5 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE BLOGGING
We look up to and compare ourselves with our favourite influencers in the blogging sphere, conveniently forgetting that it took time, hard work, patience & dedication to get where they arerosy portrayal of this life and work in the social media definitely doesn’t make it easier for newbies. Be patient and work on your craft, even when you think no one’s watching.
Just like every other person watching from the sidelines, I equally thought blogging was a breeze. I figured all I had to do was own a laptop, take a few good photos, put a few sentences together and voila! I’ll become famous overnight. Or at least in 6 months. LOL.
This is the last post in the “Own your blog” series and I figured I’d share a few things I wish I knew before I decided to become a blogger. If you missed the first 4 posts, you can catch up here, here, here & here
I was featured in an article on Bella Naija (here), where I talked about my initial struggles with blogging, all the somewhat “silly” things bloggers obsess over and how I finally realized the book wasn’t as enticing as the cover page.
For the past 2 years, I’ve worked tirelessly to grow this platform and my personal brand into something I’ve become proud of; but here are some things I wish I knew before jumping on this bandwagon.
Not everyone will get it & that’s fine.
The initial stages of blogging where you have to convince your friends, family & sometimes yourself that you’re not just a narcissist, obsessed with perfectly curated flat lays, photos and angles, will probably be the hardest. In my experience, I’ve found myself avoiding social gatherings with my “professional” group of friends, for the simple fact that I’m not a fan of explaining what I do over and over again. Also, there’s only so many times I can answer the puzzled question “You have 2 degrees in Engineering, why are you a blogger then?” before getting to the bottom of my cocktail glass.
On countless occasions, I’ve had to verbally remove myself from the inconsequential box that society tends to fit all bloggers in. You know, the one with the notion that all a blogger has to do is look photogenic and the $ will start rolling in. If wishes were horses, I’d have taken this one for a million rides.
Life becomes as “Instagrammable” as you make it
I knew I was lost in the sauce when I captioned a photo on Instagram “I have a thing for Instagrammable coffee shops”. Who even made up the word Instagrammable?
The filters through which you view your daily life and the world automatically changes. Your favourite restaurant on the corner suddenly becomes unappealing because the food isn’t plated in an aesthetically pleasing way, a relaxing afternoon with friends turns into a struggle of trying to capture the “perfect unrehearsed” photo, etc….You’re constantly thinking of fresh ways to update your follower-ship about your life with just the right amount of pose, timing & perfection. It can get exhausting, even for those with passion.
It’s okay to take some time off to enjoy the moment & pleasures of life without the pressure of capturing it for the internet. Not every new buy has to be featured on a flat lay & not every sunset has to be shared. At the end of the day, the internet will still be fine without that extra photo.
Budget what? Your finances will be in a constant state of higi-haga
Say bye to perfectly balanced accounts and excel budget sheets. The business of blogging requires spending money to make money. Just like any other field, it involves investing in equipments, your website, random coffee meetings, props, travel/event tickets, clothes, shoes, makeup, the list is endless.
In the case that you’re a finance guru with templates on how your every $ or N is made and disbursed, skip over to the next point (also, drop your templates in my mailbox, merci) but for those of us crippled by the idea of money management, sadly, it might not get easier.
Blogging requires Patience
Bad photoshoot days? Growing an audience? Hours of researching a topic so you don’t look stupid to your audience? Chasing invoices? Collaboration rejections? You name it. Most people dive into the world of content creation thinking success and fame is attained overnight.
We look up to and compare ourselves with our most loved and popular bloggers, forgetting that it took time, hard work, patience & dedication to get where they arerosy portrayal of this life and work in the social media definitely doesn’t make it easier for newbies. Be patient and work on your craft, even when you think no one’s watching.
You’ll be grateful for it
After all is said and done, blogging will teach you skills that you never thought you could learn. I recently landed a high paying job at a prestigious firm because of a skill I learnt solely to develop my blog. I’ve also been opportune to meet with so many amazing people along the way and work on projects I would never have dreamt was possible.
The road might be filled with boxes of tissue and an insane dose of Advil on some days, but it’s not a journey I’ll ever regret taking.
Have you ever done something for the first time? What was your biggest fear and how did you overcome it?
Till next time,