What I've Learned After 2 Years of Blogging
At first blogging was something that I wanted to do for money and have something to do during my down-time, in between school and work. I started my blog, which was called NYKseries in 2014, after reading a few posts here and there, and following certain bloggers. After noticing that a friend started her blog, I too decided to take the leap and start my own. Fast forward two years later and I am happy that I did.
The beginning was confusing, exhausting, but also fun and excited. I was confused as to how to actually start a blog and I took to Pinterest and Google to figure out how to start one. A few hours later I had bought my domain and at the time it was either choose Blogger or Wordpress. I didn't know about Squarespace, but even if I did, it wouldn't have been my first choice due to having to pay a certain amount each month. I didn't have the funds to keep up a website then. I worked at a school bookstore during the time that I started blogging and the little money that I made went to bills, food, and transportation. So, I had one of two choices: time or money. Since I didn't have money, I definitely had the time to invest in starting a blog and build my brand.
"You can either invest in yourself via time or money! If you don't have money you better have time" - Becoming Natasha
I spent a lot of my time blogging and trying to establish my online presence, but I would be lying if I told you I knew what I was doing. Once I bought my domain and decided that I would use Blogger, which is a free blogging platform, I was stuck. It literally took me a month to figure out what I wanted do next. I had no strategy nor direction that I wanted to take with my NYKseries blog, which was mistake number one. At first I wanted it to be a lifestyle blog, but it was too much for me because I was blogging about so many topics. Then I took some time to realize what I was good at and what did people ask me questions about all the time. I noticed that I was asked about beauty and hair care more than anything so I ran with that as my topic; however, this foreshadowed a lot of things.
I noticed that I was only into hair care and beauty because certain people wanted to know more about that topic. I, however, wasn't really interested in that topic. That was mistake number two. Just because a few people are interested in one topic doesn't mean you too have to take it and make it your topic to blog, write, record, etc. I felt like I wasn't really writing for me, but for other people; the few people that were interested in the topic. This also played a part in me feeling that my blog wasn't about me, it was just a blog: mistake number three. Your blog, business, or brand should be you. It is exhausting to keep up a front or to feel that you have to disguise yourself to please everyone else.
Finally, after two years I realized that I couldn't blog on NYKseries anymore. What's worse is that I decided to shut down the website in the middle of launching a workshop/webinar. I felt with the workshop, I was digging myself deeper and deeper into something that I didn't want, but what someone else wanted. I felt that I was the mediator and not the speaker herself. The blog was no longer about me nor do I believe that it ever had me in it.
This month marks my anniversary of blogging for 2 years. It is a short time, but the experience made it feel like forever. When I read about how others have been blogging for 5 years or more, I some times wish I too have been blogging for that long, but then I realize that I'm only getting started and the best has yet to come for me. I have plans to create and establish a blogging network for those seeking accountability partners and mentoring, I also have plans to publish various books on personal development and growth, and I also plan to offer workshops and webinars, hopefully attend speaking engagements. These goals that I have set for myself are mind-boggling because just 2 years ago, I was focused on getting my degree and getting a decent job somewhere teaching. But since I've started blogging, the doors of opportunities have opened up so much for me and it's only getting better.
So what exactly have I learned after 2 year of blogging:
1. When it comes to your goals, just start! There is never the perfect time to do anything, and if starting a blog or business is a goal that you have you will waste so much time and money trying to wait for the perfect time. Also, don't spend so much time "trying" to start. There's a difference between waiting and trying. Waiting is literally thinking that things will come to longer you wait, and trying is doing a little here and a little there, and when someone asks you about your blog or business, you say, "Oh, I'm trying to finish my business plan," or "Yeah, I'm trying to launch my blog/business this year". Stop waiting and trying, and just do it!
2. There isn't any amount of reading that you can do to be successful. Success comes from doing and failing. Success is granted to those that decided to stop reading and starting risking. I've been there. Reading blog after blog as to how to start my own blog, get good at social media, build my following, build my email list, etc. You will never be able to fill up on all the knowledge and education that you need to build your blog or business because their is a vast amount of information out there.
3. Your blog or business needs to have a piece of you in it. It doesn't make sense for you to build up a robot. You blog/business isn't something created in a lab, it is created by you, and it needs to represent who you are. Trust me when I say that it is exhausting writing for something or someone else. It is tiring creating for a brand that doesn't have an ounce of your personality within it. It really is. So when it comes to building your brand and creating your business don't forget to include the most important part, you.