How I Planned, Grinded Out And Survived My First Year Blogging
December 2010 marks the end of my first year blogging.
Wow. One year of blogging. Where do I begin to sum up my experience?
I’ve learned a lot that’s for sure. But what were the lessons?
Below is a crib-note memoir of my rookie year blogging. I hope this record of my lessons learned—good and bad–will assist those of you embarking on your own blog quest in 2011.
Year One: Make a Schedule
To get through year one you need to create a schedule and stick to it.
I started with a small goal: one post per week. It might not sound like much, but that content really starts to pile up after a few months.
I can’t emphasize the importance of making a plan enough. So simple, so necessary.
Over the course of your first year blogging, the act will become routine and you’ll actually start to feel like there’s something missing when you don’t follow through with it. Trust me, you’ll know what I mean after blogging a few months.
Year One: Grind it out
On the journey through your first year of blogging, you will encounter a road block.
This obstruction may come as early as week 3 of 4 of your blog. If you’re extraordinarily motivated it may come as late as month 3 or 4.
But believe me friend (certain as I am of death and taxes) this day will come!
And on the day the first road block appears, you will need to make a decision: Will you quit or permanently postpone your progress toward your blogging goal? Or will you grind out the wretched post, plow through the road block and get it done?
Let there be no question about it. Year one will be a grind my friend. I don’t care how much passion or love you have for the topic.
At the moment you begin to feel your inspiration or motivation wane is the time when it is most critical that you put your head down and continue to push through it… If that doesn’t work you may need to take a break.
Sometimes all it takes is a good night of sleep to get the creative juices flowing again. In my case a 2.5 mile run on the treadmill will occasionally do the trick. If that doesn’t work, I turn to gin.
But whatever it is you need to restore your inspiration, just do it, and get back to the grind as soon as possible. Remember, you’ve got a deadline to meet.
Year One: Yes, There’s Good Stuff Too.
I realize that I’ve described a rather gloomy picture of year one blogging thus far. But buck up aspiring self-publishing superstar, there’s some good stuff that comes along with year one as well. Things like:
Sense of accomplishment: I used to be a staff writer my student paper back in college. Sure, covering news about the speakers that passed through the multi-cultural center could be a bit of a grind too, but I always felt a good after the process was complete. I get the same kind of satisfaction from blogging.
Meet New People: Meeting new people has been an unexpected bonus for me in year one. I’ve gotten access and advice from some pretty cool SEO’s like David Harry and Brent Rangen that I wouldn’t have met without the blog. In year two, I expect the number of cool people I meet to multiply exponentially.
Make Money: Unfortunately, my blog didn’t become my primary source of income in year one. In fact, it’s not even close to being enough to live off of. But it is profitable and “passive”. I put passive in quotes because it’s a lot of work up front. As far as income generated from blogging it falls right in line with the “Are Your Expectations Realistic” heading in this post at Erica.biz. It’s almost scary how close my experience matches Erica’s expectations when blogging for profit.
So that’s it. The abridged version of my first year o’ blogging summed up in about 700 words.
If becoming a Blogger is something you’re considering for the New Year, I say make a plan and go for it.
And I hope to read about your own year one experiences once you’ve reached the other side.