When I first started blogging, I never thought that I should be any way. My love of Books just turned into wanting to express my thoughts through this platform, but an idealistic "blogger of my dreams" had never crossed my mind. That was until I delved further into the Blogger world. Then I saw so many big names that had made their blogs EPIC and here I was, with a little blog no one had heard of and only a few blog posts to my name.
So I made a plan. And it took a really long time to get to a place where I didn't feel like my blog wasn't worth reading. It's dawned on me that a lot of other people might feel the same way as me; totally overwhelmed by all these big-name Bloggers while we're still trying to find a way through the crowd and be noticed. I compiled a few hints and tips that I've learned over the last few years that I wish I had known a few years ago! I'm hoping that even if this only reaches a few of you, you'll get one step closer to being the Blogger of your Dreams. 

One: Forget Design, Focus on Content

The first thing to remember when you're just starting out blogging, or even a few years down the line, is that Design? It's not everything. Sure, a pretty header is nice to look at, but are you going to care about a header when you're reading the content of the blog? Not really. 
You want to remember that content is your best friend. Everyone will come to your blog for your writing, your voice and most of all, the personality that you radiate through the content. Try to type like you're talking to a friend. Want to use cap locks? GO AHEAD. I do it all the time! It's endearing. Want to use Gifs to express a feeling? YAS. They are a huge plus for me. What I'm trying to say is just come across as you. Because you're pretty darn magical. 

Two: Friends not Foes

If you're making enemies in the Blogging world, you're going about everything wrong. Yes, not everyone is going to like you, or your brand/beliefs, but making enemies isn't the right thing. What you should be focusing on is making connections, including: like-minded blogger friends, brand connections, finding your audience, and most importantly, finding people you can talk about the highs and lows of running a blog with. Find your friends, not your foes. There's enough bad in this world, and surely enough drama, already. I live for three rules of engaging in any confrontation: keep it classy, keep it friendly, keep it vague. So, if you're going to tweet about a topic that's going to cause drama, try being vague about the topic, so it's not totally obvious. (But think about it a lot before ever sending anything that's going to be harmful, and never tweet anything offensive.)

Three: Social Media = free publicity

Have you ever thought about it that way? That social media is basically free publicity for your brand? Well, it is, kinda. Tweeting a link, using hashtags, taking an Insta pic, basically anything, is free publicity for your blog/brand. You can use this to your advantage! Want to reach a particular audience? Use a hashtag. Want to make an image that's versatile across all platforms? My go-to is Canva. It's a free site that allows you to create stunning pictures for your posts. Do you want to go that little bit further and invest in your blog? Try using a call-to-action post on available social media platforms, or purchase an Ad. But basically, all in all, our free social media accounts are the best free publicity you'll ever get. 

Four: Start and Finish your Goals

There's nothing better than a #GirlBoss notebook to get your goals written down. But if you're one of those people that makes a lot of goals but doesn't finish them (I'm kind of guilty of this myself) then I have the perfect solution! Every time you complete a goal, reward yourself. So, if you're needing to write five blog posts about Fashion, reward yourself with something at the end of that task. Or if you want a new book but haven't read your TBR, try reading five books and then reward yourself with that book you wanted! A reward system is the best system, I mean, it works for kids, right? The whole gold star thing might not be your thing, but taking your goals one step further surely is.

Five: Listen to your heart, and your head

There's a saying about that, right? Do you choose your heart or your head more? I personally prefer the method of heart over head, except when it's a life-changing decision. Your heart basically makes 90% of your emotional decisions, whereas your head is more of the logical thinker. But when it comes to your blog, it's both your job and your hobby, so the wires between heart and head thinking and choices can get super messy. I live by the rule that if it's a big decision, go with the choice that scares you the most. Another saying I've seen on Pinterest is that being scared means you're about to do something really, really brave, and that's okay! But if it's a business approach, involves a lot of thought and is long-term, I always go with my head. It's not because it's always right, or anything, but because it's going to have that edge over your emotional-based decisions. But what I'm trying to say is listen to both, because more often than not, you'll know which is right. 

Six: Never forget where you started

I will never forget that teenage girl that felt like books were her only friend, starting a blog, barely a shot in the dark. You have to remember where you started, because there will be thousands more people just like you who are desperate to be a blogger, who are struggling. Maybe they look up to you (which is honestly an amazing thought). If anyone ever asks for a little guidance, never turn your nose up. Remember where you started. Ask yourself if that person who started out would turn away from someone who wanted a little help. That's why I have a HELP page on my blog dedicated to new bloggers. It's because I know how stressful it can be when you don't have a big following or any blogger friends. So never forget that you were once someone with a ten followers to their name, who still didn't know what HTML meant. Trust me, the best things in life come to those who help other people.

So, maybe you haven't become the Blogger of your Dreams yet. But can I tell you a secret? 

I haven't either. 

But we're all in this Bloggers boat together, boosting each other up and reaching for the stars. And I'm hoping my little words of wisdom have given you a bit of inspiration today. 

happy blogging!
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