The bloggosphere is so saturated now with everyone joining in but do you know what I'm noticing? Not many of the bloggers I see coming in are actually still going a few months later. Why do I think that is? (and I say this without wanting to ruffle any feathers) People are seeing the independent success people are having from their blogs and YouTube channels and everyone wants a chance to make the same money without realising what actually goes on behind the scenes.
I've been blogging since 2013, and while I haven't made any money, found huge success or made a name for myself on any level, I keep my blog going as much as I can because I'm proud of my little space on the internet. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I sit here and think to myself 'But why am I not a millionaire from my blog yet?'
The truth is, that's not what it's about.
I wanted to write this post to remind myself, and others, that even if we haven't made our millions, we've still achieved so much by being faithful to our blogs and developing them into online reflections of ourselves and creating a place for people to come and enjoy our content despite the obstacle we may overcome.
So here are 7 things nobody told you about being a blogger.
1. It's actually really hard
Anyone can sign up to blogger or wordpress, write a post and hit publish, but just because you pop 'blogger' in your twitter bio, doesn't mean people are going to flock to your site to read it. Writing a blog post is only a tiny part of being a blogger. Coming up with creative and innovative content, working on SEO and site improvements, growing your social media channels, building relationships with other bloggers, brands and PRs and even after all of that, "success" is not guaranteed.
2. People will want you to work for free
You might have gained a decent following, worked hard to get a decent, regular traffic flow to your blog, but PRs and brands will still expect you to work for nothing, so don't be surprised if you've been chatting to someone for a while and they scarper when you send over your rate card. Also, it's totally down to you. If the campaign is something you want to be involved with, you don't have to charge! Blogging isn't all about making money.
3. You will not have any spare time
Take a look back at point 1, see all those tasks I mention, that's not even the half of it. The things you can do on your blog and social channels to grow them is endless and I constantly find myself immersed in the blogging world on my days off and before I know it, it's Monday again and I'm back to work. They key is to make sure you still enjoy it and that it doesn't turn into a chore. There are always some parts of blogging that you will find a bit of a drag, but as long as you enjoy the bulk of it, it's not a waste of time!
4. Finding your voice is super important
Trying to stand out is hard, especially with the amount of bloggers out there and every niche is pretty saturated now. Finding your individuality and voice is one of the only ways to distinguish yourself from the rest. If you take a look back in my archives, I was just throwing out product review after product review with no real personality. My content was informative but not necessarily engaging. They key is finding a balance. I think I only actually started finding my true blogging voice very recently, and the impact it's had has been amazing, I wish I'd tried it sooner. My main problem was being nervous. I wasn't sure if I wanted the Internet to know who I really was, but you have to avoid feeling 'ashamed' or scared and put yourself out there. Readers will know if you're not being genuine.
5. You probably won't get invited to loads of glam events (and if you do, you can't attend unless you live in London)
It took a long time for me to get my first real blogger event invite to attend a glam event with some well known brands, and a lot of big bloggers on the guest list. The problem? I was invited 2 days before, to an event on a Thursday, in London. Considering I have a full time job and don't live anywhere near London, I couldn't attend. In fact, in my 3 years of blogging, it took 2 years for me to get invited to events of any relevance/interest to me and my blog and I have only been to 2 blogger events, and could only attend because they coincidentally fell on times I had already booked to go to London and could fit them in.
6. You're going to spend a whole load more money
If you're planning on being a beauty or fashion blogger, you'll find your expenditure in these areas shooting up because you'll 'need it for your blog'. I regularly buy things because I think it will look nice in blog photos, and always an purchasing bits and bobs to test out and talk about or post on Instagram. Hell, I even buy outfits based on how well I think they will look on Instagram sometimes. But not only that, the cost of running a blog can wrack up as well. Domain names, hosting space, personalised email addresses, subscriptions to services that can help you with things like email marketing, advertising on other blogs or sites, paid for social media campaigns, equipment such as cameras, laptops, computer programmes etc, they all come with a price tag and while you don't need any of these to actually be a blogger, as you grow you'll find yourself wanting these so you can continue to develop and improve. Whether you give in to your desires or power on is totally up to you but you will be tempted.
7. It's not a numbers game
Reaching follower milestones, watching your unique visitors and monitoring your DA religiously can be exciting if it's going in the direction you want it to. If it's not climbing as much as you expected, or as quickly as that other blogger that started at the same time as you, then focusing on it too hard will be detrimental to you and your blog. I've thrown in the towel on numerous occasions because I've become frustrated with not being able to post daily and not having 10,000 followers but do you know what I have realised?
I have never enjoyed blogging so much until I stopped focusing on the numbers and remembered why I started my blog; to create something to be proud of. And while I'm not the best, I'm not the most successful, and I've hardly even made a dent in the blogging world; I am still proud of my little blog, and always will be.
What have you learned from blogging? Is there anything you wish people told you before you started?
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