My blog, Camping With Style, has recently celebrated it’s 1st anniversary and passed the 10,000 unique visitors mark, and whilst I’ve been blogging for business clients for many years, this is my first foray into writing for myself and running a non-commercial blog.
In this past year I’ve learned a lot, and would like to share some of the insights I’ve gained with you.
1. Don’t do it if it’s not a true passion
Blogging takes up every ‘spare’ minute I have. Even when I’m not tapping away at the keyboard, I’m thinking about my next article or how to further promote my old articles. If your blog isn’t a true passion, you’ll quickly run out of ideas and enthusiasm.
2. Don’t punch above your weight
Blogging is a competitive business these days. Don’t start approaching brands right off that bat, wait until you have something compelling to offer them. This makes you come across as more credible, which makes you look professional and like someone worth working with.
3. Don’t expect loads of freebies
If your blog is new (i.e. less than a year old) don’t expect brands to rush to work with you. Even if your blog is well established, brands still won’t necessarily be throwing freebies at you, so don’t start a blog with the sole objective of ‘getting free stuff’.
Always offer brands something in return for samples sent your way, in order to build a reputation as someone who is good to work with. Never just assume you’ll get to keep something afterwards either. High value items in particular are often loaned out as a press sample and should be returned. Integrity is incredibly important.
4. Don’t overstretch yourself
When a blog takes off, it can really take off, and after months of hard slog, in the excitement of your new found success, it can be tempting to say yes to every new opportunity that passes your way. Keep on saying yes however, and you’ll either burn out or find that you are over-promising and can’t deliver.
Schedule your commitments and don’t take on too much at the same time. I put about 20-25 hours of work into my blog most weeks, and that’s on top of my 40 hour a week full time job, which leads on to the next point.
5. Don’t expect an easy ride
Even when i’m not working, or writing for the blog, i’m still thinking of the blog and generating ideas on what to do next. When you are blogging about a passion or interest that is already a big part of your life, it makes things that little bit easier.
The downside however is that you may find it difficult to make any real time for yourself, and downtime is important as it helps to supercharge your creativity. I have previously been self employed, and have been able to draw on the time management skills I learned running my own business, which has been a huge benefit in running my blog whilst managing all of my other commitments.
Continue reading over on my blog, Camping With Style here.