I think we all start off with absolutely no clue about how to blog, because well—there’s no official handbook on how to…or it there? Well in my case, I really was just winging it and I still am winging it to this day. Last year I shared 10 things I learned from blogging (see HERE), now I’m back to share 5 more important things I’ve learned after another crazy but still amazing year filled with many ups and downs.
I’ve made countless mistakes and I’m still learning from them. I have been able to meet and interact with beautiful minds both in Jamaicaa and globally. I have faced rejection and met many internet trolls and bullies. And through it all I still get overwhelmed from all the love and support I receive daily. Now I still woundn’t call myself an expert in the subject of blogging but I have learned a few more things and I want to share some of them with you today. Hopefully, you can learn and implement this into your own world.
1. It is not an easy way to make money
There is a misconception that most people hold about bloggers and its that we’re making thousands of dollars by just blogging. Unfortunately this is not the case for the majority of us and a good look behind the scenes of blogging will tell you that immediately. Now don’t get me wrong, because it is possible to make money from blogging but it is not easy. Blogging takes dedication, influence and lots of trust from your readers and potential sponsors.
My biggest advice is to blog because you love to write, take photos and share your knowledge with the world because it may take years before even making a buck or two. I know of bloggers who started around the same time as I did and they’ve given up on it because they were not passionate about blogging. They each found it hard to stay focused because they thought blogging was an easy way to monetize. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as it may appear.
2. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle
First things first…silence that comparison trap! I know it’s way easier said than done but if you have to constantly remind yourself daily that there is no need to compare yourself to other bloggers, then DO IT! Comparing yourself to someone and their business is a complete mood killer and it really can deter you from being the best person you can be. It’s human nature to compare yourself to others in all aspects of life, and the blogging world is no different. But just remember we all have to start somewhere. So rather than bringing yourself down by letting your comparison thoughts get the best of you, focus on creating amazing content for your audience while keeping a positive mindset. This is where I’ve been learning to place my focus rather than paying too much attention to anyone else.
At the end of it all there is room for everyone. In two years of blogging I have come across so many different types of blogs. No two blogs are the same, each one has something different to offer and that’s what makes blogging so great.
3. Work with brands you GENUINELY LOVE
Another misconception—bloggers jump at any chance to make a buck, despite the product, brand or company behind it. This may be the case for some people but many of us believe in staying true to ourselves and aren’t afraid to decline brands too. That said, don’t be scared to say no to paying sponsored opportunities if it does not fit your brand. Remember the brand you choose to work with will reflect the identity and quality of your blog. And I know it can be very tempting to say yes, yes, yes when offers start rolling in but don’t fall down that trap and taint your image as the blog with no clear niche. Every brand you collaborate with says something about your blog, so be selective about the brands you work with.
I once turned down a potentially high paying opportunity with a brand because they simply did not fit the aesthetic of my blog. I also didn’t like the product and did not want to attach my name to something I genuinely didn’t like. Plus, your readers are NOT stupid. Take my word, your readers can see right through any fake relationship. The last thing any blogger wants is to lose the relationship you hold with your readers, and we all know just how long that takes to build. Instead of accepting every offer that comes your way, politely decline and thank them, then ask them to get in touch in the future if anything comes up that may be of relevance to your blog.
4. Know your Worth
Unless there is a brand or company you’ve been dying to work for and you want to build a long-lasting relationship with them, never allow anyone to take advantage of you. I’ve learned this the hard way, time and time again.
People will always reach out to you asking you to work for free but don’t be blinded by some free products. KNOW YOUR WORTH. Always remind yourself that it takes time out of your day (sometimes days) just to create. So don’t accept every single free product (or ‘gift’ as they like to call it) that comes your way. [BTW: I have accepted a free pair of heels but only because they were a pair of heels I would willingly purchase myself].
5. Get Organized
Yes I know…this was one of my points last year and I’m saying it again because it is still something I’m working on myself. If you want to step up your blog game I suggest you get a good planner and a calendar only for your blog. If you hope to one day turn your blog into a business then you need to start embracing structure and get organized.
If you are anything like me, and you have a hard time getting organized or sticking to your plans start small. I started planning my blog posts a week in advance and I slowly stepped it up to planning posts up to 2 weeks in advance. I hope to get to a point where I am able to plan a month in advance but for now start small and I guarantee this little organization tip will make things less hectic for you.
I hope these five tips have opened your eyes even a little bit. Thank you sticking with StylishLee on this journey. Cheers to this 2 year milestone! Till next year…Talk Soon. Nuff Love, Natasha ♥