Is there such a thing as a “perfect” blog?
I suppose that depends on your definition of “perfect.”
When I started blogging, I worried about a lot of elements. Did it look good? Was it interesting? Was I going to be able to stick with it for longer than a few months?
But I never really worried about it being mistake-free, or as good as the “professional” blogs I was reading at the time.
Mine was just a place to put my thoughts and add my voice to the masses. Only with time and a willingness to grow and change did my platform become something other people thought was decent enough to come back to more than once.
I didn’t stop blogging when I realized mine “could be better.” I just kept writing until I got better at blogging.
I think blogs are the best — and bravest — ways to grow as writers.
They force us to be vulnerable. Without an editor, without some kind of barrier between our thoughts and that publish button, there is nothing standing in the way of our raw thoughts and emotions going out to hundreds if not thousands of people instantaneously.
They hold us accountable. If you say you’re going to post once per week for the first three months of your blog’s life, you’re much more likely to do that on a public platform than you would a private one. There may be one or two people expecting those weekly posts. Will you deliver on your promise?
Blogs also remind us that nothing starts out as a seemingly flawless end product. My first-ever blog post in January 2009 had no pictures. It was extremely informal, as if I were writing a very long Facebook message or text to a friend. I didn’t really know what I was doing, what my blog was supposed to be, who I was even blogging for.
I still don’t, sometimes, though my purpose and formula are much clearer than they were nearly a decade ago.
Every time I publish a new blog post, my blog as a whole improves. Not every post is better than the last. Some completely flop and I’m left wondering what went wrong.
But every time I post, I add another piece of content to my collection. I try something new. I put another attempt at helping someone out there. And I give myself another chance to do something — even the smallest detail — better than the last time.
A blog is a living work-in-progress, active and constantly in motion on the internet for all to witness. This may seem intimidating — in many ways, it’s another monthly, weekly, or even daily opportunity for complete strangers or familiar avatars to judge and criticize you.
But on the internet, that’s often how we learn to improve — either by not responding to uncalled for negativity or finding a lesson to be learned in every interaction, good or bad.
Your blog does not have to be perfect, and you certainly don’t. People will point out your typos, pull apart your arguments, and tell you how they think you should have done things “better.” That’s OK. Blogging is about growth. You simply can’t start out a new blog perfectly. You have to give it time to develop into a product you can be proud of.
Be patient. Stay consistent. And most importantly, have fun. I wouldn’t be planning my 10-year blogging anniversary “celebration” if I wasn’t having fun. Do this because it’s what you want to wake up in the morning and put time and energy into. That makes every step of the journey worth the effort.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.