I remember when I first started blogging, many, many years ago, thinking what fun it would be, and how I could use it as a creative outlet and share my thoughts on things I cared about with a community who would actually feel the same way. What I definitely didn’t consider, however, was that it would at times take over my life, and other times would just be too much of a commitment for me to actually stick to it. Because, you know, life.
However. I still love it. And it’s had a bit of a makeover (again) so that it finally feels like something that reflects me – it’s not chintzy.
In the spirit of restarting my blog (god knows how long I’ll maintain this for, although I’m only aiming for one post a week now due to the aforementioned life so give me a chance) I decided that a nice little post about things I wish I had known when I started the first time around was appropriate.
1. You don’t have to let it take over your life
Seriously, just because you partake in twitter chats (which happen way too frequently for you to keep up with every single one) where people post every day, doesn’t mean that you have to. I found this out the hard way. To be honest, I think once a week will be a big enough challenge for me, I want to focus on trying to release posts that people actually want to read instead of just crap.
2. Taking decent photos takes a long time
Don’t underestimate this. Also, don’t try and start taking photos at 6 pm if the sun is setting at 7, it won’t work out unless you have a serious light box setup.
3. You don’t need ALL the “blogger kit”
Ok, so we all like beautiful flat lays and rose gold is everything. BUT. When you start out, focussing on improving your photography skills is much more important than making sure you have the perfect marble background and flowers for every photo. Also, you don’t need the exact camera every big blogger has, learn how to setup a shot, learn about depth of field, then get the kit that suits your style!
4. Follow your own niche
Some people love the high-end stuff. Some people love Primark. Some people love healthy eating. Some people love to exercise. Some people love Pizza. Write about what you like, stuff everyone else, and if you are interested in a few things, go and write about them all… this is your space!
5. Don’t compare yourself to others
If you try and compare your blog to other people’s you will never be happy. Just accept everyone is different, and love what you’re doing, although if you don’t love what you’re doing – change it of course!
6. People change
Following on from above, if you maintain a blog for several years, at some point you’re going to want it to change slightly as you get older and have different life experiences. For example, if you told me a year ago that I would now be really keen on fitness, I wouldn’t have believed you, but I am. Therefore there may be some upcoming posts about it, even if it isn’t an obvious choice based on previous content.
7. You will have times when you hate it
Hate is a strong word, but you will have days (weeks, months….) where the last thing you want to do is update your blog. That’s ok!
8. Don’t expect to be famous and receive all the freebies
When you were little, did you and some friends or family start a band and think it was amazing, and you were going to be famous? (or maybe that was just me…) Well just like 8-year-old me found out, chances are it’s not going to happen, and if that’s your only reason for starting a blog, you may need to evaluate things. However, if you work hard, you may end up working with some brands (but only accept if it fits your style!)
9. Always review your copy
Sometimes I have failed at this one, especially when I’ve been in a rush! However, copy is king, and your writing style is why readers come back to your blog, so before you hit that Publish button, give it a little read over!
10. Enjoy it
For all the bother, blogging can be one of the most rewarding hobbies, and you will meet some really lovely people who you share so many interests with!