The very first ‘Spirited Puddle Jumper’ blog design!
It’s been just over a year since I started this little blog of mine, probably about a year now since I started blogging regularly. It’s only been the last couple of months that I’ve finally felt comfortable in my ‘blogging skin’ so to speak, as I’ve realised that it’s taken me longer than I thought to find my feet- whether it’s working out what I want from my blog, networking with other bloggers, and generally finding a writing/photo taking style of my own.
I’ve been thinking about the subject of confidence when blogging a lot lately, especially having talked to other newish bloggers, who despite being fabulous at what they do are still riddled with self-doubt on occasion (myself included). Whilst some may not think I’m particularly qualified to talk about this subject, I thought I would share (in a ‘share the wealth’ sort of way!) the ways I feel I’ve become a more confident blogger over the last few months.
I would love to hear any tips you have too!
1. Blog about what YOU want to blog about, not what you think you SHOULD blog about. I’ve spent most of the last year flitting from blogging topic to blogging topic, not really sure where I fitted in. I started off this blog doing children’s crafts, then blogged about my family, food, interiors, photography, plus other random off-topic stuff, without really knowing what it was I should to be writing about. I’m not solely a ‘Mummy’ blogger, nor am I a great enough photographer to warrant a photography blog, or a total ‘foodie’, so what was I? Well it turns out I like writing a little bit of everything, focusing more on the home and interiors as the months have gone by, as well as going full circle and enjoying writing my craft posts again. And you know what? Being myself has started to pay off, including landing some blog work for a big furniture company whose brief was aimed at bloggers who write about both interiors AND crafts! So it might take you time to find your feet, but the moral of the story is to just write about what YOU want to, you’ll get like-minded readers, and good things will come your way.
2. Remember that other bloggers are only human. It can be intimidating when you first start blogging and come across other, more successful and established bloggers. BUT you should remember that these bloggers were just like you a few years ago and nice ones won’t think you’re a weirdo for approaching them on social media/their blog to say hi. Just because someone has been blogging a long time/ appears to know everyone, it does not make them better than you! I’m not doing down established bloggers (in fact, most ‘big’ bloggers are secure in themselves and are happy to offer help and advice), but just to remind you that YOU are good enough too! Which brings me to…
3. Treat everyone the same (initially at least!). I’ve tried to have a golden rule that unless I’ve actually met someone a few times in the flesh, I can’t make any real judgement on them, and it gives me confidence if I’m feeling a bit ‘out of things’ on social media and the like, that unless they’ve met in real life, lots of people don’t really ‘know’ who they’re talking to. You might not necessarily like someone’s blog or posts, but they could be a cracking real-life pal, and vice-versa. It puts online ‘relationships’ into perspective, I think. I also try and comment on blogs I like regardless of whether they appear popular or not. I love it when I find new blogs to read, and try and support them too!
4. Practice makes perfect. Just like you wouldn’t get on a horse and expect to be gallop off into the sunset straight away, the same goes for blogging. My first blog was truly TERRIBLE in every sense of the word (ever heard of ‘Young, Hip and Homely’? Nah, me neither….), and it’s taken me until now to find my own style, a blog design that I like, improve my photography and gain any sort of readership. And of course I still want to improve all the time! Don’t get disheartened if your blog isn’t as you want it straight away, and you’ll find you’ll gain confidence as time goes on. If you’d have told me a year ago I’d have learnt about code, gone self-hosted and have brands approach me I would never have believed you! It’s a good feeling to keep on learning and progressing.
5. Ask for help. If you’re stuck on something blog-wise, or want some advice, just ask. Like I said in point 2, most experienced bloggers are lovely, more than happy to share their blogging wisdom with you if you’re polite and friendly!
6. Don’t lose heart over rankings. If I had a pound for every fabulous blogger who I’ve heard get disheartened over their ‘TOTS’ ranking, I would be on my way to being a rich lady! Sure, a higher ranking may get you noticed by potential readers and brands, but it is not the sole marker for great blogging. I look at my score generally, as opposed to my rank on TOTS, HIBS and Foodies 100, and try to not to read too much into it. For example, in February I hardly blogged due to family illness and lack of time, yet my March score has improved and I’ve gone up 30-odd places in my ranking, so I don’t really get how it works! (Maybe someone can enlighten me?!) It’s certainly not the be-all-and-end-all.
7. Work out what you want from blogging. Do you want to make like-minded friends? Hone your writing/photography/tech skills? Shoot up the rankings? Get a certain number of page views each month? Earn money? Having one or two specific goals can help focus you and give you confidence when you start achieving them. For me, it’s carry on earning money from mainly interiors-focused posts, so I’ve started thinking about how I might achieve this. I’d also like to improve my photos, as well as meet more of my favourite bloggers ‘in the flesh’.
8. Try not to compare yourself. Always the hardest one! I love devouring other blogs, but do it in the wrong frame of mind, and I find myself wishing I could be more like X when it comes to writing/ taking photos/ being deep/funny/an all-round blogging superstar. Deadly for your confidence levels! Remember you are YOU, it what makes the world go around, and if all our blogs were the same it would be boring!
9. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself! Whilst it can be a yawn-fest seeing a constant twitter-feed of self-promotion, at the same time don’t be afraid to shout it you think you’ve written something great! Add it to the Britmums ‘My best post of the week’, the TOTS 100 ‘Good Reads’ section, or simply tag someone in who you think might like a gander.
10. Remember that you’re never going to please everybody. Whilst I’m not a particularly controversial blogger, there have been a few times when I’ve doubted whether or not to click the ‘post’ button. Providing you’re not being malicious, you should probably just do it! Not everyone is always going to like what you read, but if you think you’ve got something interesting to say, funny to share, or a host of gorgeous photos, then the chances are someone else will too. Oh, and trolls? If you’ve been ‘trolled’, it might not be pleasant at the time, but you can then sit back, revel in your new-found blog ‘fame’ and know you’ve ‘made it’
Linking up with ‘Let’s Talk Mommy’ and ‘Share With Me’ and Super Busy Mum’s ‘Mad Mid Week Blog Hop’!