The first time I thought about blogging, it was with so much excitement. Not only was I going to own a blog, but people were going to read it as well. Of course, I imagined the multiple awards I was going to win and the “celebrity” status it would bring.
This feeling of excitement did not dissipate even after I published my first post, “Here it begins”. I even posted more blog related posts such as; 7 Cool Blogging Plugins For Newbie Bloggers, 7 Blogging Goals You Should Aim To Achieve In Your First Year of Blogging, and so on.
I, however, realised that with all my”goody, goody, blogging is great“articles, I missed something. I’ve not talked about the CHALLENGES. Yes, there are challenges.
Blogging is not all bells and whistles. When I say challenges, I don’t mean the pre-blogging challenges i.e. doubts and anxiety on whether it will work out. That’s normal and to be expected. The challenges referred to here are the challenges that come after you’ve officially started blogging.
So you’ve started blogging. And if you’re anything like me, you already have 6 or 7 posts lined up for your blog. You are on a high and nothing can bring you down. In my case, I was posting everyday. I felt like I had enough content, and could sustain such a schedule.
However, like all things, the energy (or “ginger” as it is known colloquially in Lagos) started to fizzle out. I couldn’t think of any content, nothing. I literally had to Google “blog post ideas” to get anything to write.
Challenges are quite common for bloggers. If they weren’t, then you won’t see the million and one articles on how to get your blogging mojo back. The 5 challenges I’ll share are the ones I’ve experienced and still do.
You hear the saying “content is king”, and you wonder if there’s any truth in it. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is very true. Content will make or mar your blog.
Like I said earlier, when you first get started with the whole blogging thing, you are brimming with ideas. Bloggers are usually advised, and I agree, to write down those topics. All the ideas swimming in your head, put them down. You never know when you might need them.
Another alternative for generating blog post ideas is to search on the internet. There’s always some thing to write about.
In my 1 year anniversary post, one of the things I said I was going to do very well was to schedule more posts. This is very important as you may not have the time to sit down, write and immediately publish.
Before I knew better, I was one of those who would write and publish immediately. This was until John-Paul Iwuoha introduced me to the “schedule” feature I already had in my blog settings.
This right here, is the bane of my blogging existence. Promoting posts. If not for Buffer, I don’t know what I would have done. I hate it so much that for the first few months after I started my blog, I couldn’t bring myself to promote my posts on my social media platforms. All I did then was to tell my family and friends to read and spread the word.
I think one of the reasons I found it difficult was I felt I would be bothering people. It also makes you vulnerable, in a way, because you have opened yourself to scrutiny and ridicule, in some cases.
But how else will people know you have a blog if you don’t promote your posts? This is the only reason I persevere. For helpful tips, you can read Kachee’s – Blogger? 4 Helpful Ways to Gain Followers, Build a Community and Increase Blog Traffic.
Another challenge that most bloggers, especially newbies, face is blog traffic. Are people reading your blog? How many page views have you gotten? What’s the difference between sessions and page views? Are people finding your site on search engines? So many questions.
To make matters worse, you open Google and you’re seeing multiple posts on “how I had 1 million page views in a week“, “how to grow your blog traffic” blah blah.
One key thing I’ve learnt, after months and months of obsessing over my blog traffic, was to rid myself of all anxiety. The only important factor I consider is “are people reading?” If the answer is yes, then I don’t care whether they are 2 or 2 billion. Before I use to log into my account on Google Analytics just about everyday. Now, I just check once a week or in two weeks. As long as people are reading, I’m fine.
A friend said the reason I was so relaxed over traffic was because I wasn’t monetizing my blog. My response to him was that he should do his research. How many blogs in their first year or so get up to 1 million views in a week? If I diligently promote my posts and put out great content, the traffic will come. That is inevitable.
One question I’ve gotten over the last year was if I made money from my blog. My response is always “no“. This is because I didn’t start the blog as a money making venture, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I started it as an outlet, a space that allows me vent when necessary.
Of course, after a few years or so, the normal expectation is that you would have collaborated with a couple of brands and made some money. After all, this is the end game for a lot of bloggers.
While I’m all for making money from blogs, if that is your sole aim for starting the blog. However, I feel that you may have to readjust your expectations, especially in terms of timeline. It doesn’t happen right off the bat. This is a process that takes months or even years in most cases.
After all is said and done, I feel I have to say “just enjoy the process; success, challenges, everything“. Blogging can be a fun and therapeutic experience. So, when you come across these challenges, know that a lot of people have, and are still, facing them.
All my love,