Wednesday, 15 February 2017

One Year of Blogging: What I've Learnt

Hey Owlets,

I can’t believe I’m saying this but a year ago today I published my first post entitled “Welcome To The Owlet”. If you’d have told me what the next year was going to bring, where my blog would take me, and some of the incredible people and opportunities I would get to be involved with I would’ve probably laughed in your face. That being said, blogging does have its ups and downs so I thought it would be a good time to share a few with you as The Owlet turns one.

Photography is Everything

Okay, so throwback to when The Owlet had just hatched - think iPhone photos, grainy Instagram pics and not even a hint of a theme. Over the past year I was envious of these bloggers who had perfect images every time, and started to use a camera more than my phone and think about the images like I do with work or uni projects, and since then my blog has grown massively and I now get excited to share my photos with you.

Talk about what YOU want to, Not What You Think Others Want

I started off writing flowery pieces about beauty and my latest trip to Birmingham, and while some of that’s stayed I quickly found myself missing uploads because I didn’t know what to write about and felt frustrated. I started my blog because I wanted to share my passions, and as soon as I got back to doing that I’ve not struggled since.

The Blogger Community is a Force to be Reckoned With

I say this as both a positive and a negative. On multiple occasions I have seen the blogger community come together in an amazing way (even helping one of our lesser able friends to buy a wheelchair). When my dad had his operation I was inundated with people offering to help, even offering to schedule to my tweets for me! I’ve seen some not so reputable companies be set on the straight and narrow and found friends that I wouldn’t want to be without. The community is incredible, and that’s not something I want to change.

There are Tribes

I said that it was both a positive and a negative. At times I’ve definitely seen the negative side of things. There’s sort of “tribes” as I like to call them. The bigger bloggers usually only speak to people within their level, there’s a group of bloggers that spend their days trying to stir up drama, and good luck if you get on the wrong side of them. But there’s also the chance to make your own - over the last year I have met some of the most amazing people that have had my back whenever anything has happened and I don’t think I would enjoy blogging without them. I think once you’ve found your place, I’d stay there and grow your circle instead of trying to jump into others - you probably won’t be welcomed. Also, the block button will be your best tool against the drama starters. This was a harsh reality to learn. Some people won’t stop, not ever but retaliating isn’t the right thing to do. Let them lower their level, and you can rise above it and carry on doing what you love. Social media has a habit of getting under your skin, and sometimes you just need to block the negative people for an easy life.

Code Doesn’t Work

Adam always says “If code doesn’t work, I have no idea why. If it does work, I also have no idea why” and I couldn’t agree more. Just because you’re a blogger, doesn’t automatically make you a photographer, a PR whiz or a web designer. I’ve even copied and pasted code off a website and it still hasn’t worked. I will never understand and I’m not going to try to.

Don’t put Pressure on Yourself

This applies to everything, not just a blog. If you started something because you love it, don’t let the pressure of wanting to do well ruin your hobby. If it’s not fun anymore, then you’re not doing it right. And remember that we all have to start somewhere - if you aren’t happy with how you’re doing now, in whatever you’re doing, give it time and keep working - you’ll get there.

Be Yourself

This is the most important lesson I’ve learned in the last year - if you spend your time trying to fit in, it shows. There’s hundreds of carbon copies out there, but the minute you stay true to your own personality you will stand out and people will notice.

The last year for me has been incredible. When I started this blog I thought no one would read it - even now I'm shocked every time I check a new post to see 300+ page views within a few hours of publishing, although it's not about numbers for me. This last year has been the most mad, busy, incredible and surreal year I think I've ever had. I've gone from being fed up, absolutely hating university and looking for an escape to having an amazing group of friends, an incredible support network, a wealth of incredible opportunities and I'm now at a university I don't hate (although that has nothing to do with blogging, it's helped!).

I’ve learnt a lot in the last year, but if I carried on writing on you would be reading all day! I hope this has helped you if you’re a blogger, and I hope that if you’re not it’s still been an interesting read. Let me know in the comments, what’s an important life lesson you’ve learnt recently? And of course, thank you for your incredible support over the last year - I can't wait to see what 2017 will hold.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 

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