5 Essentials that I've Learned from Blogging.
Happy One Year Anniversary, friends!!!
What a joyous occasion it is to know that we are celebrating our fabulous wellness community known as Xi's Essentials. As a tribute to commemorate this intentional journey of growth, I will detail below what I've learned from blogging. I plan to share my honest feedback regarding my thoughts towards blogging as well as the future of XE.
How it started.
Since the beginning, I was often asked the question, 'What initiated the idea to start a blog?' Well the answer was simple: I believed that I had a testimony to share. If you recall my very first blog post, First of All, I'm Not Supposed to Be Here..., I shared my personal journey of going through something known as post-grad depression—a type of depression that occurs in recent graduates whom struggle with the pressures of trying to figure out their next step, whether continuing with school or finding a job. Indeed, I was in a place of confusion and despair as I had no clue as to what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. But through constant prayer, my strong support system, and of course my self-care methods such as journaling, I pushed through those hard times as I was able to figure out my next move. It was important to me to share my testimony which led me to writing my first blog post. As my release day drew closer and closer, I became a nervous wreck! But God told me to move, so I did. And to my amazement, the ending results was everything that I needed plus more. I was astounded by the outpour of love that I had received and the gratitude that was shared with me. It didn't occur to me that others were going through a similar situation such as mine. I also didn't realize that I was establishing a platform for people to share their testimonies as well.
And from there, Xi's Essentials took off. As my audience began to grow, I started to examine what type of content that I wanted to continue to share. What did I want the tone of my blog to be? How did I want to reach others? To be honest, I didn't really have a clue as to what my future blog posts would entail. So I sat myself down and began to process the intentions that I wanted to set for my blog. One of my main goals or intentions with XE was to start needed conversations that related to adulthood, in terms of mental health; the importance of healing; generating constant self-love and self-care practices; and most importantly, having a spiritual relationship with God. More so, I just wanted to encourage everyone to live a better, healthier lifestyle.
Do's and don'ts.
Now that a year has passed, I can reflect on the things that I have learned thus far. I've actually learned a ton about myself throughout this process and it has been a very enlightening experience. So if you're curious as to what it takes to run a blog, please feel free to keep reading down below.
Discover your niche. Again, I had no idea that XE would eventually become a wellness blog. I just wanted to share my personal testimonies with others. But as time passed and I began expand my mindset, I realized that I really wanted to make a positive impact with my platform. So I began to discuss topics that I believe were super important to me as a young, Black woman navigating through adulthood. I soon realized that my readers enjoyed when I discussed wellness topics that related to mental health, self-care activities, etc. and I realized that this was my niche. So if you're interested in starting a blog but you're not sure as to what type of blog you'd want to create, do your research to see what your audience would like. Incorporate a color theme that is aesthetically pleasing on your social media outlets and your website. Establish a platform that really embraces YOU and your followers.
Be intentional. There was never a time nor will there ever be a time where I will post whatever as a new blog post. I always pre-plan my blog posts ahead of time because I believe in delivering content that I truly believe in. I am very intentional about every blog topic that I shed light on. Which is probably why I haven't been posting lately as much as I used to in the beginning. I like to take my time with crafting each blog post and I truly do enjoy the research that I conduct before writing. It's essential to me that whatever my name is attached to, that I did it with purpose. So I encourage you to take your time when it comes to writing your blog posts. If you're not feeling it yet, that's okay! Just remember that whatever you do, do it with intention.
Likes and followers doesn't matter. For most of 2020, I used to be obsessed with the numbers of likes and follows that I was receiving. I sometimes felt discouraged due to certain blog posts or IG content on Xi's Essentials Instagram page not accumulating the attention that I wanted it to receive. I felt as though I was doing something wrong or that the algorithms were against me. But I have come to learn that that sh*t doesn't matter! It doesn't matter if you reach 10 or 100 people—as long as you touch one person, then you have done what you needed to do. The rest will follow.
Being consistent. As always, I'm going to be oh so real with y'all. Sometimes I hate blogging. I don't want to sound lazy or anything, but keeping up with a blog can be very tedious and time-consuming. Don't get my wrong, I love to write and come up with new blog topics or content for our Instagram page. But I am a huge perfectionist (blame the Virgo in me) so I often spend lotsssss and lotssssss of time editing my blog posts and changing the colors, fonts, elements, etc. of my IG content. As a current grad student who is in the smack middle of writing her thesis, keeping up with my blog has been a lot lately. There's always something to write! But nonetheless, my blog is a special hobby of mine that is super important to me. Plus, I wanted to do this and I prayed for this. I also have certain goals that I would like to reach with XE. So although it is important to be intentional with your work and to not just throw out whatever, it is as equally important to release new content as often/best as you can. But move however you see fit. Which leads me to my final tip below....
It's okay to take a break. Listen, to know me is to know that I love to take mini social media breaks here and there. It's not that I really want to be away from my blog but let's be real... social media can be draining. It's a scary place that often displays some heavy stuff that can totally alter your mood if you let it. I acknowledged a long time ago that this was an issue for me so in order to protect my mental health and my peace, I allow myself to step away for however long I see fit. And that's okay. Yes, I know that I mentioned that it's important to stay consistent with your blog but it's even more essential to put your needs first. If you need to take a break then do it and don't you dare feel guilty about it! Just know that you'll have to be more patient with yourself in reaching your blog's goal. But no worries, you'll get there.
Thank you, truly.
Although blogging can be a bit much sometimes, XE will forever be my baby! I am so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone in sharing my personal testimonies. But most of all, I am beyond grateful for my community. In almost every single blog post, I give a s/o to my support system because without you, XE would not be what she is today. I adore all of the feedback, comments, shares, likes, and all.
I am so excited to see where God will take XE within this upcoming year and the years to follow. I pray that He will lead us into opportunities that we could have never dreamed of. As far as future plans with my blog, I plan to release more content pertaining to Black-owned businesses, mental health practices, spiritual wellness, and so much more. Also be on the lookout for future giveaways that will be posted on our IG, soon! But again thank you God and thank YOU, friends for all of your love and support! Now raise a glass as we celebrate the New Year and another year of Xi's Essentials, your fave wellness blog.
Affirm: I choose to recognize moments of joy in my daily life. I enjoy being aware of the present moment.
Xi's Takeaway Essentials:
Whatever you do, do it with intention.
Popularity doesn't matter—just be you.
Thank you, now let's celebrate!