Lessons I’ve learned through who knows how long I’ve been blogging.
When I started blogging, I didn’t really think much of it. It seemed like a fun hobby, so why not try it out? And then it somehow consumed my life.
Today I’m sharing 10 things I wish I knew when I started blogging – both the good & the bad!
1 // Blogging consistently is hard work
Who would have known? Big bloggers make it seem so easy, even luxorious! But it can take a lot of time and work to write content, come up with new ideas, promote your posts, engage on social media and maintanence behind the scenes. Not to mention taking and editing photos (and waiting for the sun to come out for that beautiful natural lightning). There’s so many little tasks to keep up with. It can be overwhelming at first, but nobody says you need to start out great (in truth, very few bloggers do). Remember if blogging is a hobby, it’s supposed to be enjoyable, not stressful.
2 // Engagement matters more than any number of followers
I’d be lying if I said I never look at my follow count. But I’ve learned that that number matters very little – it doesn’t matter how many followers you have if none of them reads your blog or cares about what you post. And no analytics tool can measure the impact your posts have on people’s thoughts and feelings.
3 // Not all ‘expert advice’ applies to your blog
You can google any sort of blog related question and get hundreds, or even hundred thousands of hits with all kinds of answers. But they you might not have your answer because they’re not you and they don’t have the same readers. There’s a huge difference between business blogs and personal blogs, and all the other types that falls somewhere inbetween. Not that you can’t learn a lot from reading other bloggers’ advice – but think about how you can adapt their strategies into your blog instead of just copying them (also it would be very silly of me to even write this post if I thought posts on blogging advice is completely uneccasary).
4 // ‘Published’ is better than ‘perfect’
When I started out, it took me forever to finish writing just one post. I’d go over it again and again looking for spelling errors (that I wouldn’t discover until seconds after I hit publish). I’d change the same paragraph twenty times because I wanted it to be perfect. But perfect doesn’t exist. And I’ve learned more from just putting my stuff out there and learning from my mistakes than I could from having an empty blog with a hundred drafts.
5 // The blogging community is the best thing ever
…And you should definitely be part of it! In my experience, the quickest way to become part of a group of friendly and super supportive bloggers is to join Twitter chats. You’ll find people to share your victories and frustrations with, people who just gets you.
6 // Bad brands try to take advantage of newbie bloggers
On a more serious note, some brands do try to take advantage of bloggers. They don’t expect you to know about no-follow links and disclosures. You always need to disclose! And they will often make it seem like you’re getting an amazing opportunity, when really they’re the ones getting free advertising (and you’ll have to buy their products before you can work with them). Now, I’m not saying all brands are bad and you should never collaborate – not at all! But collaborations should be a good deal for all 3 parties (brand + blogger + readers), so don’t be afraid to say no.
7 // Blogging can easily become a very expensive hobby
Hosting, themes, courses, plugins, tools, design work and you obviously need to support your blogging buddies beautiful Etsy shops – what’s meant to be a hobby can quickly become expensive. Because you could be so much more productive with just that tool, and that e-course teaches you everything you need to know. And you constantly want a new theme, because there’s so many pretty ones and you’re never quite satisfied!
8 // Pinterest is one of the best social media sites for bloggers
The big difference between Facebook or Twitter and Pinterest, is that Pinterest is not really a social media. It’s more of a visual search engine and bookmarking site. On Twitter, people are online to read tweets and engage, and might click away if they see and interesting link – but it gets annoying if links are all your posts. However on Pinterest, people want to click away from the site to read your awesome blog posts, because it’s made for collecting blog posts and images. Joining Pinterest and learning to use is one of the best things I’ve done for my blog.
9 // Personality can make or break your blog
If you came across my first attempt at a blog, you’d think it was written by a robot. Now, you’d think it was written by a crazy person I’m not afraid to add little jokes and stories from my personal life. It makes your blog more relatable and engaging. And afterall, that’s what really makes blogs different from magazines – it’s written by a person that you can get to know and connect with.
10 // You will become best friends with people you’ve never met
In a way it’s sad, and in a way it’s amazing! The beauty of the internet is that you’re bound to find somebody with the same interests as you and that you really ‘click’ with. The bad thing is that you probably live a thousand miles from each other and might never meet!
With all the lessons learned, have I ever regretted starting a blog? Not at all. It’s a fun journey, and I’m still learning every day!