Every month since I started Tweens2teen I’ve been publishing an update on my blogging journey so far. This is the news at the four month mark, where my greatest lessons have been in self-belief and remaining positive.
A busy life of work, family and a blog
With Tweens2teen still in it’s infancy, I’ve started working again as a relief teacher to help pay the bills. I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the classroom again, although it’s been a quick refresher on the art of teaching and learning.
When I did relief teaching years ago, I mostly had upper primary classes, but so far, I’ve been assigned to Year 1 and Prep classes. So I spend most of my days working with young children and my nights on Tweens2teen focused on the older ones.
Being back at work has meant I’ve had a lot less time to put into Tweens2teen. That’s forced me to rethink my approach and work hard to keep things in perspective. I’ve got a really clear picture of how I want Tweens2teen to operate, and how I’d like the website and my social media accounts to look, but I just have to be realistic about how long everything takes and what time I have to work on it each day.
The hardest part of this last month has been keeping a positive outlook and believing in myself, rather than looking at the bank balance or thinking too much about where’d I’d like to be, instead of where I am.
Staying positive when you work for yourself
One of the things that really got battered when I was leaving my old job was my confidence. I applied for a number of jobs, including some a couple of steps lower on the skill level ladder and didn’t get one interview. All sorts of self-doubt creeps in when you’re counting down the days to unemployment and don’t have anything new on the horizon.
As I’ve written in previous blog updates, one of the things about starting Tweens2teen was to not have to compromise on spending time with my family to earn a decent income. I still believe that goal’s very achievable, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
This is the first time I’ve worked on my own, rather than in a team. While my family are a great cheer squad, running Tweens2teen is something I largely have to do on my own. And with so much to learn about running a business, social media promotion and building a community online, there are lots of areas to get things wrong or flounder.
The good thing is that there’s plenty of advice online. I do a lot of driving between getting to schools, trips to see my supervision clients and running the kids to their things, so I’ve got plenty of time to soak up the wisdom of others through podcasts. This month, I’ve picked up these gems:
- Don’t compare your start to someone else’s middle or end. One of my favourite podcasts is called Reach, and is the work of my email service ConvertKit, hosted by Val Geisler. In episode 7 she interviewed Sarah Morgan who combines a number of side jobs with blogging and running a small business. I took away a new confidence in walking my own path in this journey, rather than feeling I have to fit into any template. I know the plan for Tweens2teen is sound and I’ve just got to keep chipping away towards the goal.
- Building a successful business and blog takes a couple of years. I’ve heard this from quite a few sources, but an interview of Clotilde Dusolier on Learning with Leslie helped me to accept that for four months in, I’m doing awesome! Building authority and community takes time. Trying to rush that will damage the quality of my writing and hold me back in the long term.
- Confidence is an attitude and a learned behaviour. It’s taken me a long time to realise that much of my confidence in the past has come from encouragement by others, which is such a faulty way to operate. An interview of Jodie Bruce-Clarke by Tracy Harris on episode 44 of the Mums with Hustle podcast, got me thinking about how much I’ve dealt with my self-doubt, but that I’m going to have to keep tackling this in the months to come if I want Tweens2teen to be all I want it to be.
- The value of having timeless content for readers. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame said in episode 136 of his podcast, that about 95 percent of the content on his blogs are what he calls evergreen, or timeless content. Much of what I’ve been creating for the last four months are the foundation articles for my blog that over time people will come back to over and over again and that won’t really date. Knowing that the hard work I’ve put in is setting things up well is a comfort when I have a tough week.
I’m still having a great time and I know I’m putting together a unique service that will help many people living and working with young people develop their skills and their own confidence to make the most of this journey.
This coming month I’m finishing up a tweak of the layout of my blog to fit with some of the popular topics my readers seem to be looking for. So pop back soon to check out the changes!