Today makes one year since I started this blog! It has been a long journey but an enjoyable one; and I want to share the top five lessons I have learned thus far. Let’s jump right in:
Lesson #1: Be Yourself
Since blogging has come into my life, I am more myself today than ever before. The entire process of creating a blog from scratch forces the real you to come out whether you like it or not. This has been most evident for me in my writing.
I often credit Createandgo for all of the progress I’ve had especially in the last few months (more on that later), and one thing Alex and Lauren teaches is to niche down until it hurts.
When I first started blogging I was writing about anything and everything that came to mind.
For me it just made sense: “hey I need something to write about… Oh how about I write about this”. And in hindsight, there were some posts that I wrote and shared that I probably should not have (those are down now).
But to be honest, It was tough to niche down at the very beginning. At first I considered this blog for lack of a better phrase, a ‘dumping ground’. My content back then was definitely more focused on me as opposed to a particular audience.
Now I am super niched down. I went from talking about travel, sharing daily updates, weighing in on current events, working out, and everything else I could think of, to honing in on: the millennial lifestyle, Mindset, and Christianity.
I became more myself through my writing because by pinpointing the topics I had a passion for, I gave my voice the runway it needed to mature.
Lesson #2: I am a Creator First and a People-Pleaser Second
Now, this is a lesson that I am still learning. It is a constant challenge for a multitude of reasons. On one hand I want people to read and enjoy my content but on the other hand, I want to stay true to myself. Sometimes the two are mutually exclusive especially when it comes to content.
As a blogger, If someone were to ask me to write out a job description for what I do, I would say I am a creator. There is no difference between a writer, singer, actor/performer, youtube personality, photographer, director, or CEO for that matter when it comes to being a creator. Creativity is something that we all have, the difference is in how we apply it.
For me it just so happened that creating content in the form of written expression was what manifested in my life.
Writing for me is a gift and is an intrinsic part of who I am. As such, as a content creator I have to constantly be aware of what I produce and why I produce it.
I want what bloggers call: engaged readers. Having people engaged in your content is essential. Look at Kim Kardashian West for example. Her brand does so well because people are engaged with it. Everyone wants to keep up with the Kardashians in some way.
As a blogger, I want people who want to keep up with my content. The key to doing so however is authenticity. If I were to put parameters around my creative abilities to create content that only garnered clicks, my content would be shallow.
I can go through this process of unpacking my journey thus far because I allow myself to be myself.
This is so essential because a lot of times especially as a creator, if you are not confident and resolute in your content, you will find yourself chasing the mob for approval. The problem with that is, if you focus on pleasing everyone, you end up pleasing no one.
The perfect example of this, is the name of this blog: My Black Perspective. I anguish about changing the domain name to this website at least once a week, especially now that the blog is growing. Sometimes I feel as though the name of the blog can be a turn off to potential readers.
Every time I think about changing the name however, I always check my motives. Do I want to change the name because it may actually benefit the website, or do I want to change the name because I think I might get more visitors.
The sad truth about blogging is that most people that visit your website, are one time visitors. So for me I always rationalize by saying, if people do not want to engage with my black perspective, then those same people probably would not engage if it had a different name; because I would still be the one producing the content.
You have to be able to draw a line in the sand between what you do for you/your business, and what you do for your audience; There has to be a healthy compromise.
Lesson #3: Content is King
This one is a little bit of a no brainer, but particularly, if you are interested in starting your own blog/creative journey, content is king. As a creator, and especially as a blogger, it is my number one job to make sure that my content is always top tier.
I currently publish my main content three times a week: Twice here on My Black Perspective, and once on Ken’s Corner where I publish my premium content on world news and events. Aside from my main content, I also produce content for my Instagram at least twice a week, as well as constantly generate new pins for Pinterest.
I am also working on more guides/courses for subscribers to take advantage of. And I will be rolling out a online coaching business in the coming weeks. On top of all of that I also produce a newsletter every weekend that features amazing content. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, that I just opened an E-Store, click here to check it out!
I say all of that to say, a lot of time goes into blogging. It can be mentally taxing just based on volume of content. You have to find what works for you, and while I would not suggest three plus pieces of content every week to start; It’s important to know that the creative process never stops.
When I am not writing new posts, I am writing down new ideas – that may come up at the most random of times. Keep your notes app open or a notepad always available as a creator/blogger. It only takes one idea to be the right idea.
Lesson #4 Be Ready and Willing to Adapt
Every blogger yearns for their first viral moment. That pin that gets shared thousands of times, that post that provokes high engagement, or that product that goes from dud to stud overnight.
I have learned that those opportunities come from positioning. A lot of that success is from being in the right place at the right time. It is important to be willing to tweak or change your approach if for no other reason than for strategic advantage.
Do not be afraid to reassess your strategy.
When it came to my content I had to take a long hard look at myself and decide what was important and what was not. My Mindset content is a great example of this.
When I first started this blog I had a general mental health category. After a few entries I was finding that I was struggling with creating content for this category because it did not fully convey the message I was trying to get across. I recently decided to change it to being a Mindset category because that fell more in alignment with the category’s purpose.
Is what you are doing in alignment with your purpose?
People that want to be successful in a certain area take actions that reflect that. As a blogger I focus on ways of building my brand within this stratosphere. If I were doing something that was not progressing me in this craft my efforts would be ineffective.
Do not get so caught up doing things one way that you end up sabotaging yourself.
This blog has gone through a multitude of changes, I mean just the number of themes alone that I have gone through would make your head spin. All adaptation is, is a reflection of maturity. If you are willing to change or adapt that means you are willing to grow.
Lesson #5 The only way to Fail is to Quit
A failure does not fail because they do not try. They fail because they decide to stop trying. If you are a blogger or some other type of creator, it is your duty to not quit. Any passionate creator will tell you that they cannot see themselves doing something that is not creating.
I used to get looked down upon for blogging by others all of the time, until I took a stand and said no – this is my passion, this is what gives me life, and this is what I am doing.
Blogging took on a new gravitas in my life this year at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Back in March 2020 I decided to start working towards turning this blog into a business. Once I did, I got connected to blogging groups, Createandgo, and a plethora of other resources necessary to turn that dream into a reality.
Since then it has been an up hill journey however, I do not see myself doing anything else with my life. This is not something to be taken lightly, because some people can go a whole lifetime before they figure out what it is they want to do with their life.
Do not let a desire for yourself fall by the waste side. Quitters never prosper.
Which of these lessons resonated with you? Are you a blogger/content creator, if so what has your journey been like thus far?
Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!