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5 {+1} Things You Should Know as a Blogger in 2018.

Hi guys,

So sometime last week,  I was going through my journal (the one for 2016) and I found this.

My journal | Seun Olagunju

It’s an entry I made while I was just planning to start my blog in April. It’s been a little over a year now and I’m just so grateful for the journey so far.

Today’s post however is really not about me. It’s about the tons of other people I know who have also recently started blogging.

Usually every year, I compile a list of lessons I have learnt over the course of the year and share them in a series of blog posts. You’d remember the ones I shared last year on dealing with a sexual addiction, a low self-esteem, an unsustainable allowance and liking a boy that didn’t like me back.

Anyway, as 2017 draws to an end (almost can’t believe it 😲)  I thought “why not do a series on the lessons blogging has taught me this past year?”

I do have a lot of friends who just started their blogs and I had each one of them in mind as I wrote this.

Now when I say this, I know I’m pretty much speaking for everyone. Blogging is not the easiest thing to do. Initially, there is this rush of something that comes with when you are just starting. You’d almost want to put up a post every single day! However, as the days go by, that rush fades and you realize that just like every other type of work, blogging takes a lot of effort, commitment, time and even money. You begin to get tired and unmotivated, which brings me to my first lesson.

  • For times like that, you have to remind yourself of why you started the blog in the first place.

Why did you start your blog?

Did you start because ‘well, everyone is blogging, so I should do it too.’ Or you thought to yourself that blogging was also a good way to show people that you too are doing something significant with your life?

You know, why did you start? If you started your blog because you have a passion for teaching people things or you want to add value to people’s lives or you really love writing, then you’d find that it’s easier for you to keep at it, even on days when you are just tired – or on days when nobody drops a comment.

Personally, the major thing that motivates me to keep blogging on days like that is the fact that I could see how impacted people were from the posts that I had written. So, I would remember Wura, my coursemate from Uni, who called surprisingly one day to tell me of how inspired she was from my posts on self esteem or Tola, who hooked me up with a lady that had been sexually abused, convinced that I could help, because she had read some of my posts, and I would tell myself ‘Seun, even if it’s just one person that you are reaching out to, you cannot afford to stop writing.’

So, what is your reason for blogging? Always remember that on days when you feel tired.

Talking about comments, in at lesson #2:

  • Never judge the quality of your content based on human validation:

You know as bloggers, we always want to see people comment whether on/off the blog. Comments show us that our readers connect with what we’ve written but believe me, guys, there are some days when you would write something so good and nobody will validate it. Nobody will say anything on the blog. Nobody will say anything off the blog – not even a simple reference to having seen the post. Worse is if you can’t even see if people are coming to read it. So, in your mind, you are like ‘what have I now done?’ and it’s not uncommon to begin to judge the quality of your work based on these validations …so you tell yourself things like ‘maybe this post makes no sense. That’s why there is no comment. Should I delete it?’

You know, we sometimes feel this way even with our social media posts. When we put up a picture on Instagram or Facebook and it gets like 14 likes, no comment, we begin to think like ‘haa, maybe this picture is ugly or people don’t agree with my caption. Let me delete it.’  The problem with this is that we are unconsciously making these validations the yardstick for measuring whether our content is good or bad and that is a level of insecurity, right there.

You have to learn to detach yourself from human validations – to not depend on it. If they come, fine. If they do not, fine but you should learn to trust, either ways, that your work is good enough.

The 3rd lesson I’d be sharing is this:

  • Read other people’s blogs but don’t compare yourself to them:

Now, as a blogger, there is the tendency to read other people’s blogs, which is good. First it gives you exposure and also, like it was in my case, it helps you find things that you could employ to improve your blog.

For instance, it was from reading Kacheetee’s, that I got to know of certain plugins that connect my blog to social media. It was also from receiving newsletters from some other bloggers that I knew to step up on the email marketing service that I use for mine as well. (I’ll share the email marketing service(s) I use at the end.)

Anyway, all of that is to say that visiting other people’s blogs is good but there is a way you can read these other posts and begin to compare yours with theirs, especially if they get a lot more traction, a lot more comment or if their style of writing is just damn good.

Now, if there is something you need to work on, to improve your traction, please do but don’t drown yourself in comparison, or worse still, begin to copy them. That just takes the originality out of your work. Like I said earlier, learn to believe in your writing, and never forget the reason why you started in the first place.

The 4th thing I’ll be sharing is this:

  • Don’t write junks:

Honestly guys, if I tell you the blogs I follow, you’d realize that one thing common to all of them is the quality of their content. And this compliments the lesson above, really. Don’t, because you want more traction start to write rubbish.

You guys might have noticed that there are some days when I just go off and I don’t put up anything for a while. It’s not because there is nothing to write – I mean, there will always be. It’s just that some times, these things completely deviate from what I put on my blog, so I don’t post them.

Personally, I feel like it’s better for your readers to be able to associate your blog with something – knowing that when they come on, this is what they find. You have no idea the kinds of platforms that your blog can take you on, simply because of what you write about. I could list out the ones I have had this year, but I won’t. All I’m just going to say here is that irrespective of whatever sphere of writing you belong to – fiction, comedy, inspiration, etc, your content is very, very important.

Let your posts – your content be so good and so defined, that people have a reason for wanting to read your blog.

Seun Olagunju
Earlier in February. Convener told me he invited me to speak because of the content of my blog.

Now guys, I think this post might be getting too long, but I just need to share this last lesson.

  • Don’t just be a talker:

This is one thing I have had to learn this year. Talking is so easy! Like everybody just feels like they have something to share, right? – especially those who have blogs. – Ooh, and a social media account.

I have learned that it is not enough to talk. In fact, what makes your talking worth listening to and your advises worth taking is if you are genuinely adding value into people’s lives through the person you are making yourself into and the things that you do.

This is the reason why I particularly respect women like AdannaDavid and Jumoke Adenowo. When I look at these people’s lives and the hardwork that they put into their careers and education and family, I can see that these women are really working into building a standard and making their lives an example – which is why for me, it’s very easy to listen to them and take their counsel.

Don’t just be a talker, people. Don’t just talk.

That’s Adanna at her graduation from Medical school. | YouTube channel: AdannaDavid

Now I know I said that was the last lesson but I’m soorrrry. I already feel like a liar. If you are tired, you can just skip right to the end, but I do hope that you keep going with me. These lessons won’t stop coming! Arggh!

Anyway, the ‘almost final’ lesson I’m going to share is that you:

  • Keep growing:

What I mean by this is that even with all your amazing content, it is important for you to keep growing, as a person and as a blog.

For instance, if you started your blog with www.xyz.wordpress/.blogger.com, you can always take a higher step to buying yourself a personal domain. If you started out with a free theme, you can always upgrade to buying your blog a better theme. (pS: if you want to do this, I have people that can help.)

For one, I can tell you that your readers will see the level of investments you are making into the blog and it’s always worth it.

Seun Olagunju

Finally, really now, finally, this one is for bloggers who share their personal stories with others.

I do it too, so I can tell you that personal stories are the hardest to share. They sometimes make us feel exposed and vulnerable but it’s okay, especially if you are comfortable and you feel led to share them. I mean, the last post I wrote almost got me in trouble. Apparently my mum didn’t know I struggled with a certain sexual addiction until she read that post.

When I got home from work that day, the first thing she told me was ‘Seun, I hope you are not hiding something from me like this?’ she even suggested I should stop sharing things like that publicly because well ‘I wasn’t married yet and it could turn off dear future husband’.

Had to tell her I was not only comfortable sharing these things but I was also convinced that in sharing them, someone else who might be going through the same was being helped. I have learnt and now I’m telling you that being able to share these things is not a weakness at all. It is a strength, cos ultimately you are helping others on their journeys by telling them through your stories that they are not alone.

These are not all of the lessons that I have but I’ll just stop here. Maybe will do another blog post to share the other things, as well as the blogs I follow and some of the tools that I use. (If there is something else you’d want me to share on blogging, just tell me.)

I hope that you guys learnt something. If you did, let me know in the comments. Also, if you are a blogger, don’t forget to drop your blog’s address in the comment, so that we all can visit it and see the amazing things you are doing there as well.

With love guys ❤.

Tirzah.

pS: The email marketing service I use to send out my newsletters (which you must be receiving, cos you subscribed, right? 😀) is Mailerlite, but you can also check out Mailchimp. Both services are fantastic. Okay, bye.

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Author:

Just a simple 21 year old all out to making an impact.

4 thoughts on “5 {+1} Things You Should Know as a Blogger in 2018.

  1. You are so on point. I’ve been a struggling blogger, but I challenged myself to post for 30 days. It’s been going on well, tho it’s been hard. It’s in this period of 30 day challenge I realize that I’m a good storyteller. The bottom line is enjoy blogging as a blogger, and make sure you impact your readers by making them laugh, or making them want to change something about themselves, or anything else.
    Thanks Seun

  2. This is beautiful ma.
    And I would love to see the next post with more technical know how on blog management and the list of blogs that you follow.

    All these things are actually valid.
    For me, I have all these written content that I am yet to share anywhere and my blog has been dormant for more than a year, I think I have been giving too much excuses, plus I don’t feel like I have something unique to specialize on for now.
    I write sometimes on how i feel, what i do and all.
    And sometimes, it’s based on an Experience I had.
    I need Help with managing my blog!!

  3. First off, thanks for sharing this Seun.
    It was just two days ago an idea came to my mind to share the lessons I’ve learnt this year.
    Guess I just got a push to do so.
    Concerning the content originality, you’re very right.
    There’s been times I feel the urge to just post everything that comes to mind, but some are not just fitting into what my blog is about.
    I’ve beaten myself up sometimes of why I don’t post everyday; there are financial limitation plus content development.
    Except you just want to be putting up others writing on your blog.
    I really would love to learn more about how to improve ones blog as I just started mine last month.
    I started using Mail chimp but I don’t know if there’s a way to do some editing (in terms of the content of the mail) before sending out.
    I also have a challenge connecting my Instagram to the blog.

  4. Whoop Whoop! Lengthy but absolutely worth it.
    I could relate with all the points you gave. I used to prioritize human validation but that, in turn, always led to the rise/fall of either complexes.
    At the moment, I am learning to stay put and develop contents within my niche so i do not end up with a junk-filled site.
    However, I have been dragging my heels on getting a custom domain. I should send you an email regarding that.

    Thanks for this post. Totally worth my time.

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