This evening I spent some time going through old posts. I’m amazed at how my writing has evolved, and also how much more content I have in each post.
Since I started this blog, I have learnt some very important skills and life lessons:
- If you run out of steam, it doesn’t matter. Don’t force yourself to write, as you will end up with content that you aren’t proud of. I have recently been finding it really difficult to post. However, going back through old posts have given me ideas of what to write next, and also how to expand on ideas and topics I wrote about before.
- Think carefully before you name your blog. I went through quite a few different blog names before settling on this one. This blog was originally called ‘Pale Lace and Lemonade’, it then changed to ‘The Fashion Hall’ and then I finally settled on ‘whatkateythinks’. Am I proud of my blog name? Kind of…it does say that it’s all my thoughts, but at the same time it doesn’t really state what this blog is about.
- Be original. Being original is difficult when there are a huge number of fashion blogs out there. Find your niche and stick to it. I sort of drifted around from beauty, vintage fashion, modern fashion and travel. I quickly discovered what was the most popular (beauty), however I found that wasn’t the subject I enjoyed writing about the most. So, I’ve tried to stick with fashion and travel. If you find your niche you will find it easier to write.
- Post regularly. You need to keep your followers entertained. There is a line between forcing your writing and regular posts though. Find it (easier said than done). Produce content that you enjoy writing. If you produce content you enjoy writing, you are guaranteed to get readers who enjoy reading your content. Passion really comes out in your posts. Now by regularly, I mean have a day that you post every week. Have set days.
- Be yourself. You may look at bloggers out there and think: “man, I want to be like them” and “why do they have awesome photos and I don’t?”. I’m still like that today, but I don’t have a photographer (except my mum (hi mum!) or my phone balanced on something to take a photo of me).
- Take good photos. Take photos in good light. I’ve been looking back through my blog, particularly at my 2014 posts, and have realised how bad the photos were. Nowadays I try to take photos that are beautiful!
- Get a domain name. I don’t really need to explain this. I like having my own domain name.
- If you are brave, give self hosting a go. I love self hosting. This blog isn’t self hosted, but my other one femenish.com is. Self hosting gives you the freedom to monetize, and do so much more with your blog. I did try self hosting on this one a few times, but I found it hard keeping my readership up. I missed the community of wordpress.com, so I made the hard decision to come back. Self hosting requires a lot of social media work too – to get your blog out there. (FYI: femenish.com is really new, I’ve only just started it – I’m still going to be on this blog, but I just wanted to try something new. It’d mean the world to me if you could check it out!).
- Join bloglovin. Bloglovin is a really great tool to use to grow your blog. It’s a great community and you can now blog on there too!
- Take your time to write. Some posts I can spit out in 20 minutes, some it takes me a good few hours, or even days. It’s just a matter of getting the tone right and making sure the post reflects what you want to say or show. When I started blogging, I wrote for the sake of getting new followers and readership. It took a while for me to get into the swing of things.
- Join some social media sites. I am not a huge fan of social media. I find it tiring, but for the sake of my blog I joined instagram and twitter. I did have a facebook page for this blog at one point, but I decided to focus my energy on instagram and twitter.
- Take brain breaks. It is tiring running a blog. It is almost like a second job for me. It is important to take time off and focus on you. You don’t need to blog about absolutely everything.
- Plan ahead. I used to have everything on a google calendar and I would write my posts and schedule them for certain days. I’ve unfortunately got worse at that, so that is something that I’m going to keep working on! The header image is also of the written calendar I had from Kikki K. I really like writing things down and having a paper copy. Sadly, I don’t know where that planner is now.
- Enjoy yourself! I did write that this is like a second job…but a job I love!
- Make your blog something you are proud of. I love this blog – it is very special to me, and I can really see how much I have grown as a person since I started this blog.
- If you’re offered a collaboration, think carefully before saying yes. I’ve been offered collaborations since I started this blog (Pearl and Clasp and Luxemme). Luckily both of these collaborations were successful. I think it is important to be honest with reviews. With collabs, you need to make sure they are suitable for you and also your blog angle.
- Edit, edit, edit! It is so important to edit. I’m a very fast typer and thinker, so sometimes my ideas get left behind. When I go back and reread I sometimes find that I have left out some words/letters.
- Back up photos. Since I tried self hosting with this blog, I lost a lot of photos on older posts. I’ve been going back and updating/re-adding the photos to the posts. Luckily, most of them are still in the gallery, it’s just a matter of finding them. Another important thing to do is to change the name of the photo so that it is easier to find them. I neglected to do that when I started out, so I have to go back month by month to find them. Such a mission!
- Befriend other bloggers.
- Make sure you visit your followers blogs and like/comment/follow. It is hard to do sometimes, especially when I get busy with work and life. But when you get a spare five minutes, go to someones blog and leave a comment or like. It certainly makes my day when people like/comment/follow me! It really feels like people are reading your content and are appreciating it!
I’m going to think of some more to add to this!
What are some things you have learnt since you started blogging?