If you read my last post about how I’ve consequently failed at my last 3 blogging attempts last week, then you would have seen the embarrassing screenshots and progress steps that I’ve taken to get to blog I am at today. If you missed it, I’d highly recommend reading it first to get some background on my blogging journey.
Consequently, it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve encountered a lot of obstacles as I’ve tried to start a blog. I’m sure there are many more to come but that’s what this series is for!
So these are the blogging challenges I’ve met so far and the things I’m committed to doing in order to change them:
1. Stop. Re-designing.
OMG this has probably been by far my biggest set-back. It’s the perfectionist designer in me that requires everything to look “perfect” and be “consistent.” I can’t even calculate how much time I’ve spent on re-designing the theme, re-sizing photos, and re-formatting every post. I would (let’s be real, still) constantly feel the need to not only re-design the visual theme of my blog, but also the whole purpose and concept. I’ve finally decided just to stop.
I am going to let my blog grow organically and change into whatever it becomes. I’ve accepted the notion that I don’t necessarily have to have it planned out and perfect from the beginning. I just need to have it set it up enough so I’m happy with it so I am able to focus on the most important part about a blog – creating the content.
Currently, I am very happy with my blog theme and format. Is it absolutely perfect? No. Are there little things I would love to change? Yes. But I’m primarily focused right now on creating content and after that, I will focus on social media. The little visual blogs of my detail can wait.
2. Embracing My Style
This kind of goes along with the last point, but I for a long time, I struggled to find a “style.” With my previous blogs, I became engulfed in trying to create the perfect logo, layout, and colour scheme for my website because I wanted it to appeal to everyone. This was most prominent with my travel blog Method To My Atlas (MTMA).
Originally I was going to go with a gold theme for MTMA but then I wanted it a touch more feminine so I changed it to silver and pink…..but then it didn’t match the theme I had purchased anymore. It was such a headache and I kept going back to square one.
With Millennial Life Admin (MLA) I’ve decided to embrace who I am so this blog is filled with pastel light watercolors. I may change my mind about this one day, but for now, this is my aesthetic and I’m going to own it.
In all honesty, I did make this same mistake with MLA but I’ve finally just embraced my style. I’m girly. Pink is my favourite colour. It always has been since I was 6. My sheets and bedroom have always been girly and it’s not because it was forced upon me; I just really like flowers, and all light pastel colours and all that jazz.
I really came to realize this when I moved out early this year into my new apartment and realized, wow my design style is SO FEMININE – Even when it’s 100% my decision. You can really see how apparent this is throughout my blog because most of the cover photos on this blog are just things around my apartment.
3. Being Okay With No Readers
One of the big reasons I haven’t given up on this blog (even though I was super close) was because one of my favourite bloggers, Sam Brown from Smart Twenties, started a blogging workshop series, the first one was called Start Your Blog. And while there are literally a million bloggers who blog about blogging (and 10x as many articles about it), Sam actually comes at it from a very unique perspective which is to use blogging as a personal development tool. Sam doesn’t just talk about the technical aspects of starting up a blog (although she covers that as well) but instead she goes in depth about the mental obstacles with starting a blog, like motivation, fear of judgement and self-doubt.
Once I understood that this was a part of what was holding me back, it was easier to let go of. I have lots of hobbies that I do despite what other people think (running, learning languages, reading, etc.) why should blogging be any different? I don’t worry about people judging how long I can run for or what’s my best time; I do it because I enjoy it and slowly improving my time or distance is what’s important to me, not what someone thinks about it.
So this time, I’m going to go into blogging knowing that it’s going to have a lot of internal conflict. No one reads my blog, that’s okay, I do it for me. I’ve recently also completed Sam’s for Grow Your Blog Workshop and continually learning more on how to stay motivated and schedule my time when I’m essentially talking to myself.
4. Making The Right Financial Investment
This is a tricky one because I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I first started blogging, I was really hesitant to spend any money. I started on a free WordPress.com blog and started to learn the hard way how limiting that can be. However, as I got more serious about blogging, I started to spend too much on it. I bought a theme design that I no longer have use because I prefer my current free theme (Activello). I also signed up for a lettering course (because that was the visual aesthetic I was aiming for on my MTMA blog) and while it was a good learning experience, it’s not something I use on my blog right now (I do have plans to eventually incorporate it).
This time, I want to find balance. I want to treat blog as a hobby but also an investment. I spend money on other hobbies. Last year I joined an ultimate frisbee team and I spent money on the cleats, jersey, and tournament fees. However, I didn’t go all out and buy new workout clothes and fancy cleats either. I just enough to get started and invested more as I got further along in the hobby – why was blogging any different?
So now, I’m trying to work at it slowly ant not get a head of myself. A fellow blogger form the Smart Twenties Workshop mentioned the idea of having a savings budget for blogging and I love that idea. I used to put it as an expense under my “shopping” category, but I never thought to put it as a savings category. I have a travel saving category, why not for blogging?
This time around, I’m only hoping to spend what I can save for. There are a lot of blogging programs and courses that I would love to take but they are expensive and I can’t really afford it right now. But if I commit to blogging and save for it, then I can reward myself with it.
5. Not Being Overwhelmed All At Once
It’s so easy to get lost into the world of blogging, because it’s not just about blogging. It’s about the logistics of setting up a website (pros and cons of hosting domains, designs, plugins, SEO, CSS/HTML coding, etc), the social media (and every platform has their own rules and algorithms) and all the extra things like photos, promotion, and analytics. And I haven’t even started on the content creation yet. It can so easily be so overwhelming.
A lot of this has to do the perfectionist in me, that wanting everything to be perfect before it launches. However I’ve come to learn that it’s a journey. This time, I’m just going to take it one step at a time. This is also what this series is for – to document the growth, mistakes, and lessons along the way. I’m anticipating not wanting to blog sometimes and to be frustrated from time to time, but I remind myself that it’s just a part of the process.
In the end, I’m glad I’ve gone through everything I did. It’s actually made starting this blog a lot easier, although I want to be clear, it’s still not easy. One of the reasons I wanted to chronicle this journey is because so many people say starting a blog is so easy, like it somehow comes naturally. I am tech savvy, but even I struggle, hard. Not only with the technical components but also with the motivation and self-components to keep going. Sure, it’s easy to set up an initial blog, but customizing it, learning all the components that come with blogging, and creating time for it has been a struggle. I hope that by sharing it, some other bloggers can relate as well. It’s okay to not be perfect, for right now, I’m trying to just focus on not giving up. I hope to share more successes and failures soon.
Thank you for following along this journey!