By: Lungile Moyo
I’ve been blogging on and off for 6 years, and it’s been one of the toughest challenges. It’s tough because not only do you really want your blog to be successful but also because it takes a kind of dedication and determination like no other, hence the “on and off” on my part. But even though it’s been a challenge, I’ve learnt a few things about the craft, people and myself along the way. You know what they say “It’s the things you fight for and struggle with that have the greatest worth” — let’s just say that’s number 1 of the things blogging taught me. Giving up is so easy, that’s half the stress off your back, but don’t. There is a greater reward for sticking it out with something you work really hard on.
Number 2 is pretty mandatory when you blog. You have to have patience. I remember when I started blogging, only 2 people read my blog, one of those people was me. Looking back, this only made sense. Who did I expect to read my blog? But when you are a newbie blogger there is a thin line between fantasy and reality, and while in reality only 2 people are going to read your blog for the first few days, weeks, months – us bloggers live in the fantasy land where a million people are reading our blog the minute we post something. Maybe those million readers will come, but definitely not like magic, and we have to be patient for that. 100 followers on a blog today might mean nothing, but I was happy when I got my first 100. That just meant I had more than 2 people reading my blog, and more than 2 people wanted to keep reading my blog.
You know how people say “don’t believe everything you hear” same goes for blogging don’t believe everything you read. This is number 3 of what blogging has taught me. Not everybody is going to be honest with you about what their lives really are. Often people are selling a story or an idea, and this comes with a lot of added features. Basically, people often make things up, just so they can sell the idea of who they are or sell the idea of something they might want you to buy, but it’s not ALWAYS real. Most times it is, but human beings are way too creative to stick to one thing.
For me blogging should be your own creative outlet, that’s truly, 100% originally you. Which brings me to number 4, blogging has taught me that it’s important to be yourself when you blog. Everybody tries to be like everybody sometimes, and sometimes you get caught being someone else that your blog becomes just a replica. Nobody wants a replica. You are either smart, witty, funny, creative etc… use that to make your blog you.
Lastly, number 5 has been the greatest lesson. In a world where almost everybody and their mother’s sister’s cousin is blogging, you really really REALLY have to stand out. It’s no longer just being passionate about something (although that’s 90% of the job); it’s about being passionate about being different too. You would be kidding yourself to think that you are the only one that cares a great deal about fashion — just because you have a sick LOOKBOOK and your friends say you can dress well. There are literally 7 million more people like you out there. I think this was one of my struggles, figuring out what I really want to blog about, and what makes that worth reading. Side note: I am still figuring it out.