Since making the decision to stop running this blog earlier in the year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my time as a blogger. Since starting Liam’s Life back in 2015, I’ve learned a lot about not only my writing skills but also about myself. And while we may now be in the final stretch of this blog’s life, I will take what I’ve learned and use it in what I plan to do next. Blogging is increasing in popularity daily and so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned from blogging in the hope that it will perhaps help those starting out.
BE YOURSELF – THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU
I absolutely cannot stress this enough. If you want to have a successful blog then it needs to come from the heart. There are thousands of bloggers out there who are all vying for everyone’s attention and the only way to make yours stand out is to be yourself. There is only one of you and if you write from the heart then people will want to read what YOU have to say.
When I started out with my blog, I spent so much time looking at what other people were doing and trying to incorporate that into my own writing. They are successful bloggers so I should just follow their example right? WRONG. Trying to be someone else will not work. Be you.
SUCCESS DOESN’T COME OVERNIGHT
Oh how I wish I knew this when I started blogging. When we think of starting a blog, we vision ourselves sitting at a cute little desk writing away while hundreds of emails come in from companies wanting to work with you. Reality – it’s a long slog to gain a regular readership.
It’s super easy to become obsessed with the numbers, I certainly did, but my advice is to not focus on that and just focus on writing quality content. Obsessing over the numbers just creates stress and takes the enjoyment out of writing content for your little corner of the web.
TO NICHE OR NOT TO NICHE
There is forever a debate on whether you should have a niche for your blog or not. I can see pros and cons to both sides of the debate but my advice – have a niche. Running Liam’s Life for almost 4 years has been a lot of fun and I’ve covered a lot of different things – from the latest K-Pop releases to talking about noisy neighbours. But I guess the problem with not having a niche is that if you write about something that some readers aren’t interested in, they won’t read it. And if there are long gaps between certain topics, how do you retain that readership?
By creating a niche, you will always have content that is relevant to your readership. If I was ever to return to blogging, I would absolutely niche it down and write content tailored to a specific category.
CONTENT IS THE EASIEST PART
So many people think that blogging is super easy – but believe me, it’s not. Writing quality content isn’t easy and that’s the easiest part! The real challenge is getting your content out there and helping people find your blog. It’s the part I absolutely loathe about blogging and one of the main reasons why I’m stopping mine.
Creating schedules for posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram is incredibly tedious. I absolutely hate doing it and so my advice is that if you want blogging to become a career for you, you need to be prepared for the tedious parts. If it’s just for a hobby, share your content on your socials and leave it at that.
NEVER COMPROMISE YOUR VALUES
This is probably the biggest thing I’ve learned from my time as a blogger – never compromise yourself. Know your worth. Blogging is a very popular industry and sometimes when companies are looking to work with bloggers, they’ll offer the smallest amount which people will accept. If they want to accept that, that’s their prerogative but if it’s not of much value to you – don’t do it.
As a blogger, there are also opportunities to make friends within your local community. But don’t let people take advantage of you and don’t try to force relationships with people. Most of the bloggers I have met over the years have been incredibly friendly but unfortunately there have been a handful that have, let me put it nicely, been complete arseholes. Sorry, that was as nice as I could put it. Don’t allow people to treat you poorly. It’s never worth it.