What I’ve Learnt From One Year of Blogging
So once again I’ve proved that I’m an idiot: when I first started blogging I didn’t bother to record the date I stared it on, so I had no idea when my blogiversary was! I knew it was some point in June but not a clue on the date.
Now any normal person would have just written this post in advance and waited until the WordPress notification telling them it was their anniversary, then just upload the post that same day. Easy!
In all fairness this was my original plan but of course, life got in the way. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you’ll have seen that I was away in Barmouth for the week with Chris and his family. We went away on the 3rd and it turned out the anniversary was on the 2nd…typical.
That week I’d been way too busy packing everything I own into a too small suitcase, working on the Beautiful Minds magazine and tying to organise a guest post that would be going live while I was away.
I was hoping to do a vlog of my holiday and maybe even get a post up while I was there but neither worked out. I’m seriously camera shy and couldn’t bring myself to even talk on Insta Stories let alone on YouTube! I really need to find a way to overcome that…
Also the holiday didn’t quite go as we had planned and I didn’t really have the time or the motivation to write the two posts I was going to, I was too tired and in too much pain.
But now that I’m back I can finally get writing again! Since starting my blog I’ve re found my love of writing. I used to write poetry and short stories constantly up until I was about 15 when the stress of exams and real life kicked in. After that my mental health took a huge downward spiral and I lost interest in everything, including writing.
So what have a learnt from blogging for the past year? Well actually, quite a lot!
I don’t want a niche.
When you first start everyone encourages you to blog about one thing only, having variety seems to be really discouraged. Yes I style myself as a Mental Health blogger but I also cover Lifestyle, Beauty and anything else that is of interest to me. Hell the next post I have planned is about what I’m hyped for at this years E3! Completely different from my normal content but it’s something I want to write about. I’m sure having a niche helps you become a successful blogger as readers and brands know roughly what to expect from you, but I’d get seriously bored writing about the same thing constantly!
I’m socially awkward.
I mean I already knew this but blogging has just confirmed it. I’m useless at socialising and engaging with other people in real life and I’m not that much better online. I blame it on my Aspergers. The biggest part about blogging is using social networks to promote your blog and allow new readers to find your content and this is the thing I find so hard. I swear I need to hire someone to write promotional posts for me! I love engaging and talking to people, its just knowing what to say so you don’t sound like a broken record. Although social media is a lot easier than in real life, as you actually have time to sit and think of an appropriate answer and make sure you don’t mess up by saying something you shouldn’t, but that you didn’t know you shouldn’t. I’m sure my fellow aspies get exactly what I mean.
You’ll meet some amazing people.
Kinda contradicts my last point but I have met some absolutely wonderful people through blogging. People like Elle and Bella have become as close to me as the friends I have in real life, yet I’ve never met either of them! The blogosphere has its negative moments, as does everything, yet as a whole is such a welcoming and encouraging community and more people are joining every day which is awesome!
I can’t stick to a schedule.
A lot of bloggers/youtubers have set days when they will upload posts or videos, so their audience always knows when to expect new content. Not me. I like to keep you all guessing and just post whenever the hell I like apparently. I don’t do it intentionally I promise! I tried to keep to set days and it just didn’t work: I would feel like I was forcing myself to write because it was expected on that particular day and then the content I produced would just be utterly crap! Plus some weeks I’d have tons of inspiration and want to write a blog post every other day. Maybe I should write them when I feel inspired and save them for the days when I don’t, but that just doesn’t seem to happen. Maybe one day I’ll get some self control and plan out my blog properly, but for now you’ll just have to put up with my eclectic way of blogging. Sorry, not sorry!
You’ll learn to wear many hats.
This ties in with the last point: most people seem to think that blogging is really easy when in fact it’s like doing several people’s full time jobs, without getting paid for the most part. You have to be the writer, editor, photographer, coder, social media manager and much much more! Plus let’s face it: writing the actual post can be bloody difficult! Some days I can write a brilliant post in half an hour and other times it takes me three days and my body weight in snacks to get a post I’m happy with.
It’s not about “freebies”.
I’ve seen so many new bloggers appear within the last few months who seem to have only started “to get free stuff”. One comment I saw a month or so ago was “I’ve had my blog two weeks, why haven’t I had free shit sent to me yet?!”. This seriously annoys me! Not only can it give bloggers a bad name but the sense of entitlement in that tweet is ridiculous- you have to work your butt off to to produce high quality, consistent posts before you’ll even be considered for PR products! This year I’ve had one sponsored post and two items sent to me and I’ve felt very honoured to have had these chances, I wasn’t expecting that to happen in my first year at all. But more importantly, that’s not why I started blogging! I created my blog as a place to showcase my writing abilities and to create a space on the internet for people with mental health condition when they could hopefully feel a little less alone. Anything extra is a huge bonus.
But most of all what I’ve learnt from blogging is this: yes it can be terrifying (what if someone you know reads your posts?!) but you need to just take the plunge and do it! It is such a rewarding thing. Don’t try and be like the big, famous bloggers. They aren’t you. Do your own thing, create your own corner of the internet and most importantly, do what makes you happy!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from blogging?