Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Is There Anybody Out There???

So it's been just over a month since I've started Brass Honey and I wanted to take some time to write about what it's like to be in the trenches of starting a new blog.  Over the last few months I've read countless Blogging 101 posts that all seem to go a little something like this, "Be Yourself", "Content Is King", "Make It Pretty".  All very well and good but isn't that kinda stating the obvious?  To a lesser degree I've found a few, learn from my mistakes kind of posts, and while I think these are definitely more relatable, they give vague references and leave me wanting more.  Besides I've never been one to learn from someone else's experiences.

What both types of posts have in common is that they always seem to be written years after the blogger started blogging.  Their blogs are successful and have hundreds and thousands of followers, and while there's something to be said for learning from the pros, they're not struggling to make it past the 3 month mark which is the average lifespan of a blog.  They're not trying to get noticed in a sea of millions of other bloggers.  In all of my searches I couldn't find a single solitary post written by a new blogger in the midst of trying to make something out of nothing.  

You bloggers sure know how to make blogging look easy, and at least for me in this first month, nothing could be further from the truth.  Even taking pictures has proven to be a challenge.

See the fork on the bench?  Well I didn't.

And the missing stone in my bracelet.  Not a good look.

And let's not forget about the camera remote in my hand.

Pictures are only the beginning though.  What I'm really struggling with is finding balance.  For the first time in my life I feel like I'm working on something really meaningful.  I've never even had a hobby so the enthusiasm and love I have for my blog is totally new, and seems to be completely consuming me.  I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think about is my blog, not my husband.  I spend my lunch hour reading other blogs and I've spent one too many late nights at the computer trying to learn Photoshop or writing content.  D is starting to get annoyed and I'm starting to burn out.  I keep telling myself that it will only be like this in the beginning because it's new, and that once I learn how to do X or Y it won't take me so long, but I don't know.  Maybe it's just my personality.  I have always been an all or nothing kind of girl.

In an effort to try and find some balance I've had to take a step back and admit that there are some things that I just can't do.  I set some pretty realistic goals for myself as far as the number of posts I put out in a week, and I don't have droves of followers so it's not an issue for me to respond to the maybe 1 comment I get per post :).  If only those were my problems.  Instead, I'm dealing with learning how to pull back, admit defeat and then ask for help.  Not easy for someone who wants to figure things out for herself and loves to be in control.

Before I launched my first post in early August I spent three solid weeks trying to design my blog.  I'm not completely computer illiterate, but even some of the simplest things like linking my social media buttons took forever.  I did what I could, literally hit my head against my desk a few times, drank a few bottles of wine and then had to accept the fact that what I had, which is what you see today, was what I was capable of.  The Virgo perfectionist in me is still kicking and screaming, but for now Brass Honey will have to be plain and simple in it's design until the blog design I'm having built (by someone who actually knows what they're doing) is ready. 

Which brings me to my next struggle.  How much money is too much money to spend on your blog in the beginning, or ever?  A month and a half in and I'm spent $185 on blog design, photos and social media icons.  It's really easy for me to get caught up in all the things I "need" for my blog (i.e. professional photos, a new lens for my camera, a new outfit, business cards, etc.).  Still in the midst of working this one out, but am not doing so hot considering I'm scheduled to take more photos with a photographer on Saturday $$$. 

  I'm also struggling to balance my time between putting out content and promoting my blog.  While content is obviously important, if nobody's here to read it does it really matter? 

And on that note I'd love to give a shout out to my 1 Google+ follower and my 8 Bloglovin' followers.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming along for the ride!

With that said, 9 followers and 15 posts in and I'm feeling a little discouraged because I feel like I've put out a few great posts, one in particular (Five Things Not To Say To A Childfree Woman) and I know only a handful of people have seen them.

I guess I could go nuts spamming and leaving comments on every Tom, Dick and Harry's blogs, but it's not that simple, or maybe it is and I've just got it all wrong?  I feel like some bloggers are too big for my little old blog while others are too young, or too fashion focused.  I love reading said blogs, but I'm really only trying to reach out to bloggers that I feel share and run parallel to what Brass Honey is all about.

Just in case you're not one of my 9 readers, let me fill you in on what that is.  Brass Honey is about me, Shannon, a thirty-something, professional, married and living childfree.  Just an average girl with a lazy eye, speed bump gut and unicorn bump on her head.  Most importantly I'm a girl trying to connect with other girls who inspire and celebrate all that's great about being a real woman, the good and the bad.  I want to surround myself with people who can be vulnerable and share a piece of themselves and in turn will allow me to do the same.  That's not asking for much is it :).

Lots of struggles in this first month, but they say you should do what you love and I really do love what this could be for me.  I've never been afraid to fall or work hard so here's to making it another month!  I'd love to hear about your first few months blogging.  What did you struggle with?  How did you find your way?  Advice and support totally welcome and encouraged.

Bee Happy! 


  1. Finally! A real, from-the-heart, compassionate, inspirational piece of self-help reading that is already helping me! I've been trying to build the confidence to take real action and move forward with starting a blog. Its something I've been thinking about, reading about, and looking for information on "how-to" for more than 5 years. You have already set yourself so far apart from the crowd - your honesty is so refreshing…to me, it makes you instantly LIKABLE. I want to do the same thing that you are doing, use my blog as a medium through which I can express myself, connect with others, learn, grow, be my truest most authentic self. I want to be relevant. I want to be part of a community that shares common goals, interests, struggles, etc - its no wonder you made it past the "3 month mark."

    1. Molli,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a thoughtful comment. It means everything. I've been on a bit of a blogging break this week, I'm trying not to beat myself up for it too badly, but I saw your comment and couldn't help but reply. I'm here if you want to chat more about getting started.

      Hugs friend :)

  2. Wow.....you summed everything up that I am feeling perfectly! And I am in the trenches of month one. Thankyouythankyouthankyou for bringing my attention to this post!

    What a coincidence....my One Little Word for 2014 is Balance...something you spoke of! Love it.

    Looking forward to learning more form you.


  3. I am SO GLAD I found you. I feel like I can totally relate to all your feelings (I've had my blog for about 10 months now and have under 100 followers). It's really hard when you are passionate about trying to grow your blog and it feels like nobody cares :(... Good news is, I care about your blog and I can't wait to snoop through all the old posts I've missed! Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts!

  4. Shannon, I feel like you took a good look in my mind, and put into words what you saw there.
    Such a great and well-written post!! I can identify with you in so many ways: the way you feel about blogging, how it's your first real hobby (mine, too!). How you think of it first thing in the morning when you wake up (me, too! Especially in the beginning, it's not as crazy now. I'm 10 months in).
    We are the same age (34, right?), and I'm sort of child free - 4 grown up step daughters, but no baby of my own.
    Boy I'm so happy I found you!! Newest follower.

    xo Miriam

  5. I'm a new follow, and really love your blog. Can't wait to keep reading along.\
    I totally relate to all your comments too. Balancing blogging, working and real life is really hard! After a while though, I think you eventually find your stride. Have you yet?