After a week off (partial fun, partial unavoidable sickness) I’ve realised how much I thoroughly enjoy writing and maintaining a blog. It’s so nice to have readers still coming back and perusing old posts even when I’ve not been up to adding new content, leaving genuinely engaged comments and thanking for advice. It’s amazing to have tweets from people saying they can’t wait for me to get back to it, that they miss my site and they’re on the edge of their (virtual) seats waiting for more. Although I’ve felt all the creativity and enthusiasm flow out of me in the last week, I’ve also found my thirst to get stuck back in has come swooping back in the last day or two; there’s nothing quite like writing a blog. Not only does it provide a platform for self-expression, for you to be creative and connect with like-minded individuals, but it teaches so many skills – including social media management, photography and coding. So many of my friends and readers say they ‘should really start a blog’ but never actually go through with it, so this is that kick up the bum maybe many of you need to take the plunge – beacuse everybody’s got a blog in them.
What Should I Write About?
The great thing about blogs (or web logs) is that they can be about everything and anything. If you have a specific interest or skill, then start writing about that – I know of blogs that just review burgers, beer or nail varnish. If you visit lots of cool places, have a passion for baking, love taking photos or simply want to document your thoughts and feelings, then just do it. A blog evolves over time and can connect you to people with the same passions or interests, allow to to become emerged in a community of individuals that may even become ‘real life’ friends, or even help you discover a passion you never knew you had. I thoroughly believe that everyone has a story to tell and every story is a valid one; your stories could be the most interesting thing a stranger reads all week, but you just don’t know until you try.
How Do I Manage My Time?
Although there’s a lot of pressure on bloggers to be posting continuously, blogging as a hobby should be fun and fit in with the rest of your life. I used to write in my spare time while watching telly, be it on a Tuesday evening or dull Sunday afternoon, and I was still able to curate something of great value. The more you do it the more you’ll fall in love with it (I guarantee!) but there’s no pressure on you other than that you put on yourself; blog as and when you can and the rest will follow really easily. It does help if you try to dedicate a couple of hours a week to writing so you can get into a routine, but the most amazing thing about blogs is that they’re reactive – you may think of a really great idea while out for lunch with friends, visit an amazing coffee shop you want to blog about or read an article that makes you think. Your blog is your space and only you can determine how it’s run.
How Do I Get People To Read It?
Huge statistics aren’t the be all and end all of blogging; the value placed on some sites is a little overwhelming, especially when they’re incredibly noisy and untargeted. I truly believe that some of the best sites (and those with most value to brands) are niche and speak to a smaller audience that really eats up every single word. However, social media plays an essential role in connecting you to people with similar interests and ideas – and those who are likely to read your site. Monitoring hashtags, participating in twitter chats, reading and commenting on other sites… All of these things will help to grow your little corner of the internet and help provide the interaction and feedback that makes it all so worthwhile. (You can also check out my blog advice on growing an audience here.)
What Will I Get Out Of It?
Blogging is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Having my own space on the internet to babble, share my thoughts and help other people with their beauty related decisions is incredibly empowering and fulfilling. In a cheesy way, it allows me to connect with people and feel like I can really make a little difference. I’ve been involved in charity campaigns, helped people tackle their skincare woes, championed cervical smears and so much more – blogging allows you to have a voice and that feeling is like nothing else. Unlike what most people thing, blogging isn’t about free stuff or press trips, it’s about so much more: perfecting your writing skills, learning about photography, understanding how social media works, networking, talking to other people, getting involved in debate, making friends and possibly even carving a new career for yourself. Starting a blog could open new doors in so many ways, and ways you could have never imagined.
Where Do I Look For Support & Advice?
The great thing about the blogging community is how supportive (in general) it is. You can’t step sideways without someone willing to help, blog posts sharing advice, twitter chats connecting people and events helping to turn virtual friendships into real life ones. I’ve written a whole series of posts about blogging, the lessons I’ve learned and top tips to becoming successful, but there are so many other great posts and videos out there too. The weekly blogger chats are great to participate in (look out for #bbloggers #fblchat #lbloggers #fbloggers on Twitter) and there are many networks you can join that will connect you to others. Most importantly, if you admire another blogger and value their advice then strike up a conversation – nine times out of ten they’ll be happy to help.
So, will you be cracking on and starting your own little site this weekend? It could be the best thing you ever do…