This very post is officially my 500th blog post and I actually can’t believe I ever got this far. My very first blog post went live on 12th August 2014 and whilst I sporadically blogged over my first year it wasn’t until Mid 2015 that I started actually getting into a routine and by the end of the year I was posting frequently eventually moving to daily last year.
I read a lot of posts where fellow bloggers talk about starting their blogs when they were teenagers, or when they were at university, and in all honesty, I wish I had known about the blogging world back then. I started my blog when I was 24 and at 27 years’ old now I don’t know whether I consider myself the ‘typical blogger age’ or older than the average.
I’ve never had the idea for my blog to turn into a career and I don’t think I could handle full-time freelance blogging, the instability of wages would scare the hell out of me, but instead I am enjoying it being a hobby and a good part of my life. I know my blog is never going to win awards or get huge recognition and I can handle that, I’m blogging for the same reason I am when I first clicked the publish button because I enjoy it.
I’ve learned a lot over the past two years or so about the blogging world such as:
Don’t accept every single item submission
I still remember the first time I had an email from a brand asking if I wanted to review their product. It was only a bubble bath but it made me so happy that a brand valued my thoughts and opinions and wanted to send me something. Over the past 18 months- 2 years’ I’ve had some pretty good opportunities but it’s important to remember that you don’t need to accept every single product offered to you. I always think is this something which fits with the brands and past posts on my blog? Is this something I’d read as a reader? Is this something I’d look into buying? And also do I have time to take this on? Too often bloggers put unnecessary pressure on themselves by taking on too much work.
Sponsored posts are great but only if they fit in with your blog
Sponsored posts are for most bloggers the holy grail of making money and turning your blog into a business but there’s no point taking something on if it ultimately doesn’t fit in with your blog. Too often I read blogs on others sites which stick out like a sore thumb because the theme just doesn’t match the rest of the website. While you might be screaming for the money in the long term it might not do your brand or blog any good.
Working for exposure doesn’t pay the bills
Each week opportunities fly into inboxes of bloggers around and I would say 50% of them have no budget and a further 30% have such small budgets you feel like laughing in their face. There are always going to be the rare exception when a brand would really fit with your blog and you agree to do something for the exposure but this doesn’t pay the bills. Having a brand retweet your post to a few thousand followers, or crediting you for an image should be something which happens payment or not, but offering this instead of money is a real kick in the teeth. Bloggers spend time creating content, taking images, publishing and promoting their work and like you wouldn’t ask a retail worker to stand on their feet scanning items for two hours for free you shouldn’t ask a blogger to work for free.
Buy a domain and register it ASAP
I was quite lucky and bought my domain name after not long of blogging which meant I could build up my stats and DA score but too often I see bloggers battling a year or two down the line with finally buying a domain name and having to work again to push their stats up. The earlier you create your brand and register it the better, plus having a URL which doesn’t have .wordpress or .blogspot in it looks so much more professional both to your readers and to PR’s who may want to work with you.
Remember why you started blogging
For most people, you probably started blogging because you enjoyed writing and you enjoying piecing together a post. Remember that when you’re stressing out that your image isn’t perfect and that you’ve only posted 4 times that week. Life is too stressful anyway without us adding extra pressure to ourselves so remember why you started. If blogging is becoming less enjoyable take some time out, limit your posts a bit, schedule way in advance, take a week (or longer off). Your blog will always be there waiting for you.