As you progress with your blog, eventually (I hope!) you’ll start networking with other bloggers. And just like with Preschool, you’ll see all kinds out there. Which apply to both to bloggers and commenters as well.
Some will have a potty mouth (overusing foul language to seem hip and cool).
Some will not play well with others (trolling and being argumentative with you… just because).
And some will eat glue (you have no idea what they’re talking about).
But the point of this post is not to talk about them, but about you, who are trying to build a successful blog-based business.
Formative Assessment vs Substantive Assessment
In education, there are two common ways to measure progress: via “formative assessments” or through “substantive assessments.” I’ll explain substantive assessments first since they’re easier to grasp and more common.
A substantive assessment is used to strictly measure knowledge level. Think of it as a college entrance exam.
For example, when Joe Student applied to gain entrance to a university, he was likely presented with an entrance exam. This exam has one function. It was designed to measure whether Joe was up to par academically and had the required knowledge-base to be successful in the school’s program.
If Joe failed the test, there was no way he’d be admitted to the university.
The point of substantive assessments are to gauge whether you belong or not at the next level. It doesn’t teach anything other than where you stand at the moment you take the assessment.
Formative assessments do more than measure knowledge level. They also serve to teach you new ideas and concepts. Think of them as how you learned concepts in Preschool.
For example, Little Joe doesn’t get denied entrance or kicked out of Preschool for failing to color inside the lines. Or when he counts the numbers 1 through 5 out of order.
The point of a formative assessment is to both teach and show Little Joe how to color inside the lines or count numbers in the right order.
It doesn’t disqualify Little Joe from belonging in Preschool, but teaches him crucial concepts and helps him build on them and get better.
Why Blogging is Like Preschool
When you start developing an online business platform for the first time, and even when you have some experience, it is necessary to approach blogging like if you were in Preschool.
Too often, new bloggers get overwhelmed with the sometimes steep learning curve and try to get everything “just right” before launching. Being perfect is not necessary to start and sustain a successful business.
Start with what you know, build on the skills you pick up along the way, and practice new methods as they become necessary.
Remember: There is no entrance exam for blogging.
Go ahead, start practicing your writing right away, which is the most important skill you can have as a blogger. Experiment with site design, color schemes and other components once you’ve become sufficiently comfortable with writing.
Work on finding your writing style and worry about other parts later. You’ll learn to color inside the lines in due time. Just keep practicing.
But whatever you do, don’t stall for too long before taking that first step and writing your first post. Just like Preschool, you’ll learn just as much from doing things the right way, as you will from experimenting.
What’s Keeping You From Taking That First Step?
I’d like to hear about your experiences when you first started in the comments below.
Keep tuned in and check back Mondays for business building info, Wednesdays for content related to expat life, and Fridays for tons of travel pictures as I do an on-the ground report spotlighting a travel destination.
Also, check out my Pinterest page about Antigua Guatemala, one of the prettiest colonial cities in the world and latest digital nomad destination I’m trying out.