As someone who has loved to write from an early age, and eventually got their paws on a computer, it’s a safe bet that I would have probably started blogging at some point. But what blogging is, what it means to different people or its potential are pretty subjective things, and over the years it’s evolved a LOT. When I think about my blog posts from years ago (when I used to be totally anonymous and blogging events didn’t really exist at this side of the pond yet…), I like to think that even if the topics I write about have changed today (or at least expanded a little), the heart of my writing hasn’t.
Blogging hasn’t really got its own set of rules, but that is one of the things that I love about it. Over the last few years, I’ve received a lot of questions about blogging from peers, strangers, companies and researchers… you name it! And I thought that really, there is no better place to share those thoughts than here.
So, today, I’d love to tell you 10 things about blogging that I believe everyone should know. Whether you’re new to blogging, thinking of starting your own blog, or are just curious, I hope you find this list helpful! Let’s jump in…
1. You make the rules – and this applies to every single bit of it, really. What to write about, how often to write, whether you want to change the whole thing one day, whether you want to walk away and never open it again: it’s all up to you. And it’s awesome.
2. You will be brave – part of you making all the decisions means you might need to make a few tough ones too. This could be about anything from content, to photographs, to whether or not you want to agree to something. Sometimes it’s OK to do the scary things though, and you never know until you take the leap!
3. Experiment, experiment, experiment – starting a blog is very exciting, and it’s rare that it will stay EXACTLY the same from day one. I love to play around with different ideas, and it takes a lot of experimenting before I settle on a feature that I want to keep around.
4. Know your worth – this is something that has become more and more important recently. One of the most amazing things about blogging is that it can lead to creative collaborations. But when people ask for your opinion on something, or want you to work on a project with them, it’s really important that you don’t undervalue yourself. I always like to agree upfront what we can expect from each other, then you can get to the fun stuff worry-free!
5. Don’t compare yourself to others – just be you! Spending a lot of time online can often mean that as well as updating our own blogs, we spend a lot of time catching up with others, too. Like any industry, there will be trends and success stories and (unfortunately!) a lot of hearsay. The key thing here is to stay grounded, enjoy what you do and remember that everyone has something unique to bring to the table.
6. You never know where a blog post might take you – expect the unexpected! A lot of the time, we push ‘publish’ on a post and don’t give it a second thought. But sometimes an opportunity can come about from the most unassuming of posts! Last year, I posted pictures of our living room and thought that no-one would be that bothered. Now, my interiors posts are some of my most popular ones and I’ve even ended up in an interiors magazine because of them. And it all started with a few sofa photos!
7. You will find that other people are obsessed with the same things as you – that goes for readers AND other people within the blogging community! A very good reason to stick to your guns and write about what interests you!
8. Honesty and hard work pay off – seems like straightforward advice, right? I’ve always been a big believer that you get out what you put in, and blogging is no exception. You can’t please everybody, but what you CAN do is maintain a voice that people can trust, and do your best. The rest will take care of itself, trust me…
9. Blogging can bring out the best in you – and push you harder than you thought was possible. As well as a few of the things I’ve mentioned above, I’ve found that running a blog can also have several other benefits. Take confidence building for example, as engaging with your readers or perhaps going to face-to-face events doesn’t come easy to everyone. Coming up with creative content, working to deadlines and keeping super organised are other things that can be challenging (though enjoyable!).
10. The most important thing is to have fun with it – because if you don’t, it will show!
I’ve learned that blogging is whatever you want it to be, and to me it’s a huge part of my life that allows me to be creative, share my passions and collaborate on projects with others. It’s been an exciting journey up to this point, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
I hope that today’s list has helped answer some questions you might have about blogging, and if want to ask me anything that I haven’t covered above, feel free to leave me a comment or get in touch!