Happy 1st Birthday Relationally Speaking!
I survived my first year of blogging. Huzzah! Honestly, I could not have done it without the support of all the people who read and share my blog with others. (I'm looking at YOU – thank you for making this all possible).
And of course my Fiance, friends and my cats – who were the only people (pets) reading this blog when I started out. FYI, cats are crap at commenting on posts.
As I look back, here is how I survived and thrived in my first year as a blogger.
Passion is everything
You'll never survive your first year if you are NOT writing about something you love. If you pick your blogging niche because it's popular, prepare for the impending demise of your blogging career. Don't blog about Twitter if you don't puffy heart love Twitter.
Blog about what you love even if it is a blog devoted entirely to the wisdom of Yoda. There are other people out there who love it too. I know there are! You'll find them.
Write as if you have a huge audience
When I started, I KNEW no one was reading my blog. I just didn't give a crap. My goal is to write quality posts that help people be better communicators. In fact, I avoided looking at my analytics for the first 3 months or so (I'm sure I'm going straight to blogging hell for that), but I didn't want to get discouraged.
Write as if everyone is reading. Then write some more.
Consistency + time + awesome content = success
The biggest reason you need to write about your passion is that you must be consistent! Decide if you are going to write once, twice or three times a week. The commit to it. If you go a month or two without a post, it's like starting over. There were times where I had to revise my commitment – cutting down to once a week if life got crazy. However, I posted at least once a week without fail.
If you are consistent over time (and with a lot of promotion), your audience will grow. It takes time for a blog to take-off. There are very few overnight sensations. You started a blog, you didn't get cast in the break-out role on Glee.
The final part of this formula – write awesome content. Whatever the goal is of your blog, write content that will keep people coming back for more. Put your unique spin on your writing. Be awesome. Be you. Be helpful to the people reading.
Get your butt on Twitter
When I started blogging, I read everything I could about blogging. The one piece of advice I read ad nauseum was about Twitter. As Yoda never said “Twitter resistant I was.” I finally gave in and…
Twitter was freaking weird!
For the first few months anyway (read about my Twitter evolution here). Then I slowly met people, started having conversations, building relationships, and sharing other Tweeps' content as well as mine.
Twitter is a must for a blogger. Google+ is the upstart that is my next social media stop (and should be yours too).
The best happy accident was my discovery of 12 Most. I found 12 Most because of my Tweeps. I knew I should guest post, but I didn't know where. Then I found 12 Most wrapped up like a present with a glittery bow. I submitted, got accepted and yay I was on my way.
I didn't realize there was a WHOLE 12 Most community behind the site. Where the best, brightest and most inspiring writers hang out. A place to get support, sparkling positivity, and answers to any question you might ever have.
If it was not for the founders of 12 Most Peg Fitzpatrick and Paul Biedermann, I don't think I would still be blogging. Guest blogging on 12 Most was the BEST decision I made my first year of blogging. (P.S. They are always looking for guest bloggers).
Find your tribe
12 Most is a tribe of writers that I am proud to be a part of, but the most important lesson is to find a group of people to support your blogging efforts!
I met likeminded bloggers on Twitter. I met so many talented people whose work I appreciated. I had other writers and entrepreneurs connect with me over email. (Note: I love hearing from you, so email! I'll always, always respond).
I also discovered Triberr. Triberr is essentially bloggers helping other bloggers drive more people to your site. You read, share, and comment on other blogs and your blog is read, shared and commented on in return. Triberr is the Golden Rule on crack.
Like Twitter, Triberr takes a little getting use to. Unlike Twiter, the founders of Triberr, Dino Dogan & Dan Cristo, answer members questions and provide technical support. Nothing like getting your cry for help answered by the guys who created Triberr.
Big thank you & air kisses
You – the person reading this exceptionally long blog post. I'm glad you are here. I hope you find the information helpful and that it
makes your communication sparkle and shine. Bloggers keep blogging your passion!
Remember, I am only an email or a comment away.
Happy Anniversary Relationally Speaking!!