3 Things Blogging Gurus Won't Tell You About Blogging
Even if you're not a blogger, you're a writer, and a writer can always use all of the information they can get. And on the off chance that you are - or want to be - a blogger, then I highly suggest that you read this. Because there are a lot of things that the 'famous' bloggers don't share. Here are my top three:
How hard it is to come up with content
We all follow blogs, and when we read their posts, receive their newsletters filled with new posts that keep us captivated, we'd never think that they actually had a hard time coming up with those. To us, it seems like the words magically fly off their fingers.
Take it from me – they don't.
Yesterday I put up the post “Fictional Being in the Sky”. That post, for example, took me twelve hours, and several discarded drafts and reorganized paragraphs to write – And it was only one short blog post!
When I started this blog, I did it with a couple of posts pre-written, and a few more ideas to go on. How hard can it be? was my thought. I quickly found out just how hard it was. But having to consciously come up with content regularly has helped me to expand my horizons and strengthen my skills, so though it's hard work, it's worth it.
How hard it is to get/engage readers.
Yes, I've read about the struggle to get readers, but most gurus come out with these 'no fail' plans to get 10,000 readers in a month - Guaranteed.
I've never done a program, (mainly because I can't afford it), so I can't say that the 10,000 reader claim isn't true. I've gone on good ol' self advertising, talking about the blog, sharing it, promoting it in small and simple ways. That has given me a few subscribers and a fair amount of FB/Twitter followers.
It was hard, but I can't complain about the numbers from my advertising strategies. But while the number of subscribers is always a topic, a factor, an issue, and a goal, most gurus never actually talk about part two: Getting the readers to engage with your content. Like. Comment. Share. And actually subscribe (not just like the FB page).
When I started blogging, I went along with what the 'gurus' said, and focused solely on gaining numbers. Then when those numbers started to pour (ok, trickle) in, I realized that there is no point to having a big number of subscribers, if those subscribers weren't engaged.
So now, I don't worry about the numbers. They'll come when they come, but my focus is to provide content that engages, and to constantly encourage my readers to respond and share their own opinions, beliefs, tips, and experience. A blog is no good if it's just me speaking and you listening. I want to hear from you even more than I want you to hear from me.
What happens when you actually get readers
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened once I got the readers. Overnight I went from somebody who wrote at my own pace, whenever I was inspired, to somebody who had readers who expected to read something. They had subscribed, liked, followed, and now they were waiting for me.
Even when I had no clue what to write.
When you start blogging, the last thing you want to do is put up one post whenever you feel like it, then hope your readers will stick around and wait for you to get inspired again.
Nope. You have to deliver what you said you would, when you said you'd do it. And it doesn't matter if you feel like it.
After I had been blogging for a couple of weeks (after I actually had people reading it), I came to that roadblock. I had no idea what to write, no inspiration, and my well of subjects to write about had gone totally, completely dry.
And I froze.
That's when I stood there and said, God, You brought me here. You obviously want me to do this for a reason. If this is Your will, if You really want me to continue with this, You're going to have to show me what to do. If I can't write, You have to write it through me.
And guess what?
It's been exactly three months (I know it doesn't seem like a long time, but trust me, it's a lifetime). And in that time, God has proven Himself faithful time and time again, coming through and telling me what He wants to communicate through me, and even being so faithful as to give me not only one book, but two (That's a subtle announcement – today I finished the first draft of my second book – praise God!)
That's another thing that the gurus don't tell you about. When you're doing it for the Lord, for His glory, you're not just blogging. You are an instrument, a 'Pen in the hand of a writing God', as Mother Teresa said. Blogging is a platform, and if you let God work through you, it's going to go places you never could have imagined.
Are you a blogger, or have you ever thought about starting a blog? Let me know your thoughts!