Ever doubted that you actually have anything important to say? Ever thought, writing is for her, but no one wants to listen to me? Ever wondered if God could really use you?
You might think, if I start a blog, nobody will read it. You guys, people are watching. God has given you a unique set of experiences and passions. He has put you right where you are, in this time and place, for a reason. You have circles of influence. You have young women watching you, whose futures are being shaped by what they see you do and say. You have peers, who are doing life right alongside you, and your thoughts matter to them. And you have women who have gone before you, women of an older generation who are constantly growing and changing and looking to you, invested in how you’re going to impact the world.
Believe me, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, your story matters to others.
Success isn’t measured by site metrics. Likes, comments, followers — the numbers don’t define influence or impact. The number of followers your blog has doesn’t equal influence. Sure, we can look at stats and see who clicks what and when they did it and where they live and what they had for breakfast, but what we can’t see? The people behind the screen, the real people with real lives and real ups and downs and experiences and what you say matters to them. Don’t wait for a “like” or a comment or someone to officially follow you. Just write and trust that the people who need to see it will.
A tough life lesson that I think we’re all constantly learning — and re-learning — is that not everyone is going to love us. Sadly, not everyone is going to be team-Kayla. But that’s okay. Don’t use your blog as a way to get affirmation — it’ll only end in disappointment. Use your blog to share your story and connect with others in the process.
Top 10 Tips for Starting a Blog to Share Your Story
1. Create it. Pick a free host: WordPress, Blogspot or Tumblr. Remember a title, tag line, photo & bio. Experiment with what works & stay true to yourself.
2. Just start. Grab a computer & start typing. Your story will emerge. It’s OK to start small! Let other bloggers inspire you, but don’t try to copy them! You’re a much better original. If you take a graphic from somewhere, don’t palgarize! Attribute your sources. Taking an image you found off Pinterest? Link to the original source, please!
3. Write what you know. Be you! Give us a glimpse into your family, your experiences, your hobbies, your passions.What kind of books draw you in? What kind of Facebook posts connect with you? You connect with those styles and topics for a reason.
4. Get inspired. Anything can be a good writing prompt. Share a funny experience, must-read book, inspiring quote, favorite song, childhood memory — anything to get your fingers typing! Still stumped? Ask friends what to write about. You never know what they’ll say!
5. Set boundaries. When its online, it’s online forever. Know what’s off limits. Be real but respectful. Honor the privacy of your families & friends. When in doubt, leave it out. We’ve all Googled people before, right? Set boundaries for yourself and know what’s off limits. You don’t want people always wondering, “is this going to end up on your blog?” When in doubt, leave it out. You don’t always have to write about everything. Don’t write if you’re angry — a public blog is not the perfect venue for venting your frustration! (If you have to write to process things, write it on a piece of paper and then rip it up! Don’t write something that you might regret or something that might hurt someone.)
6. Keep it simple. Clean the clutter! Less is more. Keep images & fonts to a minimum (and don’t write in Comic Sans, or Papyrus, or Curlz MT, ever). In posts, use bullets & breakouts. Create a few one-word categories (think faith, family, food) & stick to them. Keep posts concise & resist the urge to ramble! Everyone loves lists (5 things you should know, top 10 tips for ___).
7. Stay consistent. Carve out time to write. Maybe it’s on your iPhone as you’re nursing your baby, maybe it’s at night when the kids are asleep. Get creative & be intentional with your time. (But don’t stress! Keep writing a healthy outlet, not another thing on the to-do list.)
8. Be fearless. Don’t let fear prevent you from telling your story. Start small & work your way up. The most powerful posts are the ones where we allow ourselves to be transparent.
9. Leave room for grace. Not everyone thinks the same way as you. When you post, remember that readers have a variety of perspectives. Don’t fall into the trap of writing for affirmation. Write for an audience of one — a God who loves you more than you can fathom. Not everyone is going to think the same way, have the same parenting philosophy, the same religious views, the same perspective. Know that and remember that people are watching, they’re all going through their own experiences their own junk their own peaks and valleys — remember that when you’re posting. Reading your work from another’s eyes helps.
10. Share it! No one will know you’re writing if you don’t tell them. Let your circles know about your blog! Connect with other bloggers by commenting on their posts. Hosting a giveaway, promoting guest writers, or sharing about local businesses are ways to help get the word out.
Click here to download the printable image above. It’s a shorter, made-for-print version of yesterday’s and today’s posts about tips + truths for starting a blog. Print it out + keep it on your desk, or share with a friend who could use some encouragement. We all don’t have to be professional writers to know that our words matter. If you’re a blogger, what basic tip did I miss? Comment and let me know!