A few months ago, I came to the realisation that it had been a whole year since I started blogging. That’s right huns, a year ago I finally plucked up the courage to write my first blog post, buy a domain name and upload it for the world to see. It was scary, but at the same time, it was also exhilarating. Starting a blog was something that I longed to do for a while, but I just didn’t have the confidence to go for it.
“What if I’m rubbish?”
“What if everyone laughs at me?”
“What if nobody reads what I have to say?”
I had so many worries and anxieties floating around my head that they stopped me from pursuing something I wanted to do. Until one day, after spending the whole weekend typing away at my laptop, pouring my creativity into a blog post, I decided to just go for it – and I’m so glad I did. Now, I am in no way a pro at blogging, but this year has certainly taught me a lot. So, whether you’re a blogger yourself, just starting out or thinking about giving it a go, make yourself a brew and have a nosey at what I’ve learnt over the past year.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
When I first started my blog, I was full of excitement, buzz and enthusiasm. I set goals for myself, spent time perfecting the look and style of my blog, and promised myself that I would publish a blog post every week without fail. Setting yourself goals is great, but there are times when these goals can cause you to put unnecessary stress on yourself if you don’t achieve them when you wanted to. As I work full-time, there were days when I found it difficult to set aside time to sit down and write posts in time for my Sunday afternoon deadline.
Instead of accepting the fact that I had a lot on my plate and I couldn’t keep up with the deadline I had set myself, I would feel like I had let myself down. I felt like I should just give up blogging altogether. I would get stressed and beat myself up about it, telling myself that I should have ‘worked harder’ to be able to get it done.
While it’s great to set yourself goals and targets, don’t forget why you started blogging in the first place. I started my blog because I enjoy writing and I wanted to write about things that I felt passionate about, not to add more stress to my life.
Try not to compare yourself to everyone else
This is a classic piece of advice, but one that always rings true. When you first start blogging and begin connecting up with other bloggers online, it can become so easy to start comparing your blog and your successes with others.
Blog design, collaborations, photography, writing style and the number of blog views are all things about my blog that at one point or another I felt inadequate about. The fact is, there is always going to be someone out there with more blog views than you or who writes a post that goes viral.
At the end of the day, numbers don’t determine the value of your blog. If you’re happy with what you’re producing, then that’s all that matters. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
Always be YOU
Writing your first few blog posts can feel like your wading through muddy waters. You’re still trying to figure out what you want to write about whilst at the same time trying to come up with something that doesn’t sound like complete and utter dribble.
In the beginning, it can be tempting to look to other bloggers and copy their style. The problem is, just because it worked for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you and it can become blindingly obvious that you’re forcing yourself to write a certain way.
Instead, spend some time figuring out and perfecting your writing style. Remember that this is YOUR blog. Your readers want to hear what you have to say and connect with you.
While I’ve still got a long way to go, I’m proud of how far my little blog has come. As with any hobby, blogging takes a lot of time and practice to get the most out of it. Keep writing about what you’re passionate about and always stay true to yourself. You can never go wrong with that.