10 Things I Have Learned About Being a Blogger

Today is the one year anniversary of the beginning of Samandro! I can’t believe that a year has passed and how much has happened over that time.  This time last year, I sat down on a very cold winter morning and wrote about how growing up sucks when it comes to all the new responsibility that gets piled on. In retrospect, that post came the same day I started a new job, woke up at 7 am, and walked to work in the freezing cold rain.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with this space at first but slowly,  it has transformed into a platform about my experience with beauty and, the ups and downs of my somewhat wacky existence on this planet. And over the past twelve months, I have learned a few things about being a blogger.

happy birthday samandro1

1. Be yourself. If there is one thing that turns me off from a blog, it is knowing that the writer isn’t being sincere with themselves or their audience. Write about you want to write about, and be who you want to be. We need strong, confident bloggers out here in this interspace so, project the best version of you.

2. Use the macro setting on your camera for close-up pictures. I do not have an SLR and probably (unfortunately) won’t for the foreseeable future. The one thing that really helps me get better photographs is putting my point and shoot into macro mode. It helps focus the camera better and gets rid of that blurry focus thing.

3. Don’t spend a million dollars on products. If you have a million dollars and want to spend it on makeup, go for it. But for the other 99% of the world, save your money. I know it’s tempting to want to splurge on every new palette that comes out. I remember going into Sephora for the first time, shortly after starting this blog, and wanting to buy everything. It’s hard to hold back, but your wallet will thank you if you do and when you do splurge it’ll be a lot more fun knowing that you can afford it.

4. Take it seriously. If you want to have real success as a blogger, you have got to take blogging seriously. I am not saying make business cards and spend $100 on a new theme but, post regularly and proofread your writing. You can’t expect to build an audience posting once every two weeks – not going to happen.

I won’t lie. It is hard sometimes sticking to just a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule (with a bonus post every once in awhile). But every time I don’t want to write anything, I remind myself that someone out there is expecting me to post on on this schedule like I have done for the past year. Sometimes telling myself that I have committed to this and should take it seriously is the kick in the pants I need.

5. Blogging is freaking hard. Whoever thinks that starting a blog and populating it with content on a  regular basis is easy is obviously insane.  If I could phone a friend right now, I would get my mom. She would tell you how many times I have whined speculated over how much work I should put into this blog, especially in the beginning when I felt like no one was listening. It’s tough and, it takes patience to make this blog thing work.

6. Do it because you love it. The chances of becoming blog famous are very small but if you choose to approach your blog as something you want to do not just because you want to become the next Pioneer Woman, it’s going to be a much better experience.

7. Just because they aren’t commenting doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. Don’t get caught up in the number of comments or likes you get on every post. Read the comments you do have and, be grateful for them. Respond to the people who comment. Talk to your audience.  Likewise, comment on other blogs – it’s good karma and all that.

8. Be smart about freebies. Everyone loves freebies but, don’t accept free stuff, post a million sponsored posts, and then wonder where your audience went. Make sure that the things you are accepting are in line with you as a person, your blog, and your vision. This may mean you say no thank you – it’s not for me, and end up empty handed. That’s totally okay.

9. Don’t get caught up in follower counts. Followers are cool. Everyone likes followers. But, followers are going to come in their own time, at their own pace. You may have to blog for a year or years before you get even remote success. That’s part of blogging and of life. Don’t compromise who you are to get a big number on a computer screen – it’s not worth it.

10. Be happy and fresh. There is a place for miserable posts in the world, but after awhile people get bored of Negative Nancy. Try to see your life and your blog through an optimist’s sunglasses. Be funny and creative, and make people want to listen to you. Draw something. Bake something. Do origami.

Do not make the mistake into locking yourself into a prison of a “blogging niche”. The boundaries you make will smother you if you let them and, the internet is too big a place to be just another “insert niche here” blogger. Good bloggers know how to keep themselves happy without alienating their audience.

I really appreciate each and every person who has taken time out of their day to visit Samandro over the past year. Even though I run this blog, it wouldn’t be half as fun without all of you. Thank you for your support!

How long have you been blogging?

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31 thoughts on “10 Things I Have Learned About Being a Blogger

  1. Running4two February 11, 2014 / 9:16 am

    Happy Blog Birthday! Love this! :-)

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 11:10 am

      Thanks. I’ve really been enjoying reading your blog since I came across it. :)

  2. gtsumbu February 11, 2014 / 10:13 am

    Congrats!!!! Happy Birthday:)

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 11:10 am

      Thanks! :)

  3. Amria February 11, 2014 / 10:44 am

    Happy blogiversary! ^_^ You did a terrific job this past year, couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 11:11 am

      Thanks. That’s nice of you to say. Looking forward to another year to come!

  4. meggan0225 February 11, 2014 / 11:08 am

    Congrats, on the first year of your blog! These are great helpful tips! Keep up the good work, we are reading!!!

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      Thanks :P

  5. Ashley February 11, 2014 / 11:23 am

    Happy blogging Birthday! :) Fantastic tips and so spot on!

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks, Ashley. I appreciate all of your support :)

  6. Alison February 11, 2014 / 11:28 am

    Congratulations on one year! That is exciting, can’t wait to see where you’ll be in another :)

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks! :)

  7. budziak February 11, 2014 / 12:02 pm

    Hahaha, I still use my iphone to take photos, they’re not too bad. I’m still not a consistent blogger – usually comes my photo editing procrastination & not wanting to take stock photos in fear of being hit with a fine/cease & desist, it happened to one of my employers for an image on their corporate site and it’s (questionable ownership/use of images) scared me ever since. I really do believe you have to be serious & act the part though, with Vistaprint’s free bus cards, there’s not really an excuse. I dressed well for IMATS for that reason :-) Why would anyone invest in you if you don’t invest in yourself? Just something that runs through my mind often, I guess. Anyways, I can’t believe it’s been a year! How exciting! I can’t wait to see how your blog progresses. It’s great to be part of a community that focuses on growth. I really enjoy reading about your accomplishments too, living vicariously through you, perhaps? Keep it up!

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 2:40 pm

      I totally agree with you about the investing in yourself thing! One thing I learned in England was how much better people dress and how that affects how you see people and people see you. Now, I make much more of an effort to wear nicer clothes because I know it does have an effect! Thanks for all your support. You’re the best, seriously.

  8. Jenn February 11, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    Wow congrats. Seems like yesterday I started following you!

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 2:40 pm

      You were one of the first people I followed! :)

      • Jenn February 11, 2014 / 3:04 pm

        Me too!

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      Thank you! :D

  9. comfortablyychic February 11, 2014 / 2:34 pm

    Great post Sam! I’ve loved seeing your blog grow over the past year. It seems as if you and I started around the same time and I’m glad that we did! I’ve learned a lot about blogging through these posts that you do.

    Jen
    http://www.comfortably-chic.com
    ^winter hair frustration on the blog today

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 2:40 pm

      Thanks, Jen. :)

  10. thescribblingtrain February 11, 2014 / 7:19 pm

    Well done on reaching one year of blogging! I’ve loved reading your insightful posts about your experiences with studying and working. I’ve got another 2 months to go before I reach 1 year of blogging., and it’s true what you said sometimes it’s so hard making content or like putting it together but it’s worth it.

    http://thescribblingtrain.wordpress.com/

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks! :) Soon as you know it, it’ll be your one year anniversary too!

  11. nyrmirez February 11, 2014 / 8:11 pm

    Happy blogiversary! Congratulations on this milestone. I really have to work on this consistency thing. I try to keep up, but sometimes life gets the best of me and not to mention my job, and I slip up. Thanks for the tips and the encouragement that I found in this post. I am so glad I found your blog.

    • Sam February 11, 2014 / 8:43 pm

      Thanks, Michelle. Thanks for all of your support. :) It helps me to take as many pictures as possible when I can, like the weekend, and then feed off of those throughout the week.

      • nyrmirez February 11, 2014 / 9:04 pm

        I will have to try that. Thanks for the tip and your very welcome Sam!

    • Sam February 12, 2014 / 8:31 am

      Thanks :) I appreciate that.

  12. kflowermaquillage February 12, 2014 / 9:35 am

    I loved reading this :) great post & happy blogiversary!

    • Sam February 12, 2014 / 9:36 am

      Thank you :D

  13. Nomzi Kumalo March 12, 2014 / 10:24 am

    Congratulations on your success Samandro. I have been blogging for about a month and a half. It is hard work but it is fun. Do pop in at my blog should you get the chance. And thank very much for the advice. :)

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