Today’s blog post is brought to us by the lovely and inspiring Stephanie from Own Your Bold. She’s a multi-passionate entrepreneur with some killer insight, so let’s dig in!
Let me take a wild guess: You’re a blogger. So am I. And along this blogging journey, I’ve made tons of mistakes. I have no regrets, because all of these moments have led me up to this one, and as a bonus I get to share my screwups with you (so you don’t go through the same crap).
So, grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!
1. I DIDN’T POST ENOUGH PERSONAL SH*T
I’ve gone through phases where I didn’t post anything about my personal life. I’ve experienced some rough stuff in the past, and though I’m normally open to talking about it, there have been times when I wanted to stay silent instead. Sometimes it’s okay to touch on the fact that you’re dealing with difficulties, without revealing everything.
What you can do: It’s important to talk about the hard stuff in life. Your readers want to be reminded that your days aren’t all sunshine and rainbows and that you have problems, too. If you want to keep it business-oriented, talk about a time when your sales were down and how you got through it, or the sacrifices you had to make to run your business at the beginning. No one is an overnight success, and though your readers can probably guess that, they also want to hear details.
2. I POSTED TOO MUCH PERSONAL SH*T
On the flipside, there was a time when I wrote about every little thing going on in my life. It’s good to be honest, but it’s also important to be mindful and think about others before you post. I’ve hurt feelings before, so now I make sure that if I write something about someone else, I have their permission and/or keep them anonymous. I also got in trouble at one of my old jobs for talking about work (oops!) so I didn’t even mention the name of my last workplace.
What you can do: Get the permission of friends and family (or co-workers and bosses) before posting photos and stories about them, or simply keep your blog about yourself and your small business. Just be smart and ask yourself, would this insult the people close to me or get me fired? Probably not worth it.
3. I SPENT TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Before quitting my jobby job in March 2014, I worked 11-13 hours a day. Then I’d hit happy hour with friends, rush to the gym, prep meals for the next day, and work on my blog for 5 hours. I literally didn’t sleep. If I got any at all, it was less than 6 hours. (And yes, I was very much single.) I could’ve saved myself a lot of energy if I had spent less time using social media and getting a blog post up every single day.
What you can do: Quality over quantity, people. It’s better to write long, helpful posts once in awhile than a daily update about random stuff you threw together. It’s also better to spend a good half hour on social media cultivating rich conversations instead of constantly scrolling through your feed. Schedule the most important updates using Hootsuite and beyond that, check in once and awhile to chat with people. I recently took Facebook and Twitter off my phone and it is SO liberating.
4. I THOUGHT I NEEDED TO POST ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE ELSE WAS
At first, I started blogging about fashion because I started reading blogs about fashion. It’s not that I didn’t like fashion myself, but it definitely wasn’t my #1 passion. However, I literally had NO idea that other blogs existed. I pretty much thought that was all there was. I was afraid to branch out and do something different because I didn’t know if anyone else was doing it. What I really wanted to do was write longer, wordier posts but all of the blogs I was looking at were full of pretty pictures instead. I was scared that no one would want to read my blog anymore and they would lose interest. My blog has obviously changed since then and yes, I’ve lost a lot of readers, but I’ve also gained some too. My audience is smaller, but we’re a supportive, tight-knit group. We’re not visiting each other just for views and comments, but because we care about one another.
What you can do: Don’t be afraid to blog about what you want. The people who really believe in you and your blog will stay, and others will find you. It’s okay for your site to go through phases and change as you change. You’re a living, breathing human being who is constantly evolving, and your blog is an extension of you. Learn to embrace change and ride the waves as they come.
5. I THOUGHT I COULDN’T KEEP POSTING WITH A KID
I had planned to take a 3-month “maternity leave” from my blog after my son, Trey, was born last September. But I actually found that I missed writing and having that “me” time. I also had a LOT of thoughts running through my head about what was going on during that season and didn’t have many people to discuss it with. My LA friends, sweet and wonderful as they are, don’t have kids and are mostly single. It was nice having the blogosphere to turn to so that I could find other mothers.
What you can do: Even if you don’t have a kid, you may be going through a big transition that’s taking up most of your time and energy. Feel out the situation and see if you’re in the mood to blog or not. Don’t pressure yourself or feel guilty either way; if you want to take a huge break, do it, but if not you don’t have to. It’s really important to do what you feel is best for whatever situation you’re in. And that will look different for everyone.
To be totally honest, I now have three jobs. Within the last year, on top of my blog and coaching, I’ve been hired as Communications Manager for a limo company and I’m an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay. I used to think that I wouldn’t feel like a “real” writer unless that was all I was doing, but seriously people… I was sick of being broke. And I still spend the majority of my time on my online coaching business.
What you can do: I kinda feel like a broken record here, but again, do what you wanna do. It’s YOUR damn life. There will be people who think it’s weird that you don’t want a 9-5. Others will think you’ve given up because you’re going back to a 9-5. Who cares? Do what’s best for you and your family. As long as your job(s) are fun and fulfilling, it’s all good.
Stephanie Shar is a motivational blog + business coach for female wantrepreneurs + online creatives. Her mission is to help turn your dreams into goals + your goals into reality through proper planning + a positive, passionate mindset.