As a blogger, I belong to MANY Facebook groups about blogging (seriously, probably way too many, anyone have a system for decluttering Facebook groups?!)
One thing I often see in these groups is bloggers who want to have the perfect site: perfect name, perfect tagline, perfect site design, perfect everything.
That's not good, y'all.
As my friend Lindsey Hazel from Hazel Haven often says, "Done is better than perfect."
Today we are going to delve deeper on why you shouldn't let perfectionism stop you from blogging.
Check out this audio companion to the post or download it for later!
You Are Going To Change & Evolve
If you can take one thing from today, let it be this, you are going to change SO much from when you first start your blog.
If I were the same person as when I first started I would:
- Still be blogging on Tumblr (yes, Tumblr, of all places.)
- Have horrible spelling and grammar (I don't have perfect spelling/grammar, but it has improved since I started blogging.)
- Not have met so many badass friends on the internet
- Still only have one blog, and so Amanda Cross Blog wouldn't be here
You are not meant to be stagnant. Your voice will change, your blog will change, everything will change. You shouldn't expect yourself to have it all figured out as soon as you start blogging. That wouldn't be smart, and it stifles your growth, but more importantly, it stifles your start.
It would be nice if you have everything you need when you first get started, but that won't be possible.
Here are three things you don't truly need to worry about, even if you think you should.
1. Your Name
Your jaw is probably on the floor right now.
I don't need to have a perfect name before I start adding content to my website? What about my content? What about my domain name? What about everything?
Here's the thing, names can be changed. It's a pain in the rear, but it can happen.
Take this blog, for example. I started writing content about blogging on my other blog The Happy Arkansan. I didn't have a ton of content, but I had enough to where the move was semi-painful. I spent one weekend creating 301 redirects for all the content that once was on The Happy Arkansan's domain, and moved it all over here.
Not only that, take my other blog The Happy Arkansan. I have had so many different names and URLs for that blog. I was able to successfully morph and change over time, and now my blog is as healthy as it has ever been.
So, for a more famous example of this: take Melyssa Griffin's blog. When I first started following Melyssa, her blog was known as The Nectar Collective. Since then, she has changed her branding to just her name, and it has yet to slow down her business. She is still doing amazing things, impacting the lives of her students and people around the world, traveling, and doing so much of what she loves to do.
It would have been easier at the time of her transition to keep The Nectar Collective. It's hard to move your content or pay someone to do it for you. There is also the fear that many people won't continue their journey with you after you change your blog name.
Alas, if you give in to fear, you are likely not to go far. Melyssa Griffin's blog is also just as healthy, even with a transition, URL change, blog name change, and so much more. Her blog has continued to evolve and grow with her.
2. Your Website
Just slap a website up.
I am dead serious right now.
I use Squarespace, but you can also do something similar on a Wordpress site. There are SO many cute and cheap themes that you can use on Wordpress.
For Squarespace, I am a huge fan of: Five, Montauk, Om, and Hayden (what I am currently using for this blog right now.)
What you should not be doing is spending too much time agonizing over every aspect of your blog design. More than likely, the design you have right now will change drastically. As you begin blogging, learning about what your readers need and are attracted to, etc. you will change much of your blog design.
So, find a cute design on a place like Etsy or Creative Market and get to work from there. Don't agonize, just get something simple.
Here Are Some Simple Elements Of Great Design:
- White Space: White space is great in any design you create. As you can see on my blog, it's filled with white space. It's bright and easy to see all sorts of text on as long as the text colors aren't too light. White space also allows your designs to look less cramped and gives your site space to breathe.
- Easy To Understand Font: Your font choice should be easy to read and understand. I would use just a serif or sans-serif font. If you choose a script font, I would only use them for headers. Your main text should always be a serif or sans-serif font. Also, make sure that your font is large enough to read (no tiny fonts here!)
- Colors That Work: Colors mean something, but also certain colors look better together. Be aware of color psychology when you are creating your designs so that you can do them justice.
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3. Your Writing/Writing Style
Another reason that many bloggers don't start blogging or they don't hit publish on their first post is that they aren't proud of their writing/writing style.
It's time to get serious, y'all.
The more you write, the better at writing you will become.
When I look back at some of my earlier blogs I seriously cringe. I often wonder how I even got this entire thing off the ground, if I am honest. If I would have let that stop me back in 2011, I would not be where I am today.
Your writing is always getting better. I have become such a better storyteller in the last few months since evaluating and reading content from other great storytellers.
Writing is a muscle.
The more you flex your writing muscle through writing, journaling, blogging, etc. the better you will become. You should strive to write at least a bit of content every day, and you will soon notice a difference.
Besides writing, you can also learn from great writers. Read books, magazines, blogs, and anything you can get your hands on. Even a well-crafted email can teach you something about writing!
So, don't be afraid of how people will receive your writing.
Here Are Some Tips On Better Writing:
- Use Grammarly: I am pretty sure I plug this site WAY too much, but using Grammarly is crucial. They have been so helpful for me as a content creator and you begin to use the lessons learned while using Grammarly in other areas of your life.
- Vary Up Paragraph Lengths: As you can see in this article, I vary it up. I use short sentences, longer paragraphs, bulleted lists, etc. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE GIANT WALLS OF TEXT. Giant walls of text scare off your readers. Instead, use shorter paragraphs, headers, and pictures to break up your thoughts.
- Create Outlines: If you are worried that you will ramble, create an outline for each of your articles. Your outlines can be as long or as short as you would like, as long as they are helpful for you as you write. My outlines are usually very loose. I create outlines for many of my blog posts, especially when I am creating long lists.
I would like you to take action.
Circumstances will never be perfectly aligned for you to start a blog. You will never feel fully prepared to start. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith, then follow that leap up with action and constant growth.
Don't wait for the perfect moment, create it.
I am confident that you can create a blog that will rock this world, but you can't do that if you refuse to take the first step.
I am ALL about education. I have a Master's degree for crying out loud. I understand that education and studying everything is crucial, but you have time for that all your life. Some things are just best learned by doing them. So, while you are learning how to create a great blog, implement as you go.