With every passing year, the industry of digital content creation just continues to grow - it's a beautiful thing! While it's easy to look on from a distance and wonder if it's a good time to start creating content online, I'm here to tell you that the time is now! Especially when it comes to starting your own blog.
Today, let's continue our chat about blogging, which encompasses a large part of this industry. What exactly is a blog? A blog is an online space that's totally yours to create, write, design and control, and the best part is that you completely own it to yourself. Blogging has no limitations, and there is so much opportunity for you to share your thoughts, ideas and opinions.
Sounds pretty good right? So what's stopping you or holding you back from starting your own blog? I know through so many conversations, as well as my own insecurities before launching La Petite Noob, that there are a lot of myths about blogging out there.
1. You’re too old to start
It can be easy to think that blogging and social media are only for the young, but I believe there is an audience for everyone out there. Age can never be a hurdle to you for anything you want to do, as long as you are determined to dive into it. Through blogging, you have the potential to reach countless people around the world, and the chances of your content resonating with someone is very high - no matter what the age!
Try to imagine who you want to speak to when you start your blog. Or even better, who you tend to follow and connect with online. For me, it's typically those that are my age and in the same stage of life - definitely not the young ones! I imagine my target audience, who they are and what stage of life they're in, and try to speak to them in the most relatable way.
You might be in your 30s, 40s, or 50s+, and it's still the right time to start. You can talk about the topics you can and want to talk about, without concerning about what you should talk about to get the audience's interest. Eventually you will find your own audience if you keep moving forward in your journey. There is a countless number of people who have similar interests as you do and would want to read about topics that interest you. Remember that.
Something else to consider - starting a blog, or social media account when you feel as though you're older than the average user actually comes with a huge advantage : you have less saturation of people trying to speak to your target audience!
There is no age that is too old to be on social media whatsoever. There is no such thing as too old to start. Considering the fact that a teenager would not understand the thoughts of someone in their 40s or 50s, the only time your age can be a problem for you if you try to go after the wrong audience. So, you should speak, connect and embrace the audience who would be going through similar stages of life as you, would want similar things as you, and is all ears to know your experiences.
2. You need to live in a big city in order to be successful
Considering the fact that a vast majority of people who are a huge face online live in big metropolitan cities, like New York, or LA. You might feel pretty demotivated to start blogging if you don't live in such big cities. The city you live in is not a roadblock for your success. I can tell from my personal experience that this myth is really something that holds people back from starting their blogging career. When I first started out, I actually didn't live in Toronto, I lived in the suburbs. I remember I used to think if I just lived in a big city, it would be so much easier and everything would start going well. Looking back, it wasn't moving to Toronto that made my blog more successful. It was embracing the city I was in, being transparent with my audience and sharing places that I loved that really caused La Petite Noob to originally take off!
Everyone of you has a unique experience, unique perspective towards things, and unique visions. So instead of being stuck back by saying you need to live in big cities in order to be successful, you should embrace your current situation! People just want to feel a connection though your content, and that happens when you're honest and forthcoming about your situation. You may find connections with readers in your own small town or suburb, or with people who live in a similar situation around the world.
As it seems like the entire world has moved online in the past year, it should be enough proof to you that you can connect with people, and make a name for yourself online, without concerning yourself with the myth that you need to live in big cities to be successful.
3. You need to have a large following to be paid
We all know that there is money to be made in social media and in blogging, but there's a myth out there that you need a large following or readership to get a slice of the pie. Needing a large audience to make money off of your content is a myth. I can tell from my experience that social media and blogging is not just about the numbers but more about building an engaging community in this industry. This is 100% a relationship business, both in that with your audience and with brands. As long as you have an engaging following, and take the time to truly connect with your audience, your follower number will not be as big of a barrier to you as you may think.
The best way to build and focus on relationships is to first understand your audience; what age group do they belong to, what kind of content do they like from you more, where most of them live, etc. Get to know your audience as much as possible, and that information is incredibly valuable to perspective brands and advertisers. You can then showcase the statistics of your following and your engagements as to why you should be paid even with a small following.
Online content creation is truly an industry of relationships, so focus more on fostering those relationships than with your follower or readership count. Not only will this make you more valuable to potential brand deals, but also just make the journey of blogging so much sweeter.
4. You can cheat your way to the top
I am sure it would not be any surprise to you if I tell you that you can buy followers and inflate your numbers artificially. There are several ways out there through which you can simply buy more followers, engagements, and even likes and comments. It's like artificially fluffing up your stats to make it look like you have more followers than you actually do. It can be really tempting for you at the beginning of your journey to make it big quickly using these methods. But you have to understand, buying anything to create artificial engagement or growth is not sustainable in the long run.
For experienced eyes, it is pretty easy to tell which blogger has an actual following and which ones are just buying the followers and engagements. That means both your audience, fellow bloggers and brands have been trained to spot bought engagement and likes. Companies nowadays use several ways to filter out those who are purchasing followers and reach, with both experience and also software. Yes, there's actually software now that can detect this stuff!
With the industry being more established now, and with technology readily available to spot fakes, is a huge myth that you can buy your way to the top. It might be true for the short term, but it surely is disadvantageous for those who are in the game for the long run.
5. It is too late to start
Repeat after me: the time to start your blog is now!
There is no bad time to start your blogging journey. If you're wanting to start a blog today (or an Instagram account, Youtube channel, etc,) chances are that you'll also want to start in a year from now. I also should mention that I had these same sentiments about whether it was too late to start a blog for years before starting La Petite Noob - in 2013! I'm so glad that I didn't let that nagging feeling get in the way of living my dreams!
So why not start now! Today is better than tomorrow. What I've learned in life is that it's best to stop waiting for the perfect time, and to jump in and learn as you go. The industry has changed so much in the last decade, and will continue to shift and change as we move forward. No time like today to just start, get your footing and change and grow along with it.
Moral of the story is if you stay stuck in what-ifs, then you will never get to know what could have been. What do you guys think? What other myths have you come across about blogging? Let me know!