1 Dec 2016

One Year Of Blogging

In December 2015, I decided to publish my first post to this blog. Since then, I have posted 53+ posts and have learnt a lot about blogging and about myself.

Blogging, for me, has been a great experience. I love expressing my creativity through my blog writing, photos and ideas for posts. I always recommend blogging to anyone because I think that it is a great stress reliever, a chance to get your voice heard and also very comforting. Plus, it could help you with your education and career - more reasons here.

In fact, I used to have a blog a few years ago but didn't like what I was writing about so I stopped. I'm really glad I got back into it because I am enjoying it so much and it's my own little thing.

Anyways, this past year has taught me several things about the blogging world. Here is what I have learnt from one year of blogging.

1. It's okay to get zero views
I remember how nerve-wracking it was to click publish and just watch what would happen. And you know what happened? Nothing. I kept doubting what I was writing about and thought it wasn't good enough. I decided to write another post about another topic and still got zero views (apart from my friends who'd read the post). I didn't give up and kept posting and about a month or two down the line I began getting more views. I finally felt like it was paying off!

2. Have a clear vision
I started blogging because I wanted a new hobby, something to take my time up and get my mind off things. I don't want this to become my job or get money from it but I am open to the idea of it perhaps being a possibility. For now, my career goals are far different to becoming a full-time blogger. Just as a hobby is good enough for me, for now.

3. Blog about what you want to blog about
I used to think that if something is popular or an 'internet craze' that I had to jump on the bandwagon to join in on the fun. However, trying this proves that it isn't true. I learnt that I should blog about something because its popular and could get views. Instead, I blog about things I am genuinely interested in. I think passion and personal voice go hand in hand and writing about things I wanted to write about definitely comes across in the post and that is when I was happy with it.

4. Talk to other bloggers
I haven't had the chance to meet other bloggers at events yet but I regularly go and comment on blogs and reply to comments on my own. It is a nice way to see what other people out there are doing and could be beneficial for me one day in terms of networking. Bloglovin' is a great blogging platform to find new blogs, fellow bloggers and promote your own.

5. Consistency is key
I remember I had a plan to post at least once a week and so far this has worked (though I have deleted a few of my old cringey posts already). I wanted to stick to my hobby and by having a 'schedule', if you like, worked. I realised that the more I posted, the more people came across my blog and the more I felt I like I was getting rewarded.

6. Plan, plan, plan
Sometimes I get writers block or get in a creativity rut. I would recommend to avoid putting out a post that you are not 100% happy with because you'll probably end up deleting it a few weeks later (the amount of times this has happened to me!). When I am feeling inspired and creative, I write so many posts and take a bunch of photos. Pre-planning and preparing for these instances is so beneficial, especially if you have a blog schedule or want to be consistent.

7. Every blog is different
I used to compare my blog to others and feel so down about it. Mine didn't look as pretty, the photos weren't as good quality, the products I was talking about wasn't from Sephora... but every blogger and blog is different. By blogging about products with a high street price tag was what made my blog a representation of me. My photo skills can improve and paying for a decent template to make the layout of my blog look cleaner was a tiny investment that helped me out a little (pipdig is awesome for inexpensive templates that look fab, btw). I realise that everyone is different and therefore every blog should be different and perhaps thats what people want to read.. different things.

8. Get over the embarrassment 
When I first blogged, it was my own little secret. I eventually told a few of my friends and then family and now I am fine with whoever knows. I'm not sure why I was embarrassed by having a blog. I think part of it was the fact that I am publishing my thoughts on the internet and ultimately am talking to myself which was maybe weird to some people. If you're in that same boat, you'll get over it and I'm sure people will be supportive towards what you are doing because it does take a lot of confidence and guts.

9. There are no rules
Blogging culture has taken off over the past few years and I've seen countless posts about 'how to get views' and 'how to make money from blogging' but where have these rules come from. Obviously, some people are just sharing their experiences and how they came to be successful but that doesn't mean it will work for you. I would try doing some of the things they said to do and it didn't work. So now I just do what I want, follow my gut instinct. After all, it is my own blog.

10. Be you
Similar to my previous points but by far the most important. Just being myself is the best thing I could do. I like having a blog with different themes and sections. A chit-chatty post like this one is probably one of my favourites to read as well as write. Sometimes, I don't get that many views and other times I do but whatever it is, I am happy with it.

So that's what I've learnt so far! Who knows what the next year will bring?

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