WHAT I’VE LEARNT ABOUT MYSELF FROM BLOGGING
When I started my blog in October 2011 I would have never have dreamt that nearing five years on i’d still be blogging daily, i’d have turned a spontaneous hobby into a huge part of my life and a potential future career, that people would read my content and my favourite brands would want to work with me. The thing is, when I started my blog, it was a bit of a whim, I had no expectation and no idea of the possibilities, I simply wanted to write, share my outfits and talk about the things i’d been buying. This innocence is how many other bloggers started their own websites, and the integrity and personality the blogs had at the heart is what made them grow and become so loved, in my opinion at least.
But the blogging industry is just that, an industry. What once was a little community of online diary writers is now a vast array of content producers and brands in their own rights. The growth and rise of blogging, and my experience on this crazy old ride has taught and shown me a lot, and today I thought i’d share some of those things. The things i’ve learnt about myself or in general from blogging. I wonder if you’ll relate?
THE 5 THINGS I’VE LEARNT FROM BLOGGING
I have a passion for photography
I always loved taking photos and capturing the moment, but it was my blog that really bought this passion to the surface, it allowed me to explore photography further, up skill myself and really learn how to use a camera and capture moments properly. I’ve talked a lot about photography on my blog, sharing the things i’ve learnt with you, but it was really investing in my camera and mastering how to use my DSLR that really made the difference. There’s been no turning back since then.
That hard work and passion isn’t always enough
This point is actually quite sad and a little self depreciating, but it’s something that I have felt, experienced and learnt through my blog. Sometimes hard work and passion isn’t enough. I really do believe you can be or do whatever I put my mind too, it took me years to gain this self belief (I talked a little about it here), but when it comes to my blog and blogging success I’ve been hit with a hard reality stick.
I work so so hard on my blog, to share daily editorials and have a successful career too is not easy at all, but I try and try and try to keep my blog the best it can be, to share editorials that are good quality and to ultimately push my blog so that hopefully one day I will make it my full time career. But it doesn’t really matter how hard I work or how much passion I pour into my blog … the blogging industry requires a little luck too. You’re at the liberty of other people discovering your content, maybe sharing it, brands finding you and companies wanting to work with you … in some ways i’ve found that hard work and passion isn’t enough alone, you need serious time, a proactive business approach and a little luck too. What makes one blog better or more commercially worthy than the other? Sometimes it’s hard to understand what i’m not doing right? Why I haven’t gained the same success as others? What’s wrong with me? I hate to admit it, but the one negative i’ve learnt about myself since blogging is that I can fall into the trap of comparing myself and my achievements to others, doubt my ability, and put my hard work down.
Your network is more important than you realise
And maybe what it comes down to is my blog network. The downside of juggling a full time career and a full time blog is no time, and it’s attending events, going to parties and spending time networking for me that got sacrificed. Five years on I’ve seen how important your network is, how your network is what will ultimately grow your business and fuel your success. I already knew it but it took me a while to truly see it and experience it.
I’m a control freak
I mean how else could I have blogged daily for 1,604 days consecutively and sustained a full time job? I’m a control freak and my blog is what I control … daily blogging is a commitment I have with myself. Even though i’ve debated for the last 2 years or so reducing the frequency of my blog posts, I can’t let go. I’m a perfectionist with my photography, I want every post to be the best it can be, and I don’t want to miss a day … just in case (i’m not sure what … you never come back?).
Basic coding & data analysis
When I started my blog there wasn’t really a service for buying blog templates or designs, it was manual labour and something you taught yourself. Every blog was unique and had it’s own style, because it was hand crafted by the blogger themselves. And whilst I wasted hours and hours and hours trying to code things on my blog, watched countless youtube tutorials, read thousands of blog posts teaching code and spent many nights without sleep trying to finish a blog design change before work the next morning, I would’t change a thing because the end result was that I taught myself basic coding. Something I would have absolutely never learnt otherwise.
And it’s not just code, SEO, data management, google analytics, performance analysis and learning how to manage a small business are all things my blog has taught me over the years. And for that i’m proud.
Blogging has taught me so much, and every day I fall more and more in love with writing, shooting photography and creating features for mediamarmalade.com. I don’t ever see myself stoping, in fact I continue to work hard in hope that my blog (continues to) grows into something bigger and better.
Whilst i’m hard on myself, and i’ll admit that I am, I am proud of what i’ve achieved. Yes i wish sometimes my blog was bigger, more successful, had more traffic or that I got offered more opportunities, but when it comes down to it, I’ve created something quite special, something i’ve poured my heart into, something that I cherish like a child and something that’s documented my twenties. I may always be striving for more, but deep down I am proud of myself for what i’ve achieved, however big or small that achievement may be compared to others.
Did you enjoy this rather honest blog post? I’d love to hear about your own blogging journey if you write your own blog and whether you can relate to my learnings?