I was recently asked in my office what I’d leant about blogging during my three years as part of the community and what advice I would give to new bloggers. Having sat down and thought about it, I could probably have come up with about twenty or so points but I’ve managed to condense it down to five so I don’t bore you all to tears. So here’s my words of wisdom on what I’ve learnt over the last three years (or something like that!)
1. Not everyone is going to like your blog
They may not like your fashion sense or your writing style, or your photos. But that’s ok because I’m sure that we’ve all opened a blog and just haven’t been able to get on with it? It’s life, people are different and have different tastes. So why would everybody like your blog? The sooner you stop trying to please everybody and just write for yourself the sooner you’ll begin to enjoy your own content. From time to time I write a post which I know won’t be to my usual audiences taste but if it’s something I’m passionate about, I write it anyway. Your blog is your space on the internet and is yours to do with as you please. Remember that. It’s better to look back and be proud of what you’ve created rather than with regret because you didn’t really enjoy writing the post.
2. Numbers aren’t everything
Don’t get me wrong, they certainly help and are important. Yes the more followers you have the more opportunities it is assumed you’ll get but getting too hung up on numbers can become a bit of a fun sponge – it soaks all the fun out of what is a really fun and exciting hobby. Also I’ve been offered opportunities where I’ve thought ‘You’re picking me and my small following’ so it’s not just about your numbers. When you’re writing with passion it shows and is another way that you will attract brands.
3. If you want to take a break, then just take a break
You might not be able to see it but if you’re not into blogging (we all dip in and out of being enthusiastic about it) your readers will be able to tell. When this happens to me I do what any sane person would – I take a break. Sometimes that’s for a few days where I already have posts scheduled so nobody notices and sometimes it can be weeks where I have nothing scheduled and it’s like… oh man, there’s nothing going up! Even though consistency is key, a small blip every so often isn’t going to kill off your audience. Blogging needs to work around your life and not the other way around. I’ve become so much more relaxed about this and saw my highest increase in followers during a period where I wasn’t as frequent with my posts.
4. Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers
It’s so cliche but ‘you can’t compare your chapter 1 to somebody else’s chapter 20’. Every single blogger is on a different journey, with a different story to tell so how can you compare yourself to another one even in the slightest way? answer: You can’t. And sometimes there is no logic as to why somebody else’s blog has been chosen for an opportunity over your own. It could be for the most unexpected reason that you’re not going to guess in a million years. Jealousy is more common than you think in blogging and it happens to everybody at some point so don’t be ashamed about it, but just keep doing what you’re doing and keep the enjoyment in it for you. I wrote a post a while ago about blogging down days/sad blog days so just know you’re not alone in these feelings, it’s perfectly normal.
5. Finally, blogger tips posts are helpful but not the authority you should base your blog around
I read ALOT of blogger tips posts and they’re some of the most popular out there. I like to know more about the psyche of different bloggers and what makes them tick and how this fuels their content. In the past I’ve definitely got caught up as treating these posts as the authoritative voice that I should base my entire blog posts around. I guess what I’m trying to say is there there are no rules when it comes to blogging and there is sometimes no logic as to why one blogger is more popular than another. These posts are certainly helpful for new and experienced bloggers but you should always take them with a pinch of salt. None of them are going to make you Zoella overnight.