What’s The Reason You Want To Start A Blog?
If your answer is something a long the lines of ‘because I’m passionate about what I want to write’ or ‘I feel like it’s an extension of myself and I would love to create a space online to share my thoughts with others’ then you’re on the right track. If it’s to do with wanting to make money, get free stuff or simply because everyone else has a blog, please read on.
One question that I have been asked over and over again, throughout my time as a blogger, is ‘I want to start a blog, but I don’t know what to write about. Can you tell me?’ and my answer is no, I actually can’t. Not because I’m being mean or because I don’t want any competition on my hands – it’s actually not possible for me to tell you what you should be doing.
In truth (it may sound blunt) but if you don’t know what to start your blog about and you don’t know what to write, then you shouldn’t be creating a blog. I know it’s extremely fashionable and the trend of the moment to have a blog, especially a fashion blog, but just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should. If you want a successful blog, and one you might possibly want to turn into a career one day, it only comes from a place of passion and drive. Long hours, many months and years of hard work with no reward, are what it’s actually like to begin with, but that doesn’t matter, you love what you’re doing.
Blogging is not all about free stuff and looking cool because it’s trendy, it’s hard work and it’s more like your hobby, being something that you are passionate about. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I have spent blogging in my life, but I do know that I started writing blog posts back in 2007 and I’ve committed almost every single say since then to my blogs. Of course I have breaks here and there, but with it being an online job, with social media present in every aspect, you can never actually just go on a vacation like you can from a regular 9-5 job, you always need to update social media and prepare content in advance for the time you’re away. So do keep that in mind. However, if it’s really what you love, then it’s not a chore or a problem, it’s just an extension of you that you can’t live without.
5 Reasons Not To Have A Blog
I’m not trying to put you off, or make you believe that blogging is horrendous, but I wanted to point out 5 common mistakes people make when wanting to start a blog. These are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t start up a blog, or do it just because you think these reasons are correct. There’s so much more involved, in every way possible (see my blog post on how to become a fashion blogger), so don’t make the same mistake that so many do every day by just following the trends. Are these your reasons?
1) Because everyone else has one, I don’t want to miss out.
This isn’t the right answer in wanting to create a blog. Blogging honestly isn’t the fad and craze of the moment that you jump on the trend bandwagon for (despite what people say and think), it’s actually a very difficult job and requires a lot of hard work. Tens of thousands of new blogs (just on WordPress alone) are created every single day, with almost 60,000,000 (yes, 60 million!) new blog posts being written every month. Do you really want to be just another statistic that opens up a blog because they feel they should? Most give up after 6 months to a year if they aren’t getting anywhere, or when they realise it wasn’t really what they wanted to do.
2) Because I want free stuff and free vacations.
Again, this is definitely the wrong answer. Sure, us bloggers do get perks of free things, but they aren’t actually ‘free’ and are more like working gifts. It takes many, many months of hard work to get your blog to a level that is considered good enough for gifting, but once you accept gifts, you have to remember that it’s a two way street and you are required to do work for that brand in the form of wearing, reviewing or photographing the gifted products. It’s a gift in exchange for promotion.
3) Because I want to vent and get my anger out.
This one isn’t ideal. Remember, unlike writing in a diary, a blog is public and absolutely anyone can read it – from anywhere in the world. If you are venting and making angry remarks about certain topics, you are going to offend someone. Personal diary type blogs are great for those of you who love to write to get your feelings out, and they work well, but if you are only doing it in a negative way, it can end badly.
4) Because I want people to admire me and my outfits.
If you are wanting to start a blog for vanity reasons and you think it’s all about the blogger gaining self worth from readers because of the compliments, it’s not. Blogging, especially fashion blogging, is an extremely hard industry and you are under scrutiny every single day. Trolls, negative, jealous people, and those who just feel like wanting to put others down, are out there in full force, reading your blog. So, if you are sensitive to criticism and are thinking a blog will give you a confidence boost because everyone will admire you, that truly isn’t how it works. It’s a tough, often thankless job, so don’t fall into that trap.
5) Because I want to be my own boss and work from home.
If someone had said to me 6 years ago that I would be my own boss, working from home, I would have wondered what on earth they were on about, possibly even calling them crazy. But, it has turned out that way. However, you can’t start up a blog because you feel like it and then expect to be your own boss and work from home, bringing in loads of money. I wish it did work that way, but it doesn’t.
When you first start a blog, it takes at least 6 months to a year to even get a few google searches coming your way and some organic traffic, and then years afterwards building up a loyal following and readership, naturally. It took me 5 years to be able to go self employed and that’s with having multiple blogs on the go and side line jobs for extra money. Unless you have lots of money to throw at promoting yourself or you get to be featured in all the best magazines and blogs, you actually have to do all the hard work, learn your SEO and social media marketing skills, and grow it all yourself. Being your own boss is hard work in that respect. You can’t shut off.
Speak From Your Heart
If after reading those 5 points above, you are 100% certain you want to start a blog and know it’s what you feel compelled to do, then do it. I wasn’t trying to put you off, but just give you some home truths about what blogging can actually be like and it’s not as glamorous as people make out. Everything you see on Instagram, others blogs, social media etc is staged and placed to look pretty. It’s an idealistic view of what people want their lives to look like, to make them pretty. The actual reality is that I’m currently writing this from my bedroom, in my pyjamas, with things strewn across my bed after just having eaten a banana. I’m not sat on the beach or on a yacht with Starbucks, my laptop, and flowers placed fancily across my table. My point being? If you think this is what you’ll be doing – realistically, it’s not.
If you’re certain you want to open up a blog then you should already have an idea of what content you would like to create, what makes you inspired, and what makes you happy. Writing blog posts on what you’re passionate about is the only way forward. Passion comes from the heart and it always displays itself in your writing, so if you are really enthusiastic and happy about your chosen topics, it will be portrayed in your writing, and people will respond well to it. Find your voice, be creative and have fun with it. Don’t write about things just because you think you should, and don’t copy everyone else because you think it’s what you need to do. I already gave you those statistics above, so being another copy cat in that sea of blogs will get you nowhere. Each of us are unique and different, so make sure that comes across in your new blog. Stand out from the crowd and be yourself, it’s the only way to win.
– I will be writing plenty more blogging advice posts for you, covering lots of different topics, as well as one about finding your own voice and how to create a blog, but in the meantime, I recommend starting a free blog on WordPress.com and then seeing how it goes. That way is the best way and it’s how I started. You can learn so much from WordPress and since it’s free, they do all the maintenance and programming work, you just focus on what theme you want to use and your content. I had Raindrops of Sapphire hosted on WordPress.com for about a year before I decided to move to a different server and become self hosted, so that I could advertise and have more control over everything. It’s really easy to do and since it’s free, you have nothing to lose. It’s the perfect way of knowing if blogging is really your calling and if it’s something you love. Let me know if you have any questions for me below!