My name is listed as the author on this article, but it is from all of us at Bit Rebels. Let me give you a little history…
It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since Bit Rebels began. It feels like just yesterday. I remember my dear friend @mistygirlph working hard on her first articles. She told me how excited she was to start this new blog with @Minervity.
A few weeks later, @mistygirlph asked me in a DM on Twitter if I wanted to be a writer. Without even thinking about it, I sent a message back saying yes. I had never had a blog before and never written a post. I had a feeling in my gut at that moment that I was in for a wild ride, but little did I know how much that split second decision would impact my life in such a special way.
One of my favorite 80’s movies is The Breakfast Club. Just like the geek in that movie was elected to write the paper for all of them, I’ve been elected to write this post from all of us. Just like he kissed that paper at the end of that movie, feeling proud of what he had accomplished, I’m feeling humbled and grateful to be part of this wonderful experience.
This past year has brought so many lessons to all of us – lessons about life, friendships, blogging, business, commitment and perseverance. We would like to share with you some of those lessons, and hope that they may help you on your own blogging journey.
1. Have fun and be passionate!
If you want to have a blog that stands the test of time, you have to like what you are doing and have fun with it! It’s important to enjoy the process. I’m not saying you have to jump out of bed everyday excited to write; however, blogging shouldn’t feel like a chore or be something you dread doing!
@Minervity has always said that once we aren’t having fun anymore, it will be time to shut down the site. I think all of us would all agree that we are a long way away from that. We are grateful that we are still having a blast!
2. Hard work is worth the effort!
Writing for a blog like Bit Rebels is no joke. We add new articles several times each day, and I’m not going to lie to you, it is hard work! However, if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. I think all of us have made sacrifices for Bit Rebels, but we do it with a smile because we love our blog.
Many writers shy away from the work it takes to maintain their blog. Don’t be afraid to attack it like a pit bull! You really have to have a “do whatever it takes” attitude. We can all tell you that it’s so worth the extra effort when you see your progress!
3. Teamwork is critical!
On a collaborative blog like Bit Rebels, where there is more than one author, teamwork is imperative to keep everything working smoothly. We have a very respectful attitude towards each other and each other’s ideas. We make decisions together.
Of course, we’ve had our share of disagreements, which have tested our loyalty and friendships; however, in the end, we grew from those experiences and became stronger and closer because of them. We’ve been through a lot, we’ve learned a lot and we’ve grown a lot, which is what the magic of true teamwork is all about!
4. It’s important to make mistakes; it’s how we learn what works!
Mistakes rock! We’ve made a lot of mistakes on Bit Rebels. We aren’t ashamed to admit that. We’ve also learned in proportion to those mistakes. I read once that it is “important to fail, and fail fast, so you can experience success.” I don’t know who to credit for that quote, but it’s so true!
We’ve experienced our site shutting down from a Digg front page, we’ve experienced that annoying banner ad that got in our way for a month… well, I don’t need to go down the list of our mistakes, but we’ve learned from every one of them and we treasure those experiences! Don’t shy away from trying new things because you are afraid to fail or make a mistake – just do it! It’s the only real way to learn and make progress towards your goals.
5. Relationships with your readers are most important!
If it wasn’t for our readers, Bit Rebels would not still be here. We are all very aware of that, and we don’t take our readers for granted even for one second. We try our best to reply to as many comments as we can, we take your feedback to heart, and we really try to do what it takes to give our readers what they want.
All of us have developed some very close friendships with people we’ve met on our blog. I consider some of those people to be like family to me. We think our readers are the best in the whole world, but of course, we are biased.
6. Stick to the basics and stay humble!
There is always a new blogging fad. We read about them all the time in articles on Twitter. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and hoopla. One thing we’ve learned is that it’s good to try new things, but don’t abandon the basics in the process.
At Bit Rebels, the goal has always been to provide bite sized articles that you can read in 3-5 minutes that give you a different perspective or that provide you with that much needed smile in your day. We always focus on providing that value, no matter what. It is a formula that has really worked well for us.
7. Not everyone will like you, but that’s okay!
We’ve all learned this lesson on Bit Rebels. Some of us had a harder time learning it than others. *cough cough* Geeezzz… I used to cry when someone left me a nasty comment. I used to think, “How can someone write that? They have no idea how much time and effort we put into this blog. How can they be so insensitive?”
You know what? Some people are just like that. That’s life. It happens to us all on and off our blog. You really have to develop a thick skin. I’m very happy to say that I’ve grown to the point that I giggle when someone leaves me a mean comment. Not everyone will like you, but that’s okay! You just have to believe in yourself and what you are doing, and shake it off!
Wow, I’m sure the other writers have had an easier time with this lesson than me. The number of details to follow through on and the number of tasks to complete when working on a blog is really mind-blowing.
We’ve learned that there are just not enough hours in the day to complete everything. Period. There is no sense in worrying or getting stressed about it. Instead, we prioritize the most important tasks first, and then hit the rest of the to-do list after that. All you can do is your very best, each and every day, and things will fall into place as they are meant to be.
9. Be Yourself!
We are a pretty goofy bunch at Bit Rebels, and what we’ve learned is that the posts where we are the most genuine, the ones written from the heart, are the ones that our readers typically enjoy the most.
Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Your readers are very smart. They know when you are BS’ing and when you are not being real. Personally, I’ve probably taken this to the extreme the other way since I live my whole life out in the open online.
However far you choose to take it, depending on what you are comfortable with, just remember to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and your vulnerabilities. It feels good to be real, and your readers will appreciate your honesty.
10. Know when to take a step back to catch your breath!
Don’t kill yourself over it all, you can only do so much. At the end of the day, it’s just a blog. It’s not who you are, and it’s not your whole life. Blogging burnout is a very real syndrome. Maintain balance in your life. Keep your loved ones close to your heart and always remember your values. No blog is worth sacrificing what is most important to you!
This picture of my son and his friends, taken a few days ago, seemed appropriate since spending time with him is what is most important in my own life.
Last but certainly not least…
Thank you all for being here and reading our articles. Also, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us over the past year! We truly feel like we are all on this journey together, and we love and appreciate you dearly. We are committed to working hard for you for a long time to come, and we look forward to many more years of fun and laughter together! From: Your Bit Rebels Team