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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Blogger Reality Check




I think it's fair to say that even though I'm a new beauty blogger, I'm not a new blogger. Therefore, I can talk about things that new bloggers really need to recognise in order to not only start blogging, but stick with it. This post isn't meant to be discouraging. Writing it was pretty motivating to me, actually.



1) You're not going to have many readers right away

There are certainly some blogs that go viral right away, and everyone scratches their heads a little bit. Was it great SEO? Recommendations? Magic? Who knows, but for the vast majority of new bloggers, you won't get a lot of followers/readers/views at all in the first couple of months/years you're blogging. Sent to Singapore took about a year and a half to get any decent viewership outside of my immediate friends and family. More experienced bloggers get more pageviews in a day than new bloggers get in a month (or two). That's okay. Work hard and build yourself up, and people will read you. It doesn't hurt to social network and promote, but don't expect numbers jumping off the page.

2) You're not going to get samples

Jealous of seeing the "big bloggers" getting full sized sample products wrapped up like beautiful presents? Well, keep dreaming (at least for a while). On Twitter, there was an interesting #fblchat a few days ago about how bloggers should approach samples. What I gleaned from this was that samples are not gifts from companies. They are smart marketing strategies to get us bloggers, and our readers, to buy that company's products. Big companies aren't going to send bloggers with very few bloggers samples, because it doesn't make economic sense.

3) Blogging takes up a lot of time

I love blogging, I really do. But sometimes when I have other things to do, I look at my blog and baulk a little bit. It takes me about an hour to shoot and edit my photos for every post, and writing a good post takes another hour or more. That's a lot of time for a college student. It's a commitment. It's worth it, but don't expect your blog to suddenly get popular if there isn't good content (read: time consuming to product) content on there.

4) Don't take every opportunity you get.

This came up in the #fblchat on Twitter, but I strongly believe bloggers should not jump to make money from their blogs. It's one thing to try and make a little here and there... I use Skimlinks, and I'm looking into more options. However, there was a recent email sent to many new bloggers that definitely looked like a scam. Upon researching the company,  I realised it was a Chinese knock-off brand that sold very poor quality. However, my Bloglovin' was flooded by posts talking about how great this website was! All the posts followed the general format that the company had requested and used stock photos of the products, not anything they had actually bought. I found this incredibly disappointing, and I think bloggers need to remember that our blogs represent us as a person, and a brand. We can't be promoting things that are bad quality, or it reflects badly on us!

5) You're a baby. Learn from the big bloggers, and someday you'll grow.

This is pretty obvious, but take it to heart. As a new blogger, the best thing to do is to learn from those older and wiser. Don't copy them, since there's nothing worse than someone who lacks creativity, but take their mistakes and triumphs into consideration. Listen to what they have to say. Connect with them on Twitter or by email. Don't be afraid to learn, and be ready to grow!

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