It’s been roughly 2 weeks since starting my blog, publicly at least, and I’ve learned a couple of lessons along the way. That’s’ why I wanted to get up and personal for this one. I’ll do these posts from time to time, so it’s not all ‘return on investment’, and ‘augmented reality’ here. Occasionally, I’ll let you know what goes on behind the keyboard. I’ve learned some lessons, from trial and error, from a few hours spent writing, rewriting and just experimenting with methods. There’s plenty more lessons to learn, but here’s three valuable ones I’ve experienced so far when starting a blog.
Blogging can be A Lot of Fun
It’s creative expression. You can write about anything you want, when you want. Ultimately, you’re your own boss in this blogging world, and that’s fun. I get ideas all day; on what topics I want to write about, or something I want to improve on my website. So, I’m spending quite some time just jotting down notes on my phone. I say that as a good thing though. I love ideation and figuring stuff out. I also love planning ahead and strategizing ways to accomplish something, even though plans always change, and you never quite end up where you intended. I guess what I’m saying is; it doesn’t matter what kind of personality you have, if you’re a bit tight wired, like myself, where planning is ‘fun time’, then you’ll be able to blog in that way. If you’re the more ‘free-spirited, wing-it’ kind of person, you’ll be blogging that way. You’re the boss. You decide.
Another thing that is quite fun is creating and tailoring a website. I personally use Squarespace because it’s easy, I’ve used it before, and I also don’t know how to code. I would highly recommend it, as you can have a good-looking site up and running in minutes. You can add some custom code to your site, and it’s even relatively easy to dabble with CSS using Squarespace’s community and guides, but if you’re looking to do any major changes, or truly create a custom website, Squarespace is probably not for you. For my limited use though, it works wonders.
After creating the website, you need to actually make some content. Now for me that means delving into the topic I’ve chosen and writing a blog post. I usually have an idea what I want to write about and which angle I’ll have, but this also usually changes and adapts as I read and learn more about the topic. When it’s posted I find it quite exiting seeing people’s reaction and hearing their opinion, both good and bad. It’s a nice feeling when people are interested in your opinion. Hey, I’m not gonna lie, it feeds my ego.
When you’re done with a post, and other people are reading, liking and sharing, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Sure, it may just seem like a couple of words on a screen, but it’s always fun seeing hard work pay off.
Blogging can be A Lot of Work
I underestimated how much time goes into building a blog. I’ve even spent time creating a ‘blog business plan’ for myself. Despite that, I still didn’t realize all the minor details, and time it takes behind the posting; like tailoring each post for different platforms, managing the SEO and analytics from your site, planning posts, and marketing yourself. Doing all that while trying to maintain your daily life.
Yoda voice; Underestimate the time, I did.
Writing well also takes time. Especially for us nonnative English speakers. In my defense we usually speak two or three languages in Europe, so suck it America. Kidding, I’m kidding new world! I’m flying over to the US in about 2 weeks. Wouldn’t want my ESTA card getting withdrawn now, would I… Anyways, writing easy and understandably takes time for me. I know some of you are rolling your eyes now at the fact I called my writing easy, and understandable. But hey, it’s getting there. I find that breaks from the writing helps a lot. Looking at your text after a day or two really eliminates the tunnel vision you get from writing in one sitting. I’ve come back two days later and thought; “what the f... was I thinking here?!” All part of the process.
Blogging is also a long-term game. You need to be willing to do this, week after week, without any guarantee it’ll pay off, monetarily or otherwise. I guess that’s why I agree with the number one tip bloggers always give when starting a blog; you need to be passionate about your topic, otherwise you’ll most likely stop at some point. Tough cookie to swallow, I know. What is actually passion for a topic, and am I passionate enough. How do I even know if I’m passionate enough, how do you measure passion. I spent a lot of time figuring out these questions. I still can’t be completely sure ‘technology trends and business impact’ is my passion. I believe it is, and so far i love writing about it. I’ve realized you just have try at some point. Time will tell if you were right or not.
To Blog is to Invest in Yourself
All right all right, last lesson learned people. You’d think I’d done this for months, with all my ramblings here, not two weeks. But hey, lesson learned is a lesson learned. Up until this point I’ve written about how blogs can be fun and a lot of work, especially in the beginning when you’re still figuring stuff out. If it is so much work, then what is the point. Isn’t it just a hobby anyways. Well, if you ask me, and you are, aren’t you now. Well, I’ll tell ya anyways!
I think creating and curating your own personal brand, especially in a business setting is more than a hobby. It’s a valuable investment in yourself. By creating my blog in my niche, I am continuously learning about my chosen topics, I’m connecting with other people interested in the same, and I’m building and presenting my expertise. I believe this creates adaptability in the work environment we have today, where job uncertainty is becoming more common. Whether I work for this company, or that one, or for myself, I am continuously building my own personal brand. Now you might be a blogger yourself or thinking about starting as one. Maybe not in the business-oriented ‘blogosphere’ I am in, but it doesn’t matter. Whether you’re writing about fashion or cars, your blog is creating your brand, and your brand is a valuable investment in yourself, a value that is truly your own.