This is a rather personal post. Not about my life in general, but my journey as a blogger. There is a reaction behind everyone's mind when the word "blogger" is triggered. To me, it isn't a positive one. Because of that I've been hiding behind my computer screen and tapping on my keyboard just to keep this blog going. I love what I'm doing on this blog, mainly the reason why I still blogging about beauty after a good 8 years.
Also read: What you need to do before you start a blog
I really want to bring this blog up to the next level, so I'm listing down all the mistakes I've done, hope to rectify the mistakes. They say mistakes are the best teacher, and I couldn't agree more.
#1 - Feeling embarrassedI remember at an event, a guy asked me what do I do for a living, and I said I'm a blogger. He was like, "so you always get free stuff?". I tried to explain to him that I don't write for free. And then his reply pierced me so sharp "not only you take other people's stuff for free, you want people to pay you and send you the free stuff?". I felt so embarrassed.
In countries like the U.S., Australia and European countries, bloggers are looked up to as a journalist, a business owner or event a subject-matter expert (they call it KOL now - key opinion leader). But not here in Malaysia. The image of a blogger is ruined by some who constantly looking for perks with the blogger job title and even ruined the business ecosystem for bloggers.
I stopped calling myself a blogger since then.
Not until recently, I begin to regret this. Being a blogger is not about how many paychecks we get at the end of the day or how many free things we receive, it really is a job to inform. The responsibility of a blogger is how much value we can bring to our readers through our posts. Because of feeling embarrassed, I failed to bring up my blog as a brand. This eventually will fail me when I try to advocate something on my blog.
#2 - Do not take my blog seriouslyI have a fulltime job, albeit being a fulltime blogger is what I desire. I want to become a fulltime blogger, not because of the money nor the privilege. What I really seek is a flexible time where I can stay at home and spend more time with my family. I have been staying away from my family for a long time and the feeling of missing out really hurts a lot. I could find a job in my hometown but it really isn't easy. Getting another job isn't my focus because I still want that freedom to be at home, cook for my grandma, bring her out for tea, etc.
If I want to make blogging my fulltime job, it is time for me to take my blog seriously. I will have to tackle my first problem of being embarrassed. I have to openly let people know that I blog and I enjoy doing it.
#3 - Do not prepare my marketing kit
The thing about opportunity is, it comes at the least expected moment. There are many times I turned down blogging gigs because I don't have a proper marketing kit for my blog. When a brand or PR company ask for my rate, I don't have a number to give them or a proposal to send out.
This is by far the biggest mistake. I am still learning about the reasonable rate and understanding my audience so that I can give a better value proposition to my potential clients.
#4 - Taking things too personally
I get a lot of comments from my blog, sometimes they are encouraging, but most of the time they're not. Comments like - I have bad English, I'm showing off, etc. really puts me down. There were a few times I thought of stop blogging entirely, but luckily I manage to control that noises around me and pick only the positive comments to respond to. I read a lot of U.S. blogs and they don't write in perfect English as well. I don't have to feel bad about my bad grammar.
What I have to do is to focus on the content of my blog and ask myself what I can bring to the table. It is not about how I should react to negative comments. There can be 1 reader who gave a negative comment, but 100 more who benefit from what I deliver.
#5 - Do not have a content calendar
Because I'm not an online magazine, nor an online portal, I don't have a content calendar. It is hard for me to stick to a publishing pattern, mainly because I don't take my blog too seriously (back to point number 2). I am trying my very best to blog daily, whether it is just 20% of a complete post, or taking photos or working on the backend coding, I need to get my feet going. Oh, it rhymes!
"It takes 21 days to form a habit" - Maxwell Maltz
So for the next 21 days, I will spend at least 30 minutes a day to work on my blog.
I think these are the thing I've done wrong through my blogging journey. I'm not sure what's the purpose this post brings to you, but if you're a blogger, maybe you can resonate with what I said and ponder upon it.