I still can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years since I started my blog! I said the same thing after year one, so to be saying it again I think means I’m doing something right!
When I created ‘Being Just Us’, I didn’t really have a long-term plan. All I knew was that I loved writing and that I had a ton of ideas for content that I thought those with a skin condition like mine, would value from. Having done my research, I knew blogging wasn’t something you could put ‘half a heart’ into (if you wanted it to reach the right audience!) and so I was well aware that I’d have to come up with some pretty interesting features that keep my followers beside me on my blogging journey.
As with many passions in life, it’s easy to start off enthusiastic! I was racing through notebooks, scribbling down endless ideas and becoming mindful of my surroundings because writers are always on the look out for things that will inspire the next post! But when it came to the hard part of actually writing the posts, I realised quite quickly that being a blogger was by no means as easy as I thought. It takes real commitment! I struggled to find the time amongst day to day life, to write – working full time, managing a social life and seeing my family were just some of things that grabbed my time and made finding time to write, a little difficult. Unfortunately, it meant picking up a pen and pad couldn’t always be a priority.
Nevertheless, almost 2 years on and I’m still writing and loving the fact I’ve stuck with it. How? Because I decided I wanted to take my passion seriously. Writing has always been the one thing that helps me to switch off, encourages me to think creatively and creates a space where I can write whatever I want without anyone having to see it….(if I choose not to share!). It my blissful outlet that brings me so much satisfaction! Writing has allowed me to see my own story with complete clarity. Its taught me how to think deeper as I fill in the ‘gaps’ from my childhood and teenage years which, being so far back, can be hazy. Sometimes my own writing has made me feel emotional and I love that I can say confidently; that’s its something im naturally good at.
Blogging has sparked my increased interest in photography and which has lead me to invest in my first DLSR which will no doubt have me capturing moments around London at any given opportunity.
In the initial stages my blogging pattern was quite simple – just upload one post a month. That’s all that I asked of myself. I’ll admit to failing on the very odd occasion, but for the most part I’ve managed to stick to the ritual. My ultimate plan is to increase how often I upload content, but for now this works for me amongst my general lifestyle.
I wouldn’t consider myself a pro blogger just yet. I’m still setting my sights on featuring in Bloggersphere someday as a body positive influencer of some sort, but for now I’m definitely enjoying the journey as I discover new bloggers on Instagram, network at blogger events and read interesting posts that often sparks of my own ideas for what to write next.
So, two years on and I’ve definitely learnt a lot! So here, I share with you what has helped me along the way, what I’ve learnt and those things I try to stick by to make life that little bit easier….
Pre Plan Your Posts
Pre planning your posts in advance means that you’ll have a steady stream of content, which will make you feel organised and ahead of the game. Yay!
Pre planning doesn’t necessarily mean writing your posts in draft, it could simply be just writing a list of titles in a notebook as a reminder of what you need to come back to. A content planner is one of the best ways to plot your ideas. Slot your ideas into a month so you know exactly when that post would be relevant to share with your followers. For example, I really love autumn/winter fashion and so naturally, the best time to show off the clothes you wear during your favourite season is September/October time.
Keep A Calendar
I realised the importance of keeping a calendar when I’d missed awareness days that I could have used to my advantage in terms of posting on social media. Who would have thought there was such a thing as National lipstick day or even weirder, national Plum Day? (because I’m sure there are some plum bloggers out there…..somewhere!). When you get a chance (because its probably a Sunday afternoon job!), plot all the awareness days and national days that fit in with the theme of your blog. Again, it means you can pre-plan blog posts, and anything you want to share on social media.
Check out Awareness Days for occasions you probably didn’t even realise existed: https://www.awarenessdays.com
Buy A Notebook Dedicated to Blogging
Us Bloggers love a bit of stationary! Anything that makes us feel organised, looks pretty and can be included in a flatlay (Yes! Yes!), means we become a little obsessed! I love a glossy, fresh notebook. The feel of the front cover, the corners which aren’t yet turning up because its been in and out of my bag like my favourite lipstick and the excitement when I start plotting down ideas on the very first page is like squirting your favourite perfume before a hot date! (I hope I’m not alone here!).
Keeping a notebook close by means you can jot down all your thoughts, inspirations and spare of the moment ideas, at any given time. I carry mine everywhere, (so it has to be a good size for your handbag!) because as a writer, ideas for blog posts can come up at the most random times! On my commute to work, whilst I’m wandering around Westfield or out lunching with friends, so its always important my notebook is to hand!
Be Consistent With Your Word Count
I’ve broken this rule so many times. Some of my posts are rather lengthy, because I love detail and I really want to build up my ‘story’. When I’ve scrolled through posts that I’ve shared, I find myself thinking ‘crikey – did I really write all that?’. You don’t want your followers to be scrolling through reams of text. We live in a world where we are more likely to skim read and want information in bite sized chunks, so don’t make your posts too lengthy as it could put readers off. Sometimes less is more and so I’m learning to get my point across a lot quicker, whilst making sure the content is still valuable.
Find Your Writing Style
There is nothing worse than trying to write in a style that doesn’t sound like you, because it means your readers will never get to know the true you. They wont be able to have that online bond! Finding and sticking to your writing tone might not happen straight away. You may find that you’ll have written 2 or 3 blog posts before you realise your writing tone. Don’t fake it! When I write posts, I just write…and keep writing. I relax and let the words fall into place!
For a while, I was writing with a slightly more professional tone (those posts still exist!) which tied in with my corporate side as a city worker, but outside of work I’m chatty, girly and excitable and I realised I wanted to push that through my writing. I have since become a lot more informal with a slightly chattier tone, which I love. Don’t fake it! Just be you, like you would be in person….