Recently, my sweet friend Claire started a beautiful new blog called Honey Haven. Claire and her husband Parker are newlyweds, avid DIY’er’s and pretty much one of the most beautiful couples (inside and out) that you could ever meet:
I have known Parker and Claire since they were little ones and seeing them all grown up and married just makes me feel… old. It also makes me realize just how quickly time flies by because I swear it was just last week that these two were the same age as my girl (hold me now.).
Today, Claire is sharing an interview with me on her blog here about how I got started blogging and why I blog. Through this whole process of answering Claire’s questions and thinking back to my blogging beginning (four years ago), I am reminded just how challenging (and scary) it can be to put yourself out there creatively in such a public way. Today I thought I would give my friend Claire and other new bloggers some support and a little advice.
Enjoy the Adventure
You’re intentions for starting a blog may be to encourage and inspire others through your projects and posts, but be ready to be inspired and learn more about yourself than you could imagine. Blogging has truly has been one of the greatest adventures that I have ever been on and I seriously feel that I have spent the last four years exploring and trekking through some far away foreign country (especially that first year).
I know it seems a little scary getting started and frustrating that there is so much to learn but don’t let it intimidate you or prevent you from this experience. Find support where you can and I’m sorry to say but don’t be surprised and discouraged if someone you expect to be supportive is not. Some people just don’t “get” the blogging thing and why anyone would want to share this way. You’re already feeling a little unsure of putting yourself out there creatively in your decision to blog and someone’s lack of support can really sting (been there). Dust yourself off, dig down deep and follow your creative heart. Unfortunately, you learn the most about the people closest to you when you need them the most.
Don’t let anyone or anything deter you in your desire to share your creativity and yourself in this way. There is a reason why you feel compelled to blog and over time, you will come to realize why.
Just keep on doing your creative thing and hold tight and know that over time, you will find a support system of readers and bloggers who also “get” it. You will find more blogging inspiration and support than you could ever imagine through these connections.
Find Your Blogging Friends
The quicker you make blogging friends, the quicker you begin to build a network of support,encouragement and blogging advice that you really need right now. Connecting with people who are doing the same thing as you is such a great way to get help with so many of the challenges/questions that go into starting a blog. Chances are, one of your blog friends will have an answer for you question because they have been there themselves.
To connect with other bloggers, you can make a list of 5-10 blogs/bloggers that you identify with and love. It helps if the blogs are in the same blogging niche as you (i.e, DIY, food, fashion, etc..). Comment on their blogs and on their social media regularly and over time, they will notice and hopefully connect back with you. It doesn’t always happen immediately and if a blogger sees you connecting with them frequently, they will eventually take notice. If you see someone regularly commenting on your blog/social media, take notice and reach out to them.
Be Organic- Do Your Thing
As you begin to grow your blog, it’s tempting to do projects or posts that are not really you but you know it would bring higher traffic/exposure/readership. Blogging is so transparent and personal and if what you’re sharing is not you or what you want to be sharing in that moment, it comes across through your post and writing style. It’s one thing to test out different styles of writing and projects but if you’re not revealing yourself to your readers, they can’t get to know and love you. Nothing inspires a reader more than a blogger’s passion jumping off the page.
Be organic-do your thing and see where it takes you..
Take Some Blogging Advice.. But Not All of It
As you start blogging, or turning your blog into a business, you’ll look for advice on different things from technical stuff, to how to grow your blog. You should always know that just because someone blogged about it doesn’t make it true (except*of course*for my advice)..
The honest truth is that there is no hard and fast rules when it comes to blogging. What may not have worked for one blogger, may have worked beautifully for another. Be careful of making major changes or changing the way you blog based on what worked for someone else. If something doesn’t sound or sit right with you, trust your instincts. You ultimately know what’s best for your readers, your blog and yourself.
You can make your blog absolutely anything you want it to be. I have found with blogging that while I can change the direction of the sails, I can never predict the strength of the wind. You can go any direction you want; keep it as a hobby or grow it into a full-time career and business. The possibilities are endless and if you just do your organic thing, everything will fall into place and you will begin to see what you are meant to be doing with it.
I hope this helps in some way new blogging friends. Please, please go visit my friend Claire at Honey Haven and give her some blog love!
Enjoy the adventure and keep in touch!