The Grace Haven has been up and running for one year! This has been a HUGE learning process for me. I went into this business with a lot of ideas, many of which were WRONG.
Let me address 5 misconceptions about running a website.
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First, thank YOU! All of you. Every single time you read, like, or share, you help support our family by sharing our story.
I started this website to help others. Instead, we have been embraced by such an amazing community that has taught me so much!
Myth #1: Blogging is easy work and money
For me, blogging has never been about the money. When I say “business” I really mean ministry. Writing is healing for me, and our story has helped encourage others.
However, blogging is NOT free. Making money is essential to keep things running.
The latest trend is bloggers teaching about blogging. While that is SUPER valuable, it can lead to the most common misconception: that blogging is easy.
When blogging is sold as simple, it undercuts the appreciation for anyone trying to grow their business in a geniune way. To grow your business without buying followers takes a lot of TIME and EFFORT.Tweet
You can quickly grow your website if you want to fork over loads of money. You can easily buy followers, tools, and assistance with managing parts of your website.
If you don’t have that type of financial investment, successful blogging can end up taking the time of a full time job.
Myth #2: Your friends will be part of your audience.
When I started the GH, I was so excited to share where months of active planning had lead. I hit LAUNCH and eagerly awaited feedback from all of my close friends. Oops, that was a mistake.
You cannot assume your friends will be part of your regular online audience. Your friends may prefer to connect with you in the same way they always have, and resist connection over a professional format.
To be honest, it was a hard learning curve. I still get questions now, a whole year later, about what my website is even about. Ouch. The good news? You will find support from people you would never expect. It is beautifully surprising, and has grown friendships that I never though would blossom!
I have learned that what I was holding on to was a misconception. It was unfair of me to assume anything from other wonderful and busy Mama friends. I had to give the same grace I have been extended countless times, because I do not always keep up with websites either!
Any enneagram fans? Totally a Type 2 over here. I love to help others, but expecting too much of people is definitely a Type 2 pitfall.
Myth #3: People will understand you are running a business.
While I was being selfish to assume my friends had time to regularly support the GH, I also learned I have to set some boundaries.
People do not always understand when you are on social media to PRODUCE instead of CONSUME. It is also commonly understood that typical work tasks can trump responding to texts or phone calls, but NOT when those work tasks include an online presence.Tweet
I have had to explain myself MANY times for posts that have gone up before I had a chance to respond to messages from loved ones. I started carrying the burden of trying to please everyone.
Being passionate about your online business does not mean you are any less of a support to those in your personal life. Your increased online presence should NOT equal increased expectations in your relationships. One is personal, and one is business.Tweet
Trying to fulfill all personal relationship needs before ever letting myself touch my business To-Do list drained my joy and energy. I HAD to set “business hours” for myself, and give myself the freedom and grace to focus on work.
Myth #4: Good content equals a growing audience.
Nope. Growing your audience organically (Read NOT literally buying followers) takes a lot of consistency, self teaching, late night hours, and planning ahead.
Posting great content does not matter if social media apps do not allow your post to reach people’s feeds.
Myth #5: You can avoid online shaming.
Double NOPE. If you breath online, someone somewhere will take offense to you. That is OKAY.
Learn to expect the trolls, and their comments won’t get to you.
Something I constantly remind myself is that I would rather be in the arena, than be a critic.
To the fellow bloggers, let’s keep daring greatly. Our shortcomings or mistakes may be more publicized than others, but your story is worth sharing.
To the readers, thank you again for supporting the GH. Many of you are so gracious and kind. I have loved connecting with you! Please keep sharing anything that has impacted you on the GH, it helps more than you know!
A special thank you to those who know me both personally and professionally, and support me across the board.