A little late but wishing you all a very Happy 2019 full of prosperity, good health and success!
Can’t believe how 2018 flew so fast and we are already witnessing the second week of the year. Speaking of 2018, it was no less than a crazy roller coaster ride for me. A year full of setbacks, distress, life-changing decisions, new opportunities, some wins and a few epic failures. However, in this post, I’ll be sharing more about lessons learned from blogging and content creation in 2018 to help you learn from my mistakes.
1) It’s okay that others don’t understand your job
It is one of the bitter truths of blogging that people don’t consider it as a full-time job. It seemed like friends and family simply thought that whatever I’ve been doing is some online claptrap to escape from the reality of this world. They envy the bloggers’ lifestyle thinking that we get all the perks of staying at a beautiful destination or wearing the trending clothes of the season for free in return to posting some pretty pictures and writing about it. On the surface, it pretty much looks the same but in reality, it requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work. From the planning of the content to its creation, from photography to its editing, from SEO optimization to social media promotion, I know how many hours I clock. I’ve learned everything from scratch all by myself what it takes to make a successful blogging business and I’m proud of it. I don’t need validation from anyone whatever I’m doing because I love what I do!
2) Social media is a full-time job
With the continuous evolving of social media in the last few years, creating a successful social media space requires plenty of time and energy. Now it is not just about posting a perfect picture but it’s all about aesthetics, presets, regularly producing quality content to continuously attract the attention of your followers. Even the brands look for high following counts and great engagement on social media platforms when they consider partnering with influencers and bloggers. Therefore, as a content creator, there’s a lot of pressure at times to create quality content for all the days in a week. Most of the time when I’m traveling for work or leisure, have to deal with bad weather, lighting, crowd and miscellaneous stuff to capture that perfect picture. My hubby has to wait for his food until I captured that perfect Instaworthy-food shot or my coffee gets cold when I actually start drinking because of that picture-perfect shot. I shouldn’t complain because that’s part of my job but it is quite stressful at times for my family.
However, comparing to other social media platforms, Instagram has comparatively worked better for me in 2018. Even Pinterest has helped me to get more traffic on my blog last year. As part of my 2019 strategy, I’ve decided to invest more time in my blog as compared to my social media platforms because I’m the boss of my blogging platform. I can’t control what’s happening on social media. Therefore, putting all my eggs in Instagram isn’t a wise choice. Social media is a great way to promote your content but not to host your content. What if you wake up some day and get to know that Instagram has been shut-down. All your efforts for years will be shattered and you have to start everything from scratch.
3) Not all sponsored/guest posts/contributors are worth for your brand
Publishing a quality content throughout the month is quite challenging for bloggers when you have to have a work-life balance as well as deal with plenty of other stuff. Sometimes letting contributors share their content on your website sounds like an ultimate option but it is not totally worth it at times. It not only impacts your brand but also your SEO’s depending upon the bad links they are adding which can even lead to penalising your website from Google. I’ve been the victim of the same and now I’m very particular about the contributors on my blog. The same goes with sponsored posts. At the end of the day, it looks quite lucrative and everyone has to pay the bill. But sometimes, the content doesn’t go with your niche. In 2018, I refused to work with few of the renowned brands because their content didn’t go with my niche. At the end of the day, you can’t put your brand image at the stake in front of your readers!
4) Most of the brands want you to work for free
This is one more truth of the blogging and influencer world. Sometimes, most of the big brands want to collaborate with you in exchange for a free product/service. However, there’re few brands that will cherish your work and compensate generously. Last year I declined to work with a few of the big brands because they wanted to use my content on their sites without even giving me credit for my work or compensation in exchange for products. They don’t understand how much time, man-hours, effort and passion we put to create their awesome content. Their free products/services are not going to pay our bills. Instead, if a brand has to do a photoshoot for their own product, they have to spend quite a hefty amount of money. The irony is they want everything to be done by bloggers and content creators for free that sounds quite hilarious…isn’t it?
5) Not Everyone you meet in a blogging industry is selfless and empowering
It is no doubt that you’ll meet some of the most kind-hearted and humble souls in the blogging industry who are willing to share, empower and grow together. However, there’re a few bad apples everywhere. Be careful with whom you network, engage and never ignore the red flags. You’ll meet plenty of renowned influencers trying to sell their blogging courses or Instagram growth strategies etc but just be careful before investing your money anywhere. At the end of the day, everyone is doing business and wants to make money through their online course. What worked for them may not necessarily work for you. Instead, there’s a lot of free stuff available on the internet to be a successful blogger. Just Google it out! The same goes for friendship. Working with a blogger friend can be hard as working with a total stranger sometimes. Think twice before collaborating for any project as it may not only impact your relationship but also waste your time, energy and gives you more stress.
The path to blogging success is unsteady and challenging. It takes a lot of patience, effort and endurance to fight your setbacks and doubts. But at the end of the day, if you’re passionate about it, everything is secondary! I’ve already started working on some interesting projects for this year and can’t wait to share with you all soon!
I’d also like to thank each one of you for following my journey through my blog Ana’s World and social media platforms. Nothing would have been possible without you all.
Thanks a ton for everything and looking forward to your more love and support in 2019 too!
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