5 things I’ve learnt since starting a blog…

I’ve been blogging now for one month, one whole month of thinking continuously about photos, posts and interesting content. I’ve found a few things much easier than I expected, and others a lot harder. There are some really great bloggers who have dedicated their blogs to helping newbies like me get to grips with the world of wordpress and I thought I’d just share some of my initial thoughts on blogging and how my first month exploring this whole new world has panned out.

1. Blogging is bloody hard work! 

After following some amazing blogs for a few months and gathering up lots of hints, tips and inspiration, I decided it was high time I starting writing one for myself. Little did I realise that buying a domain and using WordPress as a CMS system would be bloody difficult! HMTL is like a foreign language, and everyone online who gives you instructions for how to do things talks in gobbledygook. Why can’t all the forums just say “click on this box here”, or “open paint, paste in your photos and resize them to fit 1080px”?? I have however managed to just about scrape together a website that resembles a blog, and my posts seem to end up in the right place so that’s a start – although there is still a lot I want to do to make it more personal and to my style.

2. The blogging community is vast and amazing

Everyone who I’ve ever spoken to who has a blog talks a lot about the community. I didn’t really take much notice, assuming more about the “community” of people that used to message me for 30 seconds with “a/s/l?” as I sneakily wandered through Habbo Hotel in my early teens.

This is nothing like that.

The blogging community seems to be full of incredible like minded individuals who are all posting amazing snippets of their life, recipes, DIYs, artwork, ideas and photographs – oh the photographs! Seriously, everyone either has incredible photography equipment or they live permanently in between the pages of a magazine. I lust over their beautiful photographs almost more than I do their words. Still – you have to have a benchmark to aim for and I’m sure I’ll improve with time! When I dived head first into the world of blogging, it felt a bit like I was starting a new club and everyone had already made their friends. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Along with the comments of support, you get to see such wonderful aspects of people’s personality when they write a blog and suddenly you realise you know their cats name, their favourite pudding and what makes them happy, without ever meeting them. This is a weird concept, but I love the idea that blogging friends then can become real life friends, from a friendship that started purely from a restaurant review or one about how they do their hair.

3. Friends and family think you’re weird

When I first started out, I wondered whether to tell people I know or simply keep it for strangers. My tumblr hadn’t ever been broadcast openly to people I knew in real life for years and years, but it was just a scrapbook of images and bits I liked – this is far more personal.

Still, it’s not very easy to hide if you want to take photos of your food, turn everything you’re doing into a step-by-step guide and constantly seek out interesting and exciting new things to do (though this is also a huge positive of blogging). Some people have really embraced it and offered ideas, others think its a bit egotistical (which I’m not going to lie – some blogs really are!) and some have got fed up when I’ve wanted to document everything I’m doing. I don’t blame them really,  its quite an unusual thing to understand if you’ve never done it yourself, so the trick is to find a balance I guess.

4. Everything turns into a potential blog post

The last point brings me succinctly onto this one. As Adam puts it “ooh this looks nice, let’s take a picture” (in other words – “oh no, this looks like something she’ll probably take a photo of…”) and other such similar sayings. The problem when you read lots of amazing other peoples blogs is that you find inspiration everywhere. I really like seeing everything through rose-tinted-blogging-glasses, but I can kind of see why everyone around me gets a little tired.

5. You get back what you put in

I’ve definitely found the best way to make blogging friends and for people to see what you’re writing about is to read, appreciate and comment on other people’s posts. More often than not you’ll spark up some lovely conversations and before you know it they’ll have realised you’re interested in similar things, post about roughly the same topics and they’ll reciprocate. Ooh friends, blogging friends (said in the voice of the inbetweeners).

If you write about things that you’re passionate about, it will shine through. There is absolutely no point in anyone to starting a blog if you’re just trying to get a) famous, b) free stuff or c) a career out of it. Yes, those things may, possibly, potentially happen if you’re lucky, but that’s not what I think the point in blogging is. The perks should be a fun and welcome bonus, but not a goal necessarily. If you are simply finding your own little corner of the interweb to write your random thoughts, recipes, poems, restaurant reviews, stories, DIYs or post some beautiful photographs, you’re onto a winner. If you’re a fame-hungry-get-rich-quick kinda person, blogging probably isn’t the right thing for you. For anyone to build up an audience, be gifted a few in-keeping samples to review or even give up the day job and do what you love, it takes far more than buying a interesting domain name and posting up a few OOTDs. I have definitely come to appreciate the dedication, time and planning it takes to keep your blog up to date, your audience engaged and most of all your enthusiasm for each and every post you write.

This first month of blogging has taught me so much (and not just the difference between <head> and <body>) and I’m looking forward to all the future posts I have planned. I guess you’d better watch this space…