Sunday, 18 March 2018

Things I've Learnt About Running A Blog


I started my blog on a whim one day when I was pregnant, bored and frustrated. I'd spent weeks watching youtubers and reading mummy blogs in hopes that someone out there was suffering the same way that I was during my last trimester and desperately searching for advice on giving birth as I was terrified of the thought! Before I knew it, I was setting up my very own space on the internet to keep myself sane and to write about anything and everything that came to mind, never expecting nor really wanting anybody to read it. A few weeks went by and I came to the realisation that there wasn't much point in publishing posts online if nobody was going to read them, so I finally decided to start promoting my blog on my personal twitter and instagram and hoped that someone would read it and maybe feel my pain or share a giggle with me. 

Little did I know just how much work goes into running a blog and now that I am 10 months in and have more experience, I am beyond baffled at how some bloggers manage it full time! I am by no means a successful blogger - I don't have a proper schedule thanks to my bubba, I don't have a set niche as I tend to write about a bit of everything and I'm not particularly photo savvy or a social media genius. Yet I still enjoy my little space where I get to write down my thoughts and I have made a lot of lovely friends through the blogging community which makes it more than worth it for me. I do however sometimes struggle with the pressures of the blogging world and wonder if I should quit when it seems like I'm not getting anywhere and there are a million and one bigger and better bloggers out there.

So with that in mind, today I wanted to talk about things I've learnt about running a blog. For anyone debating whether to create one or people who wonder what goes into blogging behind the scenes, here are some of the things I've learnt along the way that I didn't really expect when I first started last year!

It's more time consuming than you think

I never thought I would spend hours at a time writing up a single blog post; having to spell check, proof read and decide if I even like what I've written about before hitting publish. I knew it wasn't going to be as easy as spending 10 minutes writing up a quick review or whatever it is that I'm posting, but I also didn't expect it to take quite as long as it sometimes does. It feels like I'm writing a book sometimes and each post is a new chapter. I can spend all day in between caring for my baby trying to perfect a post some days, especially if it's one that I'm particularly passionate about or if it's sponsored by a brand which can be exhausting when you've got house chores to do, a partner to be spending time with and a life to be out living.

There's more to it than just the writing
 (e.g. planning, taking pictures, promoting, etc)

On the same note as above, there's a lot more effort that goes into every post than some people may believe. It's not only writing up your piece and publishing it; there's the planning to make sure you aren't copying another blogger's work, taking swoon worthy pictures (which I still haven't mastered), promoting your post on social media, ensuring all your links work, connecting with other bloggers, attempting to boost your DA and so much more that goes on behind the scenes. Blogging definitely isn't for people who aren't committed to their cause 'cos it's a whole lotta work and you'll only get pleasure from it if you really do love it.

The competition is real - everyone is a blogger these days

As supportive as the blogging community is, there will always be competition around every corner. It's become such a huge industry over the last 5 years that anyone can do it, and it's amazing that so many people around the world are putting their creativity out on the internet. With that being said though, there are the odd people who instead of encouraging and supporting fellow bloggers, big or small, they use them as a stepping stone in their path to the top. As with any job these days, there's always gonna be competition, it's all about how we deal with it. As long as you stay authentic, write about what you love and don't let the doubters bring you down then you'll be fine - there's more than enough room for all of us! :)

Bloggers block is a killer 

I love writing, I have ever since I started secondary school. It's great fun and allows your imagination to run wild which is perfect when you're feeling a bit down and want a mental release. That doesn't always mean I know what to write about though. I get writers block so easily, especially now that I have a baby...baby brain is real guys. He takes up so much of my mind, body and soul each day that by the time I do get to sit down and blog, I often struggle to figure out what to post. I'm forever second guessing myself and wondering if people even enjoy what I post about which is another mood killer, but then I remember that I run my blog for myself primarily and as long as I write about something I enjoy, it's not the end of the world if it doesn't blow up online, you know? I do, however, try to keep up with what's relevant in the blogging world and incorporate popular subjects into my posts to ensure I am appealing to everyone and not just myself :P

You don't always hit your view/follower goals but that's okay

Despite me saying how I blog for myself and it doesn't bother me massively if my blog doesn't go viral or whatnot, it is still disheartening when I don't hit a certain amount of views per day or don't gain any new followers in a week. Yes I do this in my spare time and it's not a job for me, it's a hobby, but I would still like some form of growth seeing as I do put so much of my very limited spare time into it and it would be a shame if my posts just went stale. If I've learnt anything from the blogging community, it's not to lose hope though. Even if you aren't hitting your goals for the week, keep going, it doesn't mean you are any less of a blogger than those who are booming in the industry. These things take time and everything fluctuates, especially Instagram which is a nightmare for engagement these days as I'm sure you all know! One thing that will help you flourish in that way is taking part in Twitter Blog Chats and reaching out to other small bloggers that you love and taking those extra few minutes to comment or like posts that you enjoy reading.

Brand collaborations aren't everything

This seems to be huge in the blogging world and I'm not entirely sure why people put themselves down over it when it's such an admittedly amazing, yet small bonus. If you aren't receiving the newest make up from the most popular high end brands to review, that doesn't mean you aren't doing a good job with your blog. Sure it's incredible to get a PR box full of goodies from your favourite brands, but that's not what blogging is truly about. If you're in it for the freebies then you're doing it wrong. Blogging is a kind of therapy for a lot of people, giving us a platform to release our thoughts and *hopefully* not get judged too harshly and make some valuable friendships along the way. As much as I'm sure anyone would understandably squeal if they woke up to a box of Charlotte Tilbury products on your doorstep for example, it doesn't define you as a good or bad blogger. It's easy to get caught up in materialistic things in this line of work, especially when others are getting packages upon packages when you're not. Don't compare your work to anyone else's, you are unique and amazing and whether you are lucky enough to work with your favourite brands or not, your blog is still worth it. It's about the real connections you make and the imprints you place on people that read your work that really count.

What are some things you weren't told about or expecting before you started your blog? 

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6 comments

  1. I can completely relate to all of these! My blog is only 5 months old and it’s been a massive learning curve in terms of time management for me, those who don’t blog have no clue how much time and effort goes into one post!
    Great post thanks for sharing

    Melanie | www.frasersfunhouse.com

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  2. First I have to say that I really like the way you write! I also think these are really great tips and also reminders to every blogger out there. Blogging is fun but it's also hard work sometimes. And it's super addictive :D.

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  3. A lot of people don't realize that running a blog comes with a lot of hidden costs and time! These are great things you've learned along the way. I totally agree with you about time-consuming! It takes a while for the thought process to go through and setting up for the mini photoshoot kills a lot of time too!

    exquisitely.me

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  4. I feel you when it comes to taking pictures - I'm so new to this and struggling to take beautiful pictures like I see on other people's blogs, but I suppose I will learn more over time! Love this post, thank you for giving me more of an insight to your blogging experience!

    astrobeks.wordpress.com

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  5. Oh there really is so much competition! As hard as it is to grow, the writing makes up for it. I still love writing even though, like you, I never though I’d be spending hours at a time doing it for the blog!!

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  6. I’m into my third month of blogging and I completely agree! I never knew blogging could be so time consuming, whether it’s writing a piece, promoting, pictures, thinking of future posts, it’s like I’m always in the blogging zone. It’s exceptionally difficult for parent bloggers that’s for sure! That’s why I admire you and other parent bloggers a lot because I know how difficult it can be to keep your blog updated as well as entertaining a child! Thanks for sharing xx

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

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