I’ve been in and out of the blogging loop for the majority of my blogger life to be honest. Definitely for at least the last couple of years.
So if you’re still here, thank you for joining me. I’m glad you could make it.
When I started in January 2016 I felt excited, full of energy and buzzing to share my ideas with the world. I used to log onto my computer every night to either read blogs or write my own posts. I used to feel like I’d let myself down if I didn’t post at least three times a week. Now I feel accomplished if I publish something once a month.
Funny how things change ain’t it?
It’s sometimes difficult to make time but that’s okay
I still enjoy writing, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. But I don’t have the same buzz about it. Instead of looking forward to logging on it’s something I have to remind myself to do or make time to do.
Every now and then I’ll get a spurt of inspiration (kind of like I did with this post) and the words will just flow. But most of the time, I do a lot more thinking than actual writing.
It doesn’t help when people try and tell you that you need to blog x times a week or a post needs to have x number of words.
The thing is, and everyone says it, but it’s difficult managing a blog when you work full-time. When I get in from work a lot of the time all I want to do is change into my pjs and climb into bed. Especially after I’ve been to the gym!
Although, you can trust that the posts I do actually make the time to write are important to me and that I’ve put my all into them. I won’t throw a post together just for the sake of it. I won’t publish something just to tick something off a to do list or to make sure I’m sticking to a schedule.
I’m not blogging for the readers, I’m blogging for myself
My attitude towards blogging has changed too. I’m doing it less for the readers or the followers and more for myself. I don’t schedule tweets anymore because, most of the time, I either completely forget or I can’t be bothered.
A couple of years ago I would have been disappointed with myself because I’d feel like a post that had been left unpromoted would be a waste. Almost like, what’s the point of posting it if no one is going to read it?
Which makes sense I suppose. If you’re blogging to gain a following and a readership then there would be no point. But these days, I don’t mind so much if no one reads my posts. I don’t publish posts for them to be read anymore, I publish posts for myself. Just for fun.
Obviously I would love for people to read my posts and enjoy them enough to share them with their friends and family but, for me, it’s not the most important thing. I just enjoy writing and if anyone enjoys reading what I write then that’s a bonus.
I’ve realised that collaborations aren’t the be-all and end-all of blogging
I used to love the feeling of opening up my inbox to an influx of emails from brands and businesses asking me to write about them or attend an event they’re putting on. Again, I suppose I got a sort of buzz from it. Which is only natural. If someone likes your writing enough to ask you to work with them on something then it’s a compliment, for sure.
I’d very rarely say no to an opportunity, whether it was a good fit for my blog or not. I had major FOMO and hated the thought of missing out on something that I might see or read about on social media the next day. Don’t get me wrong, I was always honest. I have always been honest on this blog – it’s one of the most important things to me – but I accepted some opportunities back then that I probably wouldn’t now.
I attended so many events that I didn’t have time to write about things I wanted to write about. I was sharing post after post (most of which, I was and still am very proud of and did want to share) but collab posts took up so much time that I didn’t have time to write for myself anymore. I was writing because I had to because it was part of an agreement, not because I had an idea about something and a spare half an hour to put it into words.
After a while I started to notice myself changing. My mental health took a hit too to be honest. If I didn’t have an invitation to a big local event I’d wonder why. I’d ask myself why wasn’t I chosen? Why wasn’t I good enough? The thoughts began to escalate and it made me wonder whether I even wanted to continue blogging. I had to take a break, for my own sanity.
But I didn’t start my blog for collaborations. I didn’t start writing because I thought people would give me goody bags or free meals. I started because it looked like fun and I wanted to try something new and creative.
Now if I receive an email from a brand asking me to write about them or review their product I’ll consider it but I’ll consider it properly. If it’s a good fit for my blog and I’m genuinely interested then sure, I’ll jump at the chance. But, if not, then I’ll politely decline. That’s something I would have never considered in my early days of blogging.
I’m not interested in earning an income through blogging (at the moment)
One of the hottest topics in the blogosphere is how can we earn money through blogging? We’d all love to know how the bigger bloggers do it and whether blogging full-time is a realistic possibility for us. We’d all love to make a career out of a hobby we’re passionate about.
I used to look into it a little bit and research every now and then but it always seemed too complicated. Once you start earning money from something you have to tell the tax man and, let’s be honest, tax is complicated enough without adding something else into the mix. I also read somewhere that if you earn an income through your blog then you need to register as self-employed but I’m not sure how true that is.
I’m always more than happy to accept a gifted product or a complimentary meal but when there’s actual monetary payment involved that’s where I lose interest. I’m just not interested in the admin!
Plus, let’s be honest, does anyone really know what to charge? How do we decide what we’re worth? Especially when other bloggers’ fees seem so secretive at times and vary so massively. I’ve seen online guides and bloggers themselves say you should never charge less than £100 for a blog post. Others say £30 is enough for a smaller blogger to charge. Some charge as much as £500+.
I suppose it’s something for each individual to decide however brands will always have their own ideas on what they’d like to pay. It’s a difficult balance to reach. Another reason why sponsored posts just aren’t for me! I’ll never say never though.
Blogging and social media are supposed to be fun, so keep it that way
I went through a phase for quite a while where I’d very rarely post on Instagram because I was scared that my pictures would never be good enough for anyone to be interested. I didn’t post for months and months, not because I didn’t have anything to post about, because I was just so self-conscious of my content.
We all find it difficult to work out our own style and find our place in the blogosphere. It takes time and commitment. And when there are bloggers out there setting seemingly unreachable standards with their content then it can make us doubt our own abilities. But everyone started somewhere and everyone has something they can bring to the blogosphere.
As long as you’re happy with what you’re sharing and having fun while doing it then what does it matter what anyone else thinks? It’s been said a thousand times but if everyone was the same then it would be a very boring world!
Just because your content isn’t glossy and front-page standard doesn’t mean you are worth any less than a blogger who’s content is glossy and front-page standard.
At the end of the day, those bloggers you look up to probably look up to other bloggers and those bloggers look up to other bloggers and those bloggers look up to other bloggers too – you get where I’m going with this, right? We all aspire to be better than what we are but that doesn’t mean we’re not doing great right now.
It took me a long long time to realise this, but once I did I started to enjoy blogging and sharing photos on Instagram more than I ever had.
The only pressure I had was from myself, no one else
All the times I didn’t post a picture to Instagram because I feared it wasn’t good enough or I rushed out a blog post to make sure I had posted at least three times that week or I doubted myself because I wasn’t invited to an event. All of those times, the enormous pressure I felt came from no one but myself.
No one ever told me my photographs weren’t good enough for Instagram – I told myself that.
No one ever told me I had to post at least three times a week – I told myself that.
No one ever told me I hadn’t been invited to an event because my blog wasn’t as good as the other bloggers’ – I told myself that.
And every time, I was wrong.
Blogging is supposed to be fun. No one would start blogging if they didn’t think they would enjoy it! So why did I put such enormous amounts of pressure on myself?
Once I let that pressure go and shared things and published posts because I wanted to and because I thought it would be fun blogging really did become fun again.
We all have enough chores, so why make blogging another one by creating a strict schedule or setting unattainable targets? There’s more to life!
Can you relate to anything I’ve learned from blogging? Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve learned so far.