Venturing out into the universe of blogs can be a challenging task.
Creating a blog is fairly easy these days. Writing your first blog posts is fun. You have a lot to say and your own blog is a perfect playground.
After a few weeks though, you find out about Google analytics and you realize that no one but your family and friends is reading your posts. And why is nobody commenting anyway?
So, you throw yourself a pity party and then you start asking yourself questions like: How did other blogs get their immensely large following? Which steps did they take in order to get to the place they’re at now? Is there a secret to being noticed?
You start doing research and begin to grasp the dimensions of online marketing. You start to be active in other forums on your niche, you start to leave comments on other blogs in the hopes of gaining a few new readers. The results are not as promised and expected. More research.
One message, one call to action stands out to you: Guest Blogging.
Great, that’s what you’re going to do. But where and how?
Once again, there is an enormous amount of information available. You find out that you should have submitted your most brilliant work to other blogs from the beginning instead of wasting it on your own, tiny platform. You read about pitching to a blogger, hear that your guest blog must be outstanding, find out which blogs accept guest entries. You start to feel rather uneasy, overwhelmed even. But with the end goal of reaching more readers in mind, you move on.
Finally, after spending hours on the web doing even more research, you find the perfect blog for your first guest post.
You read the requirements, the tips and the range of topics you could cover. You sit down, topic in mind and start to write.
Your First Guest Blog
Or though you thought. Nothing happens. No words come to mind, no coherent message, no exceptional firework of creativity—nothing like the brilliance that is required for your first guest blog.
Your mind starts playing tricks on you. You can’t do it. This is out of your league. You can blog for yourself, but surely, no other bloggers could ever appreciate what you are doing.
Will I embarrass myself? Is my take on this story even worth bringing to a bigger audience? Maybe my style of writing is too colloquial. Which style do they want anyway?
You read guest posts others have submitted. You start to get a feel for what is being wished for. So, you sit down one more time. Again, your doubts stand in your way. You can’t make it work.
Why can others produce guest blogs and why do I fail?
Because it is too early. I strongly believe that, even though everybody is raving on about guest blogging early on in your blogging career, it is not the smartest move.
When you first start your blog, do you find your very own writing style right away? Rarely. Unless you are a journalist or writer, but most of us start blogging as a layperson.
Do you produce your best work right from the get go? I doubt it—again, journalists and writers aside. Every more experienced blogger will tell you that they can tell how much they have evolved by looking at their archives.
Will you improve over the weeks, months and years of producing blog posts? Yes, absolutely. Like many say, writing is a craft and you can learn it by practicing.
Will you refine your message and how you present it to your readers? Yes. After writing for a while, you start noticing a theme, something that weaves itself like a red cord through your posts. You will begin to find new and exciting ways of expressing the way you see the world. Everything will happen with more ease.
So, would it not be strategically counterproductive to start pursuing guest blogging from the get-go? Should we not rather focus on mastering our craft and building our confidence in what it is we can do?
Shouldn’t the more experienced bloggers tell the newer additions to the blogging world to have patience and to embrace this anonymity?
There is a huge and exciting opportunity in being a bit lonely on the web. Just think of all the things you can try without having the world peering over your shoulder reprimanding you for taking chances.
All the experimental posts you can write. All the different approaches you can take. All the times you can fail without the world watching and criticizing. Should we not try to become excellent before we put more eyes on our work?
Build up a routine
I know that it is frustrating to hardly receive any response, comments or other validations from the outside. But is blogging not more about us? Is it not a creative outlet in the first place? Should we not first try to focus on ourselves and play with the possibilities that are given to us? Should we not first test if this blogging thing is something for the long haul? Something we will enjoy doing in a year from now? Should we not first build up a routine to see how we work best?
I strongly believe that blogging is an amazing way to unleash your creativity, something very personal. Receiving rejections can crush your spirit at the beginning. As bloggers, we are often very attached to our work because we put our heart and mind into the posts. Receiving too much negative feedback from more experienced bloggers can hurt your creative potential.
The readers will come when the blogger is ready!
Word spreads fast in the blogosphere and having an excellent reputation is key. So, think twice before you take this next big step.
When you start guest blogging too early and you receive a good amount of traffic, people won’t stick because you won’t have enough gripping posts on your site. After all, you want to give the many newcomers value when they come visit your blog, don’t you?
Have patience! The readers will come when the blogger is ready.
Image © Yahia LOUKKAL – Fotolia.com