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’!
Great advice. I’ve been blogging 2 years this year and I still struggle with some of these especially self promotion.
I think it’s always something that holds us back, and I think us Brits in particular are so used to self-deprecation that we don’t do ‘championing’ ourselves very well!
This is such great advice I love them all!!!! I think all bloggers could do with reading this from time to time as we all definitely go through highs and lows of confidence!!
Really enjoyed reading this lovely! X
Aaaw thank C, that’s so kind of you! x
Such a great post. I cover similar things to you and often worry about having no niche or real sense of direction but then I don’t think I could blog purely about one topic all the time. My life is so varied and my interests scattered which is mirrored in my blog. Family, home, interiors, crafts, food, travel … that’s what makes up my life (and yours too, it seems, which is probably why I like your blog so much).
That’s why I like your blog too- I think we are pretty similar in our blogging styles (and long may they continue!)
Great advice. I look at some of my first blogposts and cringe but I’ve left them there to remind me how I have developed my own style over time.
Exactly! I occasionally log in to my old, dead blog, and have a look at some posts to realise how far I’ve come!
I can agree with so many of these points! Summed up blogging perfectly 🙂
Thanks Emma, glad you enjoyed reading!
Love this post so much hon and I wholeheartedly agree with absolutely everything you’ve said. No matter how many posts I read explaining the charts I will never understand them! It’s a shame when you see great bloggers get disheartened by their score and doubt their blogging abilities because they aren’t in the Top 100 xxx
Aaw thank you R 🙂 I think people just have to realise that only 100 blogs can actually be in that top 100- inevitably not everyone is going to be there, even if they have a great blog! xxx
This is a great post thank you. I really struggle with envying how funny some of my favourite bloggers are. I love funny irreverent posts but I can’t quite write in that style. You are right – I should just enjoy reading those blogs and write my own thing. #madmidweekbloghop
I agree with you! I’ve tried a couple of ‘funny’ posts and I just don’t think they were ‘me’ and I didn’t get as good a response as I thought- I obviously think I’m funnier than I actually am! 😉
This is brill Becks, and I totally agree with it all! I’m a terrible one for doubting myself, and getting disheartened, but I think we’re all the same at some point aren’t we? Overwhelmed by all the talent out there? You are right though, in that there’s room enough for all of us – I’d so much rather potter on in my own wee way than try to be something I’m not! Such great advice lovely xxx
Keep pottering lovely Em, you have one of the best blogs out there at the moment, never doubt yourself! x
Good advice. I find myself comparing sometimes. Awful I know! #mmwbh
Tis the worst!
Thanks for writing this. It is good to read. I am just starting out and it is what I needed right now.
Glad it’s been helpful Kirsten, it can feel so overwhelming when you first start.
Brilliant post Becky. Have you only been doing this a year! Shocked. You know I look nosing at your posts 😉 x
Haha, thanks lovely lady/bar buddy- feel free to keep nosing! 😉 xx
I’m still not sure where I fit in. I am hugely interested in style and identity but those types of post (fashion ones I mean) take a long time and the photos have to be amazing, so I tend to just write what’s on my mind because it’s quicker. So, content wise, it’s all over the place. x
Me too! I’ve done a few fun ’30 day wardrobe challenge’ posts in the past, but they take so long to set up/think of a decent outfit, and you actually need someone who’s good with a camera to make you look your best- my other half is terrible behind a lens, so I could never be a fashion bloggers for this reason alone! 🙂 x
Becky, these tips are awesome, thank you for sharing! I completely agree with all and especially in reaching out to other bloggers (humans!) for help and advice. I just love the fact that I feel I’m making real friends and everyone in the blogging community is so quick to help me out and I’d be delighted to help others too if I can. Excellent tips 🙂 Mim @ http://www.mamamim.com #MMWBH
Thanks Mim! I feel all us bloggers are in it together, it’s a great community 🙂
Great post, Becky! I like how your two interests, craft and interiors, have come together in a way that has brought you opportunities, proving your advice that blogging for yourself will reap rewards even if it takes a little time. I went a bit off message and did a – shock, horror! – serious post last week, but I think being funny / craft-y/ bake-y 100% of the time wouldn’t reflect all the glorious facets of being a human. xx
It’s good to mix it up sometimes! I kinda like the fact that the combination of what I blog about is rather niche, where as before I would think it was a bit odd. Fingers crossed it continues to work for me! xx
Great post, and thanks for sharing this advice. I haven’t been blogging long and it’s tips like these that really help, so thank you!
Pleasure! It can be so daunting when you first start x
These are such great tips! I started blogging in July last year but I’ve only recently switched from being a book blogger to a mummy blogger, so I feel like I’m still finding my blogging feet. I am like you and just post about whatever I want, without really worrying about what I ‘should’ be writing about. I am enjoying writing content much more now than when I felt obliged to write about books all the time. I definitely agree about treating everyone the same and not being afraid to reach out to people too. I don’t concern myself with who is ‘big’ in the blogging world and I read and comment on blogs I like regardless of whether they are new or established.
Oh and as for being controversial… I just posted about how I told someone else’s child off this week, so if that isn’t controversial then I don’t know what is!! Haha.
Haha, that will always be a controversial one (for the record, I tell other kids off too!). You sound like you’ve got your head screwed on already blogging-wise which is a definite ‘plus’ in the blogging world. Who knows, you may want to combine parenting and books at some point? I do like a book club! x
Great advice. I came across another blogger today feeling fed up because of her tots score – yet she had a lovely blog. I’m certainly not sure how it works!
Definitely one of life’s (blogging’s) great mysteries!
Awh I am so glad to have found this post – some great advice and definitely some that I need to take on board! I am still to really settle into a style that is my own, I don’t really blog about anyone thing in particular….a little bit of everything that I find myself doing as a stay at home mum! Must remember to revisit this post often x
Glad you liked it Karen 🙂 x
Becky this is a brilliant post. So honest and all so true! I have been feeling a lot of these things lately and its really good to know I am not alone. Thank you for giving me and so many other people some good solid advice! You are a lovely lady on and off line and so glad to have found you via blogging xxx
Aaaw Bonnie that’s such a lovely thing to say 🙂 Glad to have met you too xx
Great post, really positive and full of fab advice. A reminder to us all!
Glad you liked it Jocelyn! x
These are such great tips Becky- blogging is a funny old place sometimes and I think we all get riddled with self doubt sometimes, I have been doing it four years and still want to close the whole thing down most weeks! I love your blog and I think we are really similar- we must go for lunch or dinner soon, I am up in London a few times over the next few weeks so shall message you! x
You can never close your blog down, it’s too fabulous! It’s interesting you say that even after 4 years you still have self-doubt, despite your blog being mega-successful- god help the rest of us, haha! I would love to meet up soon- I’ll DM you and we’ll sort something out 🙂 xx
Fab tips lovely, you have a really refreshing outlook to being a confident blogger (much of which we spoke about on our night out too) and it has made me feel so much more confident xxx
Aah glad it’s helped my lovely xx
These are absolutely fantastic tips for bloggers hunny and I have also only been doing this just over a year now and I have learned so many things about myself too in the process. You have made such valid points here. Can relate to each one. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme
Aaaw thanks Jenny 🙂 You are a total pro and always seem so confident – it’s hard to believe you haven’t been blogging that long! x
I honestly thought you had been blogging longer, your blog is lovely. These are great tips, especially the one about stats. Hard not to look sometimes though eh.
Thanks so much Katy! Stats are funny old things- posts that I think will be popular haven’t always done so well, and other ones I haven’t put as much thought in to have been crazy popular! It’s a funny old world is blogging! x
OMG it’s like you’ve read my mind. I know exactly what you mean because I feel exactly the same most of the time. I absolutely love your blog, the style and writing is perfect. It was great to meet you the other week, let me know when your free to meet locally – be great to get to know you better xxx
YES! I would love to meet again soon! Message/DM me and we can sort out a meet up! x
This is great, I need to remember a few of these rules each time I blog. You’re right, bloggers can get so caught up in stats and looking up to ‘big bloggers’ that we lose confidence in ourselves and our ability. Shame really as we are all awesome x
We are indeed Alice! There is room for everyone to be amazing in their own way, and we all need to remember that and have more faith in ourselves x
hi Becky, great to read your top tips and advice whilst I work towards starting my own blog. This really helps encourage me along the way! An inspiring read x
Thanks Keira, glad you found them useful! I’m still learning all the time- the blogging world can be an amazing place and open up so many doors 🙂 Good luck with your new blog! x
All so true Becky, especially around not comparing yourself and taking a bit of time to work out what suits you. Also, I wanna read ‘young hip and homely’! Xx
Agree with all of these, Becky, but in particular I think the combination of numbers 1 and 7 is something that all bloggers should heed. It’s so easy to get caught up in a cycle of doing what others do or what you think you should be doing without ever really being clear what you want to do with your blog. While it’s worth taking a peek at what successful bloggers or ones that you like do, there’s no point trying to turn yourself into a carbon copy of them.
I often see people saying they’re only blogging for themselves and in the next breath obsessing over their Tots100 ranking. Which is it? I’m a great believer that it’s hard to be honest with your audience until you’ve been honest with yourself first. There’s nothing wrong with setting out a high ranking as your objective, but if that’s the case be honest with both yourself and your audience.
Fab post, with some great tips. It can be easy to lose sight of why we blog, and then the love for it. We need to remember why blogging is important to us, and what we want to get out of it – not anyone else. xxx