Two weeks ago, Shanae asked me a few questions on how I got started with blogging, but she also lead me to the need to discuss what I believe makes a blogger extraordinary. Every once in awhile I get asked this question. Every once in awhile I ask myself the same damn question. I think it’s fair to say it’s all pretty much objective, but I think I have my formula somewhat figured out. Here are three things I blog by:
Being Unapologetically You Always Wins
Now though this is a must for every day life, I feel it’s important to emphasize this here within my personal “rulebook”. It’s extremely easy to get caught up in the hype of being a “big blogger”. It’s easy to lose oneself to the likes, the retweets, and the views. It’s even easier to choose a topic that is “hot right now” in order to appease your google analytics statistics, but then what’s left to separate you from the masses?
One thing I learned extremely fast was to own the way I wrote and what I wrote about. When trying to write about topics I didn’t necessarily care about, it took a larger amount of effort that still didn’t produce a body of work I was proud of. When I tried to revert to writing how others wanted me to, I cringed the entire time, creating forehead wrinkles I honestly do not need to deal with right now. I’m turning 26 in 3 weeks for God’s sake.
What works for me, is being me. I’m Yetti, who writes about her everyday life in a way that allows me to share and learn from my experiences. I’m not as verbose as most, I don’t need write extra long posts, I like my posts to get straight to the point. I don’t need to cry through my words to move my audience and sarcasm and curse words are my choice of decorations to drive a point home. I win.
It’s Okay To Be Vulnerable
I wrote one of the saddest posts of my life two years ago. I had just moved to New York, I was scared, I was lonely, and I was heartbroken. I think it was the first time I had shared that “Perfect Yetti” wasn’t so perfect. And at 4:00AM I hit the publish button, and woke up to many, “Yetti, I feel like this too,” comments from friends and strangers. Readers respect real. Readers respect honesty. Readers enjoy relatable content and sometimes the only way to create such content is to dig deep down into the depths of your emotions. It’s the reason why I am now able to discuss topics such as suicide, sexual assault, and self-worth.
Build + Connect
For the first year of blogging post college, only two people read my blog: my then boyfriend and my ex-coworker, Shannon. One because well… he was my boyfriend, and the other because we were both using our blogs to track our crash diets for our 2011 trip to Miami. Eventually other fitbloggers found my posts and then one day I gained the courage to share a post on my Twitter. A year later I had built a following of friends, family, and readers from God knows where. I began to feature people, interact with readers and actually met my first blogger boo now turned real life friend (Hi Akudo!). But that’s not where it ends.
It’s more than just making acquaintances and sending a few tweets. It’s about learning from the authors of your favorite blogs. It’s about understanding and getting to know your readers. And it’s certainly about building your brand. Asking for feedback doesn’t make you weak and it’s not taboo to tell another blogger you admire that their work makes your toes curl. Building connections is what helps YOU do better. We’re all in it together, you can not and will not get there on your own. Get to know your peers and your following.
A Few Tidbits
A few other things I try to stick to are:
- Being consistent with posts. I aim to post at least 3 to 4 times a week.
- Not being a slave to my numbers (google analytics / followers / likes / etc )
- Not being afraid to push boundaries or step out the box.