Back when I first started this blog, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no real idea what to do, only that I wanted a creative outlet to talk about the things that interested me. And you could say, that five years later I still have no real idea what to do. And as much as I’d love to head back to 2012 and do things differently on the blogging journey. I also think that all those experiences over the years, the good, the bad and the downright ugly ones. Have helped shaped me into the blogger I am today. And while blogging can still be a minefield, I wanted to share with you all the five things I wish I’d known back when I first started blogging.
NUMBERS REALLY AREN’T THE BE ALL AND END ALL
Yes, stats are important. Brands and PRs will want to know your numbers before they work with you. But they’re not the be all and end all. And they definitely aren’t the only measure of success. There are so many other ways to measure the success of your blog and for me, it’s really not about the numbers. Otherwise, I would have given up a LONG time ago! For me, it’s far more important to have a relationship with the readers. And to gain their trust. As long as you’re readers care what you have to say, then it really shouldn’t matter how many likes you got on your last Instagram post.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHER BLOGGERS
Comparision really is the thief of joy and one of the most annoying thing in the blogosphere will be seeing someone start a blog and then instantly start working with some of the biggest brands around. All the while, you’re sitting there slogging away feeling like you’re barely treading water. Trust me. I get it. It sucks and it’s really disheartening. Especially when their ‘success’ is questionable… But my only advice is to just keep doing you. Keep working hard and keep producing content you’re proud of and try to ignore those that ‘appear’ to be leaping ahead of everyone else. Eventually, they’ll fall back down just as quickly as they climbed ahead of us all.
THERE ARE NO RULES
I wish there was a tried and tested formula that guaranteed ‘success’ (whatever that looks like) when it comes to blogging. But there really isn’t. And despite a bunch of books claiming to help you become the next big thing when it comes to blogging. The fact is there are no rules. That’s the beauty of blogging. You have the freedom to write about whatever you choose to, whenever you want to.
NOT EVERYONE WILL LIKE YOU
I used to say one of the best things about being a blogger was the supportive community. But I’m not sure I feel the same way anymore. Over the past couple of years, the blogging community on Twitter has become a bit of a catty environment that I just don’t enjoy engaging in. But it’s taught me that you really can’t please everyone on the internet. And that you really shouldn’t try to either. What other people think of you, really isn’t any of your business.
BLOGGING WILL ALWAYS BE A MYSTERY
Despite being in this industry for the past five years, I still don’t know everything there is to know about blogging. I wish I did. But it changes ALL the time. The industry now looks completely different to when I started back in 2012. Mainly because it is an industry now. When I started no-one was doing this as a full-time thing. PRs didn’t have huge budgets to engage with ‘influencers’. In fact, PRs were only just starting to engage with bloggers. So who knows what the next fives years of blogging will look like. I personally, just hope I’m still here doing my thing to see all the changes to come.
If you’re a fellow blogger, what things do you wish you’d known when you first started blogging?