Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned from Blogging

Anika May // Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger // anikamay.co.ukI’ll always be grateful I started blogging. I’m so happy I took that chance, but also continued to take more chances, even with those chances were slim. I’m only 21, but have so far learned so much through this little hobby-turned-side-business and appreciate every curve that comes my way.

ONLY YOU CAN DO YOU

This is something that took a while to stick. Because I admire so many people, look up to so many bloggers and have such big aspirations, it’s easy to be so desperate to be like someone else. Follow their steps because it feels like the right path to success. That may work in a secular career, where’s there’s set job titles, wages and roles. Blogging is a whole new ball game. And you can only play as yourself. Mimicking someone else leads to nothing. I learned that the hard way, but I’m so glad I did. When I stopped comparing my blog to others, my achievements to others and my appearance to others, I felt the joy of blogging creep back in. Comparison had previously drowned it out.

Sadly, envy and jealous are part of this industry, like any other. But I learned that being jealous of another person doesn’t affect them, and doesn’t benefit you. It’s a waste of energy; energy that could be used to create something beautiful online. The bloggers who find success are those who stay true to themselves, carve their own way through the blogosphere and continue to let their personality shine. Which leads me to…

IT’S OKAY TO BE YOU

One of the main reasons I used to try and copy other people is fear of being unaccepted. There’s nothing that hurts more, than putting your heart and soul into something, only to have it rejected. Whether it’s a job, a relationship or even an essay. It feels like a personal jab because it’s not just the work that feels like it’s being rejected: it’s you.

When I finally decided to just allow my own personality to appear online, I saw a change in myself but also my blog’s performance. Not only were people actually reading my blog posts, but they were enjoying them – because it was my voice behind them. And that’s the best feeling when blogging.

The change I saw in myself was pretty cool. The moment I started to open up online, I opened up as a person. I’m naturally shy and I think I’ll always be that way, but I no longer try to hide who I am. I don’t hide my taste in music, fashion or makeup. I don’t shy away from sharing my opinion or just becoming friends with people I really want to be friends with.

Learning it’s okay to be me, took the biggest weight off my shoulders, and improved my mental health by a complete mile.

Anika May // Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger // anikamay.co.uk

Anika May // Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger // anikamay.co.uk

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE YOU

I think it’s a natural human desire to want to be liked. Nobody wants to know that someone doesn’t like them. It’s not a nice feeling, and can stir up all sorts of negative thoughts. When I started blogging, I learned pretty quickly that there won’t always be people who adore you, and there will on occasion people who don’t like you, even though they don’t know you.

I’ve never really experienced much adversity online myself, but I have witnessed it on social media and it’s not easy to see. It’s heart-breaking to see the dark side of such a wonderful industry, but sadly that’s the reality of this world and most occupations.

But this almost prepped me for life, seeing how other people deal with negativity has helped me to see that it can’t affect you if you don’t allow it.

DOWN DAYS ARE ESSENTIAL

There’s a saying: “You can’t see the stars without the darkness.” And it’s true. I used to feel so guilty for having a day where I feel unmotivated and just want to sit on the couch doing nothing. On those days, I used to force myself into answering emails or creating content, with very little enthusiasm and excitement. In reality, those days are my brain telling me I need a break. I need to step back. It’s not natural to stare at a screen for this long. Go outside.

The minute I take a down day for what it is, and just step back for the online world, I return with fresh eyes and an eager mind. It’s truly like I needed to be in the darkness, to finally see some light. Learning the importance of down days has been so helpful for my mental health. If my body is telling me to stop, then I’m going to do so. Fortunately, I’m in a career where I can do so. It’s really important to log off sometimes.

YOU’LL DO ANYTHING FOR THE THINGS YOU LOVE

I often find myself doing the weirdest things for my blog. Whether it’s spending an unnecessary amount of money on props for a flat lay, or spending hours doing things that should take ten minutes. Getting frostbite while shooting OOTD photos in the snow and getting dressed in the back of my car is just the norm for me now. I should get some sort of railing installed.

Because I love blogging so much, I’ll do anything for my posts and content. I’ll do whatever it takes to develop my skills, learn more about the industry and grow as a blogger. With my previous office job, I used to wait until 08:59 to walk into the office for 09:00. Nowadays, I’m blogging on the go because I love it so much. Constantly thinking about this little hobby of mine because it’s taken over my life and I love every moment of it. That’s when I think you realise you’ve found the career for you, when you can’t get enough.

 

YOU DEFINE YOUR OWN SUCCESS

One of the things I love about bloggers and this industry is that you define your own success, and technically you never really ‘make it’.

Some of the biggest bloggers in the world, don’t just stop once they’ve reached a certain amount of pageviews or say goodbye after 500 posts. Could you imagine if a blogger worked with a designer brand and then just disappeared? They keep going because the bar is constantly being raised. But it’s important to remember that’s their bar. Each person has their own and it gets higher after each achievement. I could magically reach 1,000 followers on Instagram (omg goals), but that doesn’t mean I’m done. It doesn’t mean I’ve made it. But it does mean I’m successful – in my own opinion.

Every time I reach a goal, I realise that means I’m successful. And it could mean nothing to someone else, but that’s the beauty of blogging, it means something to me.

Anika May // Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger // anikamay.co.ukHONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

In blogging, and in life. This is something that I knew from childhood, but has hit home since becoming a working gal. My blog is me, and for it to be me I have to be honest. Not only honest with readers, but honest with myself.

I’m honest with readers and followers in the sense that I disclose everything and anything, down to my little sister taking my outfit photos. But when it comes to being honest with yourself, it’s challenging. If something isn’t working, there’s a point when you realise it has to change. You can’t just go with the flow or wait and see because that’s just skating around the issue.

When I first started blogging, I felt the pressure to publish a blog post every other day and would just write a load of nonsense to meet the imaginary deadline. This got me absolutely no where in two ways: a) I lost the excitement when it came to a new post because I knew it was rubbish and b) anyone who read the post knew it was rubbish and exited as quickly as possible.

Honesty and truthfulness will always win!

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