First *proper* year of blogging. All my fortnight-long failed attempts between 2010 and 2013 don’t count, not in my brain anyway.
Here’s what I’ve learnt…
1. You’ll be like WHAT EVEN IS BLOGLOVIN, NAH NOT FOR ME. The next week you’ll be checking it every 3 minutes like it’s Instagram or summin and getting heart palpatations when it won’t refresh properly. True story.
2. Bloggers photoshop their selfies. Uh huh. That’s why they don’t have those wrinkles under their eyes that everyone, even bloody newborn babies have. And once you find out how to do it yourself (that pesky retouch button in iPhoto) it becomes increasingly hard to be like FUCK IT I’M JOINING THE DAMN CLUB.
3. There will always be about 7584567437 people who you deem to be more succesful than you. You’ve just got to learn to stop letting blogging be a competition and enjoy the ride.
4. People bloody love Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, MAC lipsticks and Essie nail polish.
5. There is nothing that melts your heart quite as much as when someone comments on something of yours and uses ‘goals’. Relationship goals. Blogger goals. Outfit goals. Life goals.
6. Every single day comes with new opportunities. No, but seriously – emails are never as exciting until you’re a blogger and then you’re having a breakdown over shit WIFI because you just need to see what’s in your inbox, not how many likes you got on Insta.
7. And it’s really bloody hard not to talk about yourself ALL the time because there’s so much newness and excitement going on in your life. It’s hard to not become a self-obsessed success story.
8. The only people who really understand your life are fellow bloggers, so you’ll find yourself nervously scanning coffee shops for the faces of people you DM’d on Twitter to hang out with following months of retweeting and social media chats. You guys.
9. When you work from home it’s really hard to remember whether you’ve brushed your teeth. And wait, when was the last time you left the house? Have you even spoken out loud today? Does your voice still work?
10. The bloggerspehere is over saturated with product reviews, healthy recipes and outfit of the days – and it feels stupidly liberating when you think of something a bit fresher and new to post that you haven’t seen elsewhere.
11. PRs still want coverage in print more than they want coverage on your blog. Unless you’re Zoella or Tanya Burr and then you’re probs alright. Why? Because most of the people who own the companies they’re promoting don’t even know what the word blog means. Awkward.
12. Women in their twenties really want to feel like they’re not alone, because for some unknown reason, we all seem to think we are. Silly us.
13. PHOTOS. PHOTOS. ALL THE PHOTOS. Your witty, intelligant, ground-breaking words mean nothing without a strong image to hold the post. And what do bloggers do to make their images even more fucking fanastic? They lighten them to within an inch of their lives.
14. Everyone suffers from low moods and the guilt that comes from suffering from low moods even when everything is right. It’s just nobody talks about it.
15. People can be absolute fucking cunts on the internet just because they can. You’ve got to be the person who sees them being a cunt and then posts a photo of you drinking prosecco or getting a manicure because FUCK THEM, you’re brilliant.
16. Taking your blog self-hosted and dealing with things like widgets and HTML is an absolute minefield that will make you cry.
17. People will get obsessed with you, and not just in the cute fan-girling way.
18. You will get a shit load of request for helps with dissertations. You will subsequently feel guilty that you can’t reply to them all.
19. PRs are more interested in skilled photography and social media followers than page views when it comes to working with bloggers. I have no idea if it’s the same for adveritising, but probs. So stop getting bogged down in the numbers and learn to make everything look glossy and professional.
20. Everyone has an opinion on you. The only opinions that matter? Your best friends and family, because when they tell you you’re being a dick or have done something wrong, you’re being a dick and have done something wrong. And everyone else? Fuck them.
21. Companies will email you daily and ask you to write a post about their new product or campaign. Maybe they’ll tell you you’ve been chosen as part of a ‘select group of bloggers’ and that they’ll share your post across their social media channels. It’ll make you want to punch yourself in the face repeatedly. No.
22. Othertimes they’ll ask if you’ll build a ‘content partnership’ with them and link to their site in a post. All for free. This translates as: PLEASE HELP US IMPROVE OUR GOOGLE SEARCH RANKINGS. Fuck off.
23. Essentially, people will ask you to promote companies you’ve never heard of for free All. The. Fucking. Time. Erm guys, I’m trying to make a living here.
24. There is no greater feeling in the world than being your own boss and editor. There’s no-one to shoot down any of your ideas. You get to experiment. You get to devise your own sleep-pattern. You get to have FUN and be creative.
25. People over 35 have absolutely no idea what you do. They’ll ask questions like: ‘So, this website of yours? Are you hoping it’ll make you money at some point in the future?’ Erm, OK.
26. Some bloggers will schedule the same posts to go out on Twitter every two hours for a month. You’ll wonder if you’re seriously the only one who’s noticed. You’ll also wonder if maybe you should back the fuck away from Twitter for more than 10 minutes at a time.
27. You will become addicted to skincare. And skin oils. And toners. And face acids. And serums. Blame Caroline Hirons mostly.
28. iMovie and making YouTube videos is fucking hard, but everyone’s doing it. It’s where the money is, apparently.
29. Blogging is moving so quickly that you’ll have absolutely no idea what you’ll be doing next week let alone next year.
30. There is a whole generation just below me who have never bought a magazine in their life, let alone visited a magazine’s website. They only read blogs and watch YouTube videos and that’s absolutely fricking insane for the future of content.
31. Your blog can easily become one of the most important things in your life. It can generate so much happiness and excitement and buzz, but it can also create so much negativity and self-loathing. You absolutely HAVE to learn how to switch off and step away, otherwise it has the ability to destroy you.