My blog is five years old.
If it were a child, he/she would be starting school.
I don’t know about you, but that’s flipping crazy.
My blog actually turned five on 1st July, but for some reason, it’s taken me over a month to sit down to write this.
I wanted to talk about what I’ve learnt but in all honesty, we’d be here all day so I’ve narrowed it down to five.
I love blogging
Back in early 2012, I met Paige Toon at a book signing. I mentioned to her that I’d popped up some reviews on Amazon for her, she thanked me and then said, “have you thought about blogging?”
The rest is history.
For three years, I did nothing but talk about books.
Reviews, cover reveals, interviews, guest posts, giveaways, readathons…
You name it, I’ve probably covered it.
But I loved it. I really, really loved it.
Publishers were sending me books on a daily basis (not boasting before anyone rolls their eyes), my room was filled with early proof copies and my inbox was never ending.
Books have helped me through hard times; bullying in school, my Mum having Cancer and they were there to comfort me when I had nobody to turn to.
In December 2013, I took part in Blogmas (blogging every day in December) and when I was planning out my content, an email popped in my inbox from the PR girls at Max Factor.
Would I like to test out their red lipsticks and write about them?
I knew a little bit about makeup, but not a lot. But sure, I said, I’ll give them a go.
Adding beauty to my blog was a risk. My audience were used to books and I wasn’t sure how they’d react to beauty.
My stats weren’t great, I’m not going to sugar coat it.
But the PR was happy with them and for the past two years, I’ve built up a lovely relationship with the team.
Slowly enough, I added more topics into the mix; fashion, food, home, lifestyle, travel etc.
I absolutely love it.
I love my blog. I love writing content. I love taking photos. I love sharing my posts on Twitter. I love recommending books to people. I love working with companies and building up relationships with them. I love that this is still my hobby about five years.
Numbers don’t mean a lot
You’d think that after five years, I’d have a larger audience.
I have less than 3k on Twitter and less than 1k on Instagram.
But who the fudge cares?
Numbers are just numbers.
But are they? Every Monday, I write down my views + visitors for the previous week and at the end of the month, I add the week’s together to see what my monthly digits are. I also note down my social media following, to see if that has grown.
Numbers aren’t everything to me, but I still want my blog to grow and develop a larger audience. I’m just not fixated on numbers like some are.
I enjoy keeping track to see which posts do and don’t work.
But I don’t cry because my following hasn’t grown.
Not everyone is your friend
You should see my block list.
I’m not afraid to block people on Twitter; other bloggers, people who randomly tweet you nasty comments etc.
Then you don’t have to deal with them.
Home truth: there is room for everyone in the blogging community. If someone wants to create a blog chat, let them. If someone wants to collaborate with a brand after seeing your amazing post, let them.
This isn’t an episode of Mean Girls.
You’re one in a million
This kinda ties in with the above one (and the one coming up next).
You’re one in a million within the blogging community.
That’s a fact.
Everyone thinks it. Not a lot say it.
But there’s room for everyone.
Everyone has a unique voice, everyone has their own writing skills and the way in which they want to voice their opinion – go forth and conquer.
Don’t be put off by the big voices, we’re all the same.
Some of us have blue ticks, some of us are more popular on Instagram and some of us don’t get involved in the daily chats, but that’s because we’re all unique.
Being original is difficult
Ideas are created from what you see.
Your brain sees a blog post, it then develops that blog post into something with your own twist on it and bobs ya uncle.
Not everyone sees it that way.
There are *sadly* a lot of copy cats in the blogging world.
We can smell them a mile off.
But being original is v. difficult.
I struggle with it on a day-to-day business.
“Can I write that post? I saw *blogger* doing that last week. Will she think I’ve copied?”
Firstly, if you ever think that – send them an email to discuss it, let them know that you plan on doing something similar but you’re going to put a spin on it.
Or if you’re feeling super brave, link them in the post to give them some credit for their post.
We’ve all got to back each other in this crazy blogging world.