Article by Wendy McCance
The first year I created my blog, I became obsessed with gathering every piece of information I could on how to manage a blog. You see, back then, when I started my blog, I had never read a blog, had no idea what made a blog any good or what the right and wrong protocol for having a blog was.
I can’t lie, I needed to read as much as possible just to get up to speed and understand what I was getting into. There were some great bits and pieces of information. I learned all about plugins and how to promote myself through social media. I learned who was well-known in the blogosphere and why. The information I read gave me a lot to think about. I was able to hone my own site into something that I felt comfortable with.
Just as suddenly as I built a blog, I stopped reading advice. Yep, I went cold-turkey and haven’t looked back. What made me stop so suddenly? Why did I stop peaking at what others were doing?
I realized that my creativity was being drained every time I read another person’s advice. I started second guessing myself and would inevitably begin emulating what others were doing. It wasn’t a conscious decision to mimic others, it was just that my own voice wasn’t strong enough yet. I hadn’t dug in deep enough and was still exploring my own creative process. Trying to do what others did was the easy way out. A surefire way to get somewhere quickly and successfully. The map had been laid out and the trail was lit up with possibilities (or so I thought). The only problem was I wasn’t being true to my own creative aspirations and faking the climb with other people’s suggestions didn’t bring me quick success. It actually hampered my own efforts.
You see, readers are smart. They can read the words and here the voice telling the story. They know what is genuine, heartfelt emotion and what is a lame attempt at spunky topics that are supposed to be traffic generators. The moment I dropped all of the so called helpful advice others were selling and decided my way was the only way for me, the comments multiplied, the content was shared more often and I gained many new followers.
The beauty of a blog is to show off yourself, your product, your view of the world, your personal thoughts. It is whatever you make of it. Stay honest in your posts and you will find a new level of success, if only by connecting with other like-minded individuals.
So, yes, I stopped looking for advice. I found too many holes in other theories anyway. The best thing I ever did for myself was to use my blog like a blank canvas. I painted with words and have been able to create some beautiful ideas. I’ve never looked back.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org