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“Are you a blogger”?
“What do I need to do to get started?” asked a recent follower from Texas on Twitter.
While I may not have expected a Haitian diaspora to ask me these questions, in my mind I was elated.
It tells me that more of us are thinking about blogging even though we may not know how to begin.
My goal with this post and a series of others is to not only answer the questions for one person, but also for others who may have similar questions on what my process has been up to this point.
Also, my hope is that by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll get a sense of how you too can start your blogging journey.
I am by no means a guru, but I’ve been able to get the attention of some well-known influencers in the niche I’ve built on social media and in the blogging space.
So, to answer your first question, yes, I’m a blogger, and this is Part 1 in a series of posts that I plan to write over the next few weeks that I believe will be extremely helpful to you.
A common blogging mistake people often make is lacking direction and a topic they want to focus on before starting to blog. You need to identify your motivation for blogging and learn to set daily goals to make progress. Harry Che, founder of the popular GoalsOnTrack Blog, affirms that “success is a combination of effort, time, and the right action.”
For me, Haiti was and still is my motivation for blogging. Through writing, I want to find a way to change the country’s narrative from one that is fraught with disaster, political instability, and poverty to one where we emphasize hope, stability, innovation, business creation, and strong leadership.
And since I love social media, I believed that the most cost-effective way to turn my motivation into action was to start a blog.
Before you start blogging, here are four things you can do:
Be organized. This is a challenge for me too, but you need to get your life organized in a way that will help you remain consistent. It’s fine if you can’t be organized today, but a life schedule assessment on how you spend your time and what you need to give up in order to make the blog a success will be necessary. The hope is that once you can organize your life, you’ll then have the time and emotional capability to do the work long term.
Writing can be emotionally and intellectually exhausting, so it’s important that you create the right environment.
Be committed. Once you have organized your life, you can then determine how much time you can realistically commit to building your platform. In essence, that’s part of what blogging entails. Can you arrange your schedule to initially spend 20 minutes daily to work on your platform? Rick Warren reminds us that “the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people don’t feel like doing. They develop habits.”
Do not delay. Start small, but start where you are. If you are not familiar with how one can blog successfully, and you’re from an emerging community, you’ll probably think it’s out of reach. And for those of you whose English is your second or even third language like me, the resistance to writing can be very real. You do need the ability to think and to write, but like almost everything else, if you’re determined, you can grow in the skills to help you be effective.
Also, if you speak multiple languages, consider it is a plus, because once you’ve wrapped your head around the concept of blogging and you are producing content, you can reach multiple audiences. So, stop waiting to be the next Ernest Hemingway and Shakespeare to start writing. There are a number of successful bloggers who are creating a name for themselves and doing really well. These bloggers will be the first to tell you that they are far from those famed authors.
Learn from those who are successful, but chart your own course. With the Internet, learning is at almost everyone’s disposal, particularly if you live in a first-world country. If you can identify those whom are successful, and make it a point to learn from those individuals, you are likely to succeed.
Start with a mindset shift and see blogging as a way to grow.
You are going to need a shift in your mindset and a willingness to unlearn some of what you know or assume you know to become a new learner. A great book that has helped me in this area is Carol Dweck‘s work about mindset. I see how important it is to focus on changing my own fixed mindset in some areas to one of a growth mindset. It’s a good read if you have any doubts as to whether blogging can work for you.
In summary, here are three things I want you to think about and come to a decision on before we move on to part two. Spend the next few days thinking about how to organize your life and what you think you’ll need to prioritize in order to make a commitment to pursue blogging.
Next week, we’ll talk about a couple of practical steps you need to continue with your journey.
Over to you!
What about you? What else do you think could be a barrier to you starting? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.
About the author: Daniella Bien-Aime is the founder of the Bien-Aime Post, a digital platform that focuses on business, leadership, education, and social media, within the context of the Haitian diaspora and Haiti.
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