Happy Bloggiversary to ME!!
Today marks one whole year since I hit the publish button on my first ever blog post and to say a lot has happened would be an understatement! I’ve moved house, changed jobs, gone back to uni, started out on Youtube, been on a couple of holidays and written about all sorts over here on ChloeDangerfield.com. From the realities of graduating, how to get happy and a good old fashion post here and there, I’ve been on quite a journey in what has been a fab first year of blogging.
However, this wouldn’t go without some important lessons learned and advice I would give to my past and present self about life as a blogger. This first year has been a bit of an experimental period with a beginner mentality i.e. let’s not take it too seriously, let’s just pretend it’s not a big deal to me even though it is, let’s just not speak about it to people in case they see that you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, let’s write something/anything, post it and never look at it again. These are the things that have probably held me back but at the same time kept me grounded and realistic for the past twelve months.
But as I celebrate my blog’s first birthday and reflect on 2017 in online and offline terms, it’s time for me to shake off that beginner mentality and step it up a notch for the year ahead. These are the four tips I wish I had followed in my first year of blogging and intend to take with me into 2018.
If you’re a new blogger looking for advice, you’ve probably heard this a million times already; BE CONSISTENT! Sounds very simple but I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon so many times this year with a consistency level that’s about as unpredictable as the British weather. Being consistent with when, how often and, to some degree, what you post is such an important piece of advice for any level of blogger. First of all, if you publish a fashion post one week, a hamster care guide the next week, then a craft tutorial and absolutely nothing for a month, you’ll be forgotten about and your readers won’t understand what you’re all about (if you are a hamster-loving fashionista who likes crafts though, Hi friend!). Second of all, being inconsistent will hold YOU back. I’ve found it easy to get stuck in the planning stages, drop off the online world, then suddenly a month has gone by and I don’t even know where to begin again. Staying consistent will make it easier for you as a new blogger and will eventually build a loyal bunch of readers, so plan, do and repeat!
This goes hand in hand with being consistent and not getting stuck in the planning stages without actually doing anything. Turns out blogging is a lot of work and no matter how much you enjoy doing it, there’s a big to-do list for every single post which can get a bit stressful if you want to get it right. What should I write about? What should my title be? When should I post it? Will people care? What should I take photos of? How many photos? A feature image? The lighting’s not right! The wording isn’t right! SEO?! HTML?! FML! It can be very easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in self-doubt (trust me, I know!), especially when the blogging world is overflowing with people who are bigger and better than you. But before you play the comparison game and worry about not being good enough, it’s important to take a deep breath and remember that this is supposed to be something you enjoy, so don’t take the joy out of it. You’ll never get anywhere by standing still and worrying, so get inspired, do what you love, remember why you started and just stop overthinking it.
Something that I’ve found in my first year of blogging is that you can get so busy creating content that you get stuck on a hamster wheel (I need to stop with hamsters!) of writing, taking photos, posting and repeat with no time to move forward. If you want your blog to be great, it’s really important to make time for setting goals and learning new things that will help you get to where you want to be. There’s a lot I want to know more about to bring my blog up to the next level, from SEO and basic web design to little things like “what does this button on my camera do?”. Like I said before, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel clueless, but here’s my advice for you – if in doubt, Google it! There are so many web pages, blog posts, YouTube tutorials and y’know, actual real-life books that can teach you the ins and outs of blogging that you’re avoiding or not making the time for. Everything can be learned, don’t underestimate that ability you have because once upon a time, you couldn’t even walk. So, when you’re planning your content, set some goals (even little ones) and make time for learning new things.
Blogging often looks like a glamorous and sociable lifestyle but the truth is, it’s often very isolating. You spend your days inside on your laptop, plugging away but not actually talking to people IRL. You become a bit of a hermit. If I can give you (and myself) some top blogging advice for 2018 it would be to stay connected with other blogger buddies, this will do absolute wonders for your own sanity but also for your blog. Learning from people who have been there and done it is going to help you, and getting out there and telling everyone about what you’re doing will give you a much-needed confidence boost. If you want to get anywhere with your blog, you’re gonna have to start talking about it, make yourself heard and practice that elevator pitch, no matter how self-absorbed it may feel. I’ve been to three installments of the Career Girl Academy in London and made blogger friends both online and in my everyday life, but talking loud and proud about my blog is something I still find difficult and intend to work on in what I hope will be a cracking year.
So that’s my blogging advice that I wish I had followed in my first year. I’m not only handing these tips over to any new bloggers out there, but also to myself as some goals for the next year of ChloeDangerfield.com. If you’re an established blogger babe, what blogging tips would you have given to yourself when you started?
Have a wonderful new year lovelies, here’s to 2018!