What I’ve learned about blogging in three years

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TOMORROW, I will have been blogging for three years!

Three whole years, I can hardly believe it!

It feels like it’s gone by in the blink of an eye and in some ways it has, but when I look back to how it all started and think about everything that’s happened since then, well it’s just incredible really.

Tomorrow I’ll chat more about my blogging birthday but today, today let’s deal with the nitty gritty about blogging! Oh yeah! (Can you tell I’m excited?!)

Here are thirty things I’ve learnt about blogging in three years. If you’re new to the blogging game, think of it as my birthday present to you. X

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1. Everyone thinks they can blog (and they can!) but it takes determination, ambition, creativity and stamina to keep a blog going.

2. Being a blogger is truly amazing however it’s also bloody hard work. (Really it is.)

3. Yes there are a few bloggers who are only in it for the free stuff , but most of us do it because we love having a voice. We love sharing our thoughts, feelings and opinions with you all. It’s what makes us giddy with joy.

4. A blog is nothing without it’s readers. Realising that people actually read and react to what you write is just the biggest privilege and never fails to warm the cockles.

5. Blogs are powerful, more so than most people realise.

6. WordPress is the best blogging platform. 

7. There is much more to blogging than just blogging. Marketing, PR, social media, writing and replying to emails, taking photographs, attending events, reading and commenting on other blogs and joining linkys are just some of the ways you will spend most of your time if you take it seriously.

8. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done when you’re a blogger and your blog is never ever good enough – to you anyway. (We have the most critical eyes when it comes to our own blog but yet the kindest when it comes to others.)

9. A good blog needs good photography. Images don’t have to be professional but they should be as lovely and of the highest quality possible.

10. The blogging community is vast but is full of incredible, talented and supportive people. (And you’ll get much more out of blogging if you become a part of it.)

11. One of the best things about blogging are the friendships you can make. Some of the most wonderful friends (you all know who you are!) I have made in the last few years have come through blogging and social media. Forget what some people tell you, it’s more than possible to make incredible connections with people you meet online.

12. You can make really decent money out of being a blogger if you want to and that’s more than ok. You deserve it (regardless of what some people may think) and let’s face it, none of us can work and exist on fresh air alone.

13. There really are no limits to where you blog can take you if you work hard and build a loyal readership. And trust me I know. I’ve modelled on the cover of a national’s women mag, won an award, been featured in the press and worked with incredible brands, all through and because of this blog. Not bad ey?

14. You need the support of other bloggers, not to survive but to THRIVE, so always be a lovely friendly blogger to know. In the blogging community, the words: “you reap what you sow” have never been truer.

15. You gotta put yourself out there when you’re a blogger. The bigger your blog becomes the more impossible it is for you to hide behind a screen forever. People respond best to people so put yourself out there with confidence and warmth.

16. Only blog if you love it! As my wise and beautiful friend Zaz from Mama & More! once told me, “blogging is a very expensive hobby to have” therefore you really need to love what you do.

17. The best blog posts either come straight from the heart or they offer something to people. They resonate with people or they inspire.

18. You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself but you do need to know what makes you different. Why should people come to your blog? Why should they read what you have to say?

19. If you aren’t a bit terrified about hitting the publish button, you’re not doing it right. In blogging, it never pays to play it safe.

20. Saying that, don’t be controversial for the sake of it. But do be honest, sincere and genuine in everything that you write and do.

21. Quality is the key to being a successful blogger but you won’t go far if you’re not consistent. You need to post on a regular basis to hold and attract readers.

22. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to know your worth! Don’t waste your time writing about brands for nothing, unless of course you absolutely love them. Establish good relationships with brands you admire and respect and then ask them for what you are entitled too. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for more money or different opportunities. The worst anyone can say is ‘no’ and there’s nothing wrong with that.

23. Comparing your blog to other blogs is inevitable but don’t let it get you down or chew you up! Admire other bloggers, learn from them and be supportive but then get on with your own work and concentrate on making your blog the best it can be. Be happy for the success of others and hold the green eyed monster at bay.

24. You should always do your best to respond to your readers. Reply to their comments, listen to what they have to say, help them if they need some assistance (where possible) and never take them for granted.

25. Stats speak. Whether we like it or not blogging is a numbers game, especially to brands. So don’t forget to work on building your numbers.

26. (However it’s much better to have a small, loyal readership than thousands of people following you on social media who couldn’t give two hoots about what you write or why.)

27. You never stop learning with blogging. There’s always more to do, more to discover, more to learn which is one of the reasons why it’s just so exciting.

28. Treat your blog with respect and professionalism and you’ll reap the rewards. So post on a regular basis, speak kindly about other bloggers, never use it as a place to slag off others, treat brands with courtesy and always engage with your readers.

29. Even the best bloggers lose their mojo from time to time. It happens to the best of us. When it does, don’t panic, take a break, seek inspiration everywhere and have confidence in the knowledge that it will one day return.

30. Your blog can be as rubbish or as incredible as you chose. It’s all down to YOU. Yes it’s hard work, yes sometimes you may feel like you’re going nowhere but if you write passionately, engage with people, promote yourself, offer something of value, continue to improve it and hang on to self belief, it can take you to places you daren’t even dream about. That for sure I absolutely know.

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Gosh, this is a corker of a long post! I think you can tell how much I love blogging and how much there is to learn when it comes to creating a successful blog. Bloggers – what have I missed out? Which things resonated most with you? 

With love (and blog birthday giddiness!)

Kate

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103 Discussions on
“What I’ve learned about blogging in three years”
  • What a post!! I even tried to read it in your accent (in my head as I’m on a train!) as it was like a warm cuddle from you, combined with the kick in the butt I need!! I’d say I’m most relating to the loss of mojo bit but I’ll blame the fact we’re moving in a few days ;) you’re absolutely right about the community – I get such a boost from connecting with other bloggers, your lovely self especially!!

    Have a wonderful blog birthday (I was 3 a few weeks ago and I still haven’t blogged about it – I really must mark the occasion!) xxx

  • I love this! So true. Well said Kate. Happy third birthday. I am coming up for my fifth(!) with my blog in April. Scary. Any newbies reading this are very lucky, it takes years to learn this stuff.

    Catherine (Frost Magazine) xx

  • Number 1 resonates with me. I read recently that 95% of bloggers giving up in the first three months! I started maybe four five months ago. I think lots of bloggers start thinking they’ll straight away start having loads of traffic. That’s rarely the case. It takes time to build an audience and most people give up quite soon. Well done for your third blogging anniversary!

    • Yes! Gosh I read that too. I also read that the longer you keep blogging, the more your blog will achieve success, merely because most blogs ‘die’ or stop being updated after two years.

      It’s tough to keep a blog going – the most successful bloggers tell us that – but it’s worth it. x

  • Loved reading this hon, your positivity and enthusiasm almost leapt off my screen! I had a food blog for a couple of years before writing Mummy Tries, but I didn’t have the first clue about becoming part of the community, or properly realise it even existed tbh. The connections I’ve made over the last almost two years have been truly amazing, and I’m so looking forward to meeting people in person this year. Really hope to see you at Brit Mums gorgeous xxx

    • I’ll def be there Renee so meeting you will be a must on my to do list! :) I remember thinking when I started that just writing strong posts would be enough to get my name out there but I was so wrong! You really do need to become part of the community and enjoy it! x

  • Thanks Katie! Another inspiring and fascinating post. As a newbie, this is very helpful stuff! Hope I can get to anywhere near as successful as you’ve become. Got one hell of a journey! Well done. Xx

    • Ah thank you darling and thank you for all your support and encouragement over the past year. You’ve said the loveliest things about my blog and made me very happy indeed. xxx

  • Happy blog birthday, gorgeous! Agree with your tips – I’m always tweaking my blog (it’s never quite right in my eyes), the posts that people love most are from the heart (and bring me out in a cold sweat when I press publish), it’s a lot of work (but I love having a voice) – and it is the most wonderful, supportive, loving community xxx

    • Thank you darling! I knew you would agree ;-)

      Keep up the AMAZING work on your brilliant blog. You know how much I love what you are doing. You’re an inspiration to so, so many xxx

  • Happy birthday lovely, and well done. I love this list and couldn’t agree more. Here’s to more of the same from you please gorgeous, we love it! x

    • Haha! I’ll do my best! ;-) Thank you darling Kiran. You continue to be one of the most talented bloggers I know. Love your way with words! x

    • Thanks Nicki! That’s the beauty of blogging, who knows what exciting stuff awaits?! Best of luck with your new blog x

  • Wonderful post! I saved it for bedtime reading and it was well worth it. I think 19 resonates with me most , feeling that nervy butterfly flutter before you hit post is usually a sign that you’ve given something important away – a tiny piece of yourself. And ultimately that’s what keeps you connected to your readers. Congrats on your blogiversary hon, I’m celebrating my 5th and definitely in a reflective mood. Oh and today’s my actual birthday so your blog is in excellent company ;) x

    • Ah Uju! What a wonderful thing to say. And huge congratulations on your 5th blog birthday (WOW!) too. I hope you had a wonderful birthday also. Much love

  • Happy blog birthday beautiful. What a brilliant post! I agree with every word. I love blogging because I love to write and express my ideas, thoughts and feelings. But I never would have imagined that through my blog I would get to know such wonderfully supportive, kind and loving people. People I am now honoured to call friends. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Brilliant tips here and the main one I think people need to take away, is that it’s fun but exhausting in equal measure! Mine is primarily a hobby but it’s so easy to get sucked in to everything going on. Happy blogging birthday, mine will be 3 years in April – can’t quite believe it! x

    • It is Suzanne and I think one of the things to remember (in fact you’ve made me realise I missed something of the list – so thank you!) is that blogging SHOULD be fun! Yes, if you want to make money for it then you have to get serious about it, but at the end of the day, you should really only blog if it makes you happy! That’s what it’s all about. Thanks for reminding me! x

    • Ah thank you Katy! I am very passionate about it and I really do think the fact that I write for a living (And always have) helps too! ;-) X

  • Congratulations on the 3 years. It whizzes by, doesn’t it?

    Love your 30. So so true especially the bit about how much work there is if you want to get your blog read, and to grow.

  • This is a fabulous post and one I’ll be bookmarking as I’m a newbie and there are many great tips on here. Hoping that I’ll still be enjoying it as much as you in 3 years time x

  • All very true, but it’s the combination of 23 and 30 that speak most to me. It’s so easy to be overawed by other people’s blogs and worry about living up to some notional standard, but it’s important to remember that nobody can blog about you as well as you yourself. And if you blog from the heart about what you’re passionate about, your voice will always be unique and special.

    • Yes! *applauds* It’s one of the worst things about blogging, the comparison bit, because we all do it and we can’t help it, but it can be soul destroying if we let it swallow us up. As you say, we just have to be true to ourselves and keep blogging from the heart. GREAT comment x

  • Happy 3 years! I think I’m at about 3 years now too, can’t remember if I started in January or February. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?!? What a great post and so useful, I’m going to share it with some friends I know who are looking to get into blogging xx

  • Brilliant brilliant brilliant Kate! You are a true inspiration :) you are bang on, blogging is bloody hard work and slow to get off the ground. I’ve been going a year now and at times felt like my blog was going no where and then an opportunity will pop up out of the blue which spurs me on. Love your blog and your wisdom xx

  • I am clapping to you. What a fab post lovely. It will soon be 6 years for me, and cannot believe how blogging has evolved over the years. I am so happy to have met you, and hope many new bloggers will read this, as it is a very useful list, which I did not have when I was starting. After the Xmas break I had tough times, and just felt like I would not be back to it… but it took me a few weeks, and I am fully on again, on two blogs as you know! Happy blogiversary! xxx

  • Happy Blogiversary chick, how quickly do these years fly by! What a brilliant list that bloggers new and seasoned (!) can appreciate. Keep shining girlfriend (can’t believe we had tea and not champagne yesterday)!!! xx

    • I know it’s bonkers isn’t it?! Thank you darling and for all your help and support, as always. Next time, champagne is a must! xxx

  • Fantastic post! I have only been at this blogging malarkey for a year but all your write really resonates.
    Happy 3rd Bloggiversary!!!

  • Aaah I LOVE this — you’re a real inspiration darling!

    I celebrate my 3rd blog birthday this year too but my little bloggy has an awfully long way to go before it reaches yours!! Up til this year I have only ever written as a cathartic exercise. I never anticipated I’d still be writing after 2 years and, as my new years resolution, decided that now is the time to grow my blog.

    I’ve gone self-hosted; thankfully on WordPress, which made me pleased when I read number 6 in your list (!) — and I’ve given it a facelift — but trying to attract reader is very hard!! You say that a blog is nothing without readers and I must admit, when I’ve spent a long time on a post and it doesn’t attract any comments, I find it very disheartening.

    I’m going to pin this list on my wall and look at it when I feel a bit wobbly!

    Happy 3rd birthday lovely! CX

    • Thank you so much! Don’t give up and don’t compare! There’s room for everyone and the best bloggers want other bloggers to grow and become more successful.

      It’s only in the last 12 months or so that my blog has taken off so don’t be disheartened. Growing a loyal readership is hard and takes a while but just keep concentrating on that and things will start to happen.

      Good luck! x

  • Ah congrats, 3 years, wow! I’ve loved your blog for a while and will pack this list away in my blogging tips kit for future reference. Thanks for being so generous with what you’ve learnt xx

  • Fantastic list, all v useful. I have recently started blogging and have been amazed at the community, its blooming HUGE! Its like a complete unknown and its really lovely (so far!) Number 16 was my favourite on your list, as I’ve just started and it is taking up a lot of my time which is tricky with an 11 month old..BUT I am really enjoying it, so I think its worth it :) x

    • So pleased you’re enjoying it! You’re right the blogging community is huge and can be overwhelming but it is fantastic! So glad you’re experiencing the good stuff and welcome! x

  • I’ve emailed that list to myself. I’m a newbie and have to admit felt a little intimidated by the blogging crew but you are so right. It’s a wonderful warm community and I’ve received so much encouragement. Thanks so much for generously sharing your tips. J

    • Yay! Great news Juliet. It can be intimidating but in my experience, most bloggers are a lovely bunch so don’t worry! x

  • 30 points thats only 10 for each year of blogging! So next year there should be 40!

    In all seriousness thank you for sharing your knowledge, I only started last month and I’m still not sure my purpose behind doing this OTHER than its a little bit of me being me rather than mummy or wife. And I don’t want to lose that!

  • Great post, I can take a lot from this! I love that feeling you get when someone has read your post and even better left a comment, it makes me feel so chuffed!
    Maybe i need to swap to wordpress too! xx

    • Yay! Yes, THAT is always such a good feeling. (Even after three years I still get giddy about lovely comments) x

      P.S WordPress is the bomb when it comes to blogging, esp as it enables you to self host it!

    • That’s lovely! Thanks Megan. I really do LOVE blogging. Best thing ever? (In terms of work, quite possibly so) x

  • What a Fantastic Post! Absolutely luv it, every point you made raised a bell with me all the way. This is such great advice for anyone just starting out blogging or undecided whether to take a step into the blogging world. Happy 3 Year Blogday.xx #TheList

  • Congratulations on your 3 year blogging birthday! You’ve become an amazing inspiration to me as a fellow blogger. I have all the same values and reasons for doing this amazing (but it’s true, expensive) hobby of ours, as you! I blog because I have to, because I love it – I’m completely addicted. Great post honey, as always xx

    #sundaystars

  • Happy blog birthday <3 I hope it's been a good one.
    Now that I have been blogging for a year, I can relate to all of the advice. And it's all appreciated. Some days I wonder why I do what I do… and then I remember. Because I love it.
    Congratulations xx

  • Love the post! it has really helped with where my head is at the moment :)

    I love your posts as they really inspire me with moving forward with my dream.

    Happy 3rd Birthday x

  • I know I’ve commented already but I still think this is a bloody brilliant post. And I adore that picture of you and your daughter. Totally cute! Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Happy 3rd Birthday! As a newer blogger I loved reading this! All of these are great tips (and so inspirational), I don’t think I can pick a favorite! Thanks for sharing! Loved it!

  • I’d love to move over to wordpress but I haven’t got the faintest idea so I think I’ll stick to blogger until I know more hehe xx

  • I love this post! All so true, especially the not comparing your blog to others so much! I was lamenting the fact that someone else blog had more followers on all social media than mine they other day, and then realised they had been blogging for 2 years, and it’s only 3 and a half weeks for my current blog for me! And I was only on blogger for a month and a half before that lol! #brilliantblogposts

  • Agree with all but the stats. I try not to pay much attention to mine at all. But that’s because I’m not hugely interested in working with brands, for me it’s all about having a voice and connecting with others and opening discussions- but we are each different :) Great list!

  • Oh I love this, such a fab post. Happy 3 year blogging birthday to you! My little blog turned one at the end of January, I still have so much to learn but I’m loving every second of it. xx

  • That there is always something to learn resonates with me. I seen to find something new to explore in blogging every day! #brilliantblogposts

  • Fab list! I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years but I feel like a newbie because I only really started interacting with the blogging community in the last 2 months and it’s been amazing. So much has changed already and while it’s still only a hobby, I absolutely love it! :) #brilliantblogposts

  • Hi Kate
    I’m a first time visitor from #AllAboutYou and am about to celebrate my 6th bloggy birthday! I’d have to heartily agree with this post- there is a lot more that goes into blogging than people think and it does have a wonderful community.
    I’m glad to have found you and will definitely be back!
    Nadine

  • Loved this list. Totally agree; it’s hard, hard work but such good fun and people genuinelly don’t appreciate how influential bloggers are. As for those that do it solely for the freebies, the number of hours you have to put in really wouldn’t justify it for me! #Brilliantblogposts

  • Happy Birthday! As a newbie blogger this is really great advice. I had no idea how much work goes into blogging until I have now done my own. As much work as it is, its really rewarding to get feedback from your readers that you are making a difference (even if it is only small). I can’t believe how warm, friendly and supportive the blogging world is – I’ve made some lovely online friends in only a few months! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Ah my pleasure Jennifer! Thanks for you lovely comment. So pleased you’re finding the blogging world a happy, inspiring and supportive place to be x

  • Kate, thank you for the birthday present. So well written. I’ve only been blogging for 7 weeks and I needed to read this. I stumbled upon it from #brilliantblogposts. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and congrats on three years.

    Casey Grice

    • Ah thank you Casey! So kind of you to say and welcome to the blogging world. I hope it will be as magical for you as it has been for me x

  • Happy 3rd Birthday Katie! Fantastic post – all so, so true. Blogging IS brilliant. It can be time consuming and hard but all worth it. Very inspiring – and useful – points! Xx #brilliantblogposts

  • wow! that’s some list :)

    Really like #3 “Yes there are a few bloggers who are only in it for the free stuff , but most of us do it because we love having a voice. We love sharing our thoughts, feelings and opinions with you all. It’s what makes us giddy with joy.”

    I get a buzz when someone leaves a comment on my blog…it means they have found me through all the millions & millions of sites out there & taken the time to interact with my writing & with me…love it!

    Really glad I’ve found your blog via #sundaystars

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