blogging challenges

Happy Monday my party people!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We laid low and it was exactly what this mama needed.

Since last week, I’ve started writing based off of writing prompts from See Jane Write. If you missed my last post, “Why do I blog?” you can read it here.

I thought that post would be a good segue into my next topic. I’m straying a tad off course from the prompts and sort of creating my own. In this post I’m going to be real about the challenges I’ve faced as a new blogger. 

Its Always Sunny In Phoenix blasted off into the blogosphere in March of last year. It’s been a fun ride! Something I’m kicking myself for is for not saving screen grabs of my original site, so I can see how far I’ve come. It would give me a good chuckle too.

I didn’t even understand the basic anatomy of a WordPress site, let alone how to build one. Somehow, I’ve started to figure it out. I’ve even been happy to share the knowledge with others who find themselves where Audria was in March of 2017. I’m not an expert by any means, but I have a soft spot for folks searching in the dark like I was.

I still continue to struggle with little things here and there, my biggest one being my ego, ha! I’ll go ahead and get right into my struggles for all of the world to see.

Lack of knowledge.

I touched on this briefly above. Starting a website is probably one of the most overwhelming yet rewarding things I have done. There’s so many elements to it. You basically have to come to terms with the fact that you know nothing and you’re about to put that on display for an endless audience.

Gulp.

Very early on, I had to get over myself in that regard. I figured, if others were doing it, I could too.

The good news is, we live in a digital age and there are infinite resources. Of course the challenge there, is weeding out information that isn’t relevant to you at the time. Or determining if it’s information you need to hold onto, because even though you may not understand why it’s valuable at the time, it could come in handy later.

When I started watching how to videos, listening to blogcasts (Blogging Podcasts), reading posts about building my site, etc., there were so many terms that I didn’t even understand let alone know how to leverage. I’m happy to report I’m making progress in that area. Once you understand how a site works on the backend and how there’s basically a plugin for any function you want to add to your site, it’s a little less intimidating.

I still have so much to learn, but I’m finally at a comfortable pace in acquiring my knowledge. If I have a question, I google it. If there’s a function I want to add to my site, I google it. I’m fortunate to have some experts in my group at work too so I bug them about it as well.

Understanding that I can’t be everything all at once.

Being a solo blogger, or website owner means wearing a lot of hats.

This was really valuable advice I received early on. As a blogger, you’re the CEO, you’re the manager, you’re the creative director, you’re the writer, you’re the designer, and you’re the PR pro. So it’s no wonder I was feeling overwhelmed.

When I understood this concept, I was able to compartmentalize a little better. I took myself through a lot of exercises about visions for my brand and what it’s personality would be. I could be better at planning ahead and being more structured in a lot of areas, but I’m also trying not to be judgmental about the process. Baby steps.

A lot of ideas, too little time.

I’ve always been told that I should be in marketing, or that I’m creative. I’m going to toot my own horn here and totally agree with those sentiments.

I’m working on owning the creative thing more, and I recently moved into the marketing realm at work, so it’s safe to say I’m living my truth a little more.

I have many notes jotted down, typed into my notepad, scribbled onto post its, and drafts of posts that I look at all the time. I could make this my full time job, no problem at all. But here’s a little inside secret…. I’m not making any money off of this. This is completely still just a passion project.

So I have to stay grounded with “real life.” Not to mention, I have a family that needs me.

A lot of times, when the moment and energy passes, I have to tie my idea to a metaphorical balloon and send it off into space, secretly hoping the moment comes back to me.

Once again, my mantra throughout this process is to not be judgmental. Once I figure out how to clone myself and add 12 more hours to a day, I think I’ll be content with my time management. 🙂

Not capturing content in real time.

Look around all of your favorite successful bloggers with great followings. They seem to have it all figured out. How the heck do they have perfectly curated photos of them cooking food, or playing with their kid, or walking out of a coffee shop, or crossing the street in their perfect outfits with the wind blowing perfectly through their flowing locks?

Well, those people are either really successful at making money through their business or don’t mind pissing money into the wind by paying a photographer to follow them around.

THAT’S NOT REAL LIFE.

I do try to capture my real life but I already feel like I’m glued to my phone too much to begin with. My DSLR is not a convenient size to just grab and go (which is why I’ve been really considering just a good ol’ fashioned point + shoot digital camera lately). Not to mention, have you tried taking pictures with an energetic toddler around? If not, you should…it’s a lot of fun.

Plus, no matter how hard I try, Tom will not be my Instagram husband. I’ve tried, and tried again but it’s just an awkward situation. I still love him though. HAHA!

There’s so many things that happen on a daily basis that I have a vision for turning into content, but just don’t have the means to bring them to life. For example, we have a beautiful garden in our backyard that I harvest food from and create delicious dishes with. I have really found a passion for creating meals out of existing ingredients we already have on hand and I’ll think “dang, I should share something about this.” I just don’t have the capacity to do that.

My audience responds better to personal posts than brand posts.

I try to be as authentic as possible with my writing, and I believe I’m doing pretty well with that. I’m facing a few challenges in this realm though.

I started this blog with the intent of sharing Phoenix based brands with my readers, and I still intend on doing that. However, my highest viewed posts are my personal ones. In fact, some of the metrics behind my posts about brands are really low and get no engagement. This is completely deflating for my soul, to be honest.

I believe in living my truth, and I acknowledge the folly of being a human being. I have some stories that I could share that would sky rocket engagement from my audience. I just don’t want to have to exploit myself or my family and friends for the sake of driving traffic. Maybe someday I’ll realllllllly open up through my writing, but I have to really consider the consequences of that.

So, in the meantime, I’m inching along and setting boundaries. If you know me personally, you’ll know that I am an open book with the people I’m comfortable with and trust. Truthfully, I have no problem extending that concept to this safe space I’ve created, but I don’t want to jeopardize my future in any way. Ah, society…..

So, there you have it. Some of my challenges as a new blogger.

One thing I have been really proud of is how good I’ve been at not judging the process and measuring growth as it’s relevant to me. I do absorb content and enjoy reading others stories, but I don’t compare myself. I try to really honor their journey and where they’re at and how far they’ve come since they began.

I recognize that my perspective and story is unique, and that this is all really just getting started.

What are some challenges that you face in the creative world? I would love to chat with you about them, if you want to share. 

Have a great day everyone!

Sending Sunshine,

Audria

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