Originally posted July 30, 2015.
I’ve been in the blogging business for a little over three months now. While every fiber of my being screams that that is barely any time at all, I cannot help but feel like I’ve been immersed in this world for much, much longer. I have made it my top priority to take this hobby and turn it into my second job. Not in a money sense, not at all, but in a creative, time consuming, goal oriented way. For the past three months, almost all my free time has been poured into learning, crafting, creating, exploring, and making this blog into what I dream for it to be. I’m still working out major kinks, making tons of mistakes, and hitting every road block imaginable. During these first 100 or so days, there have been some huge, glaring problems that could not be ignored. But trust me, I’m learning. I’m fixing these rookie mistakes, and hopefully I won’t forget them any time soon.
1. Not having a schedule and backup pieces.
The worst thing you can do for yourself and your blog is not have a editorial schedule. The first two months worth of posts on this blog were created in a few hours, right before being published. Not only did my posts not reach their full potential, but it also made me feel extremely stressed. I now have a huge desk calendar that has every day filled out for the whole month. Beyond that, in the “notes” section, I have back up ideas (usually extremely easy) for when I’m not feeling great, I want to double post, or just not wanting to post what I had planned. Putting all this together, I have more content I’m proud of, I’m less stressed, and I’m having way more fun!
2. Not Experimenting.
I think this is something I’m always going to be learning and growing out of. Which is ridiculous because the whole point of OA and this journey is to do just that with my life. Experiment. Get out of my comfort zone, try new things, push myself, take all those amazing adventures. But as it turns out, when I first created Ordinary Adventures, I was deathly afraid of pushing the envelope. What if that’s too personal, or not high quality, or not be the best thing I’ve written on my blog? While I do try to top myself everyday with my stats and my content, I’ve discovered that getting out of my shell and experimenting with my blog, is healthy and awesome.
I love it when I see my blogging heroes try something new, or drop the ball a little. I love it when I see my inspirations in blogging do something fun and out of their normal range. It shows that they’re evolving, having a blast, trying new things. It took me a while, but I realized, why wouldn’t my readers and I love it when I do that too? Especially as OA just starts putting down roots, I’m excited to experiment, show rough drafts, try new content. You’ve probably noticed the different styles of titles, featured images, content range, photographs, categories, and on and on and on. I’m experimenting with everything to get it to it’s highest potential. And not only does that help me discover what I like and want for my blog, but what my readers like and want as well! Don’t be afraid to throw something new into the mix, it could be a big hit for everyone! And if not, at least you won’t be wondering, just back to normal the next day.
3. Waiting for things to happen.
Think of all the things you’ve accomplished. Safe to say you achieved them by working hard and making them happen. I know that’s the case for me. During my first few weeks of blogging I surrounded myself with doubt, and not believing in Ordinary Adventures. I was anxious when my daily views could be counted on one hand, and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t headed towards huge success already! I was holding myself back and then discouraged at the results. This is the hardest mistake I’ve had to correct and one which I still am. Mostly because it’s hard to tell when you’re slipping back into making it and how to get over the hurdles it presents. But I’ve come to realize that I receive more buzz, more views, more stats, more everything when I work for them.
At first my mind set was:
– My pictures are terrible = I guess I can’t do those cool montages and ideas that need quality photos.
– I’m not getting many views = I guess my writing and blog are bad.
– I want to create all those cool post ideas = But those requite a camera, and time, and witty writing…
– I want OA to have a future = But that could take years to achieve, if ever!
No wonder nothing was getting done! I finally snapped out of it and made the decision that my favorite hobby was worth an investment. I was going to get the ball rolling myself!
– My pictures are terrible = I got a new camera and I am learning how to use it.
– I’m not getting many views = I created social media pages, started interacting with WordPress, I put my name out there.
– I want to create all those cool post ideas = I am forcing myself to learn how to use a camera, manage my time, and practice my writing.
– I want OA to have a future = It won’t have one unless I give it one. It’ll take years, but they’ll be fun, hard, amazing years.
My biggest mistake at the beginning was not putting in the hard work when it was needed. I just hoped things would happen for me and my blog. Blogging isn’t easy though, it’s not a get rich quick scheme, it’s a lot of work! But when you do the time and the work, things will (usually) happen, and it’s so worth it.