Pt.2: The other things I learnt in my first year

Hopefully you had a chance to read the first part of this post last Sunday and as promised I wanted to share with you some other things I’ve learnt and wish I knew at this time last year.

#6 Don’t be shy to say hi

Obviously we’re not 13 anymore and it’s still not okay to randomly write “wubu2?” on random peoples walls but don’t be shy to reach out and comment on peoples photos or posts that you like because as I’m sure you know, words are worth way more than a double-tap and it’s also great that it’s not actually considered that weird to do and more flattering for them. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many people now who I used to like and comment on their photos (and vice versa) and it’s such a nice icebreaker to talk about places you’ve both been or restaurants you’ve both eaten at. When commenting don’t be generic either like “great shot” “nice photo”…come on, if you’re going to make the effort to comment something that meaningless just send them loads of confusing emojis, that way you won’t look like a comment bot and probably stand out more. So just tell them that you love that outfit they wore to brunch the other day because their shoes bring out the colour of their eyes, I promise they won’t think it’s weird and if they do then who cares!

#7 Netflix and work don’t mix

Although I try to post on instagram every day, with my blog I’ve had multiple months where I stress because it’s been nearly a week since I shared anything (March especially – I only shared 3 or 4 posts the whole month!) and I’ve just learnt that it’s better to take time to do posts with useful content than rushing and sharing something that won’t have much traction anyway. Blogging takes up a lot of time and sometimes you won’t be in the mood, that’s okay! I’ve found that sometimes I can churn out 4 blog posts in a few hours that I’m happy with but other days it’ll take me a few hours to get through a couple of paragraphs, don’t stress. What tends to help me is a clean room, lots of natural light and air, lighting up a scented candle and getting comfy under my covers with 7 pillows behind me. What doesn’t tend to help me is starting my morning with a couple of episodes of Friends on Netflix, getting too invested to start doing any work and then before you know it you missed daylight and have been 0% productive and I’m mad at myself (I’m a guilty binge watcher, if I can watch a whole series in a day I will). Pick the right day when you’re in the right mood and it’ll all come flowing and if it hasn’t in a while then you can just reshape the content you already have, just remember Netflix will not help!

#8 Content is more than a few clicks of the camera

Recently I’ve been trying to pick photos for my instagram and have felt that I really have no content or that my existing content is quite samey …SO I’ve started saving photos of places, feed inspo and general content inspo I’ve seen on instagram into different folders to help with when I eventually go out and need to take posey pics without getting weird looks. I cannot stress this enough, take LOADS of photos. Since I bought my camera I take it absolutely everywhere and whenever I brunch I try to take photos of every dish, the general restaurant, flat lays (one day I will master this) and also some featuring yours truly. This helps when trying to find different photos to share on Instagram and also to have all your own photos on your blog. People are reading your blog to read your perspective, thoughts and review in my case of a place so it’s best to give a really honest representation of your experience – yes sometimes these photos won’t look good on Instagram but your posts on IG are just a snap representation of your experience which is then put in to context by your blog. Think of your blog as something that people can refer back to when they see something they like on your instagram from 5 months ago.

#9 Take time to analyse

Once you get a few posts out there on your blog and instagram, definitely make it a monthly routine to sit down and really analyse what posts did well, what posts didn’t do well, what times worked better etc. I’m guilty of not doing this every month as I understand sometimes life gets in the way and you’re just too busy but it’s a great way to really use your energy more efficiently. See what referrers are working for you and what is driving the most traffic to your site and create more targeted strategies for these platforms. WordPress gives you a great insight and easy to understand analytics – if I can understand them then you definitely can. I must say that I do obsess over hits on my website and check this throughout the day and I also get excited when I get a like on a post and a comment – who wouldn’t?! I’m new to the game anyway. Don’t expect quite as much engagement on your blog as you would on social, gaining followers and like new blogs are honestly quite rare from what I’ve seen and I would analyse the hits rather than this when starting. But who knows, I might not be saying this another year down the line.

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#10 You will meet some great people

I have been really grateful to meet some really amazing and inspiring people since starting my blog. Everyone thinks you can just start a blog and in a year or two you will be able to do it full time with 10k instagram followers but no it’s hard and although I have friends who love food, not everyone does and sometimes if your friends don’t share that same interests as what your blog is about then you could feel disconnected. This is why it’s great to comment, engage and build comment pods with people who are interested in the same things and you can exchange tips, experiences etc. I’m not saying everyone you meet will be your vibe of person (and I have met a handful of snobby bloggers at events before) but more likely than not, these people are really nice and really open to meeting other likeminded people who share the same love for food, fashion, travel or anything!

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Some of the gals at my Boozy Foodies meet up I hosted

So there you go, a few things I have learnt since starting my blog. Hopefully these are helpful and hopefully I’ll meet a few of you in the future!

 


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@belleofbrunch

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