The Savvy Sartorialist is six months old this week and I also reached 5k followers on Instagram! Both are important milestones on my blogging journey so I wanted to write a post reflecting on what I’ve learned in the last six months as well as my tips for anyone thinking of starting a blog. I also wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who follows me and takes the time to read my posts, like and comment! It really means a lot to me!!
I cannot quite believe that it has been six months since I started blogging. It is such a massive part of my life now that I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t constantly planning posts, creating content and driving my poor insta-husband demented with photo taking duties. Before I started out, I was really nervous to put myself out there; I put off launching my blog purely because I was afraid of being judged. Mainly, I was afraid of being judged by people who knew me in real life. So much so that my blog was live for a couple of weeks before I mustered up the courage to tell anyone it even existed! This seems ludicrous now when I look back but fear of taking a leap into the unknown and subjecting yourself to scrutiny can do that to you! I threw myself into Instagram as a starting point and seeing positive engagement on that platform really gave me the confidence to go for it with the blog. So what are the biggest lessons I’ve learned since starting out?
- Not everyone is going to like or agree with what you do. And that’s ok! The main thing is to do something that you are passionate about and makes you happy. Life is too short to worry about pleasing everyone.
- Not everyone will support you. Sometimes even family and friends. It hurts when people you thought you could count on to support your new venture are either disinterested or, worse, negative towards it. Don’t let it hold you back!
- Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be people with more followers than you, better photography or a more sophisticated site etc. Every blogger started somewhere so you just have to focus on your own goals and take steps towards achieving these every day.
- Your tribe is out there. Instagram is filled with like-minded individuals who share your passions and interests. I have made some amazing connections with people through those little squares; it was an added bonus that I never expected. Being part of such a lovely online community has made the process so enjoyable for me!
- Don’t get hung up on numbers. This is something I am trying hard to practice. It is easy to get caught up in the number of followers (and unfollowers!) you have and while you want to see a growth in engagement levels, your follower number is not the be all and end all of blogging.
- Blogging is bloody difficult. From the technical aspects of starting out to regular content creation, blogging is a full time job. It can absorb as much time as you are willing to put into it…and more. I also found it difficult at the start when I would spend hours on a post and only 5 people would read it. It was disheartening but persistence is key!
- Don’t take anything personally. Like any situation in life, there will be bitchiness and negativity. I remember finding it upsetting the first time I was trolled but thankfully I’ve found this behaviour to be rare. The key is to ignore the haters and not take it to heart.
I am still learning something new about blogging every day and sure, my photos could be better or my site could look slicker but I see it as a process of evolution. I plan on growing and improving my blog every day. While I am by no means an expert, there are a couple of pieces of advice I would share with anyone thinking of starting a blog:
- Decide on a name. This might sound easy but it’s not. Lots of the good ones are gone and you also want it to be something that reflects your personality and passions. It took me aaaaaagggggesssss to come up with a name then it just came to me one day!
- Decide on a platform. There are several different blogging platforms you can use with WordPress and Square Space being two of the most popular. I personally find WordPress quite easy and intuitive to use.
- Be consistent. Decide on the frequency of your posts and stick to it. Consistency is key to attracting and maintaining an audience. Better to have one post per week than three in one week and nothing the next.
- Share, share, share. Once you’ve written your post it’s time to get it out there. The only way to drive traffic to your posts is to share them across your social media. Create Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts for your blog and promote posts across all channels. I only recently created a Facebook page for my blog and I have already seen an increase in traffic as a result.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s a technical question regarding your site, photography tips or advice on how to overcome writer’s block someone else has been through it all before!
- Just go for it and HAVE FUN!!! If you have an interest in blogging, just go for it. At the end of the day, we’re not saving lives here so have fun, write about the things that genuinely interest you and don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t look back and think “What if?”.
So if there is anyone out there who would like any advice on starting a blog, I will (with my albeit limited knowledge!) do my best to help you, ’cause we gotta support each other right?!