I can’t believe it, ClaireySweetie is three years old today! Sometimes I wonder why I stopped contributing to the blog I was writing previously, and just change the content I was posting, but sometimes it is just easier to start afresh. In creating ClaireySweetie, I firmly stepped into the realm of blogging and not just writing deeper discussion pieces, I also could indulge in my growing interest in beauty and lifestyle and bring you guys along for the journey. So, what have I learnt in three years of blogging?
Building your following can be slow
Trust me! I’ve been wanting to achieve 500 followers on ClaireySweetie for aaaages now (please follow me if you’re not already) and we’re slowly getting there but it takes time. When I do eventually hit my goal, I know I’ll have earnt every single one of those follows and I’ll be over the moon. I think it’s wrong for people to say that following isn’t important, and to frown at those who question how and why other blogs have a larger, more engaged following than they do, because it’s human nature. And if you want to make a success of your blog, a loyal following is totally needed and necessary to attract brands to want to work with you. I’m more interested in becoming a freelance writer over becoming a full-time blogger, but I still need to prove that people want to read what I create if that dream is going to be a reality in the future. But just keep doing what you’re doing, and the followers will come.
Quality over quantity
In the beginning, it took a while for me to build up enough content to post, particularly for beauty when I could only write about what I bought myself. You also feel pressured to build up a good back log of content quickly to share so there’s enough to keep people on your site. Once I got into a schedule, I religiously kept to it and I would sometimes post for the sake of posting and while the writing has always been consistent, the photography hasn’t. Now, while I still try to keep to posting 2-3 times a week, I only post when I’m 100% happy with the content, which means I might have to wait a while for a good day to get some photography done. Typical really that I’m now not short of things to write about, but I am short of time and daylight to get photos taken which ultimately stalls posting.
Investing in a good camera is worth it
Any Blogger will tell you this but it’s like anything you’re serious about, if you want to be good you invest in your tools and a good camera is worth every single penny. I purchased my Canon DSLR 1200D a couple of years ago following a year of saving £2 coins along with some birthday and Christmas money. It transformed ClaireySweetie instantly as it gave my content a much more professional finish. I now have the Olympus PEN E-PL7 (or 8) in my sights.
You will receive emails from companies who want you to write about something… for a social share?
That and infographics. In the early days, I was flattered people contacted me so I did the odd post where I wrote about a topic, took photos, and included a link to their website or specific page with a short description about them… in re of an earlier point, sometimes I welcomed the idea for content. Then after doing this a couple of times, you quickly realise that these companies rarely ever share your post, let alone acknowledge it and you wonder why you bothered. But that’s okay to do in the early days when you’re trying to grow your audience, and who knows where a free bit of work will get you eh? Now, find out if there’s a budget early on and if not, politely decline unless it’s an idea that you are happy to write about and share for free.
Everything becomes bloggable
It really does, everything I do now or plan to do in the near future, I wonder if I can make a blog post of it. If I’m going somewhere, is the place of interest or is the outfit I plan to wear? I’m going on my honeymoon next year and while I’m excited for the travel and the break it will provide, I’m also already wondering how much of it I document, ha! But big things aside, we share everything now and it does sadden me when you’re watching a firework display and people are watching it from behind the lens of their phone, busily uploading it for others to see, rather than concentrate on experiencing it in real-time yourself. But this is life now.
What are the things you have learnt in your time blogging?
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Until next time x
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