4 important lessons I have learnt about blogging

Saturday, June 13, 2015

For me blogging started out as a hobby and with any hobby you want to get better and better at it. It's only natural right? As a swimmer you'd constantly want to improve your stroke technique and reach faster times for competitions and you would do this by training. For me blogging is similar. I could keep blogging the same way I did at the start but I want to feel that sense of achieving something, of improving. Fortunately there are A LOT of resources out there to help you to improve your blogging abilities (some of my favourites are A Branch of Holly and I Can Build A Blog). However, you can easily become bogged down in constantly wanting to improve. There's always something you can change about your blog and there's always something (you feel) you can do better. The past few days have seen me actually sit down and consider my blog goals, what I write about, what I think I'm doing wrong and right and what I actually am wanting to write about. This process led me to think about what I've learnt about blogging in the last 9 months (wowee that goes fast right?!) and I thought some of you might like to know these lessons I've learnt and am still learning as they might help you out too!

Number One: There is no point in posting blog posts just for the sake of it

This may seem like a relatively controversial lesson to learn as blogging experts often tell you that you should post as regularly as possible. However, I think that it's important that the regularity of your posting is dependent on the type of blog you have. If you have a lifestyle/personal blog - it's okay just to post whenever you want. If you are a blogger who's blog is also your business you will obviously need to maintain a level of consistency as you would with any day job. If you want to just see some sort of regular growth then you will fall somewhere in between. I fell into the trap of sitting thinking 'oops I've not posted on my blog in a while, I better churn something out to post'. This resulted in mediocre posts that are not really relevant and therefore has a knock on effect as they aren't received particularly well. It's basically a half-arsed attempt. In my eyes it's better to post less often (within moderation of course, I would always say at least post weekly) but with cohesive, exciting, well researched posts that inspire you as well as your readers.

So lesson number one is: 

Don't blog for the sake of it, blog because you've got something to talk about. Tweet this!

Number 2: It's okay for blogging to take a back seat if you need it to.
You're probably getting the impression here that I'm not very committed to my blog huh?! Well on a similar vein to Lesson 1 it is okay for blogging to take a back seat if you need it to. This doesn't mean you care any less about it. You need to understand that sometimes life gets in the way, and when life gets in the way you won't be able to blog at your best. Recently, I had my final exams of my law degree which equaled a pretty stressed out little me. I tried to keep up posting and constantly felt guilty for not being as multitasking as people like Hannah who can balance a law degree and a very popular blog. I felt pretty inadequate but then whenever I sat and tried to spend time doing my blog I then began to feel very silly for prioritising a hobby over my degree. I eventually decided that my blog could wait and if that meant a drop in stats for the month that I was studying then so be it. I had to accept I couldn't give my all to both but that didn't mean I couldn't come back to blogging. I'd just have to be super committed when I came back.

So lesson number two is: 

Don't feel guilty about letting life get in the way of blogging. Tweet this!

Number 3: There's always going to be someone out there who you believe is better than you.
Speaking of comparison, the blogging world is very competitive and even more so now that blogging is actually recognised and people know what it is. There are people who have been doing it for years and those people were in your shoes once. I think we forget a lot of the time that big bloggers are just regular people like ourselves; they are often similar ages, have similar personalities and we also obviously have a passion for blogging in common. They've just managed to find their little niche, and that's what you need to do too. Not that that's easy, I'm still struggling with that bit (seeeee, learning with ya!) What sets you apart from those people is that you are you. You have your own set of experiences, your own set of skills, your own viewpoints and personality. So no matter how good they are at their game, they ain't any good at your game. If you can channel yourself into your blog then you'll feel much more content at being something like colleagues rather than competitors.

So lesson number three is:

 You may believe that another blogger out there is doing better than you - but they aren't you! Tweet this!

Number 4: There's always going to be someone out there who judges you.
When you put yourself out there on the interwebs you're bound to receive some criticism. The blogging world is on the whole a really darn nice place - people are generally super friendly and supportive but there are some internet demons out there too. Surprisingly the judgement I feared most was not from other bloggers or internet dwellers but actually from the people I knew in real life. I still don't share my content on Facebook (which I still feel silly for). I even wrote a whole blog post way back on whether you should tell people that you blog. I still don't even speak to friends that much about it or go 'hey have you seen my blog?!'. I'm not a showy person and I don't particularly enjoy bigging myself up. Showing off this little thing I'm creating seems just a little bit like being 'hey there look at me'. There's also just a lot of people who don't understand blogging. They seem to think you just do it because you're vain and like taking photos of yourself or want people to listen to you. They don't understand why you put yourself out there on the internet and they don't understand why people read it. They just don't get it. I don't mind people not getting it, I don't understand some other people's hobbies either. I just am terrified of people being 'oh did you see her blog, weird huh?'. But then again I've always been conscious of people liking me. It's a bad trait. However, this is all just a slight bit of insecurity bubbling under the surface. In fact I've only ever received lovely supportive comments, tweets, shares and likes from mostly my university friends. One time a lovely girl I don't know very well at uni came up to me in a club and told me how much she loves my blog and that I've inspired her to start one too. And that building of relationships and comments no matter how small are what makes the negative judgement irrelevant because there's positivity out there too.

So lesson number four is:

 There's always someone to judge you but there's always someone out there who'll support you too! Tweet this! 

I've still got a whole lotta learning to do but these are some things I've picked up and that I hope will be helpful to you too.

What do you think of the things that I've learnt? Have you learnt anything different or do you feel the same?
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  1. I think that first one "don't blog for the sake of blogging" is something that's taken me quite a while to learn as a blogger. I used to feel kind of stressed about blogging because I felt like I needed to post everyday, which resulted in some not so great posts. I've found a schedule that works for me know to write things I'm proud of while maintaining a regular posting schedule.

    I really enjoyed this post because it addressed a lot of things that I haven't learned yet about blogging :)

    -N the Traveling Curl

    1. Hello! Just to say your blog is beautiful - just had a wee peek! Thanks so much for reading and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I know it is quite tough because it's like your little baby that you don't want to neglect! I've just been on holiday for a couple of weeks so feel super bad that it's kind of laid dormant but at least I know I haven't just filled it for the sake of it. So glad you've found yourself a posting schedule that works for you!

  2. I personally don't feel the need to tell people I blog, like you say sort of show off?(idk lol) It's nice knowing that people you are close to support you. If you enjoy blogging what others think doesn't matter at all. I agree, people that live for blogging needs to have a consistency like work but if you do it for a passionate hobby don't feel the pressure to post things for the sake of posting. Great post!

    Mafer, Concientizando x

    1. Thanks for your comment Mafer and for your opinions! Yeah obviously these are what I've learnt but everyone feels differently :)

  3. Great post, I've learnt a few things over my time blogging too, totally agree with you!

    Anika | www.anikamay.co.uk

    1. Hi Anika! Thanks so much! There's so much to learn isn't there :)

  4. Love the lesson about letting life take its course, even if it gets in the way of a blog. That's definitely something people should know when taking on a blog.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Bloglovin’

    1. Hi Connie! Love your blog name! Glad you thought that - it's totally okay to take a break :) Blogging definitely takes so much more time than people think!

  5. Loved this blogpost, definitely some good food for thought (or blogging!) xo


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