This series doesn’t need an introduction– it’s been going on weekly for five months! Today, I have Kristi Campbell from Finding Ninee. She’s hilarious. And real. And loves to draw random cartoons. Check her out right after you read her experiences as a 1st year blogger.
I’m thrilled to contribute my drivel with this contribution to The Fabulous Julie’s (with the Fabulous Hair) Fabulous Blogging’s 1st Year Bloggers series.
Julie and I have traveled in some of the same circles for a while now (as in I’ve tagged along to try and find out where some of the cool kids hang out). I’ve recently had the pleasure of getting to know her better as I wised up and admitted that I needed help and that my blog needed a makeover. She did an amazing job and taught me so so much. Don’t tell her that I told you, but she’s also been extremely available and patient when I have daily weekly freak-outs questions. To be typing words that will live among her pages forever (unless she deletes them the minute my back is turned because they suck…which she would never do because did I mention she is also super nice?) is an honor, people. A big one. Thank you, Julie.
My advice to brand-new-blogger-me
I’d like to travel back in time to visit eight-months-ago-me and give my brand new blogging self some advice. I’d like her to know that she will have days when she wonders what she got into. That there will be moments when she wonders why she bothers.
I’d reassure her that blogging will be one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.
I’d tell her to learn about key words and tags now, while it’s early. Figure out who you want to reach and use targeted key words in every post. It’ll work, I promise. You may even be lucky enough to help out a frightened mom who found you while in tears Googling “how do I know whether my three-year old has autism?” She’ll find you because you used your key words. That’s pretty powerful.
One of the most unexpectedly awesome things about blogging is that when you do really stupid shit, like hit yourself in the face with dog poop, you will no longer spend time trying to forget that it happened, wonder who saw you and will instead think “…aaaand, voila. I just got my next post.”
Something that is not obvious at first, but uber important is the need to spend time reaching out to other bloggers. Comment. Share their stories on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow them on BlogLovin’. But! Beware. While the reaching out part is touchy and feely and warm and fuzzy and plain old awesome, it can take 100 hours a week if you let it.
Don’t let it.
While it seems incomprehensible to a non-blogger that it’s possible to become amazingly close with people you’ve never met, some of the bloggers you find will become true friends. Friends who end up knowing things about you that your family doesn’t know because your family doesn’t read your blog.
Yup, that’s right, new blogger. Your family might not read your blog.
While actively participating by reading other peoples’ writing, you’ll find posts that floor you, give you goose bumps, and make you feel unworthy. Like you’re an idiot to continue blogging. Keep blogging anyway.
There will be times when you’ll do a better job of it than somebody else does. Sometimes, you won’t. Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep making connections.
Those connections matter. All of our voices matter. Your words matter, even when it feels like they don’t. Something else to keep in mind – when reading other bloggers, don’t be tempted to change the way you write because you think another style is better. Your words matter most when you write them for yourself. Always always always write for yourself.
Most importantly, I want you to know that Life will interfere with blogging.
There are times when you should say no to the interference and tell your son, your daughter, your significant other, your mother, or your babysitter that you just need 10 more minutes.
Other times, let Life interfere. Be present.
Because while your published words will fade less rapidly than the ones you utter to your children, their memories of you playing with them will not.
Blogging is awesome. But Life is always better.
Err… Ok. Usually.
— Kristi Campbell started Finding Ninee with a few of the words she’d originally intended for a memoir. Quickly discouraged after reading that a publisher would rather shave a cat than read another memoir, she started blogging. Blindly. Luckily, she’s learned a few things along the way and made some friends. She writes about her son Tucker, his maybe-probably-autism, and a lot of the time, she can be found drawing really stupid-looking pictures that make her laugh. Or on Twitter at 2am. She’s still learning, too, new blogger. Always.