On the 22th of April, 2012, I signed up for a WordPress.com account. The same day I wrote and published my first blog post.
I didn’t know how to write an article, what a headline was, or how to properly format a blog post. I didn’t know who my ideal reader was, I wasn’t sure of my niche or main topic, I didn’t have any social media accounts, and I didn’t have any money.
It took me a month to purchase my first domain name, and for a long time that was the only money I invested in my blog.
I didn’t know how to write an introduction, how to make my content engaging, or how to add value to my readers. In fact, I didn’t even know about many of the principles of blogging I learned along the way.
All I knew was that I needed an audience. And I just wanted to blog. And I knew that I would give up, no matter what.
And so I wrote. I published every single day, not because that was my strategy, but because I didn’t know what else to do.
It made sense. Just write whatever, as often as possible.
Punch the damn keys, as I often say.
And that’s what I did.
My blog got 500 views during its first month, and then that number slowly jumped to 1,000 views, and then it all kind of went crazy, and six months later I had over 20,000 followers, earning $100-$150 per day.
But that was nine years ago. Blogging was popular, and you could make a pretty penny, but the landscape wasn’t as saturated or competitive as it is nowadays.
All you had to do was be a bit better than the average blogger. That was it. We were having fun because there were no gatekeepers. We could write whatever, whenever, and publish it in any way we saw fit.
People often forget that the truly exceptional thing about blogging is that people read your stuff and they go, “Wow. That’s smart. I never thought of that.” And after a few seconds they go, “I bet I could do that…. Maybe I should.”
This was what made blogging so appealing. A lot of people read blogs armed with the vague hope of someday summoning up the courage to start their own little online space.
It looked easy, and maybe it was easy, because all you had to do was be 1% better than the worst bloggers. Just want it a bit more, just do a bit more. Write a bit better, spend a bit more time editing your articles, search for a nice picture. That was it.
I wrote about art, about the creative process. Then I wrote about life, love, motivation. I wrote about my depression, my anxiety attacks, and my heartbreaks. It didn’t seem to matter.
All I had to do was be a bit better than the average blogger… until I wasn’t.