I’m just shy of two months into blogging, but I have learned several lessons and can already tell I have much more to learn. While I didn’t decide to create a blog as a path to fame or fortune – but as an outlet and a way to connect with others who could relate to my personal experiences – I’ll admit my expectations may have been a bit outrageous at times.
Here is a short list of “beliefs” I had about what my experience as a blogger would look like (thanks to my overactive imagination) and how I’m dealing with the reality of things:
I expected instant success.
Now that I’ve written that sentence down it sounds kind of silly. Still, I’ve been obsessed with checking my site traffic pretty much daily because I assumed that I would walk into the blogging arena and immediately knock it out of the park. I thought I would accumulate hundreds of page views. When I saw that wasn’t my reality, it was a bit discouraging. But now, I fully understand the concept of “humble beginnings.” As long as someone is reading my words, I consider that success.
Every once in a while I’ll compare myself to other more-established bloggers that I admire, and because my following doesn’t resemble theirs, I start to think I’m doing something wrong. Which leads me to another lesson learned: “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” My journey is my journey and it will not mirror that of another individual.
I thought post ideas would flow to me effortlessly.
Once I set up my site I was just sure I would be churning out posts like clockwork. Uhhh … WRONG! For one, I tend to overthink things and I will kill a post idea if I’m afraid it will lack substance before I even write a word down, and I have a full-time gig so most of my energy is drained by the time I get home, sit on my sofa and open my MacBook. I really have to work harder at keeping my brain from shutting down after 6 p.m.
Fortunately, one of the common threads I’ve noticed from all of the blogging advice I read is that it doesn’t have to be all that difficult to come up with post ideas. I just have to pay more attention to the world around me to get my creative juices flowing.
I assumed writing and clicking ‘publish’ were enough to attract readers.
One of my main blogging goals is to build and foster a community. It didn’t take long for me to stop believing the myth that all I had to do to achieve that was publish posts, and start realizing that I have to reach beyond the blog and actively connect with others.
I really am thankful for communities like Brown Girl Bloggers and also the #BlackGirlsWhoBlog campaign for putting me in the company of so many beautiful and talented black women who are finding and using their voices and creating platforms for many others to do the same. As I go through the growing pains of blogging, it’s both encouraging and heartwarming to know that I’m not alone and I have others in my corner rooting for me.
What are some of the outlandish expectations you had when you first started blogging?