Wednesday, 5 October 2016

12 Things 5 Months of Blogging Has Taught Me

This week marks a whole 5 months since I started up this blog and I am so happy that I actually stuck with it. 

I don't have a great track record when it comes to commitment, I gave up dance lessons after one go and I didn't even turn up to swimming class but apparently when it comes to blogging, it's the perfect one for me. 

It's turned into my little happy outlet over the past few weeks, I wanna say it's got me through a lot but in all honesty it's been the amazing community of bloggers that has, you are all pretty damn fabulous and the amazing comments, tweets and just general loveliness I have received since I started has been what has made me strive to really make this little space a success. 

1. You Are Never Lonely. 

Blogging can feel pretty damn lonely at times. You sit in your room, typing away endlessly with only Capital for company but really knowing that you have a community of wonderful people just a click away makes it the most sociable and interactive thing in the world. Twitter Chats are proabbly my favourite part of blogging, I have found some wonderful people, I have a lovely following and really loyal readers. If you are feeling a bit down in the dumps or just want someone to talk to then seriously just take part, I was always so scared to say something but I am so happy that I did.

2. You Shouldn't Be Afraid To Contact Brands/PR.

I had a pretty good response to my post on how to email brands as a smaller blogger but I was shocked at how many of you were so hesitant to ever approach a brand, you didn't feel worthy or you felt like you'd be being a nuisance. I had someone tell me that my post had encouraged them and given them the confidence to write their first email to a brand and it had been such a success they were collaborating on something, I was on cloud nine all day.

So go conquer the world!


3. However Working With Brands Can Become Restrictive. 

I know as a blogger most of us want the opportunity to work with brands and the chance to make a bit of extra money on the side is seen as a definite bonus but really since I have seen a couple of offers being thrown my way I've come to realise that I'm not ready for that and neither are my readers.

I encourage anyone to contact brands if you feel your blog would benefit and grow from it but never just because you want freebies and a fast track to becoming a full time blogger.

I don't want to write a review post on a product just so I can say 'I worked with a brand', if my blog was review based then I would for sure but for me personally that's not what I am comfortable writing about. I don't really feature makeup because I'm not that passionate about writing about it so I'm definitely not going to feature a brand just because I have the chance too.

There is so much more to blogging than making money.

4. Don't Let Comparison Bring You Down - Use It As Motivation Instead 

I could just say don't compare but in all honesty that isn't realistic, we all see a beautiful flat lay and think 'why the heck doesn't mine look like that', or a really well received post that has you green with envy. After all if you've spent 3 hours on a post then you would be a fool to say you didn't want it to be a success. Instead of feeling deflated and unmotivated, which I am prone to feeling form time to time, use that as motivation to up your game, take an image that makes you proud and write something bloody fantastic, don't stop until you are beaming with pride.

Now hit publish and promote your little heart away until it gets the recognition YOU deserve.

5. You Can Never Take Too Many Pictures of Your Caramel Latte.

You are now a blogger so you are totally allowed to take cute pictures of your Latte and your Chocolate Twist, even if the people next to you don't really get it.

My camera roll is a pastry lovers dream.

6. Flats Lays Are An Art Form That I Don't Yet Understand.

But God help me I will forever try.
Also a white canvas background is an absolute godsend, mine is from the Range, 8 quid.

7. Don't Rely on Costa's WiFi to upload a post.

I feel I should add this in purely because I have not yet fully recovered from the trauma that I went through the other day. I spent a good hour and a half writing a post after being in a complete slump with no motivation for days on end, clicked save, closed the tab and bam, I lost all my work because the connection cut out.

I actually wanted to throw my Latte out of the window.

Moral of the story, don't trust anyone's Wifi but your own or just don't be stupid and make sure it's definitely saved before you hit exit.

8. Accept That Writers Block is Very Real. 

I know everyone says you get writers block but I didn't really believe it until it happened. I think I have just learnt to realise that it does pass and you haven't got to actively do anything for it to go away. You don't need to take a long walk or shut down your laptop for 48 hours, you could do but they don't really make a difference, they just make me tired and social media deprived.

You kinda have to just wait until inspiration hits again, which it will.

The world won't forget about you if you don't blog for a few days, I promise.

9. Be Your Number One Supporter.

Use Hootsuite and schedule your tweets, tweet out links to a post once it's been published and then once again the same day in the evening. I ran a Twitter poll asking when people found it to be most successful to tweet out a link to a new post and the majority found 5pm to be the perfect time, closely followed was 12-1pm. Use hashtags and accounts that retweet blog posts to promote, I love #bloggersblast and #bloggerslife, just basically be a little cheerleader and don't be embarrassed, it's not wrong, it's called promoting.

How can anyone read anything you've written if they don't know it's there?

10. Pinterest is Worth the Effort.

Pinterest has been a mystery to me for quite a while, well since it was ever a thing.
I've read so many posts on how it can be the number one platform for blowing up your page views so I really wanted to try and get into the swing of it and see what all of the fuss was about. It's not as instant as Twitter so you won't build a huge following particularly quickly but slowly and surely you will. I only have 9 followers after a week but I love using it so much and I am seeing a little bit of traffic starting to creep in.

And it's just goals AF.

Check out my Autumn Board.

11. You Don't Need Fancy Equipment But It Sure Does Help.

I use my iPhone 5 as a camera and I use my sisters Macbook to write (not sure if she knows this yet), she is soon moving out so I won't have the luxury of working on such a nifty little thing for too much longer. I've managed to teach myself how to make the most out of using my iPhone to take images, I wrote a post here on how to really brighten photos and make the most of the space you have with props and whatnot.

I make it work and many people take stunning images with an iPhone.

I just feel I would benefit from a camera so I shall be investing in one as a present to myself for my 21st in a few weeks.

Totally using this as an excuse to buy an Olympus Pen.

12. Be Proud.

Because it's yours, you made it, you bring it to life so you should tell the world,

or maybe just tell your mum.

Just tell someone because as scary as it is I'm sure when they do find out they will be so supportive and you'll wonder what you ever worried about.

I have a long way to go but I am really loving the journey.