Make sure your readers know you appreciate them. Reply to their comments. Help them achieve their goals.

That said there is a need for balance between writing to serve your readers and not serving them well because you’ve lost your passion trying to satisfy them.

Be mindful of that fine line.

Lesson 5. Not everyone will understand.

Despite the popularity of blogging and the value it creates many people still don’t ‘get’ it. Help them out by sharing your knowledge.

If they still think you’re wasting your time respect their opinion but get on with it. Don’t let the naysayers hold you back.

Schedule Your Blog Promotion

 

Lesson 6. Blogging can be ‘so much work’ but it’s totally worth it.

As mentioned already, I’ve made lifelong friends through my blog and it continues to generate new clients directly and indirectly.

If the workload all seems a bit too much know that there are plenty of tools to increase your productivity in blog content creation and promotion.

Use an editorial calendar and always have posts in reserve. WP Editorial Calendar is one option but it can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet.

Consider using an automation tool such as Hootesuite, Buffer or Social Oomph to assist with promotion but never rely on it completely. Your current and potential readers want to connect with YOU and your blog. Don’t leave the ‘you’ out of promotion.

Lesson 7. Blogging challenges are brilliant for making connections, growing traffic and subscribers.

Some of my favourites include the Ultimate Blogging Challenge, WordCount Blogathon and Content Palooza. You meet so many fabulous bloggers who in addition to blogging each day, comment and share each other’s posts.

Speaking of blogging challenges – keep your eye out for a special announcement in approximately four weeks…

What Will You Blog About?

 

Bonus Lesson. Have a go!

The bestselling book ‘The Greatest Salesman In The World’ follows the story of a young man working to escape poverty and marry the woman of his dreams. His mentor says ‘Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough.’

Why share this with you?

If you want to start a blog you should do it. What have you got to lose? And more importantly, there is so much to gain.

If you are sufficiently determined you will succeed.

Do you think I’ve missed anything? What was your first 13 months blogging like?

 

Pic Source: 1,2 &4 iStockPhotos 3. Pinti 1 5. FirebrandMedia 6. Annie Mole
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  • helen
    May 27, 2012

    just 10 months blogging so far … but i will subscribe every tiny character you have laid out in your post!
    it is amazing what new experiences you make during blogging .
    some days i feel wonderful like an expert and the other day that big balloon which wants to make my head burst, pumps up again …never safe but always walking ;D

    • Caylie Price
      May 27, 2012

      Hi Helen,
      You are another awesome connection I’ve made through the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. Thank you!
      Yes, blogging can definitely be a rollercoaster ride and you never know what is around the next corner.
      Keep going. You will succeed!
      Caylie

  • Kelly Lieberman
    May 27, 2012

    Caylie,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I appreciate your honesty and the lessons you have learned.

    Thanks for the kind mention. I love how the world of Twitter has given me the opportunity to meet amazing people like you!

    • Caylie Price
      May 27, 2012

      Hi Kelly,
      Thanks so much for reading, commenting and retweeting.
      You are always so generous with you advice specifically regarding Pinterest but also all things online.
      Congratulations on your success to date. I know you will achieve so much more!
      Cheers, Caylie

  • Tash
    May 27, 2012

    Ohhh, the hint of a blogging challenge from BBBL! That’s exciting – will keep an eye out!

    All awesome tips! I guess I would add to the Bonus Lesson just the point that in addition to having a go, keep at it – as long as you enjoy it!

    • Caylie Price
      May 27, 2012

      Hi Tash,
      Thanks for popping by and commenting.
      Yes, something a bit fun coming up. Be sure to subscribe if you’d like a reminder.
      Love your tip. We should always do what we love. Congratulations on seven years of blogging! What a milestone!
      Cheers, Caylie

  • Brilliant post Caylie and very helpful advice you offer to newbies. I still feel like a newbie myself. Just 10 months today in fact that I’ve been blogging! Thank you for the mention in your post. Getting out and meeting other bloggers either online or IRL is a huge motivator. It was lovely to meet you at last year’s Problogger Event. Can’t believe I’m actually speaking at it this year – yikes!

    • Caylie Price
      May 28, 2012

      Hi Laney,
      Wow, you are such a pro! I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging 10 months.
      I’m so looking forward to hearing you speak at Problogger – you will ace it! What topic have you chosen?
      Cheers, Caylie

      • Thanks Caylie, I’m on the panel talking about ‘Taking a new blog to success’, moderated by Valerie Khoo. Should be interesting!

  • Sean Davis
    May 29, 2012

    This was an excellent post, Caylie! Thanks a ton for referencing my article on Expert Enough. I most definitely appreciate it. Keep up the outstanding work. :)

    • Caylie Price
      May 29, 2012

      Hi Sean,
      Thanks for popping by and saying g’day!
      You wrote a great article and I knew it would help my readers.
      Be sure to stay in touch.
      Caylie

  • Hi Caylie,

    It was great to meet you too:) The last lesson is so important. I always tell people to just get started. Of course mistakes will be made, not matter how much you plan that’s inevitable but if you don’t start blogging you’ll never reap any of the many and amazing benefits:)

    • Caylie Price
      June 8, 2012

      Hi Annabel,
      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Best laid plans nearly always change for better or occasionally worse.
      Looking forward to more posts on your trip to Canada!
      Caylie

  • Naomi Bulger
    June 8, 2012

    Ah Caylie, thank you. I have so much to learn. I am printing off this page!

    • Caylie Price
      June 8, 2012

      I’m not so sure Naomi! I just read your blog and it is beautiful!
      Best wishes for the safe arrival of your bundle of joy and I hope the carpal tunnel disappears very soon.

  • Jackie
    June 8, 2012

    Really solid advice Caylie

    I’d also add that you need a good dose of self belief and the tenacity to play your own game.

    I’ve seen so many people drive themselves nuts trying to follow other peoples “rules” that it ends up killing their creativity.

    As seth would say…make your own map.

    Looking forward to meeting you at the PBEvent in October

    • Caylie Price
      June 9, 2012

      Excellent additions Jackie!
      Self belief and persistence are essential to achieving any goals in life. There are always going to be naysayers but if you keep working, learning and improving you will reach your definition of success.
      I hope you will keep your ears open for my little announcement coming up…
      Cheers, Caylie

      • Jackie
        June 9, 2012

        Oooh sounds interesting, I’ll have my ear to the ground :)

  • Jules
    July 1, 2012

    I started my blog without knowing what blogging was, kind of fell into the ocean without a life vest is a good way of putting it. Totally I.T illiterate I walked a rough yet fun path before I discovered others existed on my blogger island which I then discovered was as big as the world.
    You were very friendly at the DPCON, thank you because I was terrified on the inside. :-) Thank you for this post. My friend has commenced a blog I shall now send her this way so she doesn’t walk my early path. #awesome work.

    • Caylie Price
      July 2, 2012

      Thanks for sharing Jules! I look back and think ‘god what was I thinking’ so if I can help you and your friend I’m grateful.
      As for DPCON I think we were all shaking on the inside and trying to come across all cool, calm and collected ;o)

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