I can’t believe I’ve been in the blogging world for over 6 years. Six years of experience. Six years of fun.
As I mentioned earlier, I started blogging as a hobby. Well, I still am, but now it’s much more than just having fun. It’s an addictive game I’m willing to keep going.
It really is addicting once you start blogging and every blogger’s motivation comes from the audience. I’m not quite as successful as I would like to be, but I thank God for this far. I really do.
A few months ago, I wrote about why I started blogging and why you should too. While it’s safe to say as I always say that I started my blog for fun, it’s also true that I have contemplated just deleting everything and getting it over with so many times I lost count. I’ve even had to delete some specific posts as I evolved and realized that wasn’t the kind of information I wanted floating around the internet.
I later wrote another post “why you shouldn’t start blog,” this is specifically interesting because so many people have told me it sounds like I’m discouraging them. Well, Yes, blogging isn’t all bliss, but it’s not in my place to discourage anyone from diving into this already flooded field. For all I know, if you’re resilient enough, you can make a name for yourself, but first you need to get past the challenges. Which is why I wrote that post. To give my two cents on the challenge bloggers go through.
Now, my blogging journey has been an interesting experience for me. I had no idea I’d meet amazing people and get to learn so much from them and I did.
- Blogging requires hardwork. I started blogging as a hobby. Most bloggers I knew made it seem beautiful and glamorous. I always thought it would mean working less for me, but the amount of work that is needed to eventually have your blog up and read-worthy is unbelievable and overwhelming. No one even bothered to tell me it would be hard work. Too much work. No one even mentioned it meant less sleep as I always found myself burning the midnight oil writing something or designing something related to my blog. I had to learn this the hard way. But I learned nevertheless.
- Blogging isn’t a Get rich quick scheme. I’ve mentioned before that I started blogging in 2014, and well, years later, I still am not a rich. Most bloggers make it seem like it is, but it’s not. Most of these bloggers have quite a story about their own failures and eventual success. They have invested their time, money, sleep and even sacrificed their careers to be able to concentrate on blogging as it is, and I’ve learned not to let them push my anxiety button over that. My rich will eventually come.
- Blogging is an investment. Besides being a hobby, blogging is a business. Just like any business, blogging requires you to have a start up investment. The only way around it is signing up for a free WP account that comes with a free domain and that can only be maximised as a hobby and not a business. As a business therefore, when you start a blog, your domain will be the first of your expenses. You will also need to pay for hosting. Whoop! Money keeps going out. Everything else including logo design costs money. Maximising on different blogging apps like Canva also costs money and that is just annually. If you don’t pay your next year subscriptions, the service is pulled down from your site. Nothing comes easy!
- Blogging is a lonely pursuit. Besides the many pitfalls to starting and maintaining a blog, blogging is a very lonely ride. Most of us bloggers prefer to blog from our homes because either we can’t afford to rent an office space or just because we enjoy our own company. Working from home can be incredibly lonely if you’re not introverted like myself. You find yourself going for days without saying a word to anyone and if you can’t handle that kind of human disconnection, then by all means, don’t start that blog.
- Blogging world changes constantly. Blogging today isn’t exactly what it was a few years ago when I first started. It has evolved so much that these days all you need is a Facebook page and you’re good to go. You have to be fast at changing with the trends as well. We’ve seen Canva take over the graphic designing in the blog space and things keep changing. If you’re not social media savvy, all I can advise you is that stay off blogging as the trends will render you irrelevant.
- Blogging requires some form of creativity. For starters, if you are going to be the sole-writer of your blog space, then you are going to need a creative mind. You will find yourself having to learn how to use different apps (I’ll talk about these in my next post) that will save your life in the blogging world. You will need to have a creative mind to design graphics, to take your own pictures to showcase in your blog etc. Most beginner bloggers assume they don’t need any skills whatsoever and end up failing to catch up.
- No fixed income. Even though, the income generating aspect of blogging requires a lot of hard work, time and sacrifice of sleep, it does eventually come through for some lucky people. However, blogging has no fixed income, it all depends on the amount of work you get done and the time you dedicate to it.
- Maximise the use of social media sharing. There is so much power in social media. Having an online presence as a blog helps boost your network. Create your social media community and spread the word. Share your posts in these groups and keep the conversation going with your community. Ask them about new ideas as you lose nothing by asking.
- Sticking to a niche. Some people feel like they have to succumb to the niche they started with because… Well, they have to. Truth is, there’s absolutely no law that states that you must do that. Only stick with that niche if you want to, no rules. But if you can’t, then that’s fine. I feel like it’s easier to find ideas to write about when you’re more open minded about your blog niche. I started as a strictly food blog, then I evolved and incorporated some other ideas and here we are. I wouldn’t want to be limited to writing only about blogging. That would be boring af.
- Don’t compare yourself to the competition. Yes, it’s a good thing to keep your competitors close. It’s also true that the competition keeps you afloat. Read their articles and see what they are writing about. I must admit, I spend too much time reading other people’s blog posts than I do on my own writing. The problem arises, when we start to feel like the other bloggers are way more successful than we will ever be. I had to learn that my time will come. There is no use depressing myself with things I have little control over. And these days, I take it as a challenge and face it head on.
What have you learned from blogging?