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Ssssh! The 6 blogging secrets I’d only tell my BFF

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Ssssh! The 6 blogging secrets I’d only tell my BFF

Imagine we’re besties. Imagine I’ve cooked the most delicious chocolate cake, and made the best tea there is and I’ve invited you over for a little girly chat session. Is your tummy rumbling for cake now too? Imagine I tell you the best blogging secrets reserved only for real BFFs. This is what I would tell you. And then we’d promptly put on eye masks and watch The Notebook over and over again.

1. Blogging isn’t very glamourous. At all.

I know when you look at bloggers like Gary Pepper and Love Taza you think blogging might possibly be all designer dresses, jet-setting the world and perfect hair-dos. It’s not. Behind all that is hard work. Don’t laugh. It’s sitting in your daggy clothes, writing stuff, thinking of content ideas and answering lots and lots and lots of emails. And sometimes it’s neglecting your house so much it looks like this.

2. There’s a good chance you won’t make it.

Of all the blogs created only 13.7% actually make it past the 5 year mark. OK, I made that stat up (but we’re besties and you’re used to that by now), but I don’t think it would be far from the truth. A new blog is created every half a second, so you can imagine so many of those don’t survive. The trick to surviving is poring your heart, soul, spirit, time, love, care, brain cells, creativity and faith into your online space, and even then there’s still only a 9.3% chance you’ll actually get past the first year (yes, another made-up stat. Deal with it).

3. Making money is ridiculously stressful/hard online.

If you’re thinking of starting a space online so you can get rich really quickly, you might want to rethink that plan. I know there was Zuckerberg, but that dude got lucky. Bloggers get asked to work for free a lot. A whole lot. Or sometimes people will send Muesli {or some other product worth $3.47} and expect the world from you in return. There’s no set minimum wage, or guidelines so it’s a bit of a guessing game. Plus there’s a whole bunch of people who think earning money from blogging is evil, so there’s that to deal with too. But if you’re in blogging for the love, and the fun… well then blog your heart out. You’re in it for the right reason.

4. You need really thick skin when you’re online.

I had really thin skin when I started. I saw the world through rose-coloured glasses, and thought everyone was essentially good. Wrong. People get brave from behind their computer/phone screens. They don’t feel accountable and they’re happy to be not-very-nice people at all. They are happy to live like that. Even mothers with children, who you’d think would be disgusted if their own child did the same thing, are happy to be abysmal human beings. Yep, it happens. Thicken that skin sunshine.

5. But the good people are REALLY good.

So yes, there are the negative nancies, but sometimes you have to ignore them and focus on the good stuff. Because the internet allows you to connect with people from all corners of the globe, and that almost seems magical.

6. You have to have something to offer.

You know how at point 2 I said that some people don’t make it, and I think this is why: they don’t have a whole lot of offer online. Some people will start a blog and think that sharing their story is enough. And depending on how you tell it, and what you’re telling… it might just be. But if it goes something like this, ‘Today I went to the supermarket. I then took my trolley through the checkout, put the bags in the car and drove home’ then it’s not enough. You need to be engaging, or funny, or useful, or just have some kind of magic that people can’t get enough of. You’ve got to find your thing.

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  • Completely agree. I spend so much time in my ‘loungewear’, in bed, with the laptop and spend spare time taking photos, thinking of ideas and not being very glamorous at all! x

  • photographybyjaana

    great advice! i’ve had my blog for… oh, 7 years i guess. but i started it long before i knew people could even make money from blogging. so i certainly never set out to “make it”. it’s just like my own little therapy corner. thanks for sharing!

  • My tiny little corner of blogland will be 5 years old next January, but I have every intention of carrying on, even though it doesn’t, and never will, provide me with any income, I just love doing it, even if no-one else reads my wittering.

  • claireyhewitt01

    I am working on number 4 and have found that it is good to actually decide and say it out loud that I am not trying to make money from my blog. For now. It has made the last year much less stressy.

  • Thank you so much for this great list – we have a baby blog that’s growing at a steady rate and both of it’s authors are white hot with inspiration and passion. Houses & husbands have been neglected a little in the process but having so much fun.

  • Amen! Such great tips!

  • Evelin Kivi

    These are super truthful (especially the stats numbers :D). These shoukd be shown to everyone, before they launch their new blog.

    • Hey Evelin!!! I’m a big fan of your blog c:

  • Those stats sound about right. Come on, you wouldn’t lie to me, would you? *lol*

    And now I want cake. Hilarious as I’m not much of a cake person – cheese, yes, cake, not so much – but I’m sure it would be super delicious. xx

  • Great post. It’s all about the magic, baby! And you are a magician. A very generous one.

  • Love it all Chantelle as it’s all so very very true.
    Also, I don’t think people understand how much time it actually takes to construct and publish a blog post. Even my ‘quick’ ones still take a good chunk of my time. And most of us are doing it in ‘our spare time’ around children, careers, housework etc. So we really are doing it simply for the love of it.
    Your blog has always had that MAGIC that draws people in and keeps them there. You are blogging royalty 🙂
    C x

  • Thanks for these tips, I too am just starting out with my blog, so all advice is welcome (and needed). Completely agree with above that it takes so much time to blog, I find it hard to snatch bits of time to get a decent post put together and even when I do it’s not as good as I’d like to be. A work in progress it is. Glad to have found your blog, and other ones on here.

  • Love those much-up stats! Thanks for the reminder, it really is a labour of love. And while everyone says not to get hung up on stats my having dropped a bit recently and it’s hard not to take it on board…oh well I’ll just keeping on plugging away, it’s my outlet so I suppose it doesn’t really matter if no one is reading!! HOW HOT IS IT TODAY? Melting… xxx

  • Love this advice hon. Also your made up stats are probably correct lol xxx

  • Thank you for your honesty! Great post.

  • I. Just. Love. This. Made up stats and all! x

  • Lovely Chantelle. Thanks for sharing this.

    Cooperation with other bloggers could be the bright side of blogging, though.
    Although not being very glam, it can be very GRATIFYING to work for that 🙂

    Much love to you,

  • I love when bloggers like yourself are real and reveal the truth about blogging. I agree with everything – even the made up stats. But I’m in it for the love. Totally for the love. 🙂

  • Belinda m

    It is a hard gig being a blogger and I admit some days I want to give up but I do love it. For me it is finding the time to fit it all in with my 2 other blogs I have, I know I am crazy right.

    Great tips and they are all very true. Hope Hawaii was magnificent.

  • Excellent tips! My blog is relatively new, but I created it for me. An online visual diary of sorts (though I hate the word diary) where I stay true to who I am. I didn’t start it expecting to make a million or to be wildly popular and that’s where I feel secure. I do it for me, and if others get on board, then the support is humbling.

  • I loved this! Such great points!!
    I follow you from the other side of the World (Cape Town, South Africa) and learn from you and laugh and cry with you (that sounds a bit more dramatic than I intended), but what I mean is that connecting with people all over the World is a real thing. Thank you for sharing the “realness” behind blogging!

  • Pinkie promise I won’t tell anyone. Thanks for sharing. x

  • Thanks so much for the tips – I have just started my own blog and stumbled across yours – you’re a great writer 🙂

  • Thanks so much for these awesome tips, I hope my blog can grow to be as great as yours c:

  • I run an online fashion and lifestyle magazine but I write usually tucked up on the sofa, jeans and a hoodie and random trashy TV in front of me. Nothing glamourous about that, apart from Fashion Week of course!

  • I really appreciate how you give back to the community. I’m a new blogger and I hope to be a lasting one!

  • Oh so unglamorous! My best *ahem* work is done with pjs on..

    Great tips!

  • This is brilliant Chantelle! I have to say, the reason why I love your blog so much is because I CAN imagine watching the Notebook with you and eating your delicious cake! Your blog has SO much to offer. x

  • Hi! I’ve just started a blog – yes, it’s in my disqus sign up (that felt like an achievement!) and this post is great! I’m only a few weeks and loving doing the writing but all the stuff that surrounds it (tech, social media, keywords WTF?) is hard! So thank you for being real and i LOVED your speed clean post. I hope the unicorn was able to be resusitated.