There are so many layers to this blogging industry. Each year we see influencers taking more and more powerful business opportunities, they're entrepreneurs, their faces are on your TVs and let's face it some are even celebrities in their own right.
When I started blogging I didn't have an end goal but I knew I wanted to try and understand how blogs work. I'm getting there but I'm still learning new things everyday. There are a few things I wish I knew before I started blogging and a few BTS things that no one really quite shares.
1. Numbers do not matter (completely)
Let's be honest, I do track my views, I try to increase them and I do care. When I first started I assumed my numbers would match my views and readership. I have a humble following of 3,000 on social media and I assumed that someone with that following would have 0 business opportunities and few loyal readers, I was wrong.The key is to have followers who regularly interact with you on social media and who care about the content you are putting out over a large following who aren't interested in what you actually have to say. I have great followers who message me about how glad they are when I put out a new post and brands have contact me despite me not have the biggest following. It's your content, personality and overall brand identity that truly matters so don't let the numbers get you down.
2. You're always working
To everyone who thinks because I am not working full-time I wake up around 10am make a nice breakfast and lay in bed all day, you're absolutely right. I usually wake up this late because my creativity thrives at night, keeping me up until 3am planning visuals and blog post ideas. I do stay in bed sometimes, although my desk is opposite my bed staring at me and my bad back is crying 'get up please' but let's face it there are some days I work from my bed. When your blog is your passion you are constantly thinking of ways to improve and your next steps. So even though I may not be actually writing posts 24/7 there are around 300 other jobs behind the scenes that are never ending.
3. Getting dressed up with nowhere to go
I still battle with importance of getting up to take blog pictures, I battle but I know it needs to be done. Don't get me wrong I love the process of getting ready. I love trying new eyeshadow looks and planning outfits when I'm actually leaving the house and going out for a cocktail or 10 but blog photoshoots differ because most of the time I'm not actually going anywhere. So you've gotta be prepared for a lot of dressing up and a lot of wiping off perfectly good makeup, sigh.
4. The blogging community is amazing
Until I started actively using Twitter I had no idea how much strangers were willing to give you support online. I have 'blog friends' and 'online friends' and online supports who are there to cheer me on when I post something great. Let's be honest bloggers can have a bit of a hard time being taken seriously, 'You're a blogger so you post pictures' or 'you're a blogger so you don't have a real job' are just a few of the ignorant comments I've heard one too many times. No one appreciates a good blog like a fellow blogger, they know the blogger struggle and it's lovely having people who understand and support you sometimes more than your actual friends.
5. It can also be bitchy!
There is divide between the 'small bloggers' and 'bigger bloggers' or the ones who feel like we should call people out 24/7 and the ones who think it's bullying. It happens in every industry and well all know how much it happens in the fashion industry in general. I do see the online cattiness but for me I just stay out all of that and post my love and thoughts. If you don't have anything nice to say... you know the rest.
6. There is no rule book on when you 'start making money'
A question that every blogger has asked or wanted to ask in the first 6 months of blogging. Ok hun, when do I become the next Zoella? When do I receive as many PR packages as Patricia Bright? and When do I start planning my 'New Home Tour' for the new house I'm going to buy with all of my fancy blogging money?
Again, There's no straight answer here. I've seen bloggers state they started getting paid in their first months of blogging and bloggers who haven't earned anything in 5 years. It's all about making yourself visible online and marketing.
I'll always stand by the idea that you should blog because you're passionate about blogging and not to make money butttt hun who doesn't want to make money from their passion and who doesn't want to go to the Maldives with Benefit (if you're reading this, pick me next pls guys).
My quick tips include seeking paid opportunities, always mentioning brands, making sure your links are up to date, ensuring your blog is a fully packaged brand and always being professional.
7. Family are either supportive or confused
On a whole my family are very supportive but I think there would be some members who would be more supportive if I did this as a side hobby while working full-time which obviously is not my current plan. I know a lot of people who don't even tell their family they have a blog because they're worried about the lack of support. It can be disheartening when people don't understand your vision or creativity but go and read a biography of any of your favourite business owners or stars and tell me they didn't have people who didn't understand their vision. People will soon change their tune.
8. You'll become 'that' friend
Don't worry you won't be alone. I'm that friend too, the one that HAS to get the shot of brunch before your friends can start eating, the one that HAS to get the perfect outfit shot before going and the one taking pictures of random flowers and coffee cups on your dat out. Be that friend and be that friend with pride.
9. Natual light is your new best friend
Those winter months really dragged, I'm yet to hire a professional photographer to take my pictures and my 15 year old sister (who does an amazing job) takes all of my photos for me. She's at school during daylight hours and when I returned from work in the evening it was of course, pitch black. I really had to make the most of weekends and school holidays. Whenever the natural light is popping, seize the opportunity. It will make your pictures a lot more lighter and inviting. Summer 2018 I'm ready for you.
10. There's enough content creating for everyone
If you think there's no point in becoming a blogger because there are too many of us then you don't really want to blog in the first place. Content creation is a never ending flow of amazing ideas and imaginative content, it will last forever and the beauty of written words is that no one will ever be able to put a piece together like you can. Be innovative but don't shy away from putting your spin on subjects that have been done a million times. Just think about how many love songs there are and how much we love them all because they speak to us in a different way.
Thanks for reading my loves. If you have anything to add please do the in the comments below or just say hey because it will make my day, hope your day is filled with love and laughter.