The Biggest Lessons I’ve Learnt Being A ‘Blogger’
Firstly, blogger is a broad term. I wouldn’t say I am a ‘blogger’. I am a person who blogs. An individual enjoying a hobby that happens to be writing a blog. I would not put myself in the same calibre as someone who makes a lot of money out of doing it – maybe one day but right now, I am happy to enjoy the ride until I get there. Hats off to those making a sustainable living out of it because it’s not easy.
Secondly, blogging is hard work. Had someone told me the amount of time and effort required into setting up and maintaining a blog, I’d never had started one. Thankfully no one did and here I am today absolutely loving every minute of it but seriously, it isn’t easy. Never in a million years did I ever see myself trying to learn what on earth SEO is on what would usually have been my lazy duvet day Sundays. I even took it upon myself to gain a diploma in blogging and content marketing in the spare time that I had. Attending events is hard work, attending anything nowadays is hard work because always in the back of your mind is how to capture the best photos and your mind and memory working overtime to draft up a post in your head ready to jot down when you get home. (note to self: invest in Dictaphone) Plus, trying to get your content and photos seen in this huge blogosphere is tough when there is just so many of us out there doing it!
Blogging is expensive. Despite the sponsored content, the ‘freebies’* and the events, blogging comes at a cost. When you get into it, you find yourself wanting all the gear – even with no idea! I recently invested in the new Olympus Pen E-PL8 – did I need it? No. It has considerably upped my photography game already though and I haven’t even learnt how to use it properly but that was £600 I would never have spent if it wasn’t for ‘blogging’. The parking charges and/or travel costs when you attend events all add up over the year too. Last year I spent £370 on trains, parking and petrol travelling to events. I could have a holiday for that! Walking into a shop and seeing something that would look good ‘in the background’ on Instagram photos. Yeah, that £15 mug from John Lewis will look lovely with a Hudson filter. I find myself ‘prop-shopping’ in Primark every time I go into town now and can easily spend £20 on things that will live in a box until they come out for a photoshoot.
People can be very nasty. Sadly, I have had my share of negative people so far and whilst it’s very sad, it hasn’t affected my determination to continue. #SorryNotSorry. What doesn’t kill you makes your stronger right. I had a ‘friend’ who ran a secret blog who I told about mine when I first started and was very excited about obviously. A few months later, I found her blog and found posts written about me and how I always made her feel inferior. One that mentioned how she had her blog for years and never had the opportunities I’d been given in just a few months. Another that mentioned that I ran faster in a race that we both competed in. A series entitled ‘Why I Stopped Comparing Myself To Others’. I was in shock to find this considering we had become close friends, never had I felt I was making her feel that way nor did I feel I ever did anything to make someone inclined to write about that on the internet. There have been instances where there were tweets directed towards me, assertive messages about one thing or another and people being down right rude and awkward but you know what; I’ll continue to be myself. I know I am a kind-hearted person and will do anything in my power to see someone happy so you keep doing you and I’ll do the same. No one likes a Nega-Tron anyway.
People can be the nicest, most caring and supportive group of individuals you will ever meet. I have met and interacted with some amazing people since writing Sherry Scribbles, some genuine lifelong friendships. Whilst there are a select few I see on a regular basis outside of blogging for cocktails and catch-ups, it goes without saying that the ones I don’t see as often are still just as important and supportive towards each other. Sherry Scribbles has recently turned two years old and in that time I have made more friends than I thought I would ever had. Sadly, it bears down to moving away a fair bit that caused previous friendships to deteriorate but also a lack of effort to keep in touch on both parts. When I moved to Nottingham with Ben 3 years ago now, I didn’t have a lot of friends. Id moved to a new city and recently started a new job, left bad relationships behind and cut ties with my mother so I was finding it a bit difficult with my confidence and self esteem to get out there and meet people locally. I’d always had my best friend Heather by my side, Hannah a phone call away and always WhatsApp-ing Emma, I felt I didn’t really have much of a social life though (FYI, Heather & Emma live 45 mins away and have their own lives to live and Hannah works crazy shifts so it’s ever been easy planning things). Since starting the blog and participating in events, I have met some of the best group of friends a girl could ask for and now my diary is usually full of social events and exciting things and I have these girls to thank for bringing me back out of my shell and showing me a life worth living. You all know who you are.
*I just wanted to point out that whilst brands and PR companies may gift me items to review, they should never be considered as freebies. This is not the case by any means when it comes to having to use the product, put in the time to research, write up the review, take the photos and then market it effectively for optimum engagement. It should be classed as an alternative form of payment whereby the post is not sponsored by a brand specifically. There are too many people who want to start a blog just to get ‘freebies’ and this is not the case. A lot of hard work goes into even achieving these opportunities in the first place and they should never be expected.