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.
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?