I wrote a post last week about why I’m getting back into the art of blogging again; i.e. why my blog is still important to me and how I think ‘the blog’ still has a role to play in todays modern way of taking in information. It was actually really nice to get so much great feedback on the post – and, more importantly – to hear that quite a few people still feel the same about the their own blogs.
My blog is quite possibly my third baby. I talk about it a lot (to anyone who’ll listen!). It can make me deliriously happy. It can also make me mad. It *has* made me cry (especially when I crashed the whole site once). It is also usually always on mind because I’m forever dreaming of new ideas and ways of improving.
So with that in mind it got me thinking about blogging within 2017 and my own journey since starting it 3.5 years ago. So here are the 6 things that I think I’ve learnt along the way.
1/ It’s OK to do it as a proper job.
I wrote a post a few years back on how it’s rather embarrassing saying you’re an ‘Influencer’ when people ask what you do (how awful does that sound out loud?!). When I get asked by new friends I kind of mumble that I am a freelance writer/social media manager, which I am, but in fact I mostly earn my money from blogging now. I still find it hard to admit to the world that I take selfies for a living, but (joking aside) there is SO much more to it than that. Anyone who has a blog knows that there is a huge amount of hard work that goes into every single day and that it isn’t easy at all. I’m therefore very proud of what I do now!
2/ Blogging mates mean EVERYTHING.
I am not talking about those blogging acquaintances we all have, but instead the friends that you can Text or What’s App when you are having an off day and they will totally pick you up. They are also the first to congratulate you when you get a superb blogging opportunity, and vice versa. They genuinely keep me going and offer me the most amazing support, especially when I am being a bit of a drama queen. (You know who you are, so THANK YOU). If you haven’t got anyone like this then I would advise you to start reaching out to local bloggers and suggest to go for coffee because you won’t regret it once you make that amazing friendship down the line.
3/ I’ve learnt that blogging can be lonely.
Don’t get me wrong, whilst lifestyle blogging is amazing – as is working freelance – it can potentially be an ‘isolated’ world. I spend a lot of time sitting at my laptop doing behind the scenes admin and tech work. Working on my own is also WAY more unsociable compared to my previous Human Resources career (pre-twins) where I worked in large, bustling offices and there was a lot of socialising. I have therefore learnt to make time in my week to meet up with people and make an effort to get out of the house. It’s too easy to sit in front of the iMac and ‘chat’ to people online all day. Face-to-face talk & socialising is just as important…especially when it involves food or a frothy coffee.
4/ It’s OK to get frustrated.
Blogging can be hugely rewarding one week – exciting emails flooding in, invoices being paid, blog posts going viral – but there are also many times when blogging is super tough. I’ve gone weeks and weeks with no real work coming in, as well as having to chase invoices more times than I am happy with. It’s also hard to stay motivated week-on-week, especially when family life gets tough or busy. But on these kind of days I walk away, do something else, and come back refreshed & raring to go on a new day.
5/ I’m a perfectionist.
I knew I was one, pre-blogging, but the creativity required within blogging is showing this side of me more and more! I faff and fiddle so much behind the scenes and even when I post something I can still beat myself up about the small details. It is a really good trait to have in this industry because there are so many people consistently producing such high quality content, but it can also be pretty tiring and draining. I am thus learning to step away from the laptop more, go with it and learn to be really happy with what I produce.
6/ I need to keep learning.
Even 3.5 years into this business for me and there’s still so much to learn and absorb. It’s like anything – the more you get involved with/people you work alongside and the more you improve. I find the best approach is to keep being open to learning new things and pushing myself into things that are out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know ANYTHING about web design previously and now I can navigate myself around WordPress. I also had little clue what social media was about before I started blogging and yet I’m now a freelance social media manager for other clients. I don’t know where I’ll be in 3.5 years time as everything is constantly evolving but I am prepared to keep changing with it!
Blogging came along one day when I wasn’t at all expecting and completely got hold of me! I can’t really imagine life without it now.
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Love, Jess x