One Year Of Blogging – The Good, The Bad & The Bitches

One Year of Blogging - Brooke Clarke - www.brookeclarke.com

It’s been one year (well, tomorrow). 5th May 2018 will mark one year of blogging. Where on earth has that time gone? Is a one year blogging anniversary a good enough reason to buy myself a cake, an extra large can of Red Bull and blast out ‘Come On Eileen‘? I think so.

When I created my WordPress account, I honestly had zero intention of sticking around. I created my blog as something to do whilst I was off of work and just assumed that as soon as I went back to pulling pints, I’d shut up shop at BrookeClarke.com. I’m very sorry to announce that you’re going to have to put up with me a little longer. Sorry about that.

Blogging for me has been a complete rollercoaster ride. I’ve loved it, hated it, been angry at it, wanted to marry it, you name it – I’ve most likely felt that emotion towards running my blog.

I’ve learned an incredible amount of things, spoken to and met some literal girl bosses, worked with brands I could have only dreamed of working with, but most importantly, I’ve found something that I get excited about doing, every single morning I wake up.

As much as I’d love to say that this blogging malarkey is been a piece of piss, it bloody well isn’t. If you’re reading this and want to start a blog, I couldn’t recommend it more, but just be aware that you’re going to have to put in a huge amount of time and effort. Some days you’ll publish a post that has taken weeks for you to write, only for it to get horrifically low traffic. The next post you create could be uploaded within an hour, and you’ll see the highest rating of stats your blog has ever had. The internet is weird. You can never guess what it’s going to do.

Shirt – New Look | Jacket – Tobi | Trousers – F&F @ Tesco | Shoes – Gucci | Glasses – Next | Daisy Band Ring – Pandora | Timeless Elegance Ring – Pandora

I feel like no matter how hard you try to explain to someone who doesn’t run a blog just how time consuming it is, they all give you that same how-hard-can-writing-a-blog-post-be look. Honestly, it’s the same look I used to give to my laptop screen when I read full time bloggers moaning about what a long day they’ve had.

What The Bloody Hell Has Happened In My One Year Of Blogging

Without repeating myself 50 thousand times, I adore blogging (most of the time). I spend 90% of my time doing blog related things. I’m either taking photos, replying to emails, editing old blog posts, researching and lastly, actually writing the post.

For a whole year now, I haven’t been able to switch off. Even when I’m walking around Sainsburys, my brain is still in blog mode. It’s tiring, but if you actually put in the effort, it’s going to be worth every sleepless night, every coffee run and every scrap bit of paper you have lying around with random blog post ideas on.

I wanted to be as real as I could about blogging. A complete, no bullshit kind of post.

Well buckle up kids and grab yourself a cuppa. You’re joining me on this rollercoaster ride.

One Year of Blogging - Brooke Clarke - www.brookeclarke.com

The Good

01. Expressing yourself. If you’ve been here for my whole one year of blogging, you’ll know how much I love a good rambling blog post (pretty much like this one you’re reading). For me, blogging is like a free therapist. I know I can rant and talk absolute bollocks on here, and as soon as I’ve pressed the publish buttton, I’ll feel a hell of a lot better.

02. The opportunities. In only one year of blogging, I’ve had some of the most incredible opportunities. From events in London (which I’ve never been able to actually go to), to earning money from talking about things I LOVE, to working with brands that I have always admired. It has opened up so many new doors for me and I couldn’t be more grateful.

03. Other Bloggers. I can hand on heart say that I have met some of the most amazing people all through my blog. Don’t get me wrong, trying to make blogger friends is completely and utterly terrifying. ‘Am I annoying them?’ ‘Do they secretly hate me but don’t know how to tell me?’ ‘Do they just feel sorry for me?!’ If you’ve ever been on a first date you’ll know how scary they are. To me, reaching out and trying to befriend bloggers is 10 times more scary – but totally worth it. I honestly think I would of sacked off  blogging a long time ago if I didn’t have so many supportive blogger friends *insert video of Simon from the Inbetweeners*

04. The things it teaches you about yourself. As cringy as this is to write, it’s taught me a whole lot about myself. It’s taught me not to care what people thing, how to bite my tongue at internet trolls, how to motivate myself to get. shit. done. and so much more.

The Bad

01. The amount of pure shit you have to learn. I can officially add accountant, website designer, image editor, writer, photographer and fucking badass to my CV. Honestly, I never thought in a million years that writing online would be so complicated. From having to learn about SEO to figuring out how to send off a very important email back to a brand and everything in between. I promise, it’ll all be worth it in the end.

02. How many people don’t believe in you. If I had a penny every time someone gave me the what-the-fuck-did-you-just-say-look when I mention I’m a blogger, I’d literally be able to sleep under a sheet of £50 notes. I’m the sort of person that if someone tells me I can’t do something, I will try my damn hardest to prove that I can. A lot of people also seem shocked when I tell them that I’m still blogging after a year. With running a blog, you definitely need to be your own cheerleader. 

03. Dealing with that one person who has to try to prove a point in the comments. Luckily, I’ve only had this happen once. I wrote a blog post in the past about how to grow your traffic, and clearly, someone was not very happy I posted it. Long story short, ignore these type of people. Not everyones going to like your content and that’s okay!

04. How much work it is. I’m not complaining, but I guess at the same time I am. It’s not just the writing of the blog post. It’s the editing, it’s the photo taking, it’s the research… there’s so much more to blogging that just writing a post. 

The Bitches

This needs it’s own entire section. 

Actually, it could do with being its own blog post. But for now, we’ll make do with talking about it on this one. 

When I first started, every single article titled ‘what not to do as a blogger’ mentioned blogging drama. What? How can there be drama? Everyone seems so supportive and has each other’s back? Surely this blogging drama you speak of must happen once every 50 million years? Oh how I was wrong. 

I feel like this is how blogging drama starts:

  1. Someone either writes a blog post or a tweet that someone doesn’t agree with.
  2. Everyone and their dog (and me regrettably a while back) feels the need to tweet that said blogger and voice their opinion.
  3. Other people or bloggers will then join in, stating very clearly their thoughts.
  4. Susan (who’s only here for the goss) will message every single person who’s mentioned it, just to find out what’s happening and how she can get involved.
  5. Everyone then moves onto Instagram stories to explain said situation (or explaining their thoughts but not actually mentioning exactly what’s happened).
  6. At least 20% of the people involved will then tweet out a final ‘I’m taking a social media break’ goodbye speech.
  7. It’s all forgotten in a few hours. 

 

I’m all about everyone being entitled to their own opinion, but where blogging is concerned, you’re best to stay out of it (no matter how tempting it is to reply something starting with ‘I just think it’s funny how…’).

This can be difficult if it’s one of your friends. You want to stick up for your friends and protect them. I completely understand that. But you’re better off just messaging your friend saying ‘hey, sorry people are bitches. Don’t reply to anyone’.

The only thing that getting into blogging beef – or BB as I like to call it (I’ve never called it BB in my life), is going to achieve is a hell of a lot of anger, people not wanting to follow you because you’re a dRaMa QuEeN, and putting off potential brand collaborations.

And for the love of all that is good in the world, please stop talking about people sub tweeting. It’s honesty the most ironic thing you can do (nearly as ironic as me mentioning it now).

Photo credit – Emily Becca. God that girl knowns her way around a camera.

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