I've been blogging pretty much consistently since October now, and I've discovered a lot of new things about myself and running a blog along the way.
Today, I thought I'd share the top four things I've learned with you:
Patience is key
There are two stages of starting a blog. and they're kind of like a seesaw. The first part is when the seesaw is up: you've finally started to give this blogging thing a go, and you're full of inspiration, motivation and raw enthusiasm. You read up on all things blogging, click publish on your first post and tweet a link to your page on your various social medias.
The other side of the seesaw, sitting in the dirt. You have barely any views and feel like you're talking to yourself. The high of starting a blog has worn off and you find yourself completely demotivated, contemplating throwing in the towel.
You can't expect to go viral the minute you hit publish and start raking in the page views. You haven't earned it yet. The big time bloggers of today have actually been around for years, working away to gain a loyal audience who are excited to read, like and share their posts.
It just takes time.
Building a following is time consuming
Here are some things which will help you to grow your blog/social media following:
- leaving comments on other people's blogs, videos and Instagram
- promoting your content and using relevant hashtags
- interacting with people on social media
- participating in Twitter chats
- researching how to grow your blog/social media following
Now, as fun as all of these are, they take up a lot of time. Time that you don't really have when you're working full time and studying, as well as running a blog. I always notice a massive increase in blog views when I've had a few days off, as I've had a bit more time to promote my stuff, take pretty photos and chat with you all on Twitter.
It can be hard to motivate yourself to take part in that Twitter chat or research the most effective Instagram hashtags to use when you've been slogging away in an office all day and battled through an hour long commute. But it is so, so rewarding to chat with people who share your interests, and it feels good to share a little love via comment.
You need to blog for yourself
For the past few years, blogging has been something that I'm extremely passionate about, but have always struggled to keep up with after a few months. I think that this is because I was paying too much attention to what the "experts" were telling me, and comparing myself to what everyone else was doing. I wasn't blogging for me.
I don't need a niche. I don't need to spend shedloads of money on a DSLR. I don't need to dress in a certain way. I decided to do whatever I wanted, and so far it's working. Don't get me wrong, I want people to enjoy what I post. But if I don't have my heart in it, it's not going to be as good.
If you want great selfies, stand in front of a window
Try it, you'll never go back.