Two years? Two years(!!) I can’t believe I’ve been spilling my words on this little website for two whole years.
I started this blog as I left Sixth Form. One day turned to Jake and suggested starting up a blog to give me something to work on over the summer to curb my nerves about starting university. In those two years I’ve done more than I ever could have imagined. I’ve met incredible people, worked with some amazing brands and created work that I’m incredibly proud of.
Before I get in to what I’ve learned through blogging, I have a few thank you’s. Jake, my parents, my girl gang and my blogger babes – the people who constantly share my content and celebrate my little successes with me. I love you all to the moon and back. Oh, and a huge thank you to each and every one of you who reads this blog; I literally couldn’t do it without you. Never did I think my blog would gain as much attention as it does and it’s all thanks to your lovely lot.
I’ve put together some advice based on what I’ve learned in the past 24 months.
It’s not easy
You just sit behind a computer writing what you’re thinking about, right? Wrong. This blog has frequently tested my boundaries. I’ve doubted my writing abilities, I’ve doubted my photography. One day you can be trying to photograph products and nothing looks right. The next day you can use the same products and same camera and create photos you love. There are good days and bad days in blogging, but you have to take the rough with the smooth.
It’s not cheap
Well, of course, you could just hop on WordPress with a free theme, but if you want to be in this game seriously then you’re going to have to pay. Hosting and themes do not come cheap. Not only that but you will constantly justify purchases with ‘I can blog about that’ – because money spend on your blog isn’t really spending, it’s investing… I’ll just keep telling myself that.
You’ll learn who your real friends are
Very quickly. You’ll notice who throws a ‘oh yeah, I saw that on your blog!’ into a conversation and those are the friends you want to keep. The ones that support you, share your posts, give you inspiration and cheer you on when you’re standing on a chair in the middle of a restaurant to get a foodie flatlay. Those are the kind of friends you need in your life. That brings me on to my next point.
You’ll do anything for a good photo
Including standing on tables to photograph your food. Preventing your boyfriend from stirring his coffee before you’ve instagrammed it. Standing in the centre of the town posing for you OOTD with people walking past staring like you’re either a weirdo or just really love Stoke-on-Trent.
Boyfriends and parents are great photographers
They may need a little help setting up the camera, but once you’ve got the settings down and briefed them on what you want, they’re amazing. Jake will protest a little (a lot) because ‘we can’t go anywhere without you needing me to take photos’, but that’s just the price you pay for dating a blogger, babe.
Do not undersell yourself
First of all, don’t start a blog if you’re only in it for the money. If you’ve finally decided you’re at a point where you would like to start earning from your blog and want to seek out sponsored opportunities, make sure you get what you want from it. You’re so much more than a ‘just a blogger’. You are a writer, a photographer, a creator, a PA, an accountant – blogging is hard work and your rates should reflect that. Don’t accept an opportunity where someone is taking you for granted.
Don’t feel pressured to produce content
I try to post every other day, but certainly at least three times a week. Sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t push out the content you want to. Remember it’s quality over quantity, though. Sometimes you can get a bad case of bloggers block, and I know I can feel super guilty if I don’t post for longer than three or four days. You have to remember that sometimes you need to take a break, and there’s no point rushing content that doesn’t truly reflect you and your style.
You won’t know how to introduce yourself
Like I said before, you’re a blogger, writer, photographer, YouTuber, influencer, internet-y person. It’s pretty difficult to try and explain to a non-blogger what it is you actually do!
Don’t get sucked into the drama
Do not, for the love of god, get involved in Twitter drama because that is just opening tuna sandwich on a sweaty tube carriage. It gets ugly fast and you don’t want it to be the reason people have heard about you. Be smart and be positive, rant about it in the group chat – not the public domain.
Don’t compare yourself to others
You will inevitably become incredibly sad, incredibly quickly. I always found it difficult seeing bloggers on beaut location shoots in central London, but living in Stoke doesn’t have the same picturesque vibe. You’ll see bloggers constantly receiving PR packages and wonder why you can’t even get an email back from brands. Everyone starts somewhere, and we’re all on our own journey. Keep growing and working hard and you’ll reap the rewards.