Aug 27, 2012

Taking yourself seriously

Blogging has made me take myself more seriously.
Not just in my writing and career goals, but in life in general.  It has bettered my life in so many ways, and I don't know if I'm an established enough blogger to be dishing out blogging tips, but I want to share some of what helped me feel this way with you.



1. Stop thinking other blogs are better than yours.  Most of us have those blogs we read that we feel are in a completely different league than our own.  Their photos are perfect, their house is clean, their kids are photogenic angels, their writing is exquisitely snarky, their Goodwill junk looks like vintage treasure.  It can be disconcerting.  But you have two choices.  You can let it hinder you or you can let it motivate you.  Stop beating yourself up and say "I can do this" and then go do it.  Research photography tips. Spend more time planning your posts and prepping your photos.  Put forth the time or money for a flawless blog design.  Take a class or attend a conference.  Those bloggers don't have anything you don't have or can't acquire.

2. Be a blogger "in real life".
I admit I rarely ever shared my blog posts on my personal Facebook.  I had a fear that my husband's coworkers would laugh at it or my neighbors wouldn't get it.  I hid my blog from my real life.  For most of us, our blog is somewhere for us be expressive, sometimes more expressive than we are IRL (in real life).  Exposing our blog to IRL people is like walking into a party completely naked.  We feel singled out, weird, misunderstood.
To be a serious blogger, you have to own it.  Strut your naked butt through that party and be proud of it!  Emit confidence.  Ditch the doubt.  Talk about your blog with people.  At the dinner table talk about the post your working on.  Share helpful posts with your friends.  Start calling yourself a writer/blogger when strangers ask what you do.

3. Plan your posts ahead.
I can't tell you the last time I hit the Publish button to actually Publish it right at that moment.  Okay, sometimes I do.  But most of my posts are scheduled.  I spend time perfecting each post, treating it more like a paper I would hand in to a professor or an article I would send to my publisher.  I used to be a "seat of my pants" poster, but then I found it too easy to go days without anything at all.  Now I give myself deadlines and hold myself accountable for each days post.  I feel more professional this way.

4. Designate Blogging Space/Time
If you don't have a desk or room to yourself, designate a spot or space at the table that you always blog at.  Get a binder, calendar and box that you can collect all of the accoutrements needed to blog the way you do.  I have my own happy space that makes me feel more like me every time I return to it and it creates the perfect writing & creating environment.



Blogging for me started out as a hobby.  Then, once I realized how fulfilled it made me feel, I knew I wanted to take it more seriously.  I have begun treating this like a job, but also like training, because that's what it is.   Because of blogging, I have career goals, and I work hard now to market myself and my writing.   Taking yourself seriously is the first step to others taking you seriously.

So maybe one day I will get an awesome sponsorship or get the writing gig of my dreams.  Maybe I won't.  The point is that I am a lot closer to those goals than I was two years ago when I wasn't even trying.

If you feel the same, I hope these tips help.
What about you?  Do you feel like a serious blogger?  What helps you?

12 comments:

Melissa said...

These are absolutely fantastic tips. I think more than anything, admitting to my IRL friends that I blog and not ashamed was the best way to make it official: I'm a serious blogger. I was so scared, but then everyone was asking me about it and seemed so interested in reading it, I gained a lot of confidence from it.

It's easy to see how much time YOU put in your blog, though, and I'm so happy that you love it so much- I don't want you going anywhere! Haha :)

FrugalFoodieMama said...

Loving these tips! I am SO guilty of #1! I realize how much I have grown as a blogger, but I always see blogs with more followers than me, more sponsors, etc... and feel a little envious. I am working on it. But then I remember that they too started where I am and my blog is possible of growing that much too. I also remind myself that my follower count has more than tripled in the past 60 days!
"Coming out" with my blog to my IRL friends was a little anxiety inducing. My blog used to be focused on my pregnancy losses, and I felt that I didn't get much support from my IRL friend and family. They felt I should just be over it and should move on. That is where my blogging became therapeutic and healthy for me. I got fed up with miscarriage being such a taboo topic, and of the lack of support for those going through it and went public. :) I haven't looked back since!

Katie Price said...

Great tips, Jessica. I love what you said about owning your blog IRL. I did that pretty well in Dominica, but now that I'm back in the states it seems a little less cool for blogging to be what I'm up to.

Anyways, you should check out the classes from ALT. I've taken quite a few of them & have learned a TON about how to go from hobby to serious: http://worldfunction.com/channels/alt-summit/

Megan said...

I am horrible at #1. And #3. I suck at all things planning ahead. The idea of planned posts sound awesome but I DONT write. Having a hard time figuring out how to take my blog to the next level when in reality Im a take a bunch of pictures and post them with no real written content.

My blog has always been public to everyone I know. Always posted to MySpace/Facebook/emailed to family. It was a way to keep everyone involved...but with that comes very guarded posts. So many real feelings and issues are kept out my posts.

Fran said...

Great post... I kind of needed to read this. I'm pretty horrible at all of these, I always think my blog is pretty lame compared to other and 99% of my IRL friends don't know I blog and I definitely don't plan posts ahead of time. I am however working on getting a space set up for me and my blogging things. I'm trying to get better at putting more time into my blog and you're right, if I don't take myself seriously no one else will.

Lauren said...

Great advice, great post. Sometimes I need to not be embarrassed to admit I have a blog, it's nice to hear encouragement.

Sophie @ threetimesf said...

I'm so scared to tell my IRL friends about my blog!

Rachel said...

I also nearly always write my posts ahead of time. It definitely helps me, and I believe it helps the quality of what I write, to be able to go back through and read them. Scheduled posting is my friend!
And I think I may be a bit of the odd one out...I definitely share my blog with people I know in real life. I've yet to give my career as 'blogger' to someone who asks what I do, but I'd like to do that in the future (and it's not too far from the truth, since I'm a stay at home wife who blogs!)
Great advice!

Helena said...

"Those bloggers don't have anything you don't have or can't acquire." I need to remember this. Great post!

FrugalFoodieMama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FrugalFoodieMama said...

Hey dear- I really loved this post and it is a part of my A Little Sunday Potluck today. :)
http://www.thefrugalfoodiemama.com/2012/09/a-little-sunday-potluck-9212.html

sharon garofalow said...

Awesome post! I started blogging as a creative outlet and it is has become essential to me having a little piece of this world that is mine as I stay at home with the kids. My best traffic comes when I reel it back in and get back to focusing on what makes me me and the most happy. Every few months, I get big ideas and go off track but then I get back and it is like a hug. Your advice is perfect and thank you for sharing it!

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