I want to welcome my friend Samantha to the Lesson Learned series. Sam blogs at Heaven on Earth. She’s a newbie to blogging, having only started her blog 5 months ago. She has learned so much in a short time and is here to share with you one of the main lessons God has been teaching her. I’m positive it will speak to wherever you are in your blogging journey right now. Welcome, Sam!
Let me share something about myself … I’m a huge perfectionist. This can be a blessing at times, like when you’re working on small, detailed tasks. But when it’s something large scale you’re working on, such as a blog, it’s not always the best quality to have.
Before launching Heaven on Earth, I spent hours marvelling over blogs and dreaming about the day when I would start my own. Having a blog seemed like such a fun outlet; the perfect combination of creativity and inspiration. And don’t get me wrong, blogging is incredibly fun, but it’s also a lot of work. It’s only since I started my own blog that I’ve realised just how much work is involved. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that no one even realises.
So when I first discovered this, the perfectionist inside of me kicked in. I was left paralysed. I was so overwhelmed by all I had to do, that I felt defeated before I’d even begun. I wanted to do everything perfectly, and do it right away. But this just wasn’t realistic. I didn’t even have any idea of where to start, let alone conquer the mountain of tasks that piled before me.
Then God spoke to my heart.
He showed me that it was far more important to seek progress than perfection. That continual reliance on Him, and consistent, slow work, was far more effective than working tirelessly for the unattainable quest of perfection. That instead of giving up if everything wasn’t ‘perfect’, I needed to be obedient by giving my best, but working in the strength that He provides. And most of all, that the motive behind having a successful blog should be all about the glory of God, instead of mine.
So this is what I did …
1. Setting up my blog
I decided to throw out the high expectations I had for myself, and set smaller, achievable goals to work towards. Instead of spreading myself thin, trying to get every area tackled, I would prioritise one area and work on that. I would only tackle a new area once the previous one was up and running. Each new area of the blog would then build on top of the other, creating a strong foundation.
These are the areas I focused on:
- I had no idea where to start! So I went to a successful blog I loved and saw what I could learn from it. I went to Just A Girl and Her Blog. Fortunately, Abby was offering a free email course, “7 days to Start a Blog,” so I signed up and got started right away. The e-course gave me a great starting point as I learnt all the basics … all about hosting, domain names, and platforms. It helped me decide that I wanted to have a wordpress.org blog instead of a wordpress.com blog. I wanted to have greater freedom in the customisation and functions of my blog (If you’re totally confused like I was, you can learn about it in Abby’s course!)
- As I was going through this stage I had lots of questions. I searched Pinterest for the answers I needed. I found lots of posts to help me and other free blogging courses that I could join if I wanted to.
- I bought my blog domain name, found a hosting service, set up a Facebook page for my blog and a Pinterest account too.
2. Blog Design:
- I purchased a theme for my blog that I love. It was important to me to find a theme with great support for when I had questions. I also learned how to customize my blog myself so I didn’t have to hire anyone to help me.
3. Creating Consistent Content:
I then focused on writing blog posts regularly, twice a week. I wanted to make sure my readers could count on me to provide them with regular posts and inspiration.
I found that I was writing great content but not many people were visiting my site to read it. I realised that they simply didn’t know about my blog! So I had to get promoting it … I chose Pinterest to do this.
- So I researched lots and also purchased a Pinterest course. There are lots of good ones out there. Do your research and find one that you feel comfortable with.
- And this is where I’m at today … working through the course and putting my effort into mastering Pinterest so more people can get to know about Heaven on Earth.
Even though this is where I’m up to right now, there are so many more areas I want to tackle.
There’s a lot more to blogging than just writing, isn’t there?
If you are interested in becoming a blogger, I highly suggest taking the approach I did in order to build your own blog. Focus on one area at a time, and if you become stuck, learn off others who are further along in the blogging journey than you. Remember to be kind to yourself and maintain balance in your life so you don’t burn out and give up altogether. The world needs your voice and what you have to offer.
Remember, Progress over Perfection.
Sam is an Australian blogging at Heaven on Earth, a place where you’ll fall deeper in love – with God, life & all things beautiful. She is a lover of fresh flowers, scented candles, dancing & anything pink! Connect with her on her blog, Facebook or Pinterest.