Here’s the thing every new blogger needs to know about the blogging world: It is so mercurial you’re going to feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants whether you’ve been blogging for 2 days or 10 years.

We want you to know that and to repeat that to yourself every day. When you truly understand that mercurial state and accept that you might not ever feel like America’s Next Top Blogger, you will be able to withstand other blogger pressure.

Look, we get it. We’ve been there. The three of us have been blogging for years and we have had close to 100 blogs between the three of us. We have had different topics, different niches, different focuses, different graphics, different layouts…you name it and we’ve probably tried to do it.

You want to become the next Melyssa Griffin but she will be the first to admit it – it took awhile to find what her passion is and to commit to it. In recent months, it seems that everyone has stepped back from lifestyle blogging and stepped into niche blogging where you are the absolute expert.

Here at Shield Sisters Initiative, we’re ready to tell you we are not the experts. We are so knowledgeable and full of experience, but we are constantly learning more about our markets and our niches and we want the same for you.

 

Stay Authentic To Your Mission

One of the bloggers we think has done it best is Helene Sula from Helene In Between. Yes, she has blogging courses and a membership site, but she has not for one second stopped blogging about what makes her heart happy. If you’re looking for information on the next great live music festival, she is your go-to girl! Helene also has a background in marketing beyond her blog, so adapting to courses and teaching is really not a big leap.

We aren’t saying it is a big leap for others, but if your passion and career have always been in animals, you’re just not going to feel happy posting business tips.

It’s not that you won’t be good at it, but it isn’t your zone of genius. That’s Megan’s fortay, by the way, she is a beast at helping you to find your zone of genius, which is where you want to be operating in.

Your zone of genius is the crossroads of your passion and expertise. Your zone of genius keeps you motivated, authentic and passionate. It’s what makes your work not feel like work. It’s what makes hours pass without realizing because you’ve been enjoying yourself SO much.

 

Survey Your Audience

When you do happen to feel that pressure and you can’t seem to shake it, survey your audience. Ask them to fill out a quick Typeform and let you know what they want to see from you.

For example, in January, I shared a survey asking what my audience wanted to see on Be a Warrior Queen in the future. I was surprised to see that people were interested in blogging advice from me. On the one hand, it made sense. I’ve been blogging for 15 years and have a journalism degree. I know what I’m doing…but Be a Warrior Queen is focused on self-love and not on growing a blog…

But then I realized that I could do a series on blogging that focuses on self-love and remaining authentic and true to yourself.

Thus this series was born and my audience has been eating it up.

Would I have ever thought to do this if I hadn’t surveyed them? Nope!

Would I have known that coaching was something people were interested in? Possibly, but probably not.

I would have gone on with my dream of self-love mentoring through magazine-style articles, without realizing my potential as a coach. Surveying my audience validated me when I was starting to feel the pressure to monetize because everyone else is. Sponsored posts? Not really my thing. Coaching? Totally my thing.

Have A Shield Sistermaintaining-yourself

This one should be a no-brainer. When you’re feeling pressured you should automatically turn to your Shield Sister and say to her, “Yo, I’m feeling like what I’m doing is not good enough / in my zone of genius / is over done / is not original / etc.”

You should probably step back, though because she’s going to throw water in your face and say “HELLO GIRLFRIEND! You’ve got this!” and then begin one of the most motivational conversations you’ve ever been a part of.

At least, that’s how it is when you talk to Megan, Allie or I. We like to keep that fire inside you ablaze, even when the coals are barely warm. 

Truly, though, if you’re struggling with finding your zone of genius, your Shield Sister is going to be able to help you find that path. If you’re struggling with originality or feeling like you’re not good enough, your Shield Sister is going to pull you out of that funk. (Seriously, read more about why you need a Shield Sister here.)

“I must confess that I don’t really care all that much about originality. The older I get, the less I care about it. In fact, sometimes I get annoyed by people’s efforts to be original, because it can feel forced and artificial. What I love, though, is authenticity. Because it’s RARE.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic, our September 2016 Book Club choice.

Know That Fads Will Come & Go

This is a big one that we all need to accept in allllllll areas of our lives. Fads are going to come and go. Being authentic and maintaining yourself is the ONLY thing that will stay with you forever because…YOU are YOU forever!

So if you love to rock skinny jeans but high-waisted pants are back in style…keep rocking your skinny jeans. There is absolutely NO need for you to jump on a bandwagon that is going to make you feel uncomfortable and take away more of your precious time than necessary.

If it doesn’t fill your cup, you don’t need it.

So if blogging about blogging is your thing, then do it. But if you’d rather blog about sci-fi then you go out there and do it, girlfriend!