How to Survive Your First Year of Blogging

Happy 1st Birthday Relationally Speaking!

Happy 1st Birthday Relationally Speaking!

Happy 1st Birthday Relationally Speaking!

I survived my first year of blogging. Huzzah! Honestly, I could not have done it without the support of all the people who read and share my blog with others. (I’m looking at YOU – thank you for making this all possible).

And of course my Fiance, friends and my cats – who were the only people (pets) reading this blog when I started out. FYI, cats are crap at commenting on posts.

As I look back, here is how I survived and thrived in my first year as a blogger.

Passion is everything

You’ll never survive your first year if you are NOT writing about something you love.  If you pick your blogging niche because it’s popular, prepare for the impending demise of your blogging career. Don’t blog about Twitter if you don’t puffy heart love Twitter.

Blog about what you love even if it is a blog devoted entirely to the wisdom of Yoda. There are other people out there who love it too. I know there are! You’ll find them.

 Blog or blog not. There is no try.

Blog or blog not. There is no try.

Write as if you have a huge audience

When I started, I KNEW no one was reading my blog. I just didn’t give a crap. My goal is to write quality posts that help people be better communicators. In fact, I avoided looking at my analytics for the first 3 months or so (I’m sure I’m going straight to blogging hell for that), but I didn’t want to get discouraged.

Write as if everyone is reading. Then write some more.

Consistency + time + awesome content = success

The biggest reason you need to write about your passion is that you must be consistent! Decide if you are going to write once, twice or three times a week. The commit to it. If you go a month or two without a post, it’s like starting over.  There were times where I had to revise my commitment - cutting down to once a week if life got crazy. However, I posted at least once a week  without fail.

If you are consistent over time (and with a lot of promotion), your audience will grow. It takes time for a blog to take-off. There are very few overnight sensations. You started a blog, you didn’t get cast in the break-out role on Glee.

The final part of this formula – write awesome content. Whatever the goal is of your blog, write content that will keep people coming back for more. Put your unique spin on your writing. Be awesome. Be you. Be helpful to the people reading.

Twitter is a must for bloggers

Twitter is a must for bloggers

Get your butt on Twitter

When I started blogging, I read everything I could about blogging. The one piece of advice I read ad nauseum was about Twitter. As Yoda never said “Twitter resistant I was.” I finally gave in and…

Twitter was freaking weird! 

For the first few months anyway (read about my Twitter evolution here). Then I slowly met people, started having conversations, building relationships, and sharing other Tweeps’ content as well as mine.

Twitter is a must for a blogger. Google+ is the upstart that is my next social media stop (and should be yours too).

Guest post

The best happy accident was my discovery of 12 Most. I found 12 Most because of my Tweeps. I knew I should guest post, but I didn’t know where. Then I found 12 Most wrapped up like a present with a glittery bow. I submitted, got accepted and yay I was on my way.

I didn’t realize there was a WHOLE 12 Most community behind the site. Where the best, brightest and most inspiring writers hang out. A place to get support, sparkling positivity, and answers to any question you might ever have.

If it was not for the founders of 12 Most Peg Fitzpatrick and Paul Biedermann, I don’t think I would still be blogging. Guest blogging on 12 Most was the BEST decision I made my first year of blogging. (P.S. They are always looking for guest bloggers).

Find your tribe

12 Most is a tribe of writers that I am proud to be a part of, but the most important lesson is to find a group of people to support your blogging efforts!

I met likeminded bloggers on Twitter. I met so many talented people whose work I appreciated. I had other writers and entrepreneurs connect with me over email. (Note: I love hearing from you, so email! I’ll always, always respond).

I also discovered Triberr. Triberr is essentially bloggers helping other bloggers drive more people to your site. You read, share, and comment on other blogs and your blog is read, shared and commented on in return. Triberr is the Golden Rule on crack.

Like Twitter, Triberr takes a little getting use to. Unlike Twiter, the founders of Triberr, Dino Dogan & Dan Cristo, answer members questions and provide technical support. Nothing like getting your cry for help answered by the guys who created Triberr.

Big thank you & air kisses

You – the person reading this exceptionally long blog post. I’m glad you are here. I hope you find the information helpful and that it

Thank you and air kisses for reading my blog!

Thank you and air kisses for reading my blog!

makes your communication sparkle and shine. Bloggers keep blogging your passion!

Remember, I am only an email or a comment away.

Happy Anniversary Relationally Speaking!!

Comments

  1. Congratulations, Michelle! I remember the excitement of my first blogging anniversary. It’s definitely a milestone.

    Love your blog. In addition to my blogging, I teach college Communication. Many of your thoughts have made their way into my work with students. Keep it up! Have a great second year!

    • Michelle Mazur says:

      Thank you Vicki! It is exciting to be turning one. I’m glad you and your students find the blog useful. That’s always my number one goal!

  2. Congrats on your 1st year, Michelle!

    I’m so happy that 12 Most has been a positive part of your 1st year and growth. It means a lot that our writers have 12 Most but mostly each other for support.

    Wishing you a fantastic 2nd year of blogging!

    • Michelle Mazur says:

      Thank you Peggy! 12 Most has been a fabulous inspiration to me this past year. There are so many writers that I admire and love to read. I’m excited about my second year of blogging and another year of hanging with my 12 Most peeps!

  3. Happy Blog-Birthday! Nicely done and thanks for the shout out, Michelle — it‘s been great having you be part of the 12 Most community. It’s very gratifying to hear about the impact 12 Most has had on your blogging and business, as so many others have said as well.

    Love your writing and humor!

    • Michelle Mazur says:

      Thank you Paul! The shout out to you and Peggy is very deserved indeed. I’m glad to have virtually met you though 12 Most – looking forward to another fabulous year!

  4. Congratulations, Michelle! Thanks for sharing your story and lessons learned! Keep it up–you’re an inspiration!

  5. Happy birthday!! And congratulations on making the one-year milestone!!

  6. Congrats on your completion of your first year. I’ve been at it now for two months. I’m going to checkout the resources you mentioned. Thank you.

    • Michelle Mazur says:

      Congrats on two months of blogging Rodney! Glad you found the suggestions helpful. You have a slick looking website. Well done.

  7. Excellent post!! I am just starting out in the blogging world so this is essential reading for me. This is also the first blog post I have ever commented on so I’ve gotten through that barrier also and there will be no stopping me now!! Thanks again for the excellent content. I will be retweeting!!

    • Michelle Mazur says:

      Thank you Jat! I feel honored that you commented on my blog. Keep doing it. It’s how you get to know other bloggers. Good luck with your blog. What’s your topic?

  8. And following also!!

  9. Hi Michelle!
    Congratulations on your first Blogaversary! Now you number among a select few – those who survive their first year! I like how you say you should write as if your audience is huge – even if only the cats are actually reading!
    All the best in 2013!
    Lori

    • Michelle Mazur says:

      Hi Lori! It was so important to ignore my stats when I first started (and even now I can be kind of obsessive with numbers)! Write great content and your audience will build.

      What is the statistic about blog survival? Isn’t the average like 3 months. Thank you Lori for your comment. Happy 2013 to you too!

  10. Congrats on your 1st anniversary, Michelle! And thanks for all the tips and encouragement in this post!

    As you say, blogs take time to grow. I was really encouraged by Michael Hyatt’s post that shows a chart of his traffic over the 8 years he’s been blogging:
    http://michaelhyatt.com/4-insights-i-gleaned-from-building-my-own-platform.html

    My own blog’s 1st anniversary was back in November, and I posted a chart of the countries where most of my visitors come from:
    http://remotepossibilities.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/thank-you-1st-birthday-of-the-remote-possibilities-blog/

    Starting out, I posted every 10 days or so, but over time I’ve actually found I write a little less often than that.

    Strangely perhaps, I write my posts in Outlook (because its Word-like shortcuts are very familiar). When I paste the text into WordPress, the links and simple formatting get converted to HTML automatically, which is handy.

    Are there any productivity tips you’d be willing share about how you write your own posts?

    Anyway, I’d be delighted if you (or your readers) want to comment on my blog. And by all means, link back to your own posts too!

    • Michelle Mazur says:

      Craig I so enjoyed the Michael Hyatt blog post! Wow – that is awesome persistence. I feel really good about how my blog is doing in comparison. Blogging takes time – there are no overnight successes (or there are rarely overnight successes).

      I do not have any tricks for productivity for writing my own posts. In fact, when it comes to blogging I must be the slowest writer around. It’s ok. I know some bloggers do multiple drafts of a post. I tend to do multiple drafts in one sitting.

  11. Chapette,

    Apologies for arriving at this post so late in the day, but please accept my sincere congratulations for completing your first year as a blogger. As someone who has just done the same I must agree with every word you’ve said in this post. Well played!

    I’m now looking forward to reading your advice on surviving the second year!

    Mark

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