Thursday 12 April 2018

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

Hello, my loves! I hope that you're all having a wonderful week so far. Today, I wanted to share with you a few bits of blogging wisdom. I've been thinking more and more about my blog lately, about what I want to achieve with it, and how I can improve my content. In thinking that, I've also been looking back at the last three years (I can't believe it's been this long since I started my blog, time flies by!). Today, I'd like to share with you a few things I've learned throughout my online journey, and also those things that I wish I knew before I first started Shoes and Glitter. Of course, I am by no means a blogging expert, and still have lots to learn - these are just a few bits I've picked up that I wanted to share with you, loves. Hope you enjoy!

This isn't exactly a necessity - you could easily run a wonderful blog without ever spending a penny. However, I've found myself spending quite a lot on my blog over the years, and lots more than I initially expected. There is a blog layout, a custom domain, a new blog camera, accessories for photos (like marble paper, photo props), and of course all those endless products you end up buying just to review them (when you probably would never purchase them otherwise). If you're serious about blogging, you are likely going to spend some money on it sooner or later, so this is something definitely worth preparing for. It's a good idea to set aside a monthly budget for your blog, and invest in a blog layout (there are lots of pretty ones on Etsy for less than £10) and a custom domain as early as possible. As for buying products to review, I find that affordable product posts are typically more popular than high-end ones, so you can stick to reviewing cheapies, samples and any freebies you can get your hands on.
This is something that I used to completely freak out over. When I first started my blog, I was very consistent with posting at least once every four days (until life got in the way!). The first time I had to take a week-long break, I was worried to no end about how it would affect my blog traffic. I thought that taking even small breaks would mean having to start from scratch, which made me feel very anxious and pressed to stick to a rigorous posting schedule. The truth is however, that people won't just forget about your blog, so unless you're planning a long-term hiatus, there is no need to worry about losing your audience. I'm far more relaxed about my posting schedule these days, and, from a technical perspective, I find that it doesn't really impact my overall blog traffic. Don't forget to always put yourself first, and remember - sometimes it's actually good to take a break and slow things down.

This is something that would bring me down a lot, especially when it comes to writing blog posts. We tend to be our own harshest critics; and when I first started my blog, I was convinced that my content would always have to be perfect to actually deserve any audience at all. This would result in me spending up to two days just writing a post, and never being happy with the final outcome, anyway. Something that I've learned over the years is that it doesn't actually matter how neat, organised and grammatically correct your posts are. What matters the most is that your love for the subject shows through, your personality and passion for blogging. And also, your writing will improve with practice. Whenever I look at some of my oldest posts (I mean...), I smile at how much I used to freak out over my writing, spending days trying to make them look 'perfect', when that's not what matters, at all!
When I first started my blog nearly three years ago, I was surprised by how long it takes to build up steady traffic. I would sometimes visit popular blogs and compare them to my own, which would often bring me down as I felt that my content would never be good enough to attract a wider audience. The truth is, it took me months to reach me more 100 pageviews a day, but once you get there - it will only keep getting better and better. I think that a lot of people (myself included, to some extent), start their blogs with the expectation of achieving instant recognition. When actually, it takes a very long time to build your audience - I've been blogging for a few years now, and I still feel like an irrelevant drop in the ocean of beautiful, well-established blogs. I truly believe that every blogger is capable of achieving great success, but it's important to be patient and manage your expectations. Be persistent, consistent, and most importantly - enjoy yourself and what you do!

What are the most important things you've learned throughout your blogging journey? What would be your number one tip?
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