I can't believe that it's already been a year since I've started this blog section of my website. (!!!)
It was always something I had thought about starting - and at one point I decided it was time to finally act upon that. As a fresh grad, I was feeling super lost in terms of what I wanted to do with my life, and I wanted a place where I could explore my multiple interests. So far it has been a super rewarding experience! Today I wanted to share 5 things I've learned in this first year of my blogging career, and share some insight on what it takes to run a blog. Whether you are contemplating starting your own blog, recently just started a blog, or have been blogging for years - I'm hoping my insight is helpful to you! :)
1. Running a blog is no joke - it's hard work!
If you're thinking about starting a blog, know that it is a huge commitment. When I first started my blog, I knew it would require a lot of time and energy - but I didn't really have a full grasp of just how much until I started publishing posts regularly. If you're just starting out, chances are you are a "one person show" - and you probably don't have a team helping you out. (I often forget that most of the bigger and more successful blogs have a small army of people helping them..) I dream of the day I'll be able to hire people to help me out, but for now it's all me. I come up with all the ideas for posts, write all the posts, edit all the posts, take all the photos, edit all the photos, maintain all social media channels to promote posts, etc. Not tryin' to scare ya off, but you have to really want it / enjoy it in order to keep it going long term.
2. Comparing yourself to other bloggers can be discouraging.
Comparing yourself to other people in general - can be discouraging. In the blogging world, it's easy to get wrapped up in the comparison game.. especially because there are so many blogs out there these days. When I first started my blog, I had no idea how I was going to stand out amongst the crowd. With so many other great blogs out there, what would bring people to come read mine? I've come to realize, though - that it's silly to compare myself to those blogs. As I mentioned in the previous point, I often forget that there is a team behind those blogs. I also always forget that many of those blogs have been around for years - and that it takes time to establish an audience. With all that said, I don't necessarily think you should block out what everyone else is doing, but rather look at what they're doing well - and apply it in some way to what you're doing. In my first year, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with a handful of other blogs - which is one of the most wonderful things about the blogging community. We can all learn a lot from each another, and I think instead of viewing it as a competition - it should be viewed as an opportunity to learn from one another and improve. We should all be supporting one another rather than competing against each other.
3. Don't obsess over the idea of perfection.
I've learned that obsessing over making things 100% perfect can hold you back. This is one thing that I still struggle with, because naturally I am kinda a perfectionist. I never want to put a product out there unless it is 100% the best that it can be. When it comes to blogging, though - sometimes it is better to get the "product" (aka blog post) out there - imperfections and all. Yes, it's important to proofread things before publishing them - but there also comes a point when enough is enough. Blogging isn't like writing college essays - it is much more informal, and because you will be cranking out new content frequently - it's okay if each blog post isn't the most immaculate piece of writing you've ever produced. When I first started out, I also felt that all of my images needed to be shot with a DSLR - but as time went on, I realized this wasn't 100% realistic because I don't always carry my DSLR with me. I do, however, always have my phone - and a large portion of my blog images are actually iPhone photos. While the DSLR photos may be better quality, the iPhone photos get the job done just fine and allow me to produce content a lot faster and more spontaneously. In the end, there will always be a way to improve and make things better - but with time, I actually think all of that will evolve naturally without obsessing over it post by post.
4. Burnout will happen.
When I first started out, I made the goal of posting once or twice a week. That sadly didn't last very long, lol. None of us are in a creative mindset 100% of the time, and that's okay. Creative block is a thing, and it's probably gonna happen at some point. There was one month where I didn't post a single blog post, and initially I felt guilty about it... but in the grand scheme of things, it's okay. It's okay to take a break and recharge if you need to. Your blog will always be there waiting for you when you're ready to return to it.
5. Not everything needs to be a blog post.
Since starting my blog last year, I have had many moments of saying things like "THIS IS A BLOG POST WAITING TO HAPPEN" or "OMG, this would make a GREAT blog post" or "I should write a blog post about this..." Whether it's an event, an art exhibition, a place I've never been to, a recipe I've never tried... in the back of my mind, I feel like I am always subconsciously thinking about how things can be turned into blog posts. I keep a physical list of potential blog post ideas, but find that I often get overwhelmed with wanting to turn literally everything into a blog post. It's a problem, lol.. and I think this is the thing I struggle most with currently. Sometimes I get too caught up in documenting the moment (for the sake of a blog post) - and as a result, end up feeling less "present" in whatever it is I'm doing. I often forget that it's okay to do things without the pressure of having to write a blog post about it later, and am trying to actively remind myself more and more that it's okay if I don't write a blog post about every single little thing.
I am by no means a "blogging master" after just one year, but I feel like I have definitely learned a lot and come a long way. It's exciting to think about how far my little corner on the internet has come already, and I often speculate about what it could be years from now.
Wherever you are in your blogging journey, I'd love to hear about it! Are you just starting out and have some fears and anxiety? Have you been doing this for years and still struggle with certain things? What are some of the things you have learned so far in your blogging career(s)? Let's chat in the comments below! :)