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?