Things About Blogging I No Longer Stress + Worry About

I don’t remember what my life was like before running this blog.

And, if we’re being honest, I don’t even want to remember what it was like.

This little corner of the Internet has become such an important part of my life, and that wouldn’t be the case if it wasn’t for everyone who takes their time to read my posts.

I have connected with so many incredible people, I made so many friends, and, I honestly believe that I do have THE best blog readers/friends on the planet.

BUT, that doesn’t mean I never felt scared, intimidated or frustrated.

MAKING MISTAKES

This, without a doubt, was one of the scariest things about blogging- at least for me. Making a few mistakes isn’t a too big of a deal when it’s just your mom and your cat who read your blog (well… a dog in my case). As soon as your audience grows, though, things get a bit more complicated and scary.

And a bit more intimidating.

People start pointing out your mistakes, and the more recognition your articles receive, the more criticisms comes your way. And we’re not talking about constructive criticisms here.

I remember the times when I would get up in the middle of the night, to make sure that I spelled something correctly or that I didn’t accidentally hit “publish” on a draft I’ve been working on. I’ve always been the type of person who is afraid of making mistakes or saying the wrong thing, but blogging just took it to a whole other level.

To be quite honest, I don’t know it was just me becoming more confident as a writer and blogger, or if it’s simply something that comes with age, but I just stopped caring so much about making mistakes. I guess you could say that I have run out of fucks to give.

A couple weeks back I wrote a post about skincare, and when talking about a face mask I wrote “watercock” instead of “waterlock.

True story.

I mean, I don’t even know how that got past the spellcheck, but when one of my readers brought it out to my attention, I started laughing uncontrollably until tears ran down my face. Paula who wrote this blog three or four or even two years ago, would feel embarrassed, ashamed and she’d probably end up deleting the entire post altogether.

Point is, there is no way of getting around making mistakes. Every single time you make a mistake, you learn something new. Learn to laugh about it, especially when it comes to those little, silly things you often stress about. Being afraid of doing something wrong will stop you from going after the things you love and want in life. It’s also the only way you can learn.


CONTENT THEFT

Okay, so specifically, I mean image theft here (although I did have my blog posts flat out copied and pasted on other sites, too). All bloggers know how much work it takes to create a blog post. For me, a large portion of that time is spent on taking and then editing photos. It’s also one of my favorite things to do.

So, you spend all that time and work to finally get an image you love, you post it online and then come across someone else’s blog or Instagram profile, taking credit for all the work you did. What’s even worse, is when that image gets then reposted (for instance, by a brand which you featured in your photo) and instead of you getting that extra exposure, it’s the person who took credit for your work.

Seriously, this is something that used to make me SO angry and it happened to me all the time. It is so frustrating to see someone take credit for something you worked on for hours (because sometimes it does take a few hundred shots before you finally get it right) and are very proud of.

I will not say that this doesn’t bother me anymore, but I just don’t care nearly as much as I used to. This is just something that’s pretty much inevitable when you post something on the Internet. I will still reach out to someone if I see them post my work without proper credit, but I wouldn’t think of “attacking” anyone, which was the first thing that used to come to my mind when I started blogging. Although, I was shocked to see that someone actually attacked ME for asking them to give proper credit on several occasions (“why did you have to leave a comment under the picture, you should have DM me instead!!!“). Or, you know, they just block you.

Yes, some people take their Instagram profiles way too seriously.

NUMBERS

A few years ago I published a blog post that got me hella views, only to see that a week later one of my blog friends had written pretty much the same exact post. Except that hers got her so much attention and her following just exploded overnight. Omg, did I have a fit. It makes me laugh now, but I was very upset that day.

Here’s what that, and other similar experiences have taught me: don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, focus on your own work. Do what you love, write about things you are passionate about, and forget everyone else. That is how you attract the right people and audience.

Obsessing over statistics, numbers of followers, shares, likes- I think these are some of the things that we all, as bloggers, like to pay attention to. BUT when it takes away from doing the things we really enjoy, like writing or taking photos, is when it becomes a problem.

Instead, I now focus on connections I make. It’s much better to have a small, but loyal group of readers who like and trust you, than to have hundreds of thousands of followers, who don’t even know your first name. Say you want to launch a product, write an ebook, create an ecourse. Who do you think will be most likely to make a purchase: people who have been supporting you, who like what you have to say and who visit your blog on a regular basis, or someone who just happens to stumble upon your blog accidentally?

Funny thing is, when you focus on quality, instead of quantity, is when you receive more love and exposure. Numbers aren’t everything.

BRANDS/COMPANIES/PEOPLE TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU

New bloggers are very easy to take advantage of mainly because they do not know their own value yet. And, they get excited when someone reaches out to them.

Here are some things that I, as a blogger, have to deal with on a daily basis:

-People asking me to promote their products, business or websites for free;

-people pitching their ideas and sending as many as 5 emails in a row asking me to add a link to one of my posts (“oh, I’ve noticed you linked to so and so, I too have a similar post, but you might find mine more informative, would you mind linking to my post, instead?“)

-people wanting to pay me so that they can publish a guest post on my blog, even though I clearly say in my contact page that I do not accept any kind of guest posts- all of those things are SO ANNOYING.

It’s become so frustrating, that checking my email no longer felt exciting and instead, it’s become a bit of a chore.

But, it’s just a part of what I do. I remember the first time I declined an offer, I mean if you can even call it that. Pretty sure I already talked about here on the blog at one point: a brand reached out to me asking me to write a post, for free, and when I said that I can’t possibly promote something I haven’t even used and asked if maybe they can send me a sample, the response I got was “lol you are funny, you have like, 12 Twitter followers!” It’s stupid, but I remember crying that day. Then, I thought, well, if I run such a shitty blog, then why reach out to me, asking for exposure?

These days, I either sent a simple “thank you, but I’m not interested” reply, or just ignore these emails. It’s upsetting that people try to take advantage of small or new bloggers. While I choose not to react to some of those things, I still get upset at times whenever someone asks me (sometimes almost demands I do something for free). First, I have invested thousands of dollars into this blog (with computers, photography equipment, software, tools, hosting, security, etc.) Second, I have way too much respect for my audience than to just post shitty content or advertise companies, brands or products I personally do not use or believe in.


LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

Honestly, a lot of these are silly things but can be pretty upsetting when you’re a new or a small blogger. One of the most important things you should realize, is your value, as a blogger, as a person, as someone who chooses to share bits and pieces of their life online. These things are not worth losing sleep over, they’re not worth your time or energy.

As far as making mistakes goes?

Well, if you’ve ever criticized yourself for making a mistake, you probably know that it doesn’t make things any better- it actually makes them worse. One way to get over the need for perfectionism is to try to challenge your need for perfectionism and embrace your mistakes. Think of wabi-sabi- a Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection, a beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

This is something that can also be applied to life, not just art.

The fact that you make mistakes, is what makes you authentic, so if you happen to make them, don’t beat yourself up, embrace it. Forgive yourself and move on.

Blogging is one those things in life where you learn something new, every single day. I always tell you that there isn’t a right or wrong way to blog. If you want to try something new, do it. It’s either going to work out, or it’s not. You will still have the experience, knowledge, and lessons that come along with trying new things.

And, to my blogger babes, remember that we are all incredibly unique and no one can be “you” better than yourself, so use that to your advantage.


What are some of the things that you used to find intimidating, or scary about blogging? What are some of the things you no longer worry or stress about?

 
  • I enjoyed this. Speaking of taking advantage of new bloggers; I had a major brand ask me to do something very much in line with a sponsored post. I had to buy the product to promote and then if they love the post, they’ll enter me into a raffle to win a spot for their sponsored posts. loooool! Honey, I’m new to blogging but not a certified idiot!
    Also, brand who literally offer “exposure” as compensation. Blogging isn’t my source of income but gosh, how ridiculous is that? 🙄

    • Lol, those are the kind of “offers” that always left me feeling incredibly frustrated! I see this happen time and time again to new bloggers and it always makes me so sad!

  • Great Paula :) I see a lot of girls copying ideas from one to other and it happen to me as well with someone I used to speak, it’s quite frustrating. And like it happen to you, she got more exposure than me.And don’t get me started about brands, I had few quite bad experiences and stopped working with brands for more than 2 months, now I want to start again but I am so nervous working with them because as a small blogger, all they want is to take advantage (not all but most of them). Anyway, I think you are doing great, you are teaching us so many things and it’s always a pleasure to come back to your blog and read your thoughts. :) XO, Miha

    • I think that these days it’s the engagement that matters a lot, not always the size of your audience. Don’t be nervous, just make sure you know your value! Sometimes it’s better to say “no” to one thing, so that you can say “yes” to something better.

      Thank you SO much, I’m so happy to hear that! :)

  • I try no longer to worry about numbers and exposure too much, but it still frustrates me more than I´d care to admit. Spelling mistakes never bothered me too much, maybe because I don’t write in my mother language and thus know I will make mistakes eventually. But yes, over time you’ll get more relaxed. And you have to, if you want to keep the joy in blogging.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

    • Same here, although I think that not being a native English speaker actually makes me even more nervous about making mistakes hehe :)

  • I LOVE this post. I used to get so hung up on numbers and how to climb up. I no longer worry about all that, and just my content I am producing. Like you said, we can all make mistakes along the way, but it’s learning from them and being proud of my content I am more concerned of than ever. As long as that happens for me, I am happy!

    a life of a charlotte

    x

  • Urgh people asking to guest post is so annoying! As are those pesky people who try and get you to change links on existing posts!

    • Yes! I just stopped replying to those emails or send them to my junk folder. Ain’t nobody got time for that, lol!

  • I love this post a million times. Thanks

    http://www.yourbeautypantry.com

  • Christine .

    YES YES YES to all of this. I used to stress over so many things before and it made blogging not fun for a while. I had to stop that. I blog for fun and because I want to. I can’t worry about others or numbers constantly because it just takes that fun out of it. LOVE these posts that you do!

    • All that worrying about different things can definitely suck the fun out of blogging! Thank you SO much, Christine!!

  • Erin Russell

    Totally 100% agree. I feel like I have been used and abused by some, and its good to learn when to stick up for yourself (like emails) and when to let it go and focus on yourself! The blogging world definitely has its ups and downs, but it isn’t worth stressing over :)

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    • Most of those things are definitely not worth stressing over! Cool thing about blogging is that you never stop learning! :)

  • Janet

    You are such a lovely person – very honest, smart and upfront. I could write a book about blogging setbacks, but I think you’ve felt a ton of anguish already. I know you get more positives than negatives, I’m not a bad judge of good writing, context and photos.

    And for photos, watermark every single one! There are a lot of ways to do it. I actually paid for an editing website to edit and add my blog name to the bottom of my photos. I think you have a Mac, from the pics here in this post. You should be able to add text to your photos, even initials. If someone is insane enough to use them with your blog name, and not give you credit, they will be called out sooner or later.

    I hope this helps, Paula.

    Jane x

    • Aww thank you so much, Jane, that is so kind of you to say!

      I think I might have to try doing that at one point, although I know some people will go as far as to crop your watermarked images haha :) I’ll definitely look into that, thank you so much, Jane!! Hope you’re doing well!

  • Natalie Redman

    Great post! I panicked the other day after I realised I hadn’t posted a blog one night. I quickly told myself I was overreacting :P

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • This post was such a great read! Being a new blogger, I definitely find myself being too much of a perfectionist and still struggling to find a balance when working with brands. I’m getting better about not worrying so much when it comes to making mistakes, though! I have yet to experience content theft, but ugh! That sounds so frustrating. Thank you for this post, Paula!

    Mia | http://www.verymuchmia.com

    • Thank you so much, Mia! Blogging has changed a lot during the last couple of years and it’s definitely easy to want everything to be perfect- I remember when I struggled with photography, I wouldn’t post if I didn’t like my photos and could spend an entire day trying to just get it right haha :) Making mistakes is the only way to learn, it’s what I tell myself these days!

  • Back when I first started my blog and I really started to focus on photography I can remember seeing somebody using my image. At first I was angry about it, but nothing can come of feeling that way, now I try to take it as more of a compliment!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

    • Glad you were able to take it that way, Danielle. It definitely is a compliment haha just wish it wasn’t so frustrating! I just stopped caring so much once I realized that it’s something that happens time and time again.

  • It really gets me when people want me to do things for free. I get at least a few of those emails each week. It upsets me because while they obviously want to use my blog as an outlet, I must not be that “big” or “valuable.” Just gotta keep on moving on…

    Jackie
    http://www.thatswhatsupblog.com

    • Right? It’s like you’re not “valuable” enough to be compensated, yet you’re “valuable” enough to have your platform used for promoting a product or a service. Funny, isn’t it?

  • Omg the relentless emails to post links, guest posts and review items that have only product in kind budget… yes it’s annoying but they are just quick deletes for me now. I pay less attention to the numbers as well – because fretting didn’t do me any good anyways!

  • Love this! I have never been a worrier about numbers but used to get so fussy with content theft!

    http://www.petiteeliee.com

    Ellie xx

  • Excellent post Paula! I too have worried about numbers to a smaller extent, but at the end of the day it’s not something I lose sleep over. I too would rather a small but dedicated following as opposed to a zillion people who aren’t as invested.

    I’ve started getting some offers this year from either fellow bloggers who wanted to work with me or brands, but I either ignored those emails or turned them down as I wasn’t interested at all or they wanted me to spruik something outside of my jurisdiction. I’m not going to sell out just for exposure. I wouldn’t be surprised if people have stolen my content & imagery too, even though I have been watermarking my photos for some time now.

    Shell // The Novice Life

    • Thank you, Shell! Kudos to you for not being a sellout! Some of these offers might be tempting, but from my experience you just have to say “no” sometimes even to something that sounds good, so that you can say “yes” to something better in the future. x

  • Oui In France

    You’re such a breath of fresh air, Paula! Thanks for this. It’s so hard to not get upset by things that others do — stealing content, copying, never giving credit to you, being unsupportive, but we just have to rise above. I’m still working on that one myself.

    • Aww thank you, Love! I think that it takes a little time to stop worrying about those things. Stealing content is one thing that still gets to me at times!

  • Thank you for this.

  • Love this read as all is so true. I feel I need to keep reading this when I gets stressed with the blog lol.
    It is not as easy as people think that is for sure but your posts are so genuine and basically counselling at the same time for fellow bloggers in times of need. Well done lovely. 💋

    – Kelly xx
    http://www.KELLiLASH.com

  • Great post Paula! I was thinking about you recently as someone who manages to maintain a high-quality blog and also have a full time job. How do you do that, would you mind maybe writing a post about that? I had a full time job for the past month and it being my first time doing anything from an office, I was very negatively surprised by how much time I had left or rather didn’t have left! I couldn’t afford to read other people’s blogs, let alone run my own. How do people do that? How do YOU do that? :) I know organization is the key but honestly if I come home at 7 and need to go to bed at 10 if I want to be a functioning person the following day, I just want to sit in silence, regain some calm and maybe watch something. I’m a lousy person :(

    • Just opened the new post on your blog – thank you thank you thank you <3

  • Gouri Prathwani

    Amazing post..I find this really helpful as a new and young blogger..It really helps to focus on my own abilities rather than think about anyone else’s..I am a kind of a person who is always very afraid of making mistakes but now I surely will try to overcome that fear and go beyond the limits..Thank you for the lessons..
    http://thetomboystyle.blogspot.in/