Blogging is a tough business and it’s hard to get noticed, but it’s not impossible. Here are ten things that I’ve learned in the past twenty-one months of blogging—most of them I learned in the past six months. I put this list together because it took me too long to figure out these important rules and I want you to start off on the right foot from the day one. Even if you’re not a blogger or trying to grow a business or brand, these are good life lessons to try and live by.
1. Give and Share
If you want to succeed as a blogger, or in any profession, you have to be willing to check your ego and open your heart. Success and growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum; make friends, share their work on your blog and social media sites, and be happy for them when something good happens to them. Celebrate the success of others and you’ll find that in return, they’ll do the same for you.
2. Have a plan
What do you want? How will you get what you want? If you can’t answer those two questions then how will you grow? There’s nothing wrong with being spontaneous, in fact, sometimes a little spontaneity is what you need to shake things up. However, if you want to take your blog, your business, or your life to the next level, mapping out the road to get there makes it a whole lot easier.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s hard not to, but don’t. Every time you compare your work and/or success to someone else you take a step back and get stuck in a place that won’t move you forward.
4. Be yourself
You are unique, wonderful, and have a lot to offer. The minute you try to sound and/or look like someone else you lose that special quality that people have come to love about you. Being yourself comes naturally, trying to be someone else does not. Fake it till you make it does not apply when it comes to being real with your readers.
5. Be honest and grateful
Honesty is the best policy. People respect and appreciate it when you tell the truth, admit your mistakes, and recognize that you’re not perfect. Say you’re sorry when needed. That one word will help you establish trust with your readers/customers and it will make you feel like a better person. Be grateful. Everyday. Write down two or three things that you’re grateful for and recite them throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at how positive you’ll feel when you focus on the things that make you happy.
6. Ask for help
There is no shame in asking for help. I’ve learned so much from my blogging friends because I reached out to them for their advice. Asking for help is also a great way to form lasting bonds because people like to feel needed and trusted.
7. Toughen up
Learn how to shrug off criticism, technology issues, and the occasional rough patches you’ll occasionally run into. Sadly, some people love to be haters, and it sucks when you’re on the receiving end of their nastiness. It will hurt, it will make you cry, it will make you want to quit. DON’T let them get to you. Everyone has to deal with mean people at some point. Shrug it off and move on. Computers crash. Fix it and move on. People will steal your work. Decide if it’s worth pursuing them or if you should just move on. Whatever you do, don’t dwell on the negative stuff because it will take over all of the good that you have to give.
8. Be organized
This is an extension of number two. Have a daily and weekly plan and stay on task. Don’t let yourself get to the end of the day to find that you spent two-thirds of your day trolling your personal Facebook page and looking at funny Buzzfeed posts. Make those things a reward that you get to enjoy once you’ve crossed off all of your daily tasks.
9. Be patient
Building a blog, business, or brand takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to get noticed, and that’s why number one in this list is so important. We live in a time of instant gratification and patience doesn’t play a role in that world. Take a breath, look at your business plan, and envision the future. Then get back to work and make it happen.
10. Love what you do
Do you love what you’re doing? If the answer is yes then you’re doing the right thing. As long as you give and share with your community, have a plan, stay true to yourself and your uniqueness, ask for help when you need it, develop a thick skin, organize your time, and have patience, you will watch your blog, business, or brand grow into something amazing.