I had no idea what to expect when I just dove into blogging head-first. I didn't even read other blogs when I first started and just decided to do it my own way.
A lot has changed since then and I'd like to say that my blog has improved since then. Here are some things that really surprised me when I first started blogging.
- Success won't come overnight: Good content ≠ Readers
No matter what you post, you won't become a successful blogger within six months. There are exceptions to the rule, but don't assume that you're one of those. Readers are earned and that takes time.
- Queuing WILL save your blog
Honestly, if it wasn't for my well-stacked queue I'd probably have quit already. It's hardly possible to keep posting as much as I do (almost every day/ every other day) without actually planning posts in advance. I use my creative highs to schedule posts in advance. I suggest you make a habit of queuing, too, because it really does help a lot.
- Themes matter, period.
So many people say it's all about the content, but honestly: there are certain themes that I just can't stand to see anymore. At this point I actually click away when I see an awful blog design, no matter how interesting the posts sound.
- You will lose motivation
..and that's perfectly normal. Blogging is a full-time job and after months and months of writing posts, you may get tired of it. Don't give up. The big names in the blogging community are the people who never gave up. You can do it.
- It's a competition - you will get jealous of others
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you shouldn't try to be like other bloggers or try to be as successful as them. I've heard it all, but the truth is I do look left and right and try to improve my blog constantly. The internet changes and so do the habits of the people who visit my blog.
- Of course you'll get discouraged to see a blogger that has barely started surpass you with their statistics.
- Of course you'll get jealous when someone gets an awesome ARC that you didn't get
- Of course you'll constantly ask yourself why someone else has more followers, has more commenters, has better statistics
- Of course you'll try to be more like the people you admire. And eventually plan to be a better blogger than them.
That may sound a little conceited, but it's the truth. Why are you blogging? Because you think your voice matters. When it ends up being unheard it's frustrating and annoying and it will make you question everything you do.
Don't listen to that little voice that says you're not good enough and you're never going to make it.
Persistence is the key to success.
One day people will look up to you and ask themselves why they're not as great as you are.