When I started my blog in April 2017 I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. I was very naive in thinking that blogging was just writing a post and then publishing it online. The reality of the blogging world was so much different, and I have been shocked by just how much goes in to creating a successful blog. There has been times when I’ve wanted to give up and leave it as a memory to read back on in years to come, but my passion for creating something special has brought me back. I’m going to be looking back on things that I would do differently if I could start again on my blog knowing everything that I now know.
In the first six months of having my blog I was using pictures that I found on Google. A huge red flag for any reader. Little did I know at the time that I was breaking copyright guidelines and basically just using somebody else’s pictures. After talking to other bloggers and reading other blogs I came to realise that creating my own photos was the way to go. Taking my own photographs has meant that my content was more personal and gave a better insight into my life, rather than using a generic bland picture from the internet. I’m yet to find the time however to create the classic blogger Instagram pictures of the keyboard and mug of coffee shot. My photographs are basic and take seconds to produce. All of the fine editing can be introduced to my blog in the future. When I go back and look at the first few blog posts that I published, I wish I’d have used better pictures.
Blogging Takes Time
Who’d have thought that blogging could take over your entire life?! If you allow it, you can spend hours and hours writing content, editing pages and proof-reading posts. That’s not to mention the time spent on social media attempting to promote yourself. I was clueless to the amount of time that I would spend on my blog. This is one of the reasons that I fell out of love with blogging. My life was so crazy that I felt like my blog would have to take a backseat. Now that my life is slightly less chaotic, I have managed to find more time to write. I’m impressed when I see that somebody has managed to make a living out of blogging. It must feel like a 24/7 career with the amount of effort it would take to continuously post content and be active on social media. Trying to blog alongside a career has been my toughest challenge. It’s hard to motivate yourself to sit down with a laptop after working an 11 hour shift. Without the motivation there is no way forward for your blog.
The Blogging Community
I’ve spoken to so many amazing people since becoming a blogger. It’s comforting knowing that there are millions of people out there who are doing the exact same thing and are in the same position that you are. Making connections with other bloggers is important as it allows you to help each other out. There’s nothing better than the same couple of people liking your posts and leaving comments. If I could go back to the start I would have made these connections before I even wrote a thing so that I could get an insight into what blogging was all about. I went into my blog completely blind and alone which really shows in my first few posts. It would have been beneficial for me to gain some advice and read other blogs first. It’s the best way to learn.
The world of social media was the biggest surprise to me when I started writing. Like nearly everyone, I was on the usual sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but I didn’t really pay attention to what I was posting or how many followers I had. It was only a few months into blogging that I realised that growing your profile on social media was just as important as the content that you are writing about. There is no use writing some amazing posts for nobody to ever read them. You have to promote yourself. My preferred platform is Twitter as it’s allowed me to connect with other bloggers and learn a lot about the blogging world. If I could go back in time I would have created some sort of following before I started writing anything, so that there was an audience for me to then promote my work. My earlier posts were only really read by family and close friends, which really showed in the amount of views that I was getting. I am still learning years later, only recently I have been advised to schedule my tweets on Twitter to show my latest blog posts. This has increased my traffic from Twitter considerably. All of these little things are tricks I am learning as I go along, and I’m sure there is still a lot for me to learn.
If you would like to follow me on any of my social media you can find them below.
The most important thing to remember when blogging is that it is just a hobby. Many writers (such as myself) fall out of love with blogging by putting too much pressure on making it successful. If you enjoy what you are writing then the success will come to you. I’ve recently received my first ever paid opportunity, nearly two years after starting out. You have to be patient and just write whatever you feel like writing.
If you have anything that you would have changed if you were to start again on your blog then let me know.