What I’ve learned about blogging in three years
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
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.
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!)