When I started blogging four years ago I had no idea just quite how many opportunities it would lead to. It sounds ridiculous now but I didn’t even realise blogging networks existed for the first six months, and I wasn’t invited on my first proper bloggers’ trip until a year after I’d written my first post. Basically, it took that year for me to establish myself as a blogger, and to find my blogging voice. During that time I made friends with other bloggers, I read and commented on as many other blogs as I possibly could. And I really, really enjoyed discovering this new world.
Every time a blogger follows me on Twitter I check out their blogs, to see what they’re up to and what they’re about. But recently I’ve noticed a worrying trend. And that’s the increase in what I call cynical blogging.
These are the blogs which have an ‘advertising and PR’ section on their navigation bar… but they’ve only been going for a week. Or ‘vote for me’ badges for blogging awards on their blogs… but they launched this year (and we’re only in April).
I get that everyone has seen the big blogging pie and they want a piece of it. They see other bloggers being given fantastic opportunities and they want a slice of the action. Or they’re hoping to make a living out of blogging. Of course, I get that.
But building a successful blog takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. And if I think about the most successful blogs out there at the moment – even the ones I don’t read – they all have something in common: great content.
I have done a lot of blogger outreach now for major companies, and I’ve never recommended working with a blog that’s only been going a short while. For a start you need the stats – but also, there needs to be some decent content to show the client. Brilliant blogs can and do succeed very quickly – but realistically, you’re looking at at least six months of hard graft.
I’m a firm believer that you have to speculate to accumulate – and in terms of blogging, that means making sure your blog is the best it can possibly be, building relationships with other bloggers, and learning to walk before you try to run. And really enjoying blogging – love writing and crafting your blog. Opportunities will come, but it takes time, and as Veruca Salt discovered, you can’t always get what you want just by stamping your foot.