Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Welcome to Episode 1 of how to start a blog.
I have wanted to start a blog to share my thoughts and to help other folks for as long as I can remember, yet it took about 5 years for this idea to completely materialize. I also know of many folks who are just shy of starting their blog and this post is for them. Sharing our challenges and resolutions to help some of you with yours.
THE FIRST CHALLENGE
Technical know-how: I hate coding – to the extent that I only learned it, when I felt I will fail at my job if I don’t learn it. The other thing is, every blog is made up of tasks and not all these tasks are interesting for each person. Even though I knew I would love my blog, the technical aspect of it gave me chills. I knew that I would stop blogging if it required coding. I did dabble with WordPress for the longest time, but I just could not figure it out. My mind always told me – why start if you know you will give up down the line.
Wix: Wix entered my life through their regular advertisement. Since my mind was in a daze with WordPress, to be very honest, I did not give Wix a fair chance in the first go. I thought they all talk about how easy it is until you actually invest time in learning, only to realize you are a dumbo with all things technical. But the desire to blog, does not leave anyone who likes to write on this planet. So, I decided to start afresh and give Wix a chance. Wix was a huge motivation booster and taught me that I don’t need to be a computer geek to write my heart out. For everyone who thinks blogging involves technical rubbish – please do give Wix a chance. It changed my life and I am sure it will change yours.
THE SECOND CHALLENGE
Consistency: I work ~12-14 hours per weekday as a consultant and with that pressure, it seemed very difficult to ensure I am consistent with my posts. Also, a fear that I will eventually run out of topics to write about.
Divide and Conquer: To keep my head calm, I trained my brain to not expect anything from my blog for a year. They say nothing comes without hard work and I have decided I will keep at this for a year to see where it takes me. Second, more practical one – I found a blogging buddy (my sister) to allow the dependency on me to be lower and to share this journey with a real person. Third, we created a content calendar talking about items we both want to write, items only my sister can write and items that only I can write. We organized them into buckets to feel confident that we are good for a week’s content. We now have a weekly call to brainstorm the plan for following week.
THE THIRD CHALLENGE
Marketing: Should I share my work on my social handles immediately or what for some validation? How will I grow my readership without sharing on social platforms?
Calm-down: As I mentioned above, I decided to blog for the passion of writing for a year and then expect returns. Whether you are good or not, you will only know by putting your work out there. I am a super under-confident individual and hence I decided to not share my blogging website with my friends and family immediately. Instead, I created new social media accounts just for my blog to still promote it. This way, the uptake will be slow, but then the pressure of success and judgement will be much lower. Also, if you share it once you have more stuff on the blog, you are giving readers the chance to know you more vs. the first week of writing.
THE FOURTH CHALLENGE
Self-doubt: Am I good at writing? Does anyone really need this content that I am writing?
Find your reason: Our blog is an entertainment magazine and when we were starting it, we felt we have never done this so why should this thing work. In fact, we still have those thoughts. And those thoughts are okay – as you take on the blogging journey, things will figure themselves out if you keep at it. My belief is, if you do something each day, you will get better at it and at one point, you will be so good that it will be impossible to fail. So, keep preparing for that day without losing heart. Our journey is on-going, and we are learning new things every day. The difference is we are now thinking of how this thing can fail instead of thinking how this thing can be successful.