The One about Blogging
When I first set out to blog, I was ecstatic to share all my interests and create something that reflected me that I could monetize on. My first blog was called Bella Juliet and I used the website PopSugar when they were offering free website domain service. The templates were easy and I was able to use Getty Images. I didn't have to worry about coding, I could just put out an entry within 5 minutes. I realized soon that making money off of blogs isn't as easy as I thought. It's constant work and for someone like me who had a full time job, it was hard to keep up with all the competition. I was a very small time blogger, just like I am now. This was before Instagram so I'd promote my blog on my facebook so my only traffic was my mom, friends, and other bloggers on PopSugar.
As I was leaving to move back home to Connecticut, I thought about creating a new blog outside of Bella Juliet. Bella Juliet was heavily focused on entertainment and fashion - I felt stifled by that and wanted to create something more genuine. I wanted something that better reflected me at that time in my life. The Heart of a Flower blossomed (it was first called Yankee Belle until I settled on a better name), I used Blogspot, which also had free, easy to use templates. I was able to hit "publish" within moments. I switched directions a couple of times with The Heart of a Flower but I realized I will do my best to encompass everything that interests me yet still make a point to write pieces to get my writing out there, to become noticed. Will I ever become an award-winning author? Probably not, but The Heart of a Flower is a great tool to utilitize and showcase my personal writing.
As the popularity of Instagram increased, I started to utilize that as an important platform for my blog. I see it as a great way to connect to other bloggers and other like-minded people. I set my Instagram to public and made sure I was using the right hashtags, had growing engagment and followers. I became obsessed with my number of followers. At times it saddened and stressed me out. Why was I increasing and then dipping back down - it seemed like I was at 940 followers forever. Now I'm in the same situation but I'll hit 1360 and drop down to 1353 then go back up to 1360. I think I'll forever be fluxuating with numbers and that's okay. I set out to build my audience organically - without the help of any Instagram bots or any services that I'd have to pay to buy followers. That would only show a very hollow number. As your followers grow, you get more attention for brands and start to monetize on your blog. Of course you want your numbers to increase!
This is hard though. It's hard when you have a full time job and a busy personal life to keep up with your blog and social media when you often feel you don't have enough time. I've learned that it's okay when "followers" hit unfollow- it just means people who weren't helping me build my engagment dropped off. It's okay if I got declined from LiketoKnow.it. Of course, I was bummed but realized that all the "No's" all the followers I don't have just makes me work harder on churning out the best content that reflects my heart. All in due time. Whether I have 100 followers or a million I still want my blog to be a home of sorts. A home that I find relaxing and rewarding, fun and challenging. If you are small time blogger like myself who feels they've been doing this far too long and the numbers don't add up, don't give up. Stay true to yourself. Have fun with it. Don't let numbers or rejections break your spirit.
Keep moving forward.