Recently I started thinking, it's been nearly 12 months since I've started blogging. Looking back, as a blogger I've grown a lot, changed my ways of thinking on things and loads more.. So I thought I'd share what I've learned.
1. It's OK to work with brands. It's also OK not to.
This is a big one for me. I used to read blogs and think "Wow, all they blog about is stuff they've been sent, how lame". OK very bitchy comment, I know. As I've grown as a blogger I've discovered how important relationships with brands can be. They can mean you get to try new products you wouldn't have known about, or you can get information quickly, and broaden your horizons, as well as provide your readers with new and interesting stuff. But you know what? Those who choose not to work with brands certainly don't miss out.
2. Don't expect to get sent every product every other blogger gets
OK this wasn't really something I thought that would happen, but a good point to make anyway. You may have a relationship with a brand, but might miss out on a mailout. It just means the brand only had x amount of product, so it went to those with the highest readership, or were the best fit for the product.
3. Comment, comment comment
I've only cottoned on to this in the last 5 months or so. The more you comment (constructively) on other blogs, the more traffic you get. Why? Because the blogger reads your comment, and checks out your blog. And then may keep coming back. Whereas if you're just lingering and reading, how are they to know you exist? Also, it's a great way to get discussions going.
4. Make contact with other bloggers
As above, they don't know you exist unless you say hi! Twitter, Facebook, whatever. I've developed some great friendships over twitter with bloggers, and it also means that you can ask for advice, or bounce ideas of each other.
5. Your photography will get better
My first few months as a blogger... well, my photos sucked. Big time. But it comes with time. I've learned where are better places in my home to take photos, and what products cam be photographed where. This has taken a long time and I'm still learning.
6. Mix it up!
Remember to blog about different categories, and try something new every now and then. Sure, I'm pretty bad at FOTD posts, but I do try to give them a go, and do a good makeup review. Sometimes I find myself in a rut of a certain type of product (usually skincare) so remind yourself - even try a "shop my stash" post. And if you're ever at a loss for what to write about, throw it out on twitter - so many bloggers will give you ideas.
7. Enjoy yourself
As a blogger, unless it's your full time job (lucky you!), you don't have to blog. Remember why you started blogging - for me, I started as somewhere to put my thoughts. I blog for me, not for anyone else. Keep your reasons in mind, and if you're not enjoying it, take a break.
Of course, this is just the beginning of my blogging journey and I am sure that this time next year I will have even more things to add to this list.
Do you blog? What have your learned since you began blogging?