I’ve been blogging for two years, and I just turned eighteen last year.
A great accomplishment? Yes!
Can you do it too? Yes!
Let me take you through my journey of being a teenage blogger.
1. You learn something new every day.
Every day is a learning curve, even if you are new to blogging, or if you have been around for a long time.
You learn what SEO is, how Alexa Ranks work, times preferred by bloggers to read other blogs, marketing strategies and the list goes on.
Remember this: You should not, and will not stagnate as a blogger.
Which leads me to the second point,
2. You have to be active regularly.
Be it researching for a post, writing it down coherently, reading blogs by other bloggers, commenting on posts or sharing them, you have got to be active in the blogosphere.
But where’s the time for all of this? Being a teenager + a blogger is indeed very hectic (very hectic indeed, says the drama queen in me)
3. You have to balance academics with blogging.
You can’t use one as an excuse for not doing well in the other.
Writing daily, for fifteen – thirty minutes is a must. It will make it easier for you to express your thoughts clearly at a moment’s notice.
However, you could decide to ‘post’ once a week (or any other frequency which you can manage), till you are able to manage academics and blogging well.
This is because posting a blog post doesn’t only involve hitting the publish button and watching the stats rise. It’s about sharing the content links on social media, replying to comments on the blog post, and many others aspects too.
Also, make the time to read books. Fiction is good, but do check out books on blogging and writing too. It’s a good investment to make, and will give you various perspectives about blogging.
Once you’ve got your blogging schedule figured out, move on to:
4. Participating in daily blogging challenges.
Daily challenges are a great way to mingle around the blogosphere and introduce yourself to many new bloggers. It gives you the confidence of being able to create content on a deadline.
If daily challenges are too hectic, try out weekly challenges based on prompts. You get to see bloggers share different views on the same prompt. The sheer brilliance of it will never cease to amaze you.
There’s one thing I’m forgetting, and I can’t get my finger on it.
Oh wait, here it is:
5. You may have to give up social activities for a while.
That’s so mean of me, I know.
But that’s the harsh reality.
Blogging forces you to make a lot of hard decisions: would you rather be chilling with your friends, or would you spend some time fixing the layout of you blog?
Would you attend that party where your crush would be grooving to the latest hits, or would you spend time deciding whether Helvetica or Times New Roman is a better font?
As a teenager, these decisions are difficult. Owning a blog sometimes feels like a curse, because no one seems to be around when you are available, and not many help you when you need a shoulder to cry on.
But that’s the very challenge that you, as a teenage blogger, must rise to. Knowing how to prioritise is an important skill for your career and future. Of course, the stakes are higher when you are employed. But the basic idea remains the same: sorting out your priorities and priority people is a must, before setting out on any venture.
A ray of sunshine: having a blog solves one major teen problem:
6. Your need for validation is solved.
We, as teenagers, want to be heard. We want to make a difference to the world we are in. We dream of being treated like adults. We wish to be fabulous.
And blogging offers exactly this, and more, in an exciting way.
If you want to make your mark in the world, blogging is the perfect choice for you.
You can either choose to write about a variety of topics or write only in a particular niche.
But, selecting the perfect idea from the multitude of ideas that flood the brain is difficult. Hence,
7. For heaven’s sake, write about topics that you feel strongly about.
A mere ‘liking’ for a niche is not equivalent to knowing everything about the niche.
To keep progressing as a blogger, select a niche in which you have theoretical knowledge, and preferably, practical knowledge too. Topics like baking, dancing, singing, reading have a wide audience, and hence you have to post innovative content.
There’s one very famous dilemma that even (mature) bloggers face a lot of times.
8. You will have to fight internal wars every day: should I post this, or should I not?
Two simple rules to help you out:
1. Will writing about this topic make a difference to someone’s life?
2. Will I be proud about this post ten months down the line?
And of course, this is one rule applicable to every blogger, young or old.
9. You have the same responsibilities that every other blogger has: produce quality content.
Never ever compromise on content, just to get a few follows or likes. Never use language that is derogatory, rude or offensive.
As a responsible blogger, you need to draw the line between funny and ‘making jokes at someone else’s expense’. You also need to choose when to ‘speak out about something’, and when not to ‘add fuel to an existing fire’.
It’s not rocket science, it’s just basic humanity.
Moreover, do your bit of CSR and
10. Be active in searching for teenagers who blog, and network with them.
There are many teenagers in the blogosphere, who provide mind blowing content.
Read posts by these bloggers, and find out how you can better yourself. Reach out to them, and let them know that you are a blogger too. Give them all the support you can, because all of us here need every bit of positivity and support we can get.
One disclaimer though,
11. Be careful about over-sharing.
Overload of personal information isn’t appreciated by readers. Be very careful about sharing personal information with the right people.
If you are a blogger below the age of 18, get your mom or dad to proofread the post. Tell them about your plans for your blog. They may or may not know any specifics about blogging or your niche, but surely they will be proud about your openness. I assure you, they will support you in every way they can.
And last, but obviously never the least,
12. You will need a lot of support from fellow bloggers, specially when the times get tough.
For this reason, join blogger support groups. They mostly are on Facebook, though some are active on Twitter and WhatsApp too. Find out the procedure to apply / be selected, and be assured that it will be the best decision of your life.
I can go on and on and on, and share with you each and every tiny scrap of information I have learned in these two years of blogging. But, I’ll stop here, and summarise this entire post for you in the form of an Infographic.
Give me a shout out if you are planning to join the blogosphere / already own a blog / need some tips. It would indeed be an honour to be blog buddies with you, fellow teenager!
About the blogger
Mithila Menezes a.k.a. fabulus1710 is an eighteen year old blogger and an undergraduate student from Mumbai. She loves words, the magic of their origin, and the spell they cast on devout readers. If you see someone wearing blue shoes, sipping on cool Iced Tea and cracking lame jokes, it’s probably her.
Go check out her blog Broken Blue Bubbles , her Twitter handle @fabulus1710 , her Instagram page @fabulus1710 and her Facebook page.
Mithila also won Blogstar of the Week and her winning post is here.