Free Things That Bloggers Need
I'm sure you are super busy, so I'm not going to drag you down with a long intro.
I do want to start off by saying that if you are building a blog, there are a few things you will want to make sure you have.
I'm sure you've read scores of posts about tools that bloggers need.
Subscriptions, webinars, books, services...all vying for room in your blog budget.
And while they may not save time or boost you to stardom overnight, they will help you overcome most of the obstacles you will face on a much deeper level...
1. Bloggers Need...Optimism
Let's start with a tough one. You need optimism, because that is what will keep you going.
You don't just need to feel it yourself, optimism needs to shine through your posts. If you are perpetually negative, readers may doubt that you can help them in any way.
2. Bloggers Need...A Thick Skin
Somewhere along the way you will get your feelings hurt. And it sucks. A lot.
You don't have to really be impervious. You do have to know when to ignore, when to respond, or when to delete.
Don't give up on the nice people just because of a few baddies.
3. Bloggers Need...Good Manners
Some will disagree with this. It has certainly become a "style" to be harsh, critical, blunt or just plain rude.
Just remember, like attracts like, and if that is the way you speak to others, then those may be the only other people who speak to you as well.
Good manners are open for interpretation, so just think about who you want to visit your blog. The more readers you don't scare away, the more chance you have of earning that income.
Just saying here for the record, that if I visit your blog and you come across as snotty or if you use insults as a form of humor then I'm certainly not going to buy your products or follow your affiliate links.
4. Bloggers Need...Reason
This is different than purpose. Purpose is what your blog is for, or what it provides to others.
Reason is what it does for you.
Are you blogging for money, recognition, sympathy, influence?
It doesn't matter. Your reason is personal and doesn't have to be shouted out. But you do have to know what it is, and focus on that when times are slow and the work hours seem long and painfully unfulfilling.
5. Bloggers Need...Hunger
Ever notice how some of the biggest, grittiest, most helpful blogs out there started out in a time of desperation?
Having a hunger, a driving need, is what drags you back to the keyboard day after day. If "reason" is why you are doing it, then the "hunger" is for the end product.
6. Bloggers Need...Flexibility
Sometimes, sh** doesn't work.
Your coding, your photo sizing, your last post, your recent launch, the advice you took...
Blogging is just one long circus of trying stuff and crossing your fingers. You have to be flexible enough to deviate even from the most logical plan (that works for everyone else) at a moment's notice.
We all like to think that we can plan out an entire year down to the microsecond, get everything "done" in January, and set the whole shebang to autopilot. In reality, you spend a lot of time fixing problems and thinking up new solutions fast.
Courage plays a pretty big part in blogging. It may mean more for you than for other people.
Bloggers display bravery everyday:
- They share details of their lives in order to help others.
- They share opinions that might be unpopular.
- They have to approach strangers daily
- They invest money in their business (even when they are afraid to)
- They deal with clients that might or might not pay them for work.
In a way, blogging is like that dream where you go to school naked. Except it isn't a dream, and you do it on purpose.
And while you are letting it hang out, you have to impress everyone enough to be taken seriously.
8. Bloggers Need...Stubbornness
A couple of years ago I was sitting outside on a calm, semi-autumn day. I noticed movement in the grass and saw a tiny black ant carrying a dead spider.
It was hard enough to get this massive prize through the grass, but eventually the ant came to the edge of the flower bed, where the incline and a board acted as an obstacle.
Over and over, the ant tried to get the spider over the "wall". Again and again he or the spider slid down. He could have gone around, but instead he stubbornly worked until he managed to get the spider over the hill, where he was only a few inches from home.
It probably took two hours, which is something like two years in ant hours, I would imagine. I have a lot of respect for that ant; he had something to deliver, and he knew that the shortest path was the hardest. But he didn't give up.
And neither should you. And yes, at times, blogging will feel like you are trying over and over to climb a mountain, just to reach people on the other side. The mountain probably has thorns, snakes, quicksand, landmines, bottomless pits, and detours.
But hey, if an ant can do it, so can you.
9. Bloggers Need...Support
Preferably, from friends and family. If not, then strangers will work. In the beginning when things are shaky and you have very little to show for your work except some statistics, you need a person or two who believes you can do it.
Or even a person who just says they believe in you, even if they are secretly skeptical.
It's easy to give up if the only person involved is you. Its much harder if you don't want to disappoint people who have made sacrifices or given you encouragement to help you along the way.
10. Bloggers Need...Gumption
shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness.
"she had the gumption to put her foot down and head Dan off from those crazy schemes"
iniative, enterprise, ingenuity...
You will need that stuff by the case.