I’m relatively new to this whole blogging thing and when I started I really didn’t know what to expect. Well actually I kind of did ….
‘I’ll write weekly, if not daily updates on my pregnancy, everyone will love them, comment constantly, offer me paid writing gigs and send me free stuff!’ … Only kidding …well, mostly.
When I started I was still in copywriter mode, and optimistically thought, ‘I’m pregnant, I’m a writer, I’m sure there are loads of pregnancy companies who would love for me to be their full time super amazing content writer!’ … how foolish I was!
I never realised how many pregnancy and mummy bloggers there were out there, nor did I realise how amazing they were and how much they had to offer compare to me. I’m not saying that in a feel sorry for me way but I just mean that I was only 3 months pregnant when I started and I didn’t have any amazing pregnancy experiences to tell, in fact it was a relatively easy pregnancy to start with. There were mumas out there who had been blogging for years, who had gone through real highs and lows and who really had something engaging and inspirational to say. They were the ones that the people wanted to listen to and follow.
So after wasting my time trying to ‘make it big’ with an abundance of frustration, I decided to take a different approach. I joined the communities, I focused on finding inspiration from amazing bloggers who had really earned their places in the blogging hall of fame and I started to learn! That was the best thing I did, instead of trying to figure out how people got so many views or how to get free stuff like them, I just appreciated good content. I remembered why I really wanted to start blogging and that was to document my journey, not to compete with others!
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some kind of success story, I’m still very much learning myself now, but I feel like my take on being a blogger has done a complete 360 since I started not too long ago.
Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learnt and plan to remember while I continue through my blogging journey!
Quality is better than quantity. I started off trying to write as many posts as I could to make my blog look a little fuller. Then I realised that in my intro I stated that I was a new blogger. Readers (if there were any at that point) would understand the bare-ness of the blog and certainly wouldn’t appreciate being bombarded with a load of space-filling crap.
I’d rather write one post a week that people love than try to cram five in a day that will probably get ignored.
Don’t be a follow-whore
Of course at first I googled how to get more views on your blog, how to get more twitter followers … etc etc, you know the sort. There were all these tips that seemed obvious at the time but now I realise were not meant for someone who actually wants to have a good blog. It recommended to follow follow follow. The majority of people would follow back and if after a week or so they haven’t, unfollow them. This seemed so petty and school playground-esque. Of course I tried it though and then I realised, I didn’t want to follow half of the people that I was following. I wasn’t interested in what I had to say, and them following me to be part of some kind of numbers game didn’t tell me my blog was interesting, it told me they were doing me a favour back!
So now I only follow when I genuinely have an interest in the person or company and I’ll only follow back if I think the person has an interest in what I have to say, not because they want higher follower numbers.
Don’t be despo
Freebies are great, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t love a freebie, but unless you really need or want it what’s the point? I follow #prrequest and #bloggerrequest on twitter and quite frankly it’s gotten ridiculous! There are so many time wasters there asking for free stuff that when a genuine request comes up it makes it so difficult for genuine people to get noticed. It also makes you feel a bit embarrassed to reply to the request, as if you’re begging for handouts.
I’m a pregnancy and lifestyle blogger. I love all things crafty, DIY and handmade. Of course being a girl I love beauty and fashion; and having a fiancé and a soon to be step son I’m interested in family bits. If I see an opportunity to review a product or collaborate with a company that is relevant to my life and to my content then of course I’ll get involved, who wouldn’t!? However there’s a fine balance, and why take a freebie that you’re not interested in and that doesn’t suit your blog just for the sake of the freebie?
Your followers won’t be interested, they may even stop reading altogether and the company won’t benefit at all! I say let an electronics blogger deal with the electronic freebies because I’m sure none of my Lilypod and Sweetpea readers care about remote controls and HDMI cables!
Don’t hold back
When I first started blogging, the posts that I loved to read were those written by straight-talkers. I like seeing swear words, I like raw honesty and I love hearing about the truth of pregnancy – the gas, the worries and the fears. Those things are real. Just because a company has sent you a freebie doesn’t mean you have to give a positive review. Just because you’re a mummy doesn’t mean you can’t complain about your child inability to leave you in peace. I really do admire and appreciate those bloggers who simply do not hold back.
That is how I want to be. It was really tough at first and honestly it still is now. Sometimes I’ll write something, think about it and delete it; rewriting it to make it more family and friends appropriate. I’ll think about what my readers will want to read and want me to say but now I’m making more of a conscious effort to just write. Just write what I want, and If people don’t like it that’s fine, if people love it then fab!
Don’t be shy
I’m not sure if you’ll agree but I love to put a face to a name. I like to see the person who’s writing and who they’re talking about. Anonymous is cool and mysterious for a while but in the end it can be rather disengaging. A lot of my pictures I cover my face with the camera but I’m going to make more of an effort to show my face! I also talk about family members but never show them off and quite frankly they’re all too gorgeous not to be seen!
Don’t worry what people think
Some people will love the blog and some people will hate it and that’s fine! This blog is for me, to document my pregnancy and my creative side and if others aren’t interested then at least I’m enjoying writing it!
So there you have it. It may not be the best advice and it may not have even started working for me yet but I feel confident knowing that my bog reflects me and it always will, whether I have 10 followers or 10,000!
What things have you guys learnt since blogging? Any advice?
Thanks for reading 🙂