5 things I’ve learned in five years of blogging

five years of blogging

I can barely believe it…but the other day I discovered one of my first posts which was dated January 2015 and it hit me. I had been blogging for over five years. I can still barely believe it. Holy moly five years of blogging!

It feels like yesterday when I first sat down and feverishly typed away all my grievances about my transition into motherhood as my daughter took her lunchtime nap. I vividly remembered praying her wake up siren wouldn’t interrupt my wordsmithery! Thank goodness I don’t have to deal with that anymore.

By now, I should be a wise old owl of blogging I guess, so to make my fifth blog anniversary, I wanted to share with you five things I’ve learned in five years of blogging. So here goes!

Blogging will always surprise you

I was kind of worried that after after five years of blogging, I might get bored with it. But here’s the thing – the world of blogging always continues to surprise me. Here are just some of the things that have cropped up frequently that continue to surprise me in five years of blogging:

  • The posts that you are the proudest of are not the ones that will necessarily go viral. Quite the opposite – they can fall flat on their face!
  • You will never stop getting emails asking you to place an article on your site for $10….no matter what your blogger ranking.
  • There will always be angry people lurking around the next corner waiting to have a go at you, dob someone in, and generally not be very nice human beings.
  • No two months are the same. Your inbox can be tumbleweed one month and overflowing the next. Good luck trying to predict how or why this is! I still can never adjust my mind to this one even after five years of blogging.
  • Just how many bloggers come and go. If I could have a dollar for every broken backlink I was alerted to because someone has folded their blog, I would be an insatiably rich blogger.
  • That huge brands STILL have the audacity to come to you and ask you to do something for free all the time, and then profess poverty in the words of “sorry we don’t have any budget”. Come on now, really?!!!!

Don’t sweat the small stuff (which might seem big at the time)

There will also be the doomsayers banging the drum of “blogging is dead” or predicting “this is this the end of the micro-influencer”, or google hates you if you do x, y, or z. Most of the time, this just seems to be hot air and amounts to nothing.

My advice to anyone new to blogging is to keep a cool head about much of the news you hear on the grapevine and don’t get your knickers in a twist about it. Most of the time it really doesn’t play out to be as bad as everyone makes out it is going to be.

Most people are incredibly nice and respectful

You could be forgiven that the whole world is a troll. Sure there are some mean people out there (like the ones mentioned above). And god help you if you look at one of those forums (you know the ones I mean!). But honestly, while it’s easy to focus on the nasty keyboard warrior trolls that are out there, most people are just incredibly nice and supportive.

I can count on two hands the number of times someone’s been nasty to me either via a blog comment, email or social media. I will never forget the first time I got trolled by two people on Twitter after appearing on GMTV within minutes of each other. In hindsight, it was probably the same saddo troll sitting there in their underpants using two different accounts.

Compare that to the countless positive comments and exchanges I’ve had with people, well there’s no denying it. The blogging world, in general, has the ear of a very well mannered crowd!

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People want to read about their pain points

People always ask me – how do you know what to write about? Don’t you ever worry you’ll run out of ideas? In my five years of blogging, I think this may have honestly only happened once, maybe twice.

Why? Because I know that at the end of the day, people don’t want to see me looking all beautiful against my newly renovated home (ha! fat chance anyway). They want to know why their child is being a sod, how they can stop feeling like an awful mum, or whether they can survive juggling work and family life once they resume their career.

Sure – you can go ahead and write about whatever pops into your head…and sometimes I do! But what people really want you to do is either a) solve their problems or b) help them feel better about their problems.

Social media will always be infuriating

When you’re a blogger, social media is for better or worse a big part of your life. Without it, a heck of a lot of people wouldn’t see anything you were writing so you may as well get your coat and go home. Social media is still hugely important in the blogging world, but it also remains hugely frustrating too.

The algorithms which mean that nobody sees your post unless you whack some advertising spend behind it, the dwindling engagement levels and tumbleweed, the follow/unfollow armies, the account hijacking and ransoming, the new rules about advertising disclosure and whether we are doing it correctly or not (I still have no clue!).

I remember the days when I used to sweat bullets over this stuff! Now I’m resigned to the fact that it’s just totally pointless expending any energy on any of the above. Most of it is really out of your control (unless you have a big advertising budget which you’ve magicked out of nowhere in which case, good for you!).

So there go my five things I’ve learned in five years of blogging. What else would you add to this list?

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