It’s almost the end of 2020, A life-changing year for many of us. Our economies, bank balances, health, and mental well-being all seem to have taken a 360-degree turn. Quarantine and isolation for months on end gave us the time to introspect, mortality stared right through us (still is). We all turned to social media to offer us the little respite it could. We scrolled more, posted more, and engaged more.
While many people kept it at just that, many enthusiasts went right ahead and made blogs of their own (Kudos to the beginners). It’s no surprise then if it seems like a bunch of new blogs and posts have popped up everywhere (I mean! I made one too).
Hosting tribunal tells us that in the US alone, these numbers would reach 31.7 million in 2020 (Over 10% of the country’s population). And while I don’t have the numbers for India currently, I am sure the situation is not very different. Like some friends dismissively quoted over breakfast last weekend, ‘Everyone’s a blogger nowadays, Such a Joke!’
If you made it this far in the article, Congratulations! You are a fellow blogger (In your heart at least). However, In-case you haven’t started your blog yet, consider this an affirmation and take your first step towards Self – Expression.
As a beginner in the blogging world, there are many things you can do to kick start your journey. Although I am not an expert on that yet as a novice writer, there are at least 10 Rules I know that all of us can follow when starting out.
1)Don’t give into your fears & doubts.
There are people out there who are better than you, younger than you, and more tech-savvy than you. But Hey! Everyone starts somewhere? So be kind to yourself, trust the creative process, and go with the flow.
2)Dont write for others , do it for yourself first
Your blog should be about self-expression, what you believe in, how you think. Authenticity is the key, and if you stick to what you stand for, the 31.7 Million blogs (mentioned above) got nothing on you, baby! There’s only one YOU. And its only a matter of time before everyone notices that.
3)Don’t get over-excited
In the beginning, even a single like on your posts provides your brain with 10X dopamine. You daydream about being the next Sarah Jessica Parker, your face printed on the next bus shelter (that would be weird in India), and the next thing you know, you have spent money on posts to get more likes and are buying more media plugins than you understand. I am all for paid tools that make life easier and accessible. I would eventually buy them myself too. However, as a beginner who’s still dabbling, I would stay away from them.
4) Dont be rigid,write all types of content & try Different Formats.
If you know your niche, that’s fantastic! I wish such clarity for all of us. However, as a beginner, I would highly recommend writing and posting all sorts of content. There is stuff I wrote in my 20’s, which doesn’t even resonate with me now, but I took a chance and posted it anyway. I also did a rather clumsy-looking Insta reel (check it out @nameewrites on Instagram) and got five new followers. Sometimes you never know what clicks, so write everything and try all formats.
5)Don’t over-do your research
I was obsessed with the idea of having the perfect blog, So I researched and re-researched so many times in the past. And as a result, I never started any blog. All information I tried to collect confused me, exhausted me, I put it off for another day. That day never came. Don’t overdo the googling. Start writing and take it from there. You would end up making a few mistakes (many people may have written about) that’s okay. Blogging is like life, you can read what is available, but you gotta have your own experience and make your own mistakes to learn.
Refer to point two on this one again and keep it simple. DON’T COPY. Your reader is not stupid & you will end up losing your credibility. Also, it’s unfair to the person who originally wrote the piece. Don’t be a low-life.
7) Dont forget and Always give credit
So honestly, I don’t know the step by step method of doing this the right way, still learning. However, if I use a picture or quote from someone, I always try and remember to give credit. Its just good content manners.
8)Dont be lazy. Share, Comment, Subscribe, Follow.
All your fav YouTubers will say this to you all the time in every video. All content creators know the value of community support. So, whatever it is that you blog about, offer the support you expect. That’s how you build a quality audience.
9)Dont Dismiss feedback
I wrote my first article with great effort (The Real Artist) didn’t think anyone I know could do it better. I tried to fit a beautiful memory into 500 words to make it crisp and readable and ended up cutting out the real emotions. I got this feedback from a chronic non-reader, have tried to bribe this girl to finish a book (she never did). My younger sister.
Lesson learned never undermine the feedback of the ones close to you. They may not be ardent readers. But they know the authentic you and will tell you when its missing from your work. Thanks, Cookie! I will rewrite that article soon.
10) Just Breathe.
Lastly, Just breathe and write and smile and stretch. We are all going through a lot right now. Relax, drink some tea, and let your blogging bring you the happiness you deserve.
Pic Courtesy : Alina Vilchenko from Pexels