Wednesday, 14 October 2015

KEEPING MOTIVATED WITH BLOGGING || 10 TOP TIPS

Blogging saved me when I was at a dark point in my life. I have suffered from Anxiety for many years now and I needed an outlet - somewhere I could go to clear my head of all negative thoughts. One day a friend came up with the idea that I should create my own blog page. At first I was a little apprehensive because I was worried about what other people would think, but after a couple of months of thinking about it, I decided to give it a go and I am so happy I did. Over time this has become my 'happy place', where I can come to at any time to take my mind away from everything else going on in life.


 Starting up your own blog is an incredible thing to do, it is exciting, enjoyable and it feels very rewarding to have your own space online. However, if I have learnt anything from this whole experience over the last year, it is that constantly staying motivated really is not all that easy. 
Each post takes a lot of time and hard work. So much thought process goes in to every single blog post published, it is not just a case of sitting at your computer and typing the first thing that springs to mind. You need to think of new ideas constantly, you need to plan, you need to schedule - the upkeep can really be tough at times and often ideas run dry and you feel as if you have nothing more to say.
 Where do you get the motivation from to continue?
For me, the key to staying motivated to blog is to keep it enjoyable. Since the beginning this has been a hobby for me and that is exactly how I want it to carry on, I never want my blog to turn into a hassle or a chore, I want to always love and enjoy it.
 TOP TIP #1 || Write about something you have a passion for. 
Do not write blog posts on a certain topic just because that is what everyone else is writing about. Find your expertise - Something that you have a real passion for and that you would enjoy reading and write about that - your ideas will flow much easier, you will always have something to say and your words and writing style will seem much more natural to your readers. If you are not interested in something, then simply do not blog about it, there is no written rule stating that you must blog about specific types of things. Don't like doing outfit posts? Then don't do them. The blogosphere is full of different readers with an infinite amount of varying interests and you will be surprised at how many people will share the same interests as you and will want to hear what you have to say - no matter how crazy you think your ideas are! You are a totally unique person and you should let that show through your blogging..Be the best version of you, not a copy of someone else..Trust me, you will have much more fun!

 TOP TIP #2 || Set yourself goals and targets.
Every week have an idea of how many posts you would like to get published and try your best to make sure you reach your target. It is always a good idea to have goals to aim towards because that is what will keep pushing you forwards and it will entice you to work harder so you can push your self even more. However, make sure your targets and goals are realistic, do not say you want to aim to blog once every day if you know you have plans and won't physically have the time to get it done - that will just give you added pressure and is more likely to de-motivate you. 

 TOP TIP #3 || Do not compare yourself to others. 
This is something that I think all bloggers are guilty of. Particularly if you are just starting out at blogging and you are not seeing much of a change in your amounts of views or followers as quickly as you expected. I will admit, I have a horrible habit of doing this. Some days I will see that I have lost followers and it is really disheartening, and I just sit for hours looking at other 'Big, successful bloggers' pages comparing them to mine and it just leads me to think 'I should give up now, I will never be as good of a blogger as them'. You will start comparing picture quality, writing styles, content, how many times they post and it is a lethal circle that you want to avoid. One thing you always need to remember is that those bloggers did not make it 'big time' over night either - it took them a lot of hard work and determination and I bet they even had days when they felt like giving up, but something inside persists and they carried on..That could be where you are at in a few years time, if you keep doing what you're doing.

 TOP TIP #4 || Get inspiration from other bloggers. 
This one kind of follows on from my previous tip - Rather than comparing yourself to other bloggers, take inspiration from them instead. On days when you are feeling a little lost for what to write and you have been sitting at your computer screen for over an hour and somehow it is still just a blank page in front of you, head over to your favourite bloggers page and read some of their posts to get inspired! I read countless amounts of high-quality blogs a day because I find that it inspires me to become a better blogger, whether its helping to improve my photography, expanding my writing skills or just getting ideas of great features, other blogs are always there to help! When you see how successful some of these other blogs are, think about what actions you can take to reach that level of success and start taking action! 

 TOP TIP #5 || Do not put yourself under too much pressure. 
A sure way to feel 'burnt out' about blogging is to create too much work for yourself and put too much on your plate. Create a balance - you are only one person and you cannot take on everything because this will cause your blog to suffer. You need to know how much time you require to create quality content for your blog that is the very best standard it can be. This may mean that you have to sacrifice and turn down opportunities every now and then but honestly your sanity is more important. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the blogging world, but always remember the most important thing in life is your relationships, not blogging, and if blogging is making you miss out on giving enough time to your relationships, hold back a little. 

 TOP TIP #6 || Remember the 'real' world.
When I reminisce back on my childhood I remember always being outside everyday with friends, riding our bikes or playing games like Curby and Hopscotch. We used to have so much fun and I think the closest thing I got to technology, was a Tamagotchi! Nowadays everywhere I look, I see children on iPads and iPhones etc, isolating themselves from everyone and everything whilst they sit in their little technology bubble - I feel as if kids grow up now not knowing what the 'Real' world because they do not want to go outside and experience it. 
I think for bloggers, this may sound very familiar. Blogging is a 24/7 thing and being active on social media and being online literally becomes your life. My advice? Take a step away from the computer and your phone, have a technology vacation and just get away from it all for a little bit every so often before you get overwhelmed. It is so easy to caught up in the whirlwind of the internet and all of its trappings..Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook, Checking e-mails, replying to e-mails - the list goes on. Taking a short break from time to time is healthy, you gain some of your sanity back and focus on your 'real' life and what is important. Do not let blogging turn you into a technology obsessed crazy person! It can do that, I promise. 

 TOP TIP #7 || Create regular features that you enjoy writing. 
Tumblr Tuesdays, Wednesday Wishlists, Things I love Thursdays, etc. I like the idea of incorporating posts like this onto a blog because it is something a little different - It mixes things up a bit for your audience, so your blog does not become a one dimensional place that is too repetitive. I think I am going to start including some of these on my blog every week soon and then I will fill in the other days with make-up looks, product reviews and any other sort of beauty related posts. Some people have everyday of their week scheduled to a specific type of blog post, which personally I do not do, but I believe it would give you great encouragement by having this planned out because it would keep you publishing posts on a regular basis. 

 TOP TIP #8 || Create your own space which inspires you to blog.
Creating a comfortable and inspiring space is very important to keep you motivated to work. My first bit of advice would be - Sit up at a table or a desk rather than sitting in bed, because lounging around in bed can make you become tired and slightly lazy and work does not get done as quickly as you would like. Also, have a tidy work space away from any distractions - Turn that television off, put your phone on silent and concentrate on what you are writing, trust me you will get a post wrote out so much quicker and probably to a higher quality standard as well, because you are giving your blog your undivided attention. Personally, I like to sit at my make-up storage vanity to write any of my blog posts, because being a beauty blogger and an aspiring make-up artist, this is what inspires me and being surrounded by my make-up collection gives me a lot of fresh ideas on what I can write about next. Fill your personal area with inspirational quotes and pictures and you will continuously find your motivation. 
Another point I thought I would include here because it sort of ties in together with this tip, is to make sure your blog page inspires you...After all, that is YOUR space online. One of the first things I did when I started my blog was buy a customised blog design to reflect my personality - Neat and tidy! This makes it much more aesthetically pleasing. No offence to any blog platforms, but their standard blog layouts are not the most exciting to look at and in my own personal opinion, they are not that professional looking either. Do not get me wrong, the basic blog templates are good for beginners, but if you want to grow your blog, I would 100 percent recommend customising your space. There are tons of tutorials out there to help you if you are up for DIYing your design yourself, or if not, there are also tons of blog designers who would be happy to help you create a unique and beautiful space.

 TOP TIP #9 || Blog for you, and not the benefits.
Blogging has now become this whole other world where people get paid to write and talk about things which they love - it is their full time job to blog and they can earn enough money to make a living off of it. In order to get paid for blogging, most bloggers do sponsored collaborations with some brands that reach out to them (I emphasise the word some, because the majority of bloggers will only collaborate with brands that they truly like and that they believe have good quality products - they will turn down opportunities from time to time if they do not have faith in a particular brand). Basically how it works is, brands will contact the blogger and ask them to try out some of their products which they will usually get sent for free to test out, then the blogger will feature the product on their blog, write their truthful thoughts on it and in return they get paid a certain amount to do so. Sponsored ads are no secret, readers are made aware when a blogger is being paid and it is something that we all see on a daily basis. However, over time I think some people have come up with the initial idea that by starting a blog they can just get loads of free stuff sent to them and then they will also get paid to feature them - NO! If this is the only reason why you want to create your own blog page and you have no real passion to do it at all, then you will not end up getting the results you are after and you will not stick at it for very long. Take up blogging because you have a desire to do it, not because you want a couple of freebies. There is something very refreshing about seeing an individual, who is not getting paid, blog day after day, with little recognition - those are the people who do it because they purely just love blogging and it is something which they enjoy. These are the ones that shine through in the blogging community..Their day will come when they get recognised for all the hard work they continue to do.

 TOP TIP #10 || Get a bloggers planner and keep organised. 
Staying organised is something that I have learnt to be very important in the upkeep of a blog. It is so handy to write down little notes to remind yourself of what you need to do, when you need to do it by and all of that crucial stuff. Plan out your days at least a week in advance and know what you have to do - do not let your 'to-do' lists pile up and get out of control because trust me, it will turn you crazy! You do not want to leave everything to the last minute until you have one of those 'I have too much to do that I do not even know where to start' moments, because chances are that you won't start and you'll just continue to put things off in hope that it all just goes away. 

And a sneaky bonus tip for you ..

TOP TIP #11 || Take a look back at how your blog has grown.
This is probably one of my favourite tips when it comes to keeping motivated and it is something that I like to do every so often, just to remind myself of how far I actually have come in the last year. I realise that my blog is still very small and quite insignificant compared to others out there, but when I see myself now getting 400-500 views a month on my page, from all over the world, I feel so overwhelmed and so appreciative. When I first started out, I did not think anyone would be interested in reading what I have to say (except maybe my mum), and to be honest, I did struggle to get views at all for a little while - I felt as if my blog was quite invisible, but I persisted through it because I had found something which I really enjoyed doing..even if others were not interested, it made me happy to write and I was going to continue! 
So when you are having those days where you feel like you are not getting any further, take a flashback to the beginning and you might surprise yourself at how much you and your blog really have grown. This will give you SO much motivation to carry on working and to push yourself more to continue getting better, to be the best blogger you can be!

Everyone has that odd day when they lack any form of motivation, it is only natural. However, I really hope that these top tips I have put together can help you to stay motivated to blog! Remember success takes time to build and you cannot just become the next Lilly Ghalichi over night - keep motivated, keep pushing forward and eventually you will get to where you want to be!
Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future posts, and in that case, I will speak to you soon. 

Lots of Love, 
ALICIA
XO 
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