What I've Learnt From Four Years of Blogging

Sunday, February 25, 2018


For me, starting a blog was just a little something I decided to do one day after school with no expectations whatsoever. It seemed like the 'in' thing, and since I really enjoyed writing I figured I'd give it a shot. Never in a million years did I think that I'd be sat here, four years later, still completely committed to blogging. Not only has it helped me to improve with writing and photography, but it's presented me with fantastic opportunities of working with brands, attending events, meeting new people and gaining a lot of self-confidence. My blog is definitely an extension of myself and I'm proud to have continued it for the past 4 years, and to celebrate this milestone I thought I'd share all of the things I've discovered and learned along the journey.


Don't force yourself to create content if you don't have time to

When I first started blogging, I decided to upload three times a week, which at the time seemed like a great idea but as I became a lot busier with school, I realised that I definitely didn't have the time for this. I shortly narrowed this down to twice a week and when I started my GCSEs I reduced it further to once a week, which I've stuck with for the past few years. This works much better with my busy schedule and the demands of college, and I've learnt that I'd much rather produce one post a week that is of a high quality and I'm proud of than to upload multiple ones that are rushed and halfhearted. Although some bloggers will be uploading everyday and it can feel disheartening to see their regular content in comparison, don't beat yourself up over it as you should only post as often as you can manage.


Write posts about topics that you genuinely like

Books and reading is a huge passion of mine, which is a given as an English student, but when I started blogging I refused to talk about this as I felt like I had to keep my blog solely beauty. I also experimented with writing the occasional fashion post, and although style is something that interests me now, at the time I wasn't thoroughly invested in it. Over time, I've realised that it's more important to stay true to yourself and write about topics that you're passionate about, as this genuine enjoyment really does shine through.


Images are just as important as writing

When I started blogging, I would write very thorough post often accompanied by only one low quality and not very aesthetic image, or sometimes I'd upload a post without any photos at all. The writing was my main focus and priority, but I've since realised that images are what attracts someone to a post and convince them to keep reading, so they're definitely more important than I initially thought, especially for platforms like Instagram and Pinterest which are reliant on visuals. I also used to use a lot of stock photos, which at the time was very convenient but I feel like it can sometimes seem impersonal.


Blogging is different for everyone

You shouldn't feel the need to blog in a certain way just because everyone else does. Although there are definitely trends in blogging, with popular niches and preferred ways of taking photos, don't feel as though you have to conform to these if you don't want to. For example, I used to always write monthly favourites posts when I started blogging as that was the norm, but I soon realised that I didn't actually enjoy creating them (I've got a whole blog post on the matter if you'd like to give it a read!) and rather than continuing cause it's what everyone else did, I stayed true to myself by stopping them and felt so much happier with my content, instead opting for a favourites post if and when I felt like it.



It's not about the numbers or exposure

More recently, everyone blogging seems to be obsessed with growing their platforms, gaining a larger readership and improving their stats. Although this is definitely important from a business point of view, it shouldn't be the main focus and eclipse all other aspects of blogging. A couple of years ago, I used to track my blog analytics every week and after a while found that I focused more on posts that I thought my audience would enjoy, rather than what I enjoyed writing. I've definitely taken a step back from this more recently and instead just focus on creating content, both on my blog and social media, that I'm happy with, and if any growth comes with that then it's an added bonus.


It takes a lot of dedication

Before I started my blog, I never thought that I'd be able to commit to such an activity. In all honesty, I predicted that I'd write blog posts for a few months before losing interest or becoming too busy and taking up another hobby instead. But something about blogging has just stuck with me and I've managed to keep posting on a weekly basis for 4 years, with no desire to stop anytime soon. However, I've also realised that it takes a lot of commitment and hard work to maintain. Spending hours taking countless photographs only to select one, or giving up every Sunday evening to edit, proofread, publish and promote my posts. Although these have become second nature to me (I've not had a free Sunday night in years and it'd be strange to now), it's definitely worth putting in the effort for the enjoyment blogging gives me and I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Practice makes perfect

Everyone has to start somewhere, so don't expect your blog to be flawless and insanely popular right from the get-go. My blog is by no means amazing now, but there have been massive improvements since February 2014 when I first started it. There's no point giving up too soon if you're not seeing improvements or your blog doesn't look like everyone elses - blogging is a journey and you should instead be proud of how it looks now, as a lot of hard work has been put into it. 

To round up this post, I thought I'd share some photos from my blog, spanning from 2014 to now, both as a way of reminiscing and to see how much has changed in these past 4 years.


Although I sadly don't have any photos of my first ever blog design, the photo above is the earliest one I have, from about 6 months into blogging. As you can clearly see, a lot has changed since then! Daisies and Delights was definitely in its basic form, and the image with the bird that I used was actually one that I found for free online and repurposed. I honestly find it crazy to look at this image and think that my blog has grown from this into what it is now!


  

The above three images are some more blog headers that I designed in the early days - I seriously used to change my layout like every week! The top one was another free image that I found online and just stuck my blog name on, but I then decided that I wanted to have a go at making my own headers from scratch. The middle one was actually created on Microsoft Powerpoint, as I had yet to discover Photoshop and Illustrator and had no idea what else to use, and the bottom one was made with Canva (which I still highly recommend as a free alternative to Photoshop!). I remember being incredibly proud of all of these when I first made them, and now it's crazy to see how much has changed.


As you can see from this image above, my blog header hasn't drastically changed since 2015 when I created the watercolour flower on Photoshop, although I've definitely tweaked it since. However, the rest of my blog certainly has! It was around this point that I started experimenting with downloading blog templates online and using them, which is something that I still swear by today, as it's honestly miles better from the preset templates available when you start. Even though there's a slight likeness with my current blog in terms of the header, I still think that there's been huge changes and improvements between then and now.

I also thought it'd be worth sharing some of my old blog photography so you can really get a grasp of how much it has changed and developed over the past 4 years! It's crazy that my photos have went from this...


To this...



Thank you for reading this post and I'd just like to take the opportunity to say thank you for the continual support. Whether you've been reading my blog since day 1 or have only just joined, I really appreciate it and it's you guys who continually motivate me to keep blogging and allow me to have some fantastic opportunities. And if you're someone who doesn't have a blog but have been considering it, let this be the blog post that persuades you to start one! I'll see you as usual next Sunday for another new blog post, so until then!

Love from Daisy x

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2 comments

  1. Congrats on 4 years of blogging, it’s so amazing how far you have come! It’s definitely true to not pressure yourself too much to post when you don’t have time, I have really struggled with that over my time of blogging but I’m really trying to stop it getting to me now! Lovely post x

    Erin // everythingerinx.co.uk

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  2. Congratulations on four years! That's amazing! Blogging definitely opens the door to some fab opportunities. I totally agree with everything you've said here. It definitely takes practice, and the longer you go on, the more you learn. Great post!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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