When Maxie first told me she wanted to start a blog, I turned into a giant cheerleader. If anyone should be blogging, it’s Maxie. (I love love love her advice!) Sometimes it’s hard to get into the rhythm of blogging and even more so, sticking with it. So proud of Maxie for hitting the one year mark!!! (And her advice is, once again, spot again!)
Tips From a First Year Blogger by Maxie McCoy
This week I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of my blog, ilo inspired. I can remember pressing publish on that first post like it was yesterday. I was so excited. But I was so overwhelmed with trepidation: Would people hate it? What if I run out of things to write about? Who wants to listen to me anyways?
Fast forward 12 months and a couple hundred posts later, and I can honestly say that the blog changed my life. It was my creative outlet when I needed it most. It was a therapy I didn’t have to pay for. And my writing has had the chance to positively impact more people than I ever dreamed. I’ve learned so much in the past year, as every person does who jumps into something new.
I meet people all the time who say they want to start a blog. And even more who start only to let it sit lifeless after a few posts. Maybe you’re one of them. Well, like any experience, learn from someone who’s been there. Just as I learned from the amazing bloggers who had their first year before me, learn from me. I’ve had my freak outs, my screw ups, and my joyous highs during my first year writing this thing called a blog.
Slowly, But With Consistency
Most high achieving individuals want to do everything perfectly, and perfect off the bat. Newsflash: you’re going to mess up. You’re going to have typos. You won’t have a perfect blog right at once, and sure as heck not every day. Start your blog with consistency. Pick one or two days that you’ll write every week and stick to that. Have a time that the post goes up every day (mine is 3:47AM PST) that way it’s like your own personal due date. Yours to adhere to and your personal integrity to uphold. As you find your groove, you can up the frequency and who knows, maybe you’ll get to a point where you’re posting every day.
Always Have a Running List
My mom often asks me, “how do you always come up with something new to write about?” It’s because my life is one big inspired blog post. But I forget the inspiration unless I jot it down. Writing ideas are all around you. So when you end up in a spirited conversation with your galpals, when you overhear an awesome lesson on the bus, when you see an amazing dress that others would love, write it in your notebook, email yourself, or put it in your iNotes. I started this after receiving the best advice from Carly, which was to have a list of 50 blog ideas before starting my blog. I did that when I began, and I’ve kept a running list ever since.
Follow Your Faves
I keep my favorite bloggers coming straight to my inbox. It helps me support them. It flickers me with inspiration when they’re doing amazing things. And it encourages me to keep on writing on. Whether you follow their blogs on bloglovin’, twitter, commenting or subscribing, it’s an ecosystem that you’re now a part of. So take heart in your new community. And even better? When you can have an amazing blogger friend who has been around the block and not only supports your work, but gives you ideas, feedback and encouragement (oh and awesome friendship cough CH cough)
Always Be Learning
When I first started my blog, I didn’t know HTML, I had no idea how to manage a subscriber list, or what google analytics could tell me. Here we are a year later, and I’ve built out pin it buttons on my site, I have images for each post, I migrated a subscriber list from one email service to a much better one (whose template I designed). And all of these improvements came first from listening to the suggestions of smart sages in my life and from constantly teaching myself new things. Whether it’s lynda.org or youtube videos or sitting down with your smarter friend, be in a place of constant momentum and improvement. It will cause you to look back at your blog a year from now and be like “holy cow it has come so far!!”
This is one of those posts that I could literally go on forever about. But I won’t. I’m giving you the biggest takeaways that I learned from my first year of blogging. However, I’ll leave you with this…if you love to share your ideas with the world, if you love to write and communicate, and you feel like there’s just so much for you to say: say it. Start your blog and don’t look back. Start somewhere, anywhere. And make it yours. It’s an experience that will bring so much to your life, and even better, to those reading.