The first year of blogging is the worst.
It doesn’t matter how tough you are; it will beat you to your knees over and over.
It hits hard. There’s no wonder why up to 80% of blogs are abandoned within the first month.
Imagine working so hard, writing a ton of content, leaving comments, trying to build your email list – doing everything you’re suppose to do and getting No Results.
During the first year, you’re nobody. You’re writing in obscurity. You’re finding your voice. You’re working on your craft. It’s not easy. But today I want to make it a bit easier with this Survival Guide.
The Hunger Games has a few hidden lessons behind all the violence. By the way: Spoiler Alert. If you haven’t watched the movie, I do talk about some details that might ruin your Hunger Games experience. Just thought you should know.
Differentiate or Die
Peeta Mellark: “Don’t go for the bow Katniss.”
At the beginning of the Hunger Games, Katniss is told not to go for the bow and arrow by two characters. The reason is because the other 20+ fighters will also be going for the weapons and it always ends up being a bloodbath.
The fighters who survive are the ones who know this and make a different move. The ones who survived ran for the woods. In your first year of blogging, I suggest you run for the woods, too; and avoid the bloodbath.
The blogger who sees what everyone else is doing and does something completely different is going to stand out. The blogger who knows that being unique is more important than conforming to the norm is going to be one step closer to surviving their first year.
Make an Impression – Fast
Katniss & Peeta had a mentor. His name was Haymitch. Before the Hunger Games all the fighters would be able to show off their talents to potential sponsors. These sponsors would then send them supplies during the games.
Haymitch Abernathy: “This is the time to show them everything. Make sure they remember you.”
Those who did not make an impression on the sponsors would be at a disadvantage. This is why Haymitch tells them both to show the sponsors everything…
…And I’m telling you now that in your first year of blogging, you can’t hold back. You need to show your readers everything you know.
All the content that you believe should be behind a paid subscription, should be given away for free. This free content will spread your ideas, brand, blog and business far and wide. And of course, you’ll be far less likely to quit if people start to know who you are.
Know Your Strengths
“You know how to hunt. Show them how good you are. There’ll be a bow, make sure you use it. Peeta, you make sure to show your strength.”
Haymitch also suggested they focused on showing off their strengths. This is what they were good at, and this is what made them memorable. Blogging is no different.
The content creation process is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. You’ll struggle with finding things to write about, looking for interesting angles for your content and using different content mediums.
I highly recommend doing what feels right, especially in your first year. If writing isn’t your thing, then start an audio podcast. If audio isn’t your thing, then start a YouTube channel.
Whatever you do, start somewhere and make sure you focus on your strengths. Writing is only one form of spreading ideas. Do what you do best and you’ll be well on your way to celebrating your blog’s 1st birthday.
Don’t Underestimate The Power of Friends
Cinna: “Did they explain about trying to get sponsors?”
Katniss Everdeen: “Yeah, but I’m not very good at making friends.”
Sponsors only gave to those fighters they liked. Katniss wasn’t great at being likable, but she knew she had to change that if she wanted to survive the Hunger Games. Although in blogging this isn’t a life or death situation, it is important.
I recommend linking out to other bloggers in your industry so that they can begin to notice you. The first year is very lonely. No one knows who you are until you make yourself known.
How exactly? – Reciprocity is key
Leave comments on other blogs. Email bloggers to say hi and introduce yourself. Retweet their articles. Include them in a round up post. All these things can get you on their radar. That’s how you start creating relationships. Give before you receive and you’ll do great.
What did you learn from The Hunger Games?
Did you see it? Did you like it? Are there any more hidden lessons? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.. and share this if you found it helpful.The Hunger Games Guide to Surviving Your First Year of Blogging by Hector Cuevas