Hello my beautiful friends! I can’t believe it’s been a year already since the day I started this blog! 3 months ago it was my 1 year Blogiversary and this post was intended to go live then with title '12 Things I've learnt from 12 months of blogging', but anyways once again Happy Birthday to my baby blog 😍 Exactly 15 months ago I posted my 1st blog post on June 1st 2015, it's been such an overwhelming journey so far. I've got a number of opportunities with various ups and lows, lessons, challenges, accomplishments and of course some irresistible goodies.
Honestly, I started this blog in May 2014 to share my Travel Photo Diary with my friends and family, at that time my blogging knowledge was almost nil, if you go back into the archives you’ll see all my international travel adventures.
I have always loved clicking pictures of my closet items, food, places, nature or anything and everything for that matter, I was always passionate about photography (FACT : I just can't click people, various failed attempts however I love getting clicked as most of you already know) Someone then introduced me to this wide world of BLOGGING, a platform where you can talk your heart out, share your personal style, travel experiences, things you like, your inspirations and almost everything. I had no idea how much you could learn and how much you could gain personally by blogging. I asked my brother who's a photographer to do a few photo shoots for me, I posted them on my blog, shared them on my social media platforms and believe me I got an insane response from almost everyone out there. That really inspired me to do more of it and today as I officially complete 15 months as a Blogger, I thought I’d jot down a few things that I’ve learnt along the way.
So, Here are the 15 things I’ve learnt from 15 months of blogging.
MY JOURNEY AND SOME TIPS:
1. KEEP IT REAL .
You need to be you at first place. I know this is a struggle at times. In a world of social media and gorgeous photos making everyone's lives seem absolutely perfect. It's good to be inspired by someone, but following someone's footsteps or copying someone is just not right. People always want someone they can relate to, therefore they would want to know the real you.
2. STATS MATTERS BUT DON'T OBSESS OVER THEM
Having a working knowledge of your stats is useful, but obsessing over them isn't good for your mind and soul. Don’t quantify your value with numbers, just concentrate on making amazing content and the rest will follow. (sooner or later)
3. IT TAKES DEDICATION
Blogging is a constant treadmill. it's hard, more like a full time job. Posting every day is not as easy as it sounds. I have been struggling with 2 professions already when I got into the blogging world, managing the 3rd full time profession was another mind wrecking task. Lucky are the ones who've got pleasant nearby locations to shoot at, family or friends to support them and also work like a photographer for them. But trust me not all are blessed like that. My real sibling is a professional photographer however we have not worked together as much as I expected in the beginning. We both are into full time professions that requires a lot of hard-work, time and dedication. I just can't be dependent on him to get free and click me. so I had to find a permanent solution, I collaborated with a number of photographers in last one year on paid or marketing barter basis, however up til now none of them connects well with my style of working. Waking up early in the morning, getting ready with shoot makeup & hair, coordinating with the photographer, travelling to the locations is not that easy as everyone thinks it is. I personally like shooting outdoor in the day light (preferably in the golden hour) Therefore this struggle is real and if you're not ready to put your time and efforts into it, just don't get into it.
4. IT'S NOT JUST POSING FOR PICTURES
Lately, I have came across a lot of girls on social media who believe that if they post some cute or bold pics for that matter here and there instantly makes them a fashion blogger, and Surprisingly a lot of them claims that if this doesn't make them a fashion blogger, then it makes them an INSTAGRAM/FACEBOOK blogger. Does that make any sense? Not to me for sure. Blogging is not only about wearing fancy clothes and posing for pictures, it's more about creating a look together and presenting it to the world adding a personal touch of your own which represents your personal style.
5. DON'T COMPARE
I read it somewhere and totally believe in it, “Comparison is the thief of joy' After more than a year of blogging, while I certainly admire and find other bloggers inspirational. Trust me I've been through moments when I'm second-guessing myself. Looking at everyone else. wondering why they seem to be more popular/cool/successful than me. And every time I feel like that, the only thing that works is You do what you do. Nobody else does what you do. Just trust yourself and focus on excellence than success.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE IS THE KEY
Social media is basically the loud speaker of your content. Without using social media to your content simply goes to waste. Nobody can find you. It also helps you get in front of like-minded people, build your online presence and make yourself known to brands and marketing people. I was into social media before blogging, but I wasn’t that much into it. However, like it or not, social media is one big way to share your content and engage with your readers, so you have to at least try it. It's not necessary to be active on all your accounts, just prioritize according to your maximum reach. Mine is Instagram, so all my post go live on Instagram first than on other social media apps.
7. LEARN TO SAY NO!
As bloggers, we get approached to collaborate with various brands in exchange of cash or kind payment terms. There are brands who ask you to write about or feature some pretty unfathomable products and often for free (Yes you read that right!). It's absolutely ridiculous when they give you examples of other ace bloggers who have been working for them for free or on barter. Honestly, I have nothing to do with anyone's earning, everyone has their own way of living and working, their priorities and responsibilities are not similar as mine and of course it's about someone's personal choice to work or not work with someone. Talking about my experience in past 15 months I've never worked with or promoted a brand which I don't like or use in my personal life. For me it's unfair to post about something that has nothing to do with my blog or my life. If you don't like it, don't promote it. Another opportunity will come around. It's hard to say NO but at times you have to and That's okay!
8. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Don't post just to post. You'll never look back on a good post and regret it. Take your time, edit, save it as a draft and come back to it. Post it when it's ready and you're ready. Even regular bloggers can suffer from performance pressure especially when you're your own critic just like me.
9. MAKE SOME BLOGGING BUDDIES
There will be so many networking opportunities where you will meet many like minded people, who share similar interests and passion as you. Networking is very important. Make friends with other bloggers! You don’t have to be their bestie, but reach out, comment on their blog posts, chat with them on social media. I’ve met some beautiful people through blogging who have inspired me to do a lot better in my life (Personal & Professional). Talking about one person in particular ASHIMA MAKHIJA you can check her blog here Love you Girl! And to all blogging buddies reading this, I am so excited about meeting you in the real world soon.
11. YOUR IDEAS ARE NOT UNIQUE
There must have been times when you worked hard on something and wrote a blog post about it only to find a similar post already out there? If that hasn’t happened to you, consider yourself lucky! With millions of blog posts out there, there is bound to be some overlap and that doesn't mean you copied someone. What is Unique about your content is YOU, it's how you present it, the way you execute the idea will set your post apart from others.
12. WHEN TO MONETIZE YOUR BLOG - COLLABORATIONS DOESN'T MEAN WORKING FOR FREE
In my opinion, It’s never too early. If you’ve got skills beyond the average person and you're working hard on them, than definitely you're worth it. You’ve finally developed a product that brands are willing to pay for than you go girl! The brands you choose to work with reflect the quality and identity of your blog, choose wisely. You don’t need huge traffic to make more money but you do need quality content + right amount of exposure. As more people become aware of your presence, you’ll see your blog grow. and brands will approach you to collaborate with them and that only comes with time. Collaborations are not always FREE, I often get approached by brands to feature their product on my blog for free or on barter.
13. PERFECTION CAN PARALYZE
if you're somewhat like me you'll definitely relate to this point. As stated earlier I actually am a perfectionist, I work really hard to create something so perfect and exactly like I've imagined it to be but many a times I end up trip over myself, trying to get it finished in the way I wanted which eventually started to leave a negative impact on my life. Though I’d been living this way since my eager childhood and it's often said that 'for perfectionists, self-doubt is a deeply ingrained behavior.' and I am trying to change and learn that It’s a challenge, but in time it can be done.
14. NEVER TOO LATE
When I started Blogging, I thought "There are already so many bloggers in India! I'm too late! Everything's been done!" And then, of course, the next 100 Bloggers showed up and I realized that maybe I was early. Particularly as the idea of personal blogging has been introduced in our country, there's never been a better time to start. So a piece of advice to all my readers or aspiring bloggers - Do it when you're ready not because everyone else is doing it.!
15. SUPPORT FROM FAMILY & FRIENDS
I am sure you all know how important it is to have support from your loved ones when you start something new. My family and friends are silent supporters, they follow my updates religiously but will never leave a comment on my post telling me whether they like it or not, at times I get messages from my friends telling me that I was looking great in that picture, or hey I read your blog post and I loved it. or there are some friends who don't show any sign that they following me but all of a sudden call me and say Hey! What's up? I love that dress of yours and I want to order the same, Can you get me some discount.? 😁 Like Seriously? At times it bugs me that why can't they just leave a comment on my post and acknowledge it. My family and Friends definitely love me, and believe in me, but I guess what they don't understand is the significance of what I’m doing and how there comments and interaction with me on social media makes a difference in the growth of my career and how it will translate into making a living.
PS Hope you're reading this now 😬
But on top of all, I'm grateful to all the people I've met, brands I've worked for, all my collaborations with photographers, makeup artist and foremost you all 💋 Thank you for liking, commenting, following and sharing my work, this would have never been possible without your continuous support.
Big Virtual Hug to all ❤
To all the fellow bloggers reading this. I would love to read about your journey. How long have you been blogging? What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far? Let me know in the comments below.