So you’re thinking about starting a daily blog but don’t know if you should, right?
Well, let me tell you: starting a daily blog has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I feel purposeful.
So far, over 130,000 individuals have read my daily blog, and that number is only increasing every single day. And best of all, I truly believe it’s going to be helpful to people.
To be completely honest, there really is no downside. I’m glad I did this. As long as you are willing to commit to the process of starting a daily blog, you too can feel this way.
But what have I learned? That’s what this 6,500 word post is about. I’ll share my own lessons and observations, as well as my early advice for anyone thinking of starting their own daily blog.
1. It Takes A LOT To Commit To Writing Daily
On average I’d say each blog post takes me 2 hours to brainstorm an idea, write a draft, revise the draft, upload it, create pins for it, and then to schedule it. This is only to get it posted on WordPress. I then post it onto Medium, sometimes create a podcast episode about my blog, and then spend time promoting each post on Tailwinds.
In addition to the most obvious part of writing a daily blog, I’ve easily spent at least another 2-3 hours a week creating and maintaining my blog. Regardless of if I am at work, if I am on vacation, or doing something else on the weekends, I have found a way to make my blog a priority for more than 500 consecutive days.
Because Pinterest is the number one source of traffic for my website, I also spend an additional 30 minutes to an hour every day promoting my pins, sharing other people’s content, and connecting with various group boards.
When I think about the past three weeks, pretty much all I remember is waking up to work on something related to the show, then eventually going to sleep at night.
To be clear, I’m not complaining. I love doing this; I’d spend my time no other way and I’m happy to go all-in. I’m just saying: it takes a LOT of time.
2. Blogging Is All About Community
Okay, not going to lie, when I first started blogging on a daily basis, I assumed that readers would magically flock to me. All I would have to do is to write a few hundred words a day, and with little to no effort aside from that, I would have an audience.
Just like with everything in life, nothing ever goes according to the plan that we conclude in our minds. Blogging for me was no different. It took me a while to grow my blog, and while I am grateful for each and every individual who has taken the time out of their day to read my blog, it is nowhere near where I thought it was going to be.
Upwards of 300 people a day are reading the blogs that I post. I noticed that the more I interact with the individuals who read my blog, the more they come back and continue to read other blog posts.
This is especially the case on Medium. Medium is far much more than just a blogging platform, it is a community for bloggers to connect with other bloggers and collaborate/share ideas.
3. A Strong Voice Attracts The Right People
In my early days of blogging, I was all about writing posts that were going to get clicks – affiliate posts that would make me some amount of passive income, or posts that I thought would get a lot of online attention.
But as I mentioned in the last point, it didn’t really work. I wasn’t writing about topics that I cared about, my writing reflected that, and the audience that I thought I would easily gain never came.
I learned that if I wanted to grow an audience that was actually going to come back to my blog more than once, then I needed to provide some type of value. What started out as a niche site had quickly become a self-development blog where I would embrace my struggles only to share them with others. I was going to share my deepest and darkest stories in hopes of providing inspiration to others and helping someone to overcome the same struggles that I had gone through.
With this focus, I was able to draw in a lot more people and a lot more commitment from at least some of those people to come back to my blog more than once. I also feel better about the lives that I am impacting because I feel as if I am doing something for more than just myself. That has always been a feeling that I have craved to feel.
Truth be told, I would want it any other way. When it comes to my daily blog, I wholeheartedly believe in the mission, both in terms of intent and approach. If someone hates it or just thinks it’s a waste of time ( there are already plenty of people who do), I’m honestly not that concerned about them.
I’m doing me, and for the first time in my life, I’m proud of that. I don’t need the approval of everyone. I just need the approval of myself, and as long as I stay true to me, everything else will naturally happen.
4. Preparation Is Crucial
First: is it worth it? Yes, as long as you have a plan and stay true to your purpose, it is entirely 100% worth it.
I had thought about starting a blog for about five months before I actually created it. I thought about all of the different things that I was going to blog about, how it would look, how often I would blog, etc. One thing that I lacked, however, was action. I was not prepared to start a blog and because I wasn’t prepared, I ended up procrastinating for five months.
When it came time to actually start the blog, it probably took me an additional month to build my blog and to write my first post before I actually had anything up. By the time I first thought about the idea of starting a blog to the time that I had my first post up, six months had passed.
Here are a few things I did:
-CREATE A PINTEREST ACCOUNT
First of all: Pinterest is a great way to gain free traffic. It takes a while for the traffic to start rolling in, but once you establish your presence on Pinterest, it is relatively easy to maintain decent levels of traffic.
-FIND A GOOD LOOKING WORDPRESS THEME
Don’t let anybody tell you differently, how your site look does play a role in how often people are willing to come back to your site. You wouldn’t continue to visit a website that looks thrown together within the span of a few minutes, would you?
Probably not, so don’t expect others to do so. Take some time to create a blog that you are proud to call your own. Treat it like your pride and joy and be proud of your work. The more pride you take in your work, the more readership you will attract.
If you don’t know how to design a website, there are websites such as Fiverr or Upwork where you can hire a freelancer to build your website for you for a reasonable price.
-BEGAN DRAFTING STORIES.
Since I knew I’d be sharing my life through storytelling, and since I wanted to do the show DAILY, I knew I’d need to work as far ahead as possible. There were going to be days where I was going to be bust and wasn’t going to have time to write, so I knew that I wanted to get as far ahead as possible to ensure that I had a good blog to post even on days when I didn’t necessarily have the time to write.
I started out by creating and drafting five different blog posts before my blog went live. This would ensure that at least for the next five days, I would have something to share with the world.
Then it became a challenge to me. I wanted to see how much I could write and how far ahead I could get. There are some days where I haven’t written anything, and there are some days where I have written three different blog posts. My best piece of advice is to write when you are inspired to write, not when you feel like you have to.
With Medium being the awesome app that it is, you can also gain some inspiration through reading other’s stories as well. I wouldn’t recommend copying their stories, but it doesn’t hurt to use somebody else’s idea and then share your own words. In fact, this is what a lot of writers do. They use the ideas from others and add additional thoughts of their own to make it better.
I also wanted to talk about a wide variety of topics that feel under one niche – the self-improvement niche. I have suffered from depression, anxiety, and from an eating disorder. Two out of these three illnesses have gotten to the point where they have almost taken my life.
If I wanted to inspire as many people as possible, why would I only talk about one topic instead of all of the different topics that have impacted my life? I want to share as much as possible so that I can inspire as many people as possible.
Pro Tip *
Authenticity is key to creating stories that people will actually read. If something doesn’t work for you or you don’t believe in it, don’t write about it. People are oftentimes smarter than you realize. Take this from someone who had to learn this the hard way and wasted six months of their time.
5. The Only Sure Way To Fail Is To Give Up
How I Made $1,000 Blogging In Just My Second Month!
Best Tips To Get A Million Readers To Your Blog!
Easy Tips I Used To Turn My Blog Into My Full-Time Job.
How many times have you stumbled across headlines like these and fell into the trap of clicking through to them?
I’ll admit it, I did! Actually, I still do from time to time. That’s because we, as humans, naturally want to know the shortest and easiest ways to achieve our goals. Just like I have failed to realize that life is a process, so too is blogging. Everything is a process, and the more we try to beat the system, the harder reality is going to slap us in the face.
When I first started blogging, I did so with the sole intention of making passive income. Not with this blog, but with another blog that had failed… miserably.
I wanted to give up. I felt down, weak, and didn’t think I was capable of actually starting a successful blog.
But if you look back in life, you will see how much you have only grown. Think back to the times when you were in middle school and didn’t know how you were going to pass that test. Now, you’re a lot smarter (at least I hope) and could take that same test with ease.
How about the time when you took your driver’s test. I remember I was shaking before my test because I wanted nothing more than to drive on out of there by myself with my driver’s license in my hand. Over the years, though, driving has become second nature to me. If I had to do the test again, I probably wouldn’t even have to think.
With everything that we do in life, we will only get better the more that we do it. This is something that I had to reflect on when I wanted to quit blogging.
Sure, I may not have had the success that I envisioned for myself, but the only way to ensure that I was going to fail was by giving up. I didn’t want to fail, and I refuse to let myself fail. As long as I keep following my beliefs and keep working harder with each and every day, I have all the faith in the world that I will achieve what I want.
In looking back to when I first started blogging, I can see how far I have truly come. It makes me wonder where I will be in another year and a half. The thought of having the same progression that I have had over the course of the last year and a half is what excites and motivates me to continue to move forward.
6. You Are Different, So Learn To Love Being Different
One of the biggest mistakes that any blogger can make is to copy exactly what other people are writing and sharing it on their own. Not only is this plagiarism, but again, people are often smarter than we give them credit for. They are going to see right through the BS, and are ultimately going to go elsewhere.
When I first started blogging, I wanted to be one of the people behind the screen that the world looked up to. So, naturally, I went to the biggest blogs on the internet and tried to mimic exactly what they were doing.
What I failed to realize, is that nobody is going to show interest when you try to mimic somebody who is more established than you, or when you try to mimic somebody else’s ideas. The reason their blog stands out is because it’s them. It’s authentic and it’s through their own eyes.
When it comes to blogging, there is no one right way to do it, and no one right thing to blog about. There is only your way. Whatever you want to write about, just write about it. Don’t feel like you have to be somebody you’re not just for the sake of trying to please other people.
Take this lesson into your daily life as well. The truth is, you are the only person who can ultimately control your future. If you allow others to dictate what it is that you can or can’t do, then they are going to do so. But when you learn to stay true to yourself, to embrace your differences, and to be the unique individual that you are, that is when success and happiness will start to creep their way into your life.
7. Know and Understand Those Around You
If you want to become a successful blogger, always keep your audience in mind. Not only that, but understand your audience as well. Who is your audience? What is your audience looking for? How are you going to bring value to the lives of your audience through your blog?
When first starting a blog (and really with every post that you write) this should be your main focus. You love free stuff, I love free stuff, everybody loves free stuff. If you want to grow an audience from the ground up, then your main focus should be on how you are going to stand out from other bloggers, and how you are going to provide value to your audience. If you don’t provide value, then I hate to say it, but your potential reads are just going to go onto the next blog.
For me, I wanted to target a group of individuals who have battled mental illnesses such as depression and eating disorders. I wanted to give them the strength they needed to overcome their obstacles by sharing my life and how I overcame similar ones. I wanted readers to know that if I overcame the obstacles in my life, then they could overcome the obstacles in their lives as well.
I may have even gone to broad with targeting an audience of individuals who have suffered from mental illnesses. A better approach could have been writing about mental illness while in college, or mental illnesses in young adults. The more specific you can get with your purpose and mission right off the bat, the better you will be in the long run. Plus, as time passes and your blog grows a consistent readership, it becomes easier to adapt and expand on your ideas.
8. Keep Going Even If Others Don’t Understand
There was a time in my life in which I sought the attention and approval of those around me. Seriously, I would tailor my life and every aspect of my life just so that others would like me more. Not only did others not like me anymore (probably less, actually) but I grew to hate myself as well.
With anything that you do in life, there are always going to be people out there who either disagree with you, or who don’t understand why you do the things that you do. This isn’t to say that it’s a bad thing to be different, but some are so confined to their own way, and only their own way, that there is no room for them to think outside of the box.
Don’t become one of those individuals. Don’t start working towards your goals just for the sake of being approved by those around you. Start working towards your goal because it brings meaning and value to your life. For me, blogging about mental illness as a young adult male isn’t something that’s common. Some are going to judge me for it, and that is fine. But I know what my purpose it, what my goals are, and these reasonings are far more important to me than simply being accepted by people who probably don’t care about me in the first place.
With everything you pursue in life, do it because it makes you happy. Who cares if others disagree with you or don’t understand you. As long as you understand yourself and have your goals in sight, that’s all that truly matters. Others have their own lives to live and you have yours. So start living it your way and making the most out of every opportunity that life throws your way.
WELL… THAT’S ABOUT IT
Here we are, over 500 days later never having missed a day of blogging. To be completely honest with you, I’m so glad I have spent the last year and a half working towards achieving one of my goals while being able to provide value to more lives than just my own. It has made this entire process much better than it would have been otherwise.
Who knows where my blog will go. So far, I have been able to touch more than 100,000 lives. I hope that I can continue to grow as rapidly as I have, but at the same time, it’s not all about how many lives you can impact, but also about the difference that your impact can make in those lives.
And of course, I still have a lot to learn, but I’m committed. With each and every day, I know that I am only going to get better.
With that said, cheers to the future! Trust me when I say that as long as life permits, the best will be yet to come.