The Most Important Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging
If you made it back here after yesterdays post, you’re a REAL one! If you’re reading this with absolutely no clue what I’m referring to, well… I’ll let you in real quick on the fun.
Turns out it’s nearly been two years since I created this blog and began spilling all my secrets, flaws and opinions with you guys – YUP, that long – and I decided we’ll be doing a 7-day blogging challenge where I’ll be letting you in on more secrets, flaws and opinions about – you guessed it – blogging. As I implied yesterday, I’m not quite sure whether I’m doing this because I love punching out words on my keyboard or just to see whether I’ll crack under pressure. Only time will tell, right?
Before I started blogging in my last year of university, the only thing I knew about creating content or managing a blog was the little I had learnt whilst doing assessments and projects. At that time the web pages we were asked to create were very surface level and rather than the sites themselves the emphasis was mainly placed on the content within it. I also wasn’t really following many bloggers at that time either, if any, so most of the things I know now I had to learn on my own and frankly, I failed at many things in the beginning.
Clearly, even with the stress that came with the pursuit of the good grade, I really enjoyed the process of setting up a WordPress website to my own liken and decided I would create my own ‘actual’ blog.
While my first blog post was let out to the world in September 2018, truth is, it took me three whole months before posting ‘Hi, I’m Rachy and It’s Complicated’ as I quickly discovered blogging was no joke. It was surely a case of trial and error but as you can see, I’m still here and have never regretted it ever since. So, what were some of the things that I wish I knew back when I finally hit the publish button and let you in on my messy mind?
You Don’t Need That Much To Start.
I remember very clearly pushing back the idea of starting a blog until I had certain things in place. I had this conviction that I wanted to be ready for it, have all my cards set out in the open so I could check and see them thoroughly. My desire to do it right meant I couldn’t do it wrong, but for a long time, it meant I wouldn’t be doing it at all.
‘Let me just get a camera first’, I said to myself. Then I got the camera I really wanted, but that didn’t get me any closer to starting my blog because the ‘other things’ I wanted in order to start the ‘perfect’ blog weren’t set in stone yet.
After a few weeks posting on here, it occurred to me that I genuinely didn’t need those things anyway. There were so many things I did and bought that were essentially a waste of time and money. In a way, I was stalling my own progress by chasing perfection, and that is so freaking overrated. Plus, I don’t think my photo’s ever reached the Pinterest-blogger-chic level of artsy even with the big machine, so… just start!
Not Everyone Cares.
As harsh as this may sound, one thing I quickly realised once I got my blog up and running is that not everyone will care to read the things you put out. For some reading is not their thing, for others they just don’t have the time to put into it or perhaps they just aren’t interested in the topics you write about. The truth is in life people have no obligation to engage with the things you create, but that’s why it’s amazing that blogs are written on a global public platform as you can then find people who care about your opinions and story. It also creates a huge dilemma that forces you to answer the question; am I writing for myself or my readers? I’ll definitely let you in on what I think in a future post.
You Have To Create Inspiration.
I love that moment when inspiration hits. It feels like a big burst of energy that consumes you as your fingers try to catch up with the words forming fast in your mind. It’s a thrilling romance with words that comes to find you when you don’t expect it to but always leaves a little too soon.
I’ve written about feeling uninspired to a ridiculous extent where my well of beautifully crafted words had run dry and all I was left with were ideas I couldn’t bring to life.
If I were to wait to get ‘inspired’ in the way that’s just right and almost magical, well, the regularity of my posts would be completely left up to chance.
Creativity doesn’t just happen, at least not for me, it’s created. I think things through, analyse them, sculpt them, scrap them, and then start all over again. The more you write and practise drawing words on a blank page, the more you are likely to get inspired.
Growth Doesn’t Happen Overnight.
if you start your blog thinking you’re going to hit it big in a short while… prepare to be highly disappointed. Chances are you are not going to go viral in an instant, but rather you’ll find yourself growing slowly as time passes.
The more content you put out, the more people are likely to read and engage with your work. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes that readers don’t necessarily see, but it’s work you need to put in when you aim to deliver quality content. From SEO and keyword to utilizing social media to its fullest potential, there’s a lot of ‘technical’ things to be done, and although that might not be the fun part, it’s an important part.
Starting a blog is not just what it seems; taking a bunch of pictures and slapping some words around them. It is a lot more intricate than that, and if you’re considering starting your own you should know that.
For me, it’s all about building a community of people that make you feel heard and seen. It’s about sharing and growing together in a world where it can be hard to connect. But it’s even more than that too. A blog post can make the online family you created feel heard and seen too, less alone and a part of something that is more than pretty pictures. Most times, it’s all about the conversations that are set in motion after a post goes out; the open space, the shared experiences – and that’s why it’s worthwhile each week.
Your restless romantic roamer
Not everyone cares is such a good tip. It’s usually the posts I work the hardest on – in terms of research, pooling ideas or editing – that seem to get the smallest engagement, and whilst it’s disheartening, I’m still proud that I did what I wanted to do! I think it’s natural to care what others think, and, at times, tailor what we do because of this – we do it irl too! – but I agree, taking the time to figure out who we are writing for is so important.
It’s sooo true that it’s the ones I work the hardest on that don’t get as much attention (lol), but then again maybe it is also the fact that we put more into it that raises our expectations too. I try to not let it affect me as much as possible when I sit down to write the next, and while I’m mostly good at it, it’s not always easy to block out the noise in my mind.