They say time flies when you are having fun but the last twelve months slipped away so fast, I wonder if they even existed.
Fortunately though, I published my first blog post ever last November and since then, I have updated this site regularly, which means I enjoy the rare privilege of a detailed year record. Isn’t that something? I mean, I am the girl who doesn’t even manage to catch up with her Bloglovin’ reading list!—just imagine updating a website rigorously. But twelve months, fifty-five posts and an unutterable number of chocolate cookies later, I am still here (and so is this blog).
This year, I feel like I’ve written about every topic on Earth: from social prejudice to style advice, and from travel adventures to my experience visiting Vogue House. Surely, there will be many other topics to catch my attention but nevertheless, the most interesting part of this whole blogging trip is the lessons you learn on the way.
So let me keep this short and sweet, and introduce you to those modest pieces of wisdom I have treasured during my experience as a blogger.
Willpower Obstinacy is everything
Blogging, you see, can be quite a commitment: for many people, it might be only a hobby, but it does require discipline and a shocking amount of time from you. To be completely honest, I don’t even look at it as a hobby anymore but as my creative outlet, side hustle, and ultimately, as something that sparks joy in my life. Most of us would possibly agree that, if anything makes you feel that way, you’ll probably want to stick to it. No matter how challenging it is.
As reluctant as I am to admit this publicly, I’ve never considered myself a person with huge willpower. However, I am stubborn to an extent most people would find embarrassing. Let me give you a very concrete example.
When I was about ten years old, a classmate told me that girls couldn’t wear trousers. At that age, the mere mention of the words “you can’t” acted as a trigger for me. So, I did the only sensible thing: for the next three months, I refused to wear nothing but pants to the school. THREE MONTHS. I wish I was joking: my family still refers to this anecdote as The 1993 Trousers Debacle.
The point is, obstinacy is my blogging fuel—it keeps me going when I am too tired to plan the editorial calendar when I think it’s not worthy, when I feel I am not good enough. If like me, you haven’t the biggest willpower, obstinacy will be equally effective.
And so is honesty
People who are still active blogging readers are interested in inspirational content—that’s right—but not as much as they are interested in relatable content. In my first year of blogging, my stats show a prevailing success of those posts providing an honest angle, both in terms of page views and likes. Two of my most celebrated articles featured my sincere approach to an average blogger routine as well as my thoughts on the future of blogging. In both cases, the reactions were strikingly positive.
The conclusion is definite: we might enjoy a bit of healthy guilty-pleasure content (with a pinch of crazy fashionistas flying in their private helicopters to the next shooting location in the Himalaya), but at the end of the day, we all value down-to-Earth blogs.
Post about the things you care
You can tell when someone is writing about something just for the shake of it and for most of us, it’s a deal-breaker. Putting your readers off is the last thing you want to do because, before you realize, they will be hitting the back button and never looking back. To avoid that, you really need to figure out what is your passion. Are you a baker at heart but you keep posting about fashion trends? Time to stop it. Now. Just stop typing. I mean it.
Always be you (all the other roles are taken)
Please, learn this by heart and then write it on a post-it and stick it to your forehead, so you remember every time you look in the mirror: Let your personality shine.
As I mentioned before, most readers can tell when you’re randomly posting about something you don’t care but they also can tell when you are faking it. Look, I get you—with a blogosphere full of clones who will dress, pose and write the same exact way the temptation of blending in is strong. But believe me, in the long-term, it will do more harm than good to your blog. People like to feel the person behind the screen. YOU are the main reason they will come back to your site once and again. So remember this young Padawan: Fight the dark side of the Force!
Don’t forget to have fun
You might be ambitious. You might work very hard to transform your side-hustle into your own little business, becoming the ultimate #girlboss. You have all my sympathy and respect for that. But let me tell you something: If you leave fun out of the equation too soon, you will burn out in no time.
I assume the reason you are investing all your —probably scarce—leisure time in your site is because you love it. That’s the main fuel for most bloggers. So you need to be sure you keep the flame alive. Have fun while writing and if you need it, take a step back to evaluate your true motivations.
Are you blogging for the six figures income and over-night success? Then, and I am very sorry to be the one bursting your bubble. Blogging, you see, doesn’t work like that. Just like in any other business you need to be passionate and also very patient. But if you love it, if you are enjoying the whole process, it is totally worth it.
On the other hand, if you really love what you are doing, you will get the necessary motivation to make the most of it. And this is what it is all about, isn’t it?