A little over one year ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend of mine discussing a tiny passion project I had been letting simmer in the back of my mind for almost two years. I had scarcely allowed myself to admit it out loud.
cue: That’s What Friends Are For a la the film Bridesmaids…
That afternoon helped me to find the courage to begin to ask for what I wanted, and I’m so grateful to this gal and that four-hour coffee date for helping me to find the words.
This little corner of the internet originally began as a piece of my professional website. It was a way to give casting an insight into my personality. When I really began to find my groove and write about things that I’ve experienced or was loving, I began to feel a strong pull pull; Needing it to be a separate entity as something that I could build into a community of people sharing with each other.
This past year has felt like one long-winded learning curve. Yet even when it’s felt frustrating and exhaustive, I’m still excited as ever each time I sit down in front of my keyboard.
Here’s a peek into what I’ve learned this year…
create a consistent, attainable posting schedule.
Creating a consistent schedule helps my blog to feel like a job. The regularity of posting on the same days each week helps to create an expectation for my audience as well as a routine for me. If you’re beginning a blog or a side-hustle that will require a schedule to stick to, take an honest look at your week and make sure that the amount of content you want to publish is attainable. Over-shooting these goals can result in feeling defeated, and this is supposed to be fun!
I think that it’s important to have a separate planning space solely for your blog. It helps keep everything separate and less overwhelming, visually. It also helps you to plan your productivity efficiently (ie. If I’ve planned to write about what’s in my audition bag, I’ll begin that post in December, because January is a busy month for actors.)
I use the iCalendar on my Mac ONLY to schedule content, that way I can see the month as one big picture and ensure variety for my audience.
Engage with your community.
My favorite way of engaging is through Instagram stories. Its convenient, and allows me to show up each day and speak directly to my audience. Instagram has really stepped up their game this past year which allows you to really use their app to your advantage. I love using Instastories to ask for feedback about future content!
My other favorite way of engaging with my audience is through comments and direct messages. I answer everything, even the ones that are only emojis.
Ask for help.
This is a hard one for me, personally, because I like to learn everything myself and rely on no one which, if you’re wondering, isn’t a reliable strategy when you’re trying to build something in a field you know nothing about. One of the best hurdles I have overcome this past year is having the courage to ask for help, whether it be through a direct message or using my google search bar to its fullest potential. It’s having the courtesy to ask the questions that you think might be stupid or common knowledge in this field and not being embarrassed or afraid.
Overcoming this in my writing and blog-development has projected into other areas of my life and it’s really paid off. This was a big win for me this past year.
Decide where you want to go.
This exercise is all Rachel Hollis, but it has completely shifted my mindset and helped me to be extremely specific about where I saw this little corner of the internet going. I looked ahead ten years, (nervously) wrote it all down - every detail - , and before I knew it, I had three full pages. It’s incredible what your mind will release when you let it go there.
Then, I asked.
We make so many goals and dreams, but do we ever fully visualize every single detail in hyper focus and know it backwards and forwards? Do we ever finish visualizing each moment and then actually ask for it? I hope that in sharing some of the things I’ve learned over the last year, it will give you the courage to put the dream you’ve been letting collect dust in the back of your mind to fruition. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Don’t be afraid to say it out loud. If it doesn’t make you nervous, it’s not big enough. You deserve more, and you should ask for it.
I’m grateful for a year with you, and excited for the years to come. This beautiful journey is only beginning.