When people ask me how long I’ve been blogging for, it still surprises me when I say two years. It only feels like last week that I was stood in my kitchen, about the leave for uni and decided that I was going to start my own blog.
No planning, no pre-written posts, I just decided to wing it and it was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made!
I’ve made some of my best friends through blogging and have found a lovely, supportive community that I can turn to whenever I need help.
Even though I’ve never met most of them (and in all fairness, probably never will), they celebrate every one of my achievements with me; somethings that people who know me in real life sometimes don’t even do.
When Chris had his car accident, I was overwhelmed with the number of messages from people asking what had happened, if he was okay, how I was doing and if there was anything they could do to help.
Or when I’ve gone quiet on twitter and not posted anything for a few days, I’ll get people dropping me a message asking if I’m okay, because they’ve realised that when I don’t tweet much I’m usually having a bad time with my mental health.
It’s the little things like that that mean the most to me!
I could probably write a whole dissertation on what I’ve learnt about blogging, but I think that would be too long even for my rambling posts. Although if thats something you’re interested in reading and want me to write, let me know in the comments as I’m more than happy to; I’ll just need to stock up on teabags and biscuits first.
In the meantime, these are the four main things that I’ve learnt over the past two years- things that I wish I’d known when I first started my blog…
Don’t try to fit in
Honestly this is something that I wish I’d learnt sooner; don’t feel that you have to do what everyone else is doing.
When I first started my blog, I felt that I had to do the type of posts that everyone else was, even though I didn’t really want to.
It was a mix between fear that I wouldn’t get any views if I didn’t write those kind of posts (amusingly I got almost no views on them anyway!) and fear of doing something different and being laughed at.
I even felt that I had to take the typical blogger style of photos, things like flat lays on white backgrounds which really aren’t my style.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll probably even remember when they looked like that!
Luckily I decided at the start of this year that I was going to change the way I take and edit my blog photos, into the style that I use now.
I’ve been embracing my own creativity and style and I love the result; my confidence is really growing and I feel that’s starting to reflect in my content.
Don’t force yourself to write
Personally I would never had a blogging schedule, it’s just not for me. I tried it out a few months ago as I’d seen so many people say that you needed one to be successful, but honestly it was too much stress.
It forces you to create content when you aren’t in the right mental place to write it, or write something just for the sake of hitting a deadline.
Personally I could tell the difference between content is made to fit with this schedule, and content that I’d written because I wanted to!
True my stats did improve, but I think that was more because I’d started to schedule promotional tweets and had a pin or two take off on Pinterest, rather than because I was using a schedule.
The important thing is to write what you want, when you want and don’t feel guilty if you haven’t posted all week.
Use it as an opportunity to promote your older content that newer followers might not have read before!
Unfollowing people is a good thing
A controversial point I know, but I absolutely love having a social media clear out. It’s easy to feel pressured into following people back just because they follow you, even if you don’t particularly want to.
This is something I did when I first started my blog, but it meant that I ended up missing lots of content from the people I spoke to regularly.
So at the beginning of this year I decided enough was enough and had a huge clear out on all my social media channels.
It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
I now see content that I’m actually interested in engaging with and it’s made me start to enjoy going on social media again.
There’s nothing wrong with unfollowing people if their content isn’t what you want to see anymore; just as long as you aren’t playing the follow/unfollow game!
Don’t be scared to write short posts
This is something I’m still struggling to do myself; for some reason I really struggle to write short posts! I feel like there needs to be a deep, in depth reason for the post but that’s not the case at all.
Like now; I’ve made my point and could easily end this paragraph here, but I won’t because my brain seems to think it looks too short!
I’m not sure where I’ve picked up this habit, but it’s one I’m trying to get rid of.
What is your number one tip about blogging?