*disclaimer: this post originally appeared as a guest post on Seasons + Salt
Hi guys! Today for lifestyle Wednesday, I thought I would share a little bit more about the inner workings of blogging.
I want to share with you the top three things I would tell someone if they asked me whether or not they should start a blog.
Obviously, I’m still figuring this out as I haven’t even been blogging for a year yet. So what I’m going to share with you is simply what I have learned in the short amount of time that I have been blogging.
So let’s start shall we?
1. Blogging is no walk in the park.
I was SO naïve when I first started my blog. So naïve. I thought I would be able to just quickly whip out a blog post a few times a week and call it good.
I suppose it all depends on what type of blogger you want to be, but as a fashion blogger (I still feel weird classifying myself as that since I’m a capsule wardrobe blogger and I really just take pictures of my outfits as an excuse to share my thoughts with my readers) there is way more to it than writing a blog post.
There is photo taking, which, here’s a secret for you: I absolutely hate having my picture taken… the photo editing (this has gotten way better the more familiar I’ve gotten with Lightroom. If you don’t have it, but take a lot of pictures for your blog go get it right now. Really. Run!)
…coming up with clever blog post titles
…writing compelling content
…you get the point.
Blogging is hard work! And it takes a lot of time. I probably spend 15-20 hours a week on my blog. And I would spend more, but I am a stay at home mom and only work when my daughter is sleeping. And if you want anyone to read your blog, you have to network (building relationships with other bloggers by commenting on their blogs). It’s the number one way to get people to read and view all of that hard work, and you have to do a lot of it.
In fact, I would say that I spend 50% of my blogging designated time on networking.
If you don’t care about whether or not people read your blog then more power to you! You’ll have a lot more time on your hands.
But I started my blog because I wanted to share my thoughts and to hopefully encourage people to live with less. In order to do that, I need to actually reach people with my message.
Don’t expect to start your blog and have it be easy. It’s hard. I passionately repent for any judgment I felt towards bloggers before I started doing it.
We’re hearty folk, us bloggers.
2. You form some pretty great relationships when blogging.
One of the things that I least expected was how supportive other bloggers are. Facebook groups are WONDERFUL for this (just search blogging in Facebook and you will find all kinds).
I thought it would be so much more competitive, but people have been so warm, inviting, and welcome.
If I’ve ever had a question or concern, or even just needed to vent, I have had so many bloggers come around me and offer support and encouragement.
It’s a community that I did not expect, but am so thankful for.
In addition to the relationships that I have formed with other bloggers, I have also seen an amazing community come out of my readers. We connect in the comments on my blog and also on social media and I have formed some very real friendships with some of them.
Now, when I write a post, I write it for those people and it makes me feel like we are having a conversation. I love that.
3. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.
It is SO easy to get so focused on how great other bloggers are doing that you lose sight of why you started blogging in the first place.
This is a DAILY struggle for me. I see so many compelling, beautifully written posts coming from other bloggers and sometimes I spend far too much time wallowing in the shadow of these bloggers instead of remembering that I have a unique voice.
I think that is the biggest thing I would tell anyone who is considering starting a blog. You have a unique voice. No one else can say what you have to say or create what you have to create.
When I let go of the fear that I’m not good enough, I find so much joy and satisfaction in sharing my heart with my readers. And no. Not everyone is going to like what you have to say, but that’s not the point. You say it as much for yourself as you say it for that one reader who tells you that it is exactly what they needed to hear.
I hope this helps anyone who is considering blogging or anyone who has just started.
This biggest take away that I hope you have after reading this is that, yes, it is hard work, but it is SO MUCH fun! I have never enjoyed doing anything more. So go for it! Take the plunge. I think you’ll be surprised by how much you love it!
Until next time,