i just want to start with saying your blog(s) are such a great source of inspiration and entertainment to me (they may have taken place of any other reading material). you really do have a great gift of expression and i admire it. I am still ever so new to the blogging world and have really appreciated the small messages you leave me. Seen as i am slowly educating myself about this blog thing, i was wondering if you would have any wise words of advice or tips on getting things going and things to keep in mind.
I want to start by saying it is very awesome of you to send me this email. It means so much to me that anyone at all would be entertained or inspired by anything I do, so thank you for totally making my day.
Wise words about blogging? I’m really not sure I’m qualified, but I’ll do my best. Here are 10 things I’ve learnt about what matters when it comes to blogging, in no particular order.
1. Know why you’re doing it. You don’t have to tell anyone else, but you need to know. It will help you know when to say yes, when to say no, and where your boundaries are on everything from the topics you write about, to the kind of photos you post, to whether or not to monetise (accept paid advertising) on your blog. If your goal is to blog as your true self, then go for it with all the honesty you can muster.
2. Try to be brave. Don’t worry too much about making mistakes, or about what other people might think of your blog. This is really hard, but important for your sense of self and sanity.
3. ‘Done’ is better than perfect. It can be hard to put yourself out there and hit publish. But a post that’s ‘good enough’ and published, is better than a perfect half-finished post that’s hiding in your drafts folder forever. (This is advice I need to take too.)
4. Having said that, do try to proofread and use pictures that are clear, interesting, and add to the story you’re telling.
5. Know your focus. If you haven’t started your blog yet, look for an area that interests you that may not already be saturated (fingers crossed!) and focus on that. Allow that focus to be carried through in all of your posts, your ‘about’ page, your social posts, everything. The more specific your blog is, the better.
6. If that topic is well and truly covered but it’s your thing, your passion, then I say go ahead and blog about that anyway. Your point of view is your own, who knows what unique perspective you may bring. And if not, who cares? It’s your blog (refer here to point 2.).
7. Read other blogs. It helps to know your medium and understand the established conventions. Once you understand the conventions and why and how they work, you can then break them.
8. Comment. Commenting on blogs used to be such a big and glorious thing in the blogosphere. It was a great way to make community and engage with others. I think it’s died down a lot in the last couple of years, and maybe people are doing that more on Instagram now? I still think it’s a great way to meet other bloggers and they can head over to your blog in turn.
9. Know when to let go. Once you’ve made something and put it out there it doesn’t really belong to you anymore. This is super important. I’m not talking about copyright, I mean that people will lay their meaning or intention on what you make and that has nothing to do with you. For example, there was a photo I made of myself once and that photo was pinned and reposted thousands, maybe tens of thousands of times over. Sometimes media outlets reposted it without permission and people commented about how I looked or who I was, both negatively and positively. What I learnt? Once something is out there in the crazy beautiful internets, it’s out of your hands.
10. If it’s not fun anymore, stop. I’m not talking about the initial pain barrier when you’re just getting started and figuring things out. I mean that blogs don’t have to keep on forever. Like everything else, they’re just a piece in time. There’s no harm in winding your blog up when you’re done.
I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best in your blogging adventures.
p.s Context: a lovely soul sent this message to me a good couple of years ago. Recently I came across it and decided it was time to finish my response (see point 3). Hopefully it’s better late than never.