January 28, 2015

10 Blogging Myths

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1. The only thing bloggers do is run their blog. Back in 2010 when I worked at a media agency I used to build up good relationships with parent bloggers on behalf of one of my clients. One of the things I learned very early on is most people’s blogs are their hobby, side-project or part-time work. There’s no point inviting bloggers to a gallery viewing that’s 2pm on a Wednesday, most of the time it ain’t gonna happen. Most bloggers either have a full-time job, a family, or even if they are a full-time blogger they have a schedule or most likely busy with doing other bits of work like freelance work or consultancy. That’s why I love it when brands make sure a party/event starts around 6.30pm, after most people finish work.

2. That it’s really expensive to build a blog. There are so many different blog designers out there, and so many amazing templates especially on WordPress that are free, or quite cheap. There’s also brilliant online services such as Pigdig who offer customized templates that I know a lot of people use. I use an amazing young talented designer called Christina Galani who is such a pleasure to work with, she designs and builds my blog and works with me to keep it constantly updated at a reasonable price.

3. That you write a post and then publish it immediately: Loads of people always ask me: when do you have time to write your blog? The answer is, I just make it work in the free time that I do have. Most bloggers will write a bunch of blog posts all together and then schedule them throughout the week. That’s what I do. That’s what a lot of YouTubers do as well, especially when filming with a friend who they maybe lives far away. A few of my friends will just change their clothes so each video looks different, but all filmed on the same afternoon. Super savvy.

4. That everyone in the blogging world is always nice. The blogging community is such an amazing thing to be part of and I’ve literally lost count of how many incredible people I’ve met over the four years of having a blog. But sadly, a lot of people still don’t get why people blog/over-share their lives and feel the need to voice their negative opinions. People also get a bit mean about bloggers who monetize their content or say it’s not a real job. There’s a nasty side to any online comment thread especially ones where people can be anonymous, but it’s the nature of the Internet and something that everyone will come across at least once.

5. That blog posts take a few minutes to write and publish. Some do, like a really short review perhaps, or a post linking to another article. But on the whole, blog posts can take aaaages to post, mainly because you have to play the role of editor. I am not the best at editing so it can take me ages to proofread my words for typos and I know I never notice all of them. It’s mega hard to proof-read your own work because you’ve been staring at it for so long. So for me it can take between 1-2 hours sometimes to write and edit something. But the longer you do it, the more you get used to it and you naturally gets better.

6. That you need an expensive camera. For visual blogs such as fashion or beauty blogs a good quality camera does make a difference – same with video. But, I don’t think that it is essential to running a successful blog, it’s just a bonus. People might disagree, but I think the content of the blog is more important than the quality. (I don’t mean blurry pics, that’s never OK). I find it a hassle taking my big camera out, I prefer to document my life on my iPhone as it feels more natural.

7. That bloggers just love the freebies. It always makes me a bit sad when I see people asking how to start a blog, or saying they want to start a blog because they want to get free stuff. It really defeats the object of having a blog because it should be a corner of the Internet that you want to write on everyday just for the enjoyment of it. For me, going on a blog trip is like being at work, I am constantly finding different angles of things to write about, include in the review, taking photos, getting quotes from people, finding fun and different things that might not be in other people’s reviews. The myth is that you just go on a holiday which isn’t actually the case at all. Also, the relationship between blogs/media and PRs is something you should nurture and grow so that you work well together; which will only happen if you saying yes to things that are actually relevant to you and your blog.

8. That bloggers will work with any brand that pops into their inbox. Because blogging has become quite a big industry, bloggers are getting emails more than ever asking them participate in campaigns or giveaways or review opportunities (and a lot of brands still try and ask bloggers to do quite a bit of work for free). But most bloggers don’t say yes to everything and are learning more than ever to say no to things that aren’t mutually beneficial or interesting to their readers.

9. That you have to have a blogging ‘category’. You definitely don’t need to pigeon-hole yourself or think that you need to put yourself in a box. Lots of blogs these days cover a wide spectrum of things (mine covers ALL sorts) and even blogging awards categories have got broader. It’s good to still find your ‘niche’ and be unique in your style and tone, but you don’t need to get worked up about not being just one thing.

10. That it’s all about numbers. Most of the time it is about traffic, referrals, followers etc. But that’s not everybody’s key metric. Blogging is also for the quality engagement you can have with people; the emails, the tweets, the letters, the friendships. For me personally, it is not about numbers but about finding and growing the right audience;  the people that I want to reach, talk to, feel inspired by and share ideas with.

Thanks for reading and if there’s any I’ve left out (which I most likely have) then tweet me @girllostincity.

xox

 

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic