Things I wish I'd known when I started blogging
We're all running our own races | Or to coin another phrase, you can't measure your success against someone else's. Or something along those lines. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that just because so-and-so's got an amazing opportunity, it doesn't diminish the value of what you do. Even now I'm still guilty of feeling jealous when I see fellow bloggers getting whisked away on trips here there and everywhere; it's important to step back and evaluate what you've got. I've achieved so much more than I ever dreamed possible through this hobby of mine.
You don't have to say yes to everything | I remember the first time I was ever emailed and asked if I wanted to review something for my blog. It was a dress and I eagerly replied, thinking I'd hit the big time. I'm not saying blogger perks like this aren't nice, but nowadays I really consider whether or not a feature will work with my blog. It's ok to say no! Even to things that you think your readers would be interested in; there was a time I had a backlog of items to review and I felt like my blogging schedule was being dictated and shaped by different brands. Not cool, and now I'm much more likely to turn down opportunities to receive items.
Events aren't everything | Anybody else remember Aussie Miracle, Sleek and Eyeko events? Way back when, I longed to be invited to those sorts of thing and did eventually make my way into being an Aussie Angel. Whilst their events were fun, it's not the be all and end all. There don't seem to be as many events running as there used to be, and I'm at a point now where I prefer meeting with like-minded bloggers on a smaller scale than milling around awkwardly with people I barely even know.
It's not necessary to buy new things "to blog about" | Hands up who else has done this? I used to compulsively buy new releases of make up, telling myself it was ok because I'd review it on my blog. The result? A make up cabinet full of fad items that I haven't used since. Now I only buy items if I want them, and will share my thoughts with you if they're worthy of a post.
It's not about the followers | Oh yes, I couldn't write a post like this without stating the obvious. It really isn't about the followers, and although it's nice to see that number creeping up, ultimately it's about being happy with your blog and interacting with the lovely people that take the time to read your thoughts. Be grateful for what you do have instead of worrying about those who are yet to find your blog. I still don't have the greatest following, but in the past year or so I've been blogging from the heart and trying to stay true to myself. I feel much happier in the direction my blog's taking and I think that's been reflected in the feedback I get.
Don't be a sheep | Blogging is an ever-changing atmosphere, but don't be afraid to buck the trend. Shall we mention the phase of beauty products laid out against a floral bedspread? Yep, did it. I look back on some of my early posts and literally cringe. I featured much more fashion then, trying to emulate the poses of popular bloggers, and in doing so made myself look and feel incredibly awkward. I always try and remind myself of that - take photographs and write in your own style and you'll have a much more honest relationship with your readers. Plus you won't feel embarrassed when you look back on it!
You're going to get more than you think out of blogging | I've never really expected much from my little blog, but if you'd told me back when I started all the things I'd achieve through it, I wouldn't believe you. I love it when blogging means I'm able to treat my family and friends in some way or another, and I also feel like it's helped me to be much more confident in my own skin. But do you know....the thing I value above all is the friendships I've made. There are a handful of bloggers that I truly count as friends and I interact with near-on daily. And that's the wonderful serendipity of blogging.