If you are a long term reader of my blog, or follow me on Twitter – you will probably know the story of why I initially started blogging. However if you don’t, here’s a quick re-cap. Back in May 2011 I started writing and designing Scarlett London as a means of having an online portfolio of my writing. As an aspiring showbiz journalist I wanted to make sure I began putting my name out there – and (hopefully) encouraging interest in my writing. However, as my followers started to increase (and still to this day can I not thank people enough for reading) my blog began to take shape, and slowly became a little more time consuming.
Currently, I try to post at least once a day – although we all have writers block from time to time and so occasionally I have a few days break. I wouldn’t really describe my blog singularly as a fashion, lifestyle, gossip or beauty blog, as I tend to cover a wide range of topics in the hope that I keep my writing fresh and unique. This might be a bad thing, as often readers like their blogs to have one primary focus, but I hope as my blog continues to develop this will become an asset rather than a flaw.
Anyway, I decided to write a post about the pros and cons of blogging because not only is my ‘following’ list on Twitter dominated by bloggers, but there seems to be lots of potential bloggers too – that are hoping to start their very own blog in the near future, so I hope this will be helpful to them! Before I start reeling off pros and cons, I just want to mention that blogging is a very personal thing and you will probably disagree with a few of my points. Feel free to let me know if your opinion differs from mine, I love hearing alternative views!
So – the pros!
– Blogging can be VERY rewarding. I get a real sense of achievement when my post sparks a debate, or when readers take the time to comment on what I’ve written. I don’t write because I have too, but because I love it – so when it creates interaction, it feels fantastic. Plus, through my blog I have been invited to some fantastic events (lots next week in fact – so keep an eye out for my posts on the events coming up), have had the opportunity to review some amazing products (which usually, I would have never come across or thought to have tried out) and made some lovely friends on Twitter who continue to provide me with support and kind words. It’s all these factors that make blogging so rewarding and worthwhile. As simple as it sounds, when people say ‘I love your blog’ it makes all the hard work feel worth it!
– The sense that you can inspire a reader, or even change their opinion on something. Writing is so powerful, and many people really underestimate this. Although I don’t aim to try and change opinions in all of my posts, it’s great when someone tells me ‘I would have never discovered this if I hadn’t read your blog’ or ‘that has really given me a whole new perspective on that topic’, I feel a real sense of achievement.
– Reviewing products! I would just like to say that before anyone says ‘oh you can’t just blog for the freebies’, this is not what I am insinuating. I do not and have never only blogged for the freebies. In fact, I didn’t even realise that you could do this when I started my blog and it was only when I was contacted by a few companies that I realised that bloggers are sent products to try out. I’m not going to lie and say that it isn’t a perk. It’s lovely that companies think my opinion on their product is valid, in fact I’m honoured. However, I do honour my own opinion in the sense that – if I don’t like a product, I won’t review it and will send it back. Or I won’t give a fantastic review. I never lie or mince my words just to please a brand, I give my honest opinion! (I’d just like to point out too – I’d say around 60% of what I review on my blog is sent to me discounted or gifted). Many products that I review have been bought with my own money!
– Ideas for my blog come to me at the strangest of times. My idea for this post actually sprung into my mind at 4 o’clock this morning. It woke me bright and early, kept me up for a little while – before finally resting after I’d written it down on a post it note. I love putting my ideas into shape, especially when it promotes a great reaction from readers. Putting ideas into action and then posting them on my blog is definitely a pro, otherwise – they would probably all be swimming around in my head.
And, the cons!
– There aren’t many cons of blogging, and I hate to be a mood dampener, especially for those that are new to the world of blogging and are absolutely loving the benefits and rewarding sense of achievement. However, REALISTICALLY there are cons.
– Blogging can be very time consuming and quite hard to manage when you have exams, coursework and revision to get on with. This may not apply to those who blog full-time, however if you are a student blogger – I’m sure you will agree that balancing blogging and coursework can be quite stressful at times. I don’t want to let readers down by not posting for weeks on end, but I find it quite hard to prioritise. I am a fairly well motivated person, so luckily I can usually stretch my mind enough to engage in both school work and blogging. But it is a con!
– Demanding emails. I don’t get many of these, in fact I think I’ve only had two in the nine months I’ve been blogging. They usually demand that you give their company/brand a good review, without actually giving you anything to give them a good review about. I think blogging is about giving and taking. I’m more than happy to help out a new business, small company or upcoming blogger – but please don’t DEMAND that I publish a good review about you. Perhaps try talking to me first, discussing what you’d like out of a review and then asking nicely. I recently had a tweet from a new brand (you may have seen this as I retweeted it) saying that if I ‘didn’t want to feature’ them, then ‘there are plenty of other bloggers who do, so MWAH’. This company didn’t have a working website, a small amount of followers and a strange way of communicating with people they want to work with. I was merely questioning whether they were legitimately a shop, and was bombarded with ‘there’s loads of other bloggers who will work with us, so it’s your loss’. I am yet to see them find another blogger.
Mainly, I LOVE blogging. It’s a really rewarding hobby. And I say hobby because I don’t think my blog is quite ‘there yet’, I feel I still have a long way to go in order to get my blog to a place where I am genuinely happy with it and would be able to commit to it as a full time ‘job’. I criticise my blog on a regular basis, and quite naturally – compare it to other AMAZING blogs that are so neat, professional looking and have such an engaging, witty writing style. There are some cons, but I suppose there are cons in every hobby – and its critical comments and demanding emails that make you a little bit stronger every-time you tackle them.