8 Blogging Lessons I've Learnt
I know there are lots of these types of posts out there but I'd still like to share the things I have learnt from both of my blogs.
1. Say no politely - this can be difficult when you receive an email that makes everything in you want to be very impolite but I've learnt to take a deep breath and let my professionalism shine through.
2. Saying no is okay - this is one of the most important lessons I've learnt. I couldn't say no when I first started my book blog and I ended up reading some books that were difficult to review, the stress it caused me just wasn't worth the free book I received! With this blog I am sometimes offered items to review and even paid opportunities but I will still say no if the subject isn't relevant to me or my family. It's difficult to turn money down but remember, it's your blog and you have the right to say no if you feel something isn't a good fit for you.
3. Always respond to emails - even if you're not interested in what the sender is offering you. You should always reply because it shows that you're professional but you also never know what they could offer you in the future. Just because their current campaign isn't suitable for you, the next one might be perfect! Who do you think they'll email for the next campaign - the one who ignored them or the one who responded (politely)?
4. Use a background for photos - when you're taking photos of products/items it looks so much nicer to have a pretty background than a plain old table or carpet. I use wallpaper offcuts that you can get for free from DIY shops and I think it looks great! I actually got this tip from another blogger but I can't for the life of me remember who it was. So if it was you and you're reading this then THANK YOU because this has completely changed the look of my photos for the better.
5. Size Matters - while we're on the subject of photos, I've also learnt that bigger photos always look better! I know you've probably heard this a thousand times before but it really is true - I read a variety of other blogs and I've realised that extra large photos are much easier on the eye than teeny weeny ones which require me to squint to see them.
6. If you didn't ask for it, you're not obliged to review it - I've only experienced this with my book blog because book publishers tend to send out books that they think you'd like to read. It's fantastic to get surprise book post but sometimes the book they send just isn't your cup of tea. In the early days of book blogging I ended up getting myself all worried about this but I soon discovered that if they send you something you haven't requested then they don't expect you to read and review it straight away or even at all! I always end up reading unsolicited books anyway (apart from one which was non-fiction) but it's nice to know you don't have to or you can read it in your own time.
7. Take a break - it is so important to take a break from blogging if it starts to feel overwhelming. I found this out with my book blog after I had E. I felt like I had to read and review the books in my 'to read' pile but my heart just wasn't in it. I wanted to spend every minute with my newborn and I also needed to heal physically and mentally from the c-section. At the end of the day, blogging is supposed to be fun (even when you're being paid to do it) so if you're not enjoying it for any reason then take a break. I ended up taking about 7-8 months off but even just one day can do you the world of good. Remember, you have to live life to be able to blog about it!
8. No repeated giveaway entries - when I next run a Rafflecopter giveaway I will definitely not be offering the option to tweet an entry once every day, all the notifications drove me crazy!
So these are the main lessons I've learnt in the few years that I've been blogging, I hope they might be of use to someone else. Do let me know if they are!