My little space here will be three years old in March, where whilst looking back across my archives I realise I have never really written down in any great detail the various things that I have learnt about blogging over this period of time. From initially setting out to just write about mascara I was incredibly oblivious to this online community and the wonderful people within it. I have to say that when I sat down to plan this post I thought of a lot more things than I expected to so I’ll try to keep it short and snappy but still informative.
It’s not a race | The blogging world is growing at a rather rapid rate where is so different now to how it used to be back when I started almost three years ago. It’s extremely fast paced in my opinion and it is incredibly easy to get caught up within it. Blogging is not a competition, we’re all out doing our own thing and hopefully are enjoying what we do, if you’re not you need to look into as to why that is. It’s important to keep at your own pace so that first and foremost you don’t lose your voice, your enjoyment and your passion for your blog.
A DSLR isn’t necessary | Of course I feel a little bit of a hypocrite considering my picture above has a DSLR in it, however I’ve seen plenty of bloggers who have used their phones for pictures before investing in a DSLR, in fact I used my phone to take the picture above. From my experience it’s not how you take the photograph (although that sure does help) it is how you edit afterwards.
You don’t need Photoshop | Now this is one that may raise a few opinions as I know Photoshop is a programme that a lot of people use and spend a lot of money on, however I don’t own Photoshop and have never once used it for any of my pictures. Recently I have been extremely blessed in that I’ve receive such lovely comments from people who read my blog in regards to my photography, so I think it’s high time I put together a few tips on what I use to edit my photographs. Whilst I don’t think it is a necessary programme to have, I do think that it would be an amazing one to use. I hope to one day to purchase it however that is a long way off as it isn’t something that I’m in a rush to do.
Drama | Don’t get involved.
Hype | When I first started blogging I fell for the hype, I fell hard and found myself spending so much money. Trust me when I say that it’s not worth it, hold fire and wait a few weeks, read around the product properly and then decide; don’t just take someone’s word for it.
I love it | I never thought three years ago that I would enjoy doing something so much. I’ve learnt that I love writing about make up and skincare and all the random other things that occasionally crop up on here. Editing photographs is also something that I really enjoy along with staging props etc, quite simply I really enjoy being creative.
Learning new skills | Before I started my blog I knew nothing about photography, I knew nothing about HTML and I knew nothing about the powers of social media and how marketing, branding and SEO worked, although that last one still confuses me quite a lot.
Communication | Looking back over the time I have being reading blogs and writing my own, I would say that this is the one area in which I feel as though I can give myself a pat on the back, although lately I have been incredibly busy so it’s something that I’m trying to get back into the swing of. Comments go along way with fellow bloggers, in fact any form of interaction goes a long way and it is something that I feel quite strongly about. If you enjoy reading a blog let them know, if you loved that post they wrote last Thursday and it helped inspire you to do something, let them know; it will make their day!
Rewarding | Over the last three years I have developed and learnt new skills, I’ve also made friendships with some lovely people and I have had some really wonderful opportunities. Yet above all else I think I’ve gained confidence which honestly feels great to say as I’ve always been an incredibly shy person. Starting up my blog has been one of the best things I have done, it’s nice to finally be able to fill out the dreaded ‘hobby’ box and write something down that isn’t something pulled out of thin air.
Don’t fret | If you run out of ideas or don’t have time to blog then don’t worry, take a break as I can assure you the ideas will come back to you. I used to worry all of the time that I hadn’t posted in two days and even now I still do on occasion, however I’ve learnt that it just isn’t worth it. It takes the fun out of it completely for me when I’m worrying about publishing content regularly so when I feel myself slipping into those old habits I just sit back, turn off my PC and do something else.
Quality over quantity | This next point links in well with the previous as I personally think that if you’re constantly publishing content without much thought or consideration behind it, then ultimately you’re doing yourself an injustice. Take time to plan your post and do your research properly, read back over previous posts and reply to your comments if you can. Personally for me I believe that quality stems not just from your published content but from the time and effort you take to communicate back to people. Replying to comments, tweets and emails helps build up a relationship between you and your readers over time. This is incredibly valuable and important to me, where from a reader perspective (I read A LOT of blogs myself); I know that I truly appreciate it when somebody replies to my comments whether it’s on twitter or on their blog. Receiving a response from somebody when I’ve shown an interest in their content doesn’t go unnoticed, not just by me but from other readers too I should imagine.
Be professional (within reason) | Now I wasn’t quite sure what to call this point hence the bit in brackets. I can be a fine one to talk as when it comes to my blog I try to be as professional as possible because that’s ultimately how I believe you should be, particularly if you’re in the position where you work with brands. I’m honesty a big believer in the notion that ‘first impressions count’, they will stick so try and make them positive. Writing this particular section I immediately thought of twitter, as in all honesty some of the things I see on there shock me! However, on the other hand I think you can be too professional as people still want to see the human behind the blog and that’s a good thing. I always like to remember that I’m just one little fish in a very big pond (this is the analogy of where my blog name comes from) and even now after three years it’s still something I believe.
Spell Check | Oh the irony! I can spell check my work until the cows come home, yet two days later when re-reading over a post I can still spot errors I have made. I’m not perfect and I’ll no doubt always make errors here and there yet by spending a minute or two checking for errors it can really help to make a difference to your content. In fact I have one more tip that I will squeeze into this section which is to read your work out loud. You may feel a little silly, yet I think it is extremely helpful in that it can help you to identify any sentences that perhaps don’t make sense so that you’re able to correct them accordingly.
Finally I’d like to add that singing along to Ed Sheeran doesn’t always work when trying to write a blog post, however most of the time it does.