Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Year of Blogging


Print saying There is Always Something to be Thankful for on white background

It’s my blog birthday! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I made the big scary step of posting my first ever review online! Looking back at my first posts, and it’s amazing for me to see how far I’ve come. I’m slowly but surely improving my blog, going to conferences and events, meeting so many amazing people, and I even hosted my first ever blogging event (and it was amazing)! In a year of blogging, I’ve learnt some lessons, and been given a lot of valuable advice, and I’d like to share some of my insights with you.

Blogging will slowly but surely take over your life at times
I heard this from a lot of bloggers when I first started, and I never believed them. It’s true - you will never switch off. You’ll be in a restaurant, and you’ll think “Ooh, that décor would make a good Instagram photo!” or out shopping with your Mum and be like “That tea light would make a great photo prop!” Even a holiday won’t be a holiday anymore because all you’ll want to do is want to blog about it when you come home. Even though that makes for some great content, sometimes it can get a little overwhelming, so know when you need to take a step back. Take as much time as you need to yourself and don’t stress yourself out trying to meet self-inflicted deadlines.

It’s important to say no
In the spirit of not being overwhelmed, sometimes you have to say no to things. I’m thankful that my blog is currently my hobby, and that I have full control over what I post. I’ve turned down paid work from companies in times when I’ve been completely skint, because the post is completely irrelevant and would look, quite frankly, ridiculous. Even if something pays well, don’t take an opportunity if you aren’t sure. If you’re a beauty blogger writing about car engines or curtains, it’s just going to look bizarre.

You need to have the confidence to take criticism
It takes a lot of balls to put yourself out on the internet and promote yourself to complete strangers. You will get people that love you and your work, and of course, you’ll get people that have nothing but negative things to say. You need thick skin to get anywhere as a blogger because if you take every little thing people say to heart, you aren’t going to last very long. That being said, criticism is not a bad thing! As long as it’s constructive, and you can actually learn something from it, take it! Before I started blogging, I was so awful at taking criticism. I’d get pissed off and instantly get a face on, regardless of whether the person was trying to help me or not. Even if you decide not to take peoples’ comments on board, be prepared to listen. Some bloggers can offer great advice, and your readers give you the feedback you need to improve.

Writing is incredibly therapeutic
Well, for me it is anyway. Before I started blogging, the last time I had written for long periods of time was when I was at University studying English Literature. I’m sure you can imagine how much that ruined both reading and writing for pleasure for me. Now if I'm feeling quite low, I can pick up my laptop and spend hours just writing away about something I'm passionate about. It's a welcome distraction!

It is so much more than just “putting pen to paper”
There’s a lot involved in blogging. You become your own photographer, proofreader, editor, personal assistant – you have to learn to balance a lot of different elements. You need to be able to network with other bloggers, make the connections with brands and PR, and find time to actually write! Blogging has taught me how to be organised so I know what I’m meant to be doing on a daily basis. Whether or not I do it is another thing, though.

There’s always room for improvement
When I read other blogs, I can’t help but notice their photos, just like everyone else. At the moment, I only use the camera on my iPhone for photos. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the worst camera in the world, and it does the job when I’m out and about, but I think the next step in improving is investing in a decent camera and lighting. I’d love to learn how to do good flatlay photography and to utilise my lighting better. In the next few months, I really want to focus on working on this. I've also enrolled on a creative writing course so I can really work on finding my voice, and really nailing blog posts.

Here's to many more blogging years!


2 comments :

  1. Congrats. I reached a year in June on my other blog as well. Blogging is an amazing experience and a journey I wish I had embarked on sooner!

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  2. Congrats on your one year anniversary! It's nice to see how far your blog has grown and it's nice to reflect on older posts. Blogging can be very therapeutic and I LOVE writing. Like you, I really want to practice more on my photos and how I take pictures in general. Keep up the good work!

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