Tomorrow is DAY 30 of my blog challenge… Yayyy!! To celebrate, I’m writing a two-part series to wrap it up. Today, I’ll impart with you my learnings, and tomorrow, I share with you my plans for the blog going forward.
A few people in my kitwithkat Facebook Group have expressed interest in starting blogs, too, and also wanted to hear about some of my challenges. So, here are my learnings from doing a daily blog challenge for a month:
- Just get started. The hardest part is just getting started with the first post. It’s so easy to get dissuaded by all your stories of fear, doubt, and feeling not good enough. I had the same ones. I even restarted twice. Honestly, I just had to get over myself—get over those same fears, doubts, and feelings. There are so many other people who’ve done it, so why can’t I? Especially when people have expressed interest or keep on asking me to do so, the demand is there, so I am the only one who is holding myself back. So just do it! You DO have so much knowledge to share.
- Be easy on yourself. Like I’ve mentioned before, I am my own harshest critic. By telling myself, “it’s ok, this is just practice” and “I’m just a beginner, so it’s common to make mistakes.” When you place yourself in that beginner’s mindset, you become less harsh on yourself and more willing to learn. Plus, people are pretty forgiving or they might not even notice those mistakes that you found glaring later. I got really close a few times to finishing a blog post minutes before midnight. Just remember that it is all ok. The important part is that you did it!
- It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to get done. I’ve heard that phrase a few times from different mentors. And that did take me a little while to actually overcome that being I’m a perfectionist! I thought I had to have all these things in place before I can launch my website. So I took out the barrier—I started on Medium instead. It’s an existing platform with plenty of other writers and readers available. Then I reposted the link on my existing social media platforms—Facebook and Instagram—to cross promote it.
- Don’t get overwhelmed by the progress of other bloggers. They’ve been doing it for much longer, so they have much more to consider to up their growth. So first off, there’s no need to get super fancy or jump into the deep end with all the crazy SEO processes, optimizing your site, learn how to promote and post ads, etc. Your head will start spinning, and that’ll expedite your discouragement or desire to give up before even getting started or to continue. The more I dug into the blogging world, the more it seemed like this massive cliff I was looking up. I had to let it all go. Remember, you’re just getting started. In the beginning, the most important part is just practicing your writing and sharing your content with the world.
- Find ways to make it easier, so it stays fun. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find existing apps and resources to make your life easier. There are plenty of free services as well, so you can try them out and upgrade when you need it. I listed some resources below this post you can check out. Also, come up with a system or checklist, so you don’t miss any steps for each post. Don’t track everything in your head. Write them down, and free up your mental space to be creative instead! Another way is just dictating your blog instead of typing it if that works better for you. Find the shortcuts and outsource things you don’t like doing, so you can spend time on the most important part—your content.
- Be aware of how long it takes you to do a post, and plan for that when you set up how often you’ll be writing. Doing it daily is really time-consuming, especially if you’re just starting off. I wrote and rewrote. I overthought and was critical of what words, sentences, and concepts I was writing about. What I’ve learned from others is “batching”—that means writing a few posts all in one long sitting, then schedule them to post automatically at certain times to maintain your consistency. That made a difference when I was traveling for an event. It was definitely less stressful as well. I wish I did that more throughout the month.
- Start noting your own trends to develop your strategic plan. The biggest question is… do you enjoy it? Are you having fun? If so, let’s continue. I didn’t use any fancy tracking services besides what was available on my WordPress site, Medium account, and Instagram business account. Just start noticing what kind of content people are clicking to read (number of views, clicks to profile, comments, or shares). Ask for feedback from friends who have been following you along your journey. Even asking those who weren’t interested or why they stopped reading are good feedback points, too. Keep in mind that they might not be your target audience either, so don’t take it personally. Take everything as an opportunity to learn how to get better. Next, start noting what style of writing works for you––more storytelling or educating? How do you like writing––formal, casual, funny, etc? Your writing voice is a part of what makes you special, right after the experiences and knowledge you’re sharing.
After writing for a month, you start formulating an idea of who you’re writing to, who are responding to your content, and why you want to continue blogging. Yes, it takes effort, but if you’re enjoying yourself and believe that sharing your content makes a difference to others, then why stop?
And… back to number 1, just get started. Stop overthinking it. Have some fun with this and see where it goes. Let me know if you have any other questions, and how I can help you get started. Cheers! Day 29 check!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post to hear about my plans going forward for this blog.
[ RESOURCES ]
I’ve included the base price in parenthesis. The plus sign (+) means that there are upgrading options for more features.
- Medium (free+): It’s free to sign up for an account to post and read content. There’s a subscription model to read content behind their partner paywall, but that’s not needed to get started.
- Grammarly (free+): If you’re worried about spelling and grammar mistakes, this is an awesome tool. It also has a Chrome extension and iOS app for ease of use. I started using this halfway through, and it made a big difference in cutting down my revision time.
- Notion (free+): Great app to organize your thoughts, notes, and actual blog content as well. It’s like Evernote, Trello, Google Drive, and a to-do list, all in one. You can sync it across your desktop and mobile device, so you can write from anywhere and offline, too. Just by signing up, you get free credits to try out their personal plan, which has version history and unlimited storage. By clicking on my affiliate link, you get $10 credit to start as well.
- Google Docs (free): A dictation feature you can use here is “Voice typing” under “Tools”. This is available on both desktop or the app via the keyboard.
- Speechnotes (free): Free audio transcription site.
- “Everyone Writes” by Ann Handley ($13 on Kindle): A great easy read with amazing resources, tips, and perspectives on how to write great content your readers will appreciate.