I don’t usually write these sort of posts, but I feel like I should mark the occasion, last week I celebrated four years of blogging. It feels like such a HUGE achievement.
I remember in my early days looking at those bloggers that had been about for 2 or 3 years and thinking wow. And now here I am 4 years later and into my second year of working full-time from home on my blog. Yet it all feels so fresh and new. I always feel excited for what adventures will come my way on a Monday morning. Every week feels exciting a fresh and I never have a sense of dread on a Sunday night.
But what have I learnt in my four years in this crazy blogging bubble?
Be true to yourself
Blogging is tough, and you can’t live a charade. We all blog for different reasons, and all share different content. Share your likes and loves, I don’t share things I don’t like, that is my choice it’s my space. But be honest, and authentic what ever you are talking about. In my case if I don’t like it I wont talk about it.
Setting up a blog is not easy.
Establishing a blog takes time and commitment, I forgot how hard it was until we started working on Cruising With Kids. Getting your voice heard is hard, some days it is like shouting in the wind. The only way to be truly heard is by using your own voice. But if you want to succeed you have to put the hours in, be committed and determined.
Work on your photography
One of the first things I did when I started to get established was to take a photography course, and it was the best thing I ever did. For me photos stand out, I am a visual person. Its something I have to work at all the time. But it’s a passion I never thought I would develop, but one of my favourite parts of my job.
Always over-deliver on all posts
Not everyone will agree with me on this one, but every post that goes on to my blog is a reflection of me, I want to be happy when I press publish whether it is sponsored or not. And I want to look back on my work with fondness. I made many mistakes in the early days, but watched, listened and learnt how to create content that makes me happy.
Network, network, network
Find your people, go to events and support each other. Blogging is a reflection of the real world, we can’t all get on, and we aren’t all alike. But there is also a lot of common ground. In the same vein, don’t get caught up in behind the scenes politics, who can be bothered with that? Drama makes me roll my eyes; it is something I steer well clear of.
Never compare yourself
Comparison never did anybody any good, we are unique, that is what is wonderful about each and everyone one us. Yes, there will be opps we don’t get that we think we are perfect for, but what about the wonderful opportunities we do get? Every now and them I read a comment, someone comparing, or even worse being mean about them not getting an opportunity or winning a prize, it makes me sad. Why do it, would you want those things saying about you?
Be strict and have nights when you don’t work
It is so easy to potter when you work from home. But be firm, have nights when you don’t touch your laptop or phone. It’s so hard but we all need downtime. Yes, its wonderful to be able to do the school run and be there to spend time without kids after school, I would say its one of he biggest perks of the job. BUT you must have downtime too.
Don’t take yourself to seriously
Be professional, always! But I am sharing my opinion, that’s all. Some may agree, some may not. I used to hate sharing my photo, but you know what that’s me? You have to learn to love you, for you.
I am thicker skinned than I thought
You have to be being self-employed, not everyone will like you. And if they don’t that is their problem not yours. What is the point of taking on other people’s negativity? And you know what? There are plenty of lovely people out there to counteract the negative Nancy’s.
And if you say no to work because it doesn’t fit, mean no! Don’t be talked into taking on work you don’t believe in, it will show. Talk about brands you love and would recommend.
Learn about social media and SEO
It’s all a pain but its essential, its how we drive our content, there is a lot to learn, it can be boring but don’t put your head in the sand.
I was naive when I started out, thinking it was a shiny wonderful world. And mostly it is, but a shiny wonderful world that takes a lot of grit, determination and hard work to succeed in. The best tip I can give is enjoy the ride and don’t second guess yourself constantly.