When I started my blog almost 5 years ago, I never thought it would last this long.
When I started Pink Champagne Problems from my college dorm room in 2012, I don’t really think there was such thing as “the blogging community”. Fast forward to 2017, and look where we are now. It’s actually mind-blowing to me how insanely fast this idea of blogging grew. As someone who’s “been in the game” for a decent amount of time, I have a ton of feelings about this newly formed blogging industry. And I wanted to share them with you today.
Sure, it’s over-saturated, but…
Yes. It seems like everyone and their mother has a blog. But do you know how BIG the Internet is? That means there’s space for everyone who wants to have a blog. Does that mean that I think everyone should start one? No. But if a person is in it for the right reasons, then I’m all about it. I’ll be the first person to tell someone that they’re doing it wrong if they’re just in it for the money. There could be a million reasons why a person should want to start a blog, but making money shouldn’t be a priority on your list. If someone wants to start a blog because they want a creative outlet or want to offer a special service to their readers, then I really respect that.
The more bloggers there are, the more connections we can make. I love coming across blogs I’ve never seen before every day. Pretty recently, I found Lejla on Instagram and have been following her blog, Hello It’s LOH, religiously ever since. I’ve formed such strong bonds with people I’ve met through social media and the blogging industry. I look forward to seeing the content they create every day, and feel SO happy when these people have such great successes. To me, this is the best part of the industry.
Trial and error
It took me a good 3+ years to figure out what I really wanted to do with Pink Champagne Problems. A lot of trial and error happened before I realized I needed to pay attention to what my readers responded to. It also took me a while to decide if I wanted to start thinking of Pink Champagne Problems as a business. Once I chose to turn Pink Champagne Problems into a business, things began to change for me. I now have to play a ton of different roles. This is the biggest challenge for me today. Learning how to juggle day-to-day back end business things has been pretty tough. I’m not good with money to begin with, so managing my blog income and expenses is tough. Since Pink Champagne Problems is a passion of mine, I’ve been accepting this challenge with open arms.
If you’re looking to start a blog, or just looking to take it to a new level, my advice is to just go for it. It’s going to be okay if you put out a post that doesn’t respond well. Learn from it. You’ll know that it’s just not what your readers are looking for. Try a new engagement method on Instagram. Reply to some of your favorite bloggers’ tweets on Twitter. It’s OK to fail as long as you’re prepared to learn from your mistakes.
It’s more than blogging
People don’t just have blogs anymore. Along with your website, you might have 5+ social media platforms, a YouTube channel, and an email list. It becomes a lot more work than what people sign up for originally. I’ve definitely had to be more open to learning new things – whether it’s SEO or a new platform (I was the LAST person to jump on board Instagram Stories). Blogging used to be really fun in a “I’m not making money off this” kind of way. Now that most people turn their online presence into a business, the blogging industry is a whole other game. This industry has become a numbers game, and I honestly have mixed feelings about it. Yes, it’s really cool to have my own business at 25 years old, but it’s also very hard to stand out in a world where it’s so easy to buy your numbers. I’ve seen the worst come out in some people because of this blogging industry. It’s honestly so crazy. Oh and don’t even get me started on Instagram. This damn algorithm has killed my engagement, which makes me have to work 10x harder. What does that mean? It means that I have to spend almost double the amount of time on Instagram just to make sure people see my photos. So much for putting the phone down, huh?
Focus on what’s important
At the end of the day, it’s up to me and only me to grow my business. Sometimes I have to take a step back to think about what is truly right for Pink Champagne Problems. And for myself. Right now, my actual website is what I’m working on the most. I’m focusing on more in depth content. That’s the biggest goal right now. You guys really respond so well when I put all of my thoughts into a post, and it makes me really happy. I love connecting with you when you comment on these types of posts. Opening up conversations help me create such great relationships with my readers. When it comes to social media, it’s obviously still a priority for me. But, I’m not putting all of my eggs in one basket. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook could shut down in one day. Then what? What are all of these “Instagram-famous” people going to do? If social media disappeared (it’s obviously not going to), a lot of people would be without a form of income – myself included – and we would have to turn to something else. For me, that would be my website. But I want to be one step ahead, so I’m trying my best to not play the numbers game and focus on my website.
If you’re a blogger, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the blogging industry as a whole. What are you struggling with? Anything you’ve seen that didn’t sit well with you? What are some of your biggest wins? And if you’re not a blogger, what’s the biggest change you’ve seen from a reader’s standpoint? Let me know in the comments below.
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