Happy Friday and welcome to another Behind the Blogger post. I am joined by Jen from Fresh Crush, Stephanie from Casa Watkins, and Deb from Seeking Lavender Lane. Unfortunately, Ruthie had to sit this month out due to a family emergency, but please do stop by her page and show her some love and check out all her holiday projects. Sending love your way Ruthie!!
Today, we will be sharing “what we have learned about blogging.” I have learned so much through blogging and I want to be transparent and REAL with y’all when it comes to the game of blogging. Come 2016, I will be blogging for 3 years and my blogging game has changed a lot from when I first started. I thought of different ways of writing this post, but my goal is to share with you the “reality of blogging.” This is an honest perception of my blogging journey. Different things work for different people, but I learned so much from blogging with the help of these 5 pointers that I am sharing with you.
1. Invest in your blog- if you are serious about blogging, invest in it. In order to make money, you (may) have to spend money. I am Frugal Fran and the cheapest person I know. Let me state the facts…this tip literally took me a while to learn. I remember early on in my blogging journey, I assumed that once I hit publish, the ball would get rolling, but I did not invest in my blog properly to make the ball roll. I had a wonky camera, I did not purchase a domain, my blog template was whack…I was doing everything wrong and I could not understand. It was not until I was reading a fellow bloggers post about their blogging tools did I realize that I need to make some changes and if I want to brand myself (for example, looking into a list of logo generators to build a brand) and live up to my style I would have to invest in myself and in my blog. Below are some tools that I have invested in that has taken my blog from a 1 to a 8. I am not perfect, my blog is not perfect, BUT it has improved since making these changes.
If you visit some of my earlier post, you may have noticed that my photo’s suck…like BIG time. Invest in a good camera and learn how to use it. There are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest that can help aid you into taking good photos.
So what does having a good camera have to do with blogging? Well…everything! They say that content is king, but if you do not have good pictures to back it up, it does not mean anything. TRUST ME! I do not know how many times (in the past) I had what I considered great ideas, but I had a wonky camera and took wonky photos, no one paid any mind. If you do not have a good camera, use your smart phone. Since I am a home decor blogger, Pinterest, is one of the best way to share my post….and with that said, most things that get pinned to pinterest are really pretty, bright, crisp photos. I would consider a good camera a must-have for blogging, especially if you are a home decor blogger or plan to be one.
I never was one to follow the trends or go off of the hype of something. This past year, we (the mister and I) finally gave in to purchasing a smart phone. I know we are so behind on the trend. The crazy thing is I never cared to have a smart phone nor did I want to pay that much for one. My husband ended up gifting it to me because my old phone was cracked and acting up. Let me just say, my phone up’d my blogging game. I am more active via social media because of it and I use it as a backup camera. Well, lately most to all of my pictures have been taken on my phone.
In order to blog you need some type of electronic device to blog on. Way back in the beginning of my blogging days, I blogged off of my iPad….nothing wrong with that. In fact I was able to use so many different apps to help aid my blog…BUT once I viewed my blog on our (the mister’s) laptop my images, template, and other pictures were distorted and not as clear as it was on my iPad. So to fix this problem, I purchased a laptop.
2. Social Media is NO joke- Hear me out for a second…without social media, my blog will basically be considered a journal or a “personal” blog. I remember publishing my post and thinking that anyone and everyone would read it, but I was wrong. Without social media, I would have not been able to grow my blog to where it is now. Social media is one of the best way to share your content and spread the word about your blog. Although, I had been blogging for 1.5+ years, it was not until mid-year of this year that I finally started getting serious about blogging…and thank goodness, I had a smartphone to help me with my decision because I do not know what I would have done. There are tools to help bloggers schedule their post unfortunately, I have yet to jump on board. I plan to…everything just happened so fast and I really have not had time to digest everything and figure out how to balance things out. 2016…2016!
3. Stay true to who you are- I can be any type of blogger that I want to be to please my viewers, but I would be lying to myself if I did not stay true to who I am as a person and designer. This can be both easy and hard to do at times. I am me and I do “me” proud, but sometimes I am at a crossroad with whether or not a project will appeal to my audience (or to anyone in general) to a point that I question myself. I know I sound silly, but that is my reality. I have a vision for myself and what I want to become, but I do not know if it translates well with others. That is what I struggle with.
4. Bloggers DO Struggle- Most bloggers will not admit it, but we do struggle…with something. Whether it is our blogging game… our photo taking skills… our story telling…our social media skills…it is always something. As a home decor blogger, I only show so much. For example, I do not show pictures of my house a mess and you can only assume that it is clean 24/7, but guys…I struggle with maintaining a clean house 24/7, but you will never know that because I do not air out my dirty laundry. Just for the books, my BIGGEST blogging struggle is social media…but I hope I can take command of it in 2016.
Sometimes I forget that bloggers are human, we are like everyone else and we are not perfect. Another thing I struggle with is balance. It may seem like I have it all together, but I do not. Life happens and with young kids, there are bound to be endless nights where I am up late working on a project or writing a post that is due the next day. Any blogger can attest, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!
5. Live within your means- This goes hand in hand with “the struggle” and staying true to who you are. Frugal Fran speaking over here…I like fancy things and it does not help that most things that inspire me come from the runway or Lonny magazine, but as a mother to 3 kids I have to live within my means. I am blessed to be able to share my talent with you but it all comes at a price. I would never advise anyone to blog and share tips on how to obtain certain looks so that they can keep up with the Jones’, that is not how I do it. Blogging is my side job and when it comes to budgeting for projects, it is an after thought after my bills are paid. LOL. Frugal Fran is who I am, blogging and sharing inexpensive projects is what I do…I am not here to try to impress anyone, I am here to share with people how to create luxe, chic looks for the cheapest price possible. As a home decor blogger, it is easy to get lost into the crowd, I want to stand out…and the only for me to do that is to live within my means and share my talent with all of you.
Live within your means and do NOT get lost along the way! There are a lot of things that are enticing to bloggers, but you have to stay true to who you are as a person.
Well, this is my perspective on what I have learned about blogging. To get the details on what other bloggers think or have learned about blogging, please visit