When I started blogging, I dove in head first and never looked back. I’ve learned a lot along my blogging journey. Mostly, through continuing to write, reading a ton of posts from other writers, working with mentors, and applying what I am learning in my MBA program. However anytime in life when you dive in head first, there are bound to be a few lessons that you learn the hard way. These are my top four lessons learned the hard from blogging. Yes, a few of them did feel like getting a digital slap in the face.
1) Don’t take it so damn personally when a post flops.
I didn’t get into blogging thinking all of my posts were going to go viral. However, after I got the taste of some early success my expectations changed suddenly. When subsequent posts didn’t perform as well, I became upset and dwelled on it. I let flops ruin entire days. In summary, I got negative and over-analyzed. As a result, my productivity suffered.
I get a lot of messages from other bloggers after they write what they deem to be a flop. The message usually contains negative comments and/or questions like this:
Does my content suddenly suck?
That’s it. I’m quitting blogging forever.
LinkedIn has changed something. What is going on with this f***** platform?
Long before I got into blogging, I was a high school tennis coach. After a tough loss, I used to tell my players that one of the beauties about tennis was that there was always another match coming up and a chance to get a win. The same goes for blogging. If you do write a flop, learn from it. Make sure to stay positive and keep on writing. There is always another blog to write. The next one could be the one that goes viral and gets 1 million views!
“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” Lucille Ball
2) Proceed with caution when sharing your blog on Google+ Communities.
In order to get people to read your blog, you must share it on social media. Sharing on Google+ is different than all the other social platforms. Sharing in G+ communities is a great way to expand your readership. I’ve written about the many benefits of sharing your blog on Google+ in the past. However, make sure to read the community rules before sharing your post. Some communities are very particular about how you can share content. If you share your content improperly in the community, the managers can get quite nasty about it! What I didn’t mention in my previous blog on G+ is that, a few of them even kicked me out! Oops. I hadn’t been kicked out of somewhere since that one time in college when I….(oh wait this isn’t that type of blog).
One of the managers went as far as to send me a scathing email. I responded with: “Chill out man. I’m just a blogger trying to share his work.” He didn’t like that response very much, and proceeded to start posting negative comments on my company’s blog. Yowza!
“Roller-skating and ice-skating are two different things – I found that out the hard way.” Todd Bridges
3) Not everyone likes to share.
While I first learned this lesson in kindergarten, it was something I had to re-learn when I started blogging. If you have read my past posts about blogging, you know that I am big into sharing other authors’ content. In fact, I started a LinkedIn group for bloggers whose mission is centered around sharing content. If you want your content to be shared, you must share others’ content. However, you will find that not everyone likes to share. In the past, I have wasted my time on continuing to share people’s posts that were not reciprocating with me. Share a few posts and then if the person does not reciprocate, find someone else to play with in the sandbox that likes to share their toys.
“Sometimes you learn the hard way. In football, if I held on to the ball too long, I got my butt kicked.” Ron Jaworski
4) Your personal Facebook network may not give a hoot about your blog.
When I started, I naively thought that my personal Facebook network would be a huge asset to my blogging. My actual experience has been that you may get a few “sympathy” likes from your Facebook network here and there. However, if they are not passionate about what you write about, they will not continue to read. Instead, focus your efforts on platforms that contain a higher concentration of people that are interested in your specific topics. Don’t be offended when your Facebook network doesn’t engage on your post. They are probably too busy watching cat videos.
“Some of us have to learn the hard way and make our own mistakes instead of learning from others.” Unknown
Are you blogging? Care to share any of the lessons you’ve learned along your journey? Please do engage in conversation below surrounding blogging, sharing on social media, doing things the hard way, or anything that you would like to discuss that popped into your head after reading this post. As always, thank you for reading my post!
About the Author: John White is the Chief Marketing Officer at Social Marketing Solutions, proud dad of 2 daughters, the LinkedIn group owner of Publishers and Bloggers, MBA candidate (Graduating in a week woohoo!!), contributor to Dice Tech News, Linked Into Business, and more.
Need a blogger to help tell your company’s sustainability story and how you’re poised to save the world? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct at 970.692.3270.