After I’d been blogging for a while, I started getting questions from people about Starting A Blog. I mostly have two emotions about this:
- MOM I’VE MADE IT
- and, PLEASE GOOGLE THIS there’s so much content (TM) out there about the mechanics of starting a blog and writing good content and getting people to pay attention to you that you will be getting a subpar experience by asking me your questions over twitter DMs.
It’s not that I don’t want to help — it’s just that I don’t have a lot of actual blogging advice. I don’t do SEO, the platform you choose for you blog is something you have to research for yourself, and I don’t make any money from my blog. That all being said, I do have some pep-talky advice I think can be really helpful to keep in mind when starting new projects. (I recently realized I’ve been blogging for two years and doing etsy for a full year, and I’m attributing this to something I affectionately think of as The Baby Step Method.)
I really firmly believe that unless there’s a specific reason why you need to wait on a project (ie, financial or time constraints that will not exist at some point in the near future), a sense of urgency goes a long way towards making sure your ideas don’t die in the back of your brain, unrealized.
There are totally times that are not good to start new projects — finals week, for example — but you don’t gain anything by putting it off and everything can be figured out on the fly anyway. I really like the feeling of being like “here’s a thing I want to do, and I’m going to do it right now, because I can do whatever I want.” Getting a start (no matter how small) on your project is the difference between it existing in the world and it existing in your head, and it’s so much more fun once that shit exists in the world.
Emotional and creative energy are finite resources — it can be overwhelming to work on hobby projects like blogs, art, etsy, music, or whatever, when you’re convinced that things have to be perfect right away. I personally think that a lot of that pressure is unnecessary; it’s okay to be bad at things and enjoy them anyway, and being overwhelmed/afraid stops a lot of people from doing what they want.
This isn’t even saying that you shouldn’t allow yourself to want the things you do to be really great, just that honestly, you have to start somewhere. Think about what is a realistic amount of effort for you to put into projects, and let small, consistent accomplishments propel you forward.
I literally started my etsy shop with one zine (love, sex & the whole shebang), just adding a new listing here/there as I came up with things, and while it’s not like, overwhelmingly successful, it’s still something I’m proud of. Baby steps, etc.
stick with it
I went through a major blogging slump this summer, in that I posted way less than I had in the previous year. Despite this, thismoxy dot com is still here, humming along doing its thing, because of like ………. sticking with it.
Going back to starting small, you can feel free to keep going small if you want. It’s fine to quit things, if that’s what you want, but it’s your blog and you make the rules and you don’t have to quit just because it’s hard or you don’t want to post perfect outfit blogs three times a week.
Anyway, I came out of this four month period of blogging very little and doing a fraction of what I wanted to do and feeling very overwhelmed, and realized I’d written 100 blog posts over the past two years. Turns out, you can get a lot of shit done if you do it over a long period of time and just keep with it, which I think is very cool. It’s a good thing to keep in mind — when it’s tough to find motivation, think about all the things you have accomplished, and what you can do if you hang in there.