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 are now. The rosy 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 are now.The rosy 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.

  5. 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,

A.R.E

Comments (12)

  • Avatar

    Style Domination

    My biggest fear with blogging was writer’s block, actually. Hasn’t happened yet and I hope I didn’t just jinx myself. LOL! Chasing invoices – speak that truth, girl!

    My blogging got better when I learned to say “no”. I was spreading myself too thin, accepting collabs that I didn’t really believe in and bending over backwards for people who wouldn’t do so for me.

    I sat down, laid out a plan and started only accepting work with brands I believed in and networking, networking, networking. The stress is slowly decreasing and I’m enjoying life again!

    Great series, Alma! Hope to see you at Fashion Art Toronto!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Alma

      I wish more bloggers talked about the stress that is chasing invoices! Girl, I don’t know if I’ll be available for FAT but I’ll definitely let you know! Thanks for stopping by..xx

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Demilade Aina

    Really enjoyed reading this Alma. Your second point is so so valid. Blogging has certainly taught me a lot of new skills that have improved my life. Nice post :)

    Coco Bella Blog

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Alma

      Thank you Demilade! Glad you enjoyed it :)

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Jes Iscah

    Great content .. even tho my thing is to vlog I know what it’s like and you just summed up everything..

    Reply

  • Avatar

    IJEFINELIVIN'

    True facts. It is not easy at all, but as with everything never forget why you started and keep doing you. Thanks for sharing these truthful tips ?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Mimi

    That first point really spoke to me! It still bugs me when people say things like ‘Oh you blog? You want to be like Linda Ikeji?’. You’re immediately put into a box, particularly with Nigerians lol. It’s definitely not as rosy, easy or as glamourous as people but my passion for writing and blogging keeps me going. Great post! ?

    ramblingsofmissmimi.wordpress.com

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Alma

      Oh God!!! I hate that comment with everything in me. You should see my face when someone says that to me, it’s definitely not pleasant..lool. I’m glad you could relate to it, thank you for stopping by!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Demee

    Thanks for writing this. This is sooo spot on. I got in blogging with the same mentality thinking it would be an overnight success, oh how wrong I was and I spent many nights crying to bed and wondering what I was doing wrong. I have now come to the realisation that almost everyone passed through this and that my time will come, I just need to persist and be consistent.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Crystal Santoría

    Great read! I’ve always love writing, period. It’s definitely not an overnight success. Consistency is the main key to reaching success. I’ve learned so much especially with computer coding, passive income, and growing a family of bloggers who are there to help when you need it.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Winnie

    One of the things I feared for is my current job, I thought I would suck at it, but I told myself that I can do it, this is 3 years now, and I’m still on it.

    Reply

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