6 months in - what im learning as a blogger second time around

I cant believe it – This month my blog is officially 6 months old! Even though I have been blogging for a number of years trying out different names and niches, Wake up n Glow has only officially been set up for the past 6 months. I would never have thought that when I started up blogging again in January I would love being a blogger so much more this time around or think I'd be this obsessed with blogging. Reflecting on the past six months I’ve thought of a lot of things I’ve learnt this time around and what I wish I’d known before. Here are some of the things I’ve learnt in the past six months of being a blogger:

Not having a niche is okay

When I used to blog before my main focus was on fashion, I would post a lot about celebrity style, the latest trends, ootds etc which I soon realized I got bored of. So this time around I decided not to focus on one subject. I wanted to start a fresh with blogging because I wanted to write about what ever I wanted to, my interests had changed, I had changed as a person. I'm not as comfortable in my own skin anymore to focus on ootd posts, celebrity style isn't inspiring to me anymore. Don't get me wrong I do still LOVE fashion and I always will, but now I'm more inspired by other bloggers or real women's fashion sense than the latest look Kim Kardashian is wearing. I do still enjoy posting about fashion but just not every post, now I am really interested in interior design, travel, photography, those are the things that I enjoy finding inspiration through. I enjoy talking to you guys, and updating whats been going on in my life. I love being able to share what I'm passionate about, a place for me to ramble on, showing more of the person behind the blog. 

I made the right decision to buy a domain name

When I first set up my blog I kept the blogspot.co.uk after the name, just like I have every other time I've tried to run a blog and just like many other bloggers still do. But I've always hated the way it looked or sounded when I tried to tell people my blog name. It's just so long and unofficial, so I made the decision only a couple months back to find out how to buy an official name. I got mine through godaddy for way cheaper than I ever expected and become just wakeupnglow.com. I have seen a big increase in viewers and connections with people on social media through doing this. Doesn't it sound so much better as well. 

Social media is your best friend & your worst enemy

 I am a big social media addict, even before I started blogging Instagram and Twitter were my best friends. I find myself on them every day of the week (many times a day) even if I've not been on my blog that day, there's a chance I've posted something on my social media. When I used to blog before I always had a separate twitter and Instagram account from my personal one mainly because I didn't want my friends and family to know I was a blogger but I found myself never using them, especially twitter. This time around I have all my blogging details on my twitter page and I post blog updates quite a few times a week. It has been so much easier to handle only having the one account, I have been starting to enjoy using twitter more again for just being able to chuck up little thoughts and ramblings.

Instagram is different though, I've learnt that to use it properly it takes a lot of hard work, planning, editing and scheduling. To keep your following you have to post everyday, at least 2/3 times I've noticed, it's all about using the right hashtags and finding the right theme. I can't say that I have gained a huge following in the past 6 months I've been using social media alongside my blog, but through putting the work in and picking up tips from fellow bloggers it is slowly getting there. I have been using a separate Instagram account for blogging since I started up again in January but in the last week or two I have been posting more personal pictures on there as well and starting to come away from my personal account. Again purely because it's too much trying to run two accounts, I am finding myself posting more on my blog account than I am my personal one these days. Now I want you guys to see more of me and my personality on my blogging account, so why not just switch it all into one. The fact that I love taking photos and editing them and being able to share them on places like Instagram is what I enjoy so the hard work I put in is actually helping me better my photography skills. 

The one thing I'm realizing is that I have to stop being so focused on my following or likes going up and down. I am trying to understand that it shouldn't matter how many likes a picture gets compared to others I've posted before or starting a new day and seeing my followers drop by a few. What I should be focused on is posting because I enjoy it not about who's gonna like it. If someone's interests change and they unfollow you because they fancy something new then don't take it personal, let it go. I wish I had known before that when you get into blogging properly you become even more obsessed with social media. I can find myself spending more time attached to my phone than just being in the moment. Always thinking about when the next best time to post is and having to make sure it all fits to a theme instead of just posting when you feel like it and not caring about if it matches or not. 

The blogging community is AMAZING!! 

Over the past six months of blogging I have met some of the nicest, most genuine group of girls I have ever known. I never experienced anything like this the first time around blogging, now I really do think it is down to the blogging community that I enjoy blogging so much more this time. Bloggers no matter what their niche is are all so supportive of one another in every way. Whether it's been through commenting on blog posts, offering advice, retweeting random posts, liking pictures, giving shout outs, no matter what it has been I have always felt so grateful for every bit of help they have provided. I am always happy to do the same in return. Even recently when I've been absent from blogging and social media due to stressing out about exams my fellow bloggers have been there for me offering advice, words of wisdom, even just offering someone to talk to if I ever need it. I have never felt so welcomed into a group of people who I don't even know before. I think this is amazing and just shows no matter how much the blogging community may get slagged off, us bloggers will always stick together no matter what. I have made some great blogger friends and will hopefully get to meet up with them some day in the future. 

Balancing blogging, full time studying and job hunting is a challenge

 As some of you might know if you follow along on Instagram I am a full time open university student, where I recently started my final year of studying a diploma course in business management. Then a few months later decided to throw in starting up a blog again...cos you know why the hell not. I mean I'm not gonna lie I haven't been as involved with my studies as much as I was in my first or second year and it's something I didn't have to deal with when I tried out blogging before. But because it is at home studying when I do get around to it most of my day is spent staring at a computer screen typing up reports or spending hours on job hunting sites so I sometimes struggle to get in the mood to blog. In the beginning I was trying to blog everyday which I soon discovered with everything else going on in life this schedule was too hard to keep up. So I cut it back to at least 4 posts a week, which sometimes I don't always manage. I'm hoping once I finish up my studying this year I can find more time to put out more, for the moment I've found a balance I'm happy with. Let's be honest, blogging takes a lot of time and hard work it is like having a full time job. Everyday is spent doing something to do with my blog, if I'm not putting together a post, I'm either updating Instagram, pinterest, on my twitter promoting posts or even speaking to other bloggers. It might look like I'm just scrolling through my feed all day but I'm not I'm working on my brand, I just don't get paid to do it. 

Bloggers block is a real thing

 It's something that I rarely hear other bloggers talk about, maybe not everyone experiences it or they don't like to mention it but for me it's a real thing. Something I wasn't expecting to experience so early on in blogging. It took me only a couple months in when I discovered I had no new content to post. I think it was down to posting 5-7 times a week back then that I burned myself out too quick. It's frustrating when you feel uninspired and unmotivated.

Deciding not to tell my friends/family about my blog yet has been a complicated decision

 Ever since I have been blogging now and before I've never told anyone that I do it. I'm open to people in my life finding out I blog as I explained in a previous post, if they come across it then fine. My sister found out a while ago that I was into blogging and at first she didn't really get it, so I've had to spend a lot of time explaining why I do and why I'm not doing it to become the next big thing. I don't  post as much photos on here as I'd like, at the moment I don't feel confident enough within myself on how to act for photos. I hope to be able to in the future when I finally get my own place to feel more comfortable blogging properly, to show my own make up looks, more ootd and just me in everyday life. For the moment I'm happier with being able to be 100% myself on here and blog about what I want, when I want. 

As much as being a blogger in today's world involves a lot of hard work and commitment, the rewards and people that come along with it make all that worthwhile. Call it a job/hobby whatever, it's something I absolutely love doing now more than ever and I'm not giving up on this one. No way!!

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  1. I totally agree with you on most of these points! I don't have a niche and love being able to blog about a multitude of topics. I'm glad to see you feel you made the right decision in buying a domain, I am planning on doing the same myself! I am also debating migrating my blog to wordpress.org - do you have any thoughts or advice on this?

    Hayley // wwww.hayleyxmartin.blogspot.co.uk

    1. you should totally buy a domain if your wanting to go down a more professional route with your blog. I just prefer how it looks and sounds, i think it is going to help in the long run. I've been thinking of switching over to wordpress myself, I know thats where more bloggers are and they like it better. I've noticed it costs so much money though to have your own domain name because you have to then buy a add on site or something lol. Which i've looked into and it costs way more than i can afford right now. For now I think im going to stick with blogger and make the most of it.

      thank you for your sweet comment. I'm heading your way now to check out your blog x

    2. thanks for the reply! I decided just to go for it. I was nervous that I wouldn't like wordpress but so far I am really enjoying it! Yeah it is recommended to change to wordpress.org and not .com - you have so much more control and freedom for your blog! When changing to wordpress.org you need to buy hosting.. I used 1&1 UK.. for the first year it is costing 0.99 per month then after that it is 4.99 per month (somewhere around that mark). Alot of things seem easier for me on wordpress - my signature is automatically added to the bottom of my posts - maybe blogger can do this but I never found how? and I had an issue with images not coming out big and the whole width of the post - When I upload images to wordpress - they automatically come out nice and big? maybe it was the theme or I broke the coding but wordpress seems to be doing alot more for me so far! It's all personal preference really - I thought I would see what all the fuss was about.

      hayley // hayleyxmartin.com


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