Six Weeks of Blogging: Everything I’ve Learned

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So I’ve officially been blogging now for six weeks, happy six weeks to me! Do I get to think of myself as a blogger now? I feel like I do. I reached 3,500 hits a couple of days ago so now feels like a good time to reflect on how it’s all gone since I hit that ever-so-scary launch button.

I’ve really enjoyed pushing my limits and writing for myself over the last few weeks. I’ve always wanted to start a blog and write a novel, and 2017 was the year I did both. 2018 is going to be the year I really make something of both those things. I never really knew what to expect when I started blogging. I assumed it was just going to be sitting at my laptop writing tidbits and snapping photos with my iPhone. I want to share a few things I’ve learned in the past six weeks.

“NOBODY CAN GO BACK AND START A NEW BEGINNING, BUT ANYONE CAN START TODAY AND MAKE A NEW ENDING.”

It’s Hard Work.

I’ve run a pretty tight posting schedule so far – I think the longest I’ve gone without posting anything is five days – and it’s tiring! Working a 40-hour week plus commutes, plus renovating a house, plus trying to have a family and social life… Add in launching a new blog and it’s really tough to fit it all in, and finding the time to grow and build on your brand just isn’t easy. The things I actually found the hardest were:

  • Choosing a name for myself and my brand. In the end, I gave up trying to think of something creative and sassy and decided to use my own name and I feel like it’s been the very best decision.
  • Photography. Hello, stock images, you’ve saved my life. But seriously, these dark nights are absolutely slaughtering any opportunity for decent photos.
  • Writing time. When I actually sit down to write, I feel guilty for working on my blog when I should be working on my novel, and vice versa.
  • Confidence. Shocker, I know. But finding the confidence to reach out to others and to promote myself has been a huge stumbling block. Although, whenever I do show people what I’ve been working on, the response has been overwhelmingly positive so that’s been an enormous help in that respect.
  • Having no internet connection at home. 99% of my blogging has been done on my phone and at other people’s houses. Bring on January 12th when I can actually sit in my own home, with my own laptop, and write!

Finding your niche is important.

There are a lot of people out there writing and posting daily on their blogs, so finding your niche is essential if you want to make your mark. I’m still working on this. When I started up, I wanted to write about literature and lifestyle with a bit of mental health & wellness thrown in. Now, I find myself gravitating in general towards wellness and health plus I really want to focus on ethical living and diet in the next few months. Launching my 12 Months to Me project will definitely keep me focused, both here on my blog/social media and in real life.

One thing I learned quickly as a newbie blogger: there’s room for everyone! So don’t feel disheartened if you want to start a fashion/beauty/lifestyle/etc blog because you feel like a small fish in a big pond. Put your own spin on it, and there’s a space for you too.

Social media is essential for a blogger.

Not only for promotion, but for helping your followers to learn more about you, the blogger. We want to know the people we’re following, we want to learn what they like and dislike, what their daily lives are like, what inspires them. So finding and following people on Instagram, Twitter, etc is important but so is sharing parts of your own life so you can get to know the people around you. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have – it’s your content that matters.

My Instagram is currently more personal than writing-related, although I do post specific blog-focused images from time-to-time, and that’s how I want to keep it. I know others have specific Instagrams for their blog and it works really well for them, but for now I enjoy sharing images from my everyday life on that platform and using it to connect with my friends.

Most people want to help.

Twitter is a wonderful place to meet and connect with other bloggers and to find people in similar niches to you. There’s been a huge shift towards bloggers wanting to help each other grow, which I feel is so important especially when established bloggers lend a helping hand to newbies and share their wisdom or promote their work. It isn’t all about promotion, but as writers we do want people read the posts we take such love and care over, so having extra exposure is really valuable.

You’ll encounter Negative Nancys everywhere, but in the blogger community, most people are approachable, friendly and helpful. So don’t be scared to get involved!

Don’t compare yourself to others.

So go and do like you do, I’m good to do like me.

~ A favourite line from The Greatest Showman (which is amazing, by the way, definitely go and see it).

You have to stay true to yourself, because when you start looking up other bloggers who have been doing this for a while it’s a sure-fire way to take a hit to your confidence. You cannot compare one person’s chapter ninety-nine with your own chapter one. Everyone started somewhere, and where you’re at now is the ideal place to be because you can only go onwards and upwards. Take inspiration and tips from other bloggers but don’t play the ‘she’s better than me because…’ game. Trust me, it isn’t worth it and it’ll only harm your own confidence in your own work.

Results take time.

Don’t expect overnight fame or for your first post to go viral. Sure, it happens, but it’s incredibly rare for a new blogger to suddenly be earning six figures and land a major ad campaign. Real results take a lot of hard work and develop over time, so don’t give up if your hit count isn’t where you want it. Don’t do it for the hits, do it because you enjoy what you do. It’s helpful to set goals, but if you don’t reach them it isn’t a disaster because the path to success is different for everyone.

Work hard, play hard, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and if being a blogger begins to feel like a chore then take a break for a while or reevaluate what you’re doing and why.

How long have you been blogging? Do you have any helpful hints or reflections to share?

 

22 Comments

  1. January 5, 2018 / 3:28 pm

    It’s a lovely little blog you have here! Well done you. I’ve been blogging since May 2016. I know I have quite a few followers and hits (not as many as you have had in your first 6 weeks though). I love it! I use it a little for my business, a little for my thoughts and as a journal and a little to share my creativity. It’s a bit of a mish mash really – a bit like modern life 🙂

  2. January 5, 2018 / 3:43 pm

    I really loved this! There is a supportive community in the Blogosphere, isn’t there? Particularly on Twitter which is awesome! Also, you’re right – we shouldn’t compare our beginnings to some else’s middle, it’s not productive at all and it only makes you feel like you’ve failed.

    I was actually going to follow you on Bloglovin’ but it turns out I’m already following you, haha. And congrats on 3.5k views – that is such an amazing achievement! I’ve been blogging for a couple of weeks, so I’m still trying to get to grips with it but hopefully I’ll get there!

    I really hope your blog continues to grow (it will, no doubt!) xx

    Alicia | https://www.alifestyleblog.co.uk

  3. January 5, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    Loved this!! Everything you said was so very true. I adore your site too… I would guess you’ve been blogging longer than 6 weeks because you look so established on here! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in my 6 months of blogging is definitely that things don’t happen overnight. I always tell myself not to get discouraged because everything takes time. And the comparing myself to others thing–I’ve done so much better at that and once I started focusing on me and my blog, I’ve really started to get somewhere. Enjoyed reading this!!

  4. January 5, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    Thank you. This felt like a pep talk for me. I quit my job on Christmas & freelancing & blogging are what i would love to do for a living. So thank you for this!

  5. January 5, 2018 / 9:32 pm

    Wow well done on how far you have come in six weeks! My blog is just over two months and I’m still stumbling around in the dark! Some fantastic advice though thanks so much for sharing ❤️

  6. January 7, 2018 / 1:16 am

    I love this! Question…I’ve been struggling with trying to figure out how important certain social media platforms are more specifically FB… I’m not really into FB but have been told its one of the more essential platforms for bloggers. What would be your take on this…

    -XoXo

    • January 7, 2018 / 8:42 am

      I’ve got a lot of traffic from Facebook, and have joined some blogging groups which have been so helpful for tips and tricks. I’d recommend it from that point of view for sure 🙂

  7. thealyhester
    January 8, 2018 / 1:33 pm

    Absolutely LOVED this! I think the key thing here is to not compare yourself. It is so easy to sit there and look at successful bloggers and question why you are not there yet. We forget that the successful bloggers have been doing this for years and built up a real following.
    Your post is a good reality check to new bloggers. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

  8. January 8, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    You’re doing an amazing job – your theme is absolutely gorgeous. Completely agree about the dark nights – I’ve as good as given up on taking photos as I don’t get home from work until after 6. Keep doing what you’re doing love 🙂 x

  9. January 8, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    Wow like you’ve learned a lot. The closing remarks on closing couldn’t be more true. Also congrats on the six week milestone. You have so many posts, contents and stories.

  10. January 8, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    I think it is wise – so early on – to pause and really work out what you think about yourself i the blogosphere. You are right that most people want to help, but it is how you allow them to help which will make your journey easier or not. Allow them to lend their social media presence to you, not to one-for-one a share, but to pay it forward. Look for the right folks and don’t waste your time with the people who keep count.

    Best of luck!

  11. basicallybeccasue
    January 8, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    I’ve been blogging for about 6 months and have not yet reached the success you have. I will definitely take some of these tips into consideration!

  12. January 8, 2018 / 7:30 pm

    This is a fantastic and well-written post!! Congratulations on all of your success and continued successes!

  13. atruthfultraveler
    January 9, 2018 / 1:22 am

    All amazing advice! As someone who is on Week 5 of blogging, I can totally identify with many of these sentiments. Especially not comparing myself to others. It is so hard to imagine how people with long email lists and hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram started off just like us. I love your website!

  14. Elva
    January 9, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    Loved your insights. I’ve been blogging if and on for about 9 months. The hardest part is finding the time and being able to verbalize my thoughts and heart. Im guessing it gets better/easier with practice. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Congrats on your blog!

  15. January 9, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    I love this! You’ve learned so much in so little time! It’s food to see I’m not the only one balancing a full time job, family responsibilities, and a blog!

  16. January 9, 2018 / 4:35 pm

    Great advice and I love hearing about your journey! Love your website

  17. January 9, 2018 / 10:44 pm

    Great post. I have heard the first year or so you put in the most work. At one point when I was moderating in Blogging Group I was putting in 120 hours a week you are correct it is hard work. As you said social media is essential I feel I spend more time on that aspect than writing. It takes awhile to get your footing but you will find balance.

  18. February 15, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    Really you have a great blog! It inspired me! Keep up your good work!

  19. February 19, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    I love your blog! I am learning so much from your blogging posts and I am really trying to incorporate your tips into my blog! I recently started mine in January so I need all the help I can get!

  20. Cindy
    March 30, 2018 / 10:21 pm

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been at ground zero now for 3+ months. I feel overwhelmed and intimidated a bit. I want to have it altogether and perfect prior to hitting that button to publish. I work 40 hours a week and I’ve been battling health issues. I’m determined to get it off the ground within the next two weeks though.

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