Confessions Of A New Brown Girl Blogger

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?

Author: Crissi Ponder

Crissi is the author and creator of Crissi Untangled, a personal blog chronicling her thoughts on life, culture and curls. She is also the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of The Release, a digital literary magazine that recognizes the importance of self-expression through creative writing. Follow her on Twitter @CrissiUntangled.

  • Thank you so much for the encouragement; I really appreciate it!

  • thebayarean

    I love this post because I think as bloggers, we all feel this way. I am a year into my blog and still face the same concerns as you! So hang in there, keep publishing, and show the world your unique voice :)

  • yanique

    Thanks! I appreciate it.

  • Yay! So glad I have a supporter in you. I would love to support your blog as well, feel free to reach out with a link. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Yanique!

  • yanique

    I can agree with all you stated above. I started blogging because I’m a stay at home mom and it was a nice outlet for me to stay connected to others. I also wanted to share some tips from my background as a social worker to families. I figured since my intentions were good and my content was meaningful I would have instant success. I felt weird promoting myself and for a while wouldn’t utilize social media to share my blog. TERRIBLE idea. Eventually I gave up on that blog. Two years later I started a different blog. I have more realistic expectations and I’m having fun with it. I also support more people this time around because I know what it’s like to put your heart into something and then feel like no one even read it! Good luck with your writing. You’ve got a new supporter!

  • Congrats on your upcoming blogiversary, Shadae! I’m glad to know I’m not alone in having some of the assumptions I had in the very beginning. I think the common thread here is to appreciate and celebrate your progress, no matter how small.

  • I agree, Shavonda. It’s much more important to appreciate the community you do have rather than being concerned about what someone else has. I really like the idea of setting small goals. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • I actually went in with no expectations at all. My niche (design/decor/diy) is extremely limited in brown girl bloggers, so I knew it would be an uphill battle to gain traction. I set very small goals for myself and eventually my audience grew. I still have a long way to go, but I love having a loyal community of enganged followers. Thats far more important to me than thousands of pageviews per day.

  • ShadaeNaturally

    I’ll be honest I had the same thoughts when I started my blog. In fact my 1 year blogiversary is coming up and I am no where near where I originally thought I was going to be. HOWEVER, I am exactly where I need to be. I have my faithful readers and commenters. And now I have women who I talk to and look up to. They reach out their hands to me, they help me when I’m confused, and further more keep me sane. ^_^