Ahh, well this is awkward! I’m not really sure what happened with the #socialbloggers chat on Saturday, but I expect Noor lost her internet connection as she disappeared after the first question and I was at work!
I’m unsure what the other questions were going to be about, but as the first question was about learning things about blogging, I thought it a great opportunity to share the things I’ve learnt in the 2 years I’ve been blogging.
I have always had a thing about photography – I bought a fancy camera when I was at university but then sold it. Even though I loved taking photos, I never had anything to take photos of.
Blogging gave me a reason to get back into photography and I’ve learnt so much in the past two years.
I’ve also learnt that I actually really hate taking photos. It’s so awkward and frustrating. However, I do like having nice, bloggy photos that I’ve taken!
2. How to write.
I’ve always been a writing geek. I’ve mentioned a few times how I fell in love with poetry for a few years when I went through my emo phase. I love the clever craftsmanship of words – especially when a sentence or line can have both a physical and emotional meaning. Words are so clever. I’ve always favoured song lyrics over the beat of a song, I’ll pretty much listen to any style of music if the words hit the right spot with me.
Blogging has really aided me in developing my own style of writing. I’ve gone through a few stages during my blogging career – from being a bit manic at the start, to overly formal and I think I’m now settling on ‘me’.
Writing a blog is a lot different to writing an essay or article and it did take me a while to figure that out.
When I first started blogging, I thought that all I needed to do is write a blog post and people would find me. How, God knows. The sad truth is that hardly anyone will stumble upon your blog by accident unless you network and promote. It’s about getting personal with other bloggers and getting to know them. At the start of your blogging career, unless you are amazing at design, photography and writing from the get go, most of your traffic is going to be from people who like you as a person rather than being amazed by your blog.
And that’s okay.
I know my blog was terrible for the first few months and I am sure that most people will agree that they’ve made amazing progress in just a few months. We all start somewhere – so get making friends, not followers!
4. Working to deadlines.
Blogging forces you to work to deadlines, be it a weekly schedule you’ve put in place for yourself or working with a brand.
It’s that self discipline that you find within yourself and you can transfer it to other areas of your life, such as your career or fitness.
5. Work/life balance.
I like to call this work/life/blog balance – because you’re going to need to know your limits. It’s a trial and error process to figure out how strict you want to be with your schedule, how often you want to post and if you want to schedule posts in advance or just write when you feel like it.
The best thing about blogging is that it’s your blog, and can make your own rules. Don’t listen to all the blog myths out there! The trick is not to give yourself unachievable goals if you’re busy with other aspects of your life.
It’s okay if you find yourself spending more time on blogging than other hobbies, but just be careful you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself or ignoring friends, family and relationships!
6. Not everyone really reads your posts.
I’m sure we’ve all be there. A ‘great post‘ comment. We might have even left them ourselves at some point. It’s a sad fact that not everyone will read your posts. I’ve had people on many occasions leave comments saying they want to buy a product after my ‘great review‘, even though I’ve given it a terrible review!
It can make me sad when I’ve spent a lot of time writing something and think it’s a better than average post, but hey, that’s life! There are people that just want traffic back to their blog so will spam the same comment on multiple blogs. Doom.
7. It’s pretty normal to meet people from the internet.
After going to many blogger events, and even going on holiday with some bloggers – it really does make it clear how normal it has become now to meet people from the internet.
It would have been a strange thing to do 10 years ago, but more and more people are doing it! Just remember to be safe about it – an event with loads of people is probably a good place to start.
Not getting into a strangers car (I’m looking at you, India).
8. The blogging community is massive.
You would be surprised about how many blogs there are out there. There are loads of different niches you wouldn’t believe. Fitness, cars, food, business and more.
It’s so easy to get lost within your own niche, the circle of bloggers who know each other – if you look outside your twitter feed, you’ll find thousands of more people to connect with.
9. People prefer a personal touch.
It’s true, it’s true. One of the most frequent compliments I get is that people feel like I’m taking to them or enjoy that they can tell my blog posts from others (best compliment ever!). It’s good to get your personality out there and not be afraid to let it show with the temptation of trying to sound too professional or formal!
10. You have to put in a lot of time and effort.
When I first started blogging, I thought that once I got to 1000 followers, I wouldn’t really need to try promote myself anymore because 1000 followers is so many! But 1000 followers doesn’t mean 1000 people will read and comment on every post.
You still need to network and promote yourself all the time, otherwise your stats will drop.
What do you think is the most fun thing about blogging, that you’ve learned so far?
— Dora (@adropofindigo) December 6, 2014
— Apoorva (@tea_and_music) December 6, 2014
@Noor_Unnahar I love the writing! Also, photoshoots are super fun!
— Katya Bychkova (@stylesprinter) December 6, 2014
— Becky Bedbug (@BeckyBedbug) December 6, 2014