Sunday, 23 March 2014

Five Things I Wish I'd Known About Blogging

Sometimes I see comments on Twitter about blogging that grind my gear a little. Of course everybody blogs for a different reason, but sometimes I feel like people adopt an unhealthy attitude towards blogging and miss the point on what makes it so spectacular. Don't even get me started on those follow for follow tweets... With this in mind, I though that I would put together a short list of some valuable advice that I feel as though I have gained over the past year and few months of blogging. I would be really interested to hear your takes on this, too, so make sure you leave a comment if you make it to the end of the post!

Blogging is a conversation, not a one-way street

I'll admit, when I first started blogging I hadn't really thought about the fact that blogging gives everyone the ability to say something back. Today I use a number of social media outlets in conjunction with my blog, and it's opened up a whole community of bloggers to me that I didn't even know existed. This is definitely one of the most important things I have taken away from blogging: everyone is able to talk to each other in so many different ways. I have contact with other bloggers via my comments, email, Twitter, and I've even been lucky enough to meet some in person. I think that it's so important to think about blogging as a conversation, rather than a way to get lots of people to listen to you. You truly do get out of it what you put in.

It's OK to miss a post

Yes, consistency is important. In an ideal world my schedule would be achieved every week without fail, with great quality content. But that rarely happens. For those of us with busy lifestyles, or busy periods, the odd missed post can be inevitable. When this does happen, you shouldn't feel the need to apologise to your readers. It's your blog, and sometimes things will disrupt your plans - it's not a problem. Take a deep breath, go with it, and write a post at your next opportunity. You're unlikely to lose any followers over a late blog post, and even if you do, so what?!

Getting free stuff isn't all that

I definitely did not start blogging to get free things. Of course the thought crossed my mind, and it sounded pretty cool, especially on a student budget. Now that I have been lucky enough to be sent a couple of things (for which I am extremely grateful), I don't think it's as glamorous as it sounds. If you've been asked to write a review then you really have to put a lot of effort into giving it a fair and honest review. This might mean switching up your regular routine, and paying close attention to how your body reacts to it. Of course sometimes this means that you discover a new, really great product, but sometimes it doesn't.

This leads to another particularly difficult dilemma: what do you do if you don't like the product that you've been sent? Honesty and integrity are key in blogging, but nobody wants to offend a PR, or especially a smaller brand who may hold high hopes for your review. On top of this sometimes it can be hard to say no when you're offered an opportunity that for whatever reason isn't right for you. The truth is that most products aren't right for everyone, and honesty is the most important thing you can hold onto through your blogging, for better or for worse.

You don't need 10k followers, views or even comments to be successful

I was reading an article the other day that asked 'When will you be successful?' and I think it's a question we should ask ourselves at any point or area in our lives. Most bloggers admit to hoping that their blog will see more success in the future, but what exactly does that mean? Personally I think it's very important to not compare your blog with others. No matter how similar they may seem, your blogs will build up unique communities. It's up to you to decide what makes blogging valuable to you, but please try not to get caught up in the numbers.

Finding a balance is an ongoing battle

Admittedly when I started blogging, I didn't think that I would become as invested in it as I have. When I did start to get really passionate about it, it got hard to motivate myself to do much else. I think that even the boyfriend began to feel a little neglected at one point. To this day I really struggle to fit in everything that I do, and I know that I'm not alone. For example, this week I've had barely any time to blog which was really frustrating. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to come up with a timetable, which is definitely something that I need to get back on top of. It may sound boring, but it's actually a really good technique to make sure you allow enough time and attention to other aspects of your life, too.

Is there anything you wish you'd have known before you started blogging?

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daisychaindream said...

So much love for this post xx

Kathryn Sarah said...

I really enjoyed this post! We can often forget the reason we are blogging and mine is because I enjoy it so much, am passionate about it and all of the opportunities and interaction that come with it! x

Kathryn | effievanity

Emily said...

Same here! Thanks for commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed it :) x

Shannon P said...

Lovely post, I think I've learnt that in order to have a good blog you have to enjoy it, whether you have 10 or 10000 people reading it, if you enjoy it then it makes all the difference :)) xx

Meg Says said...

I thought this was a brilliant post, and I especially agreed with your last point about finding a balance. I'm currently on medical leave from my degree as I've fallen unwell with a chronic illness, and I find it difficult to blog frequently due to various symptoms. The way I'm dealing with that is by remembering that I've only just started blogging, and I mainly post for my friends and family who I don't get to see much anymore, so I shouldn't beat myself up if I don't manage to post that week. Blogging should be fun, and you shouldn't force yourself to write if you're not feeling up to it or your heart isn't in it. Your blog is beautiful, you're doing a great job!

Meg |