This is not an advise post. I'm pretty terrible at giving advise, and all of those "you-should-blog-like-me-because-look-at-all-the-followers-I-have-don't-you-want-to-be-like-me" posts are all the same and are all so annoying (most of the time. I have read a couple that were actually good). This is more of a letter to my younger self, and a reminder to me in the present. These are the things I wish I knew before I started blogging, and the things I'm still trying to learn.
Don't be cocky
I was thirteen when I started my first blog, and I was very cocky and proud. I get embarrassed now thinking about it. I had wanted to start a blog, but my parents wouldn't let me quite yet, so I spent my time reading blogs to see just how it was done. By the time I was finally given the okay by my parents to start up a blog of my own I felt like I knew everything there was to know about blogging. All I had to do was post, and the followers would just start rolling in. Its terrible, I know. I'm always the type of person that tries to be the best at everything, and then when I realize I'm not the best it can hit me pretty hard. Humility is a thing I'm working at, but I'm glad to say that I have changed since I was thirteen. I know I'm not the greatest blogger in the whole of the universe, and I'm okay with that.
Only follow the blogs you'll actually read
In other words, don't follow other, smaller blogs hoping for a follow back. This was something I did, and still do sometimes, I'm sorry to say. Bloggers want followers, and sometimes they forget that there are actual living, breathing people behind the number on their dashboard. When I went through the list of blogs that I followed on bloglovin' I was stunned at how many blogs I had forgotten about, ones that I didn't really care about, ones that I had only followed because surely they would follow me back and boost my follower number. I have discovered that it is better to follow only blogs I actually like to read. The followers will come, don't waste your time or other bloggers' time follower hunting. It just isn't fun in the long run.
Don't judge other blogs based on design
Here's something I have learned over the course of my blogging career: not everyone cares about the way their blog looks. I know, it came as a shock to me too. When I started blogging I thought blog design was the most important thing in the world. And it's sad, but I would have a hard time reading other people's blogs if their design was terrible. But, yeah. There are actually bloggers who just want to blog, and who don't worry about how their background clashes with their header. And their are some people who might care about their design, they just don't quite know how to do it yet. I take it for granted sometimes that I know HTML and forget that not everybody understands it. Sometimes I wish I didn't care about design as much as I do, but it's okay. That's just the type of blogger I am.
Don't compare yourself to other blogs
This is the most important thing that everyone in the blogging world must know and understand. The blogosphere is a huge place, full of all sorts of people of all sorts of talents and strengths. Some are better writers than others, and some have more followers than others. It's so, so, so, so, so easy to be reading other bigger blogs in your blog-genre who are more popular than you and get discouraged. But please, don't give up. Those popular bloggers went through the same thing at some point, I guarantee it, and look, they broke the barricade and made it to the top. Over time you will find your voice, the thing that will make you stand out against the rest, and you will make it. It might take you awhile, but you will, I promise!
Thank you so much for reading my words. I know you probably haven't been here for the whole three years, but I'm glad you're here. This blog is one of my most favorite things in the world, and it just blows me away that you actually take time out of your day to read what I have to say.
Here's to another year!