Today we’re celebrating a big milestone on the blog. After writing over 100 posts, I am proud to say that I’ve been blogging for two years! I honestly find it hard to believe that I’ve had this little corner of the Internet for so long now! It feels like just yesterday that I was deciding that a blog would help get me out of my boredom during the summer break between CEGEP (a Quebec thing) and university. Little did I know that it would turn into what it has become! If you had asked me two years ago if I thought I would be where I am right now, I would have laughed in your face. Me, a blogger? But I’m so happy I didn’t give up after two weeks! I’m proud of what I’ve turned this into, and I cannot wait to continue this adventure with you guys!
One of the things I always want to do as a blogger is to be more opened to my readers. I don’t share that many pictures of myself, and I have to admit that I hate being the center of attention (but I also kind of love it too? It’s hard to explain – I’m complicated). So I try to compensate by telling you bits and pieces about my life through Instagram and Twitter. But I want to do the same on the blog too! Which is why today, I have decided to answer YOUR questions! All month I’ve been collecting questions from my readers, and I’m happy to be sharing the answer with you today!
How do you stay inspired as a blogger? – Yvanne at composedcollected.blogpost.com
Inspiration. That’s a hard one, and I have to admit that I struggle with it a lot. It’s hard for bloggers to stay original as there are so many of us out there, no matter what our niche is, and it’s just so easy to steal someone else’s idea (but DO NOT DO IT). I use what is going on in my life a lot as inspiration. I mean, when I was going on a lot of interviews in order to find an internship this fall, I wrote about how to prepare for an interview. When I finished my first week at my internship, I wrote about what to expect during your first week at your internship. You get the idea. I try to use what I have learned during that time to help other people who might be going through the same thing.
When I’m not sure what to write about because not much is going on in my life, I browse through Pinterest to try to find ideas. I search for keywords and see what pops up. I also like to read other people’s blogs to spark ideas. I DO NOT copy other people’s ideas, but I might take inspiration from then. I mean, there is only so much you can write about as a college blogger… I like to think that I bring a new point of view, with my own experiences. Sometimes, while I read someone else’s blog post, I’ll get a new idea for a blog post.
Where do you get your stock photos from? – Caitlyn at collegewithcaitlyn.com
My secret is, I use more than one source. When you use free stock photos, there are only so many pictures that you can use, and at some point, everyone’s pictures are the same. As most bloggers do, I use Unsplash a lot. I also like to use Pexels and Picjumbo.
Another tip: A lot of bloggers and websites offer you free stock photos when you sign up for their email list. Death to the Stock Photo is a great example of that (and their stock photos are amazing!). Helene in Between, Bloguettes, Negative Space and Miranda Nahmias are also some of my favorites.
What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve encountered while blogging, and how did you overcome it?
Telling other people about my blog! I actually kept it a secret for over a year before I decided to tell my friends and family. And now, I couldn’t be happier that I did! Not everyone understands it, and that’s okay. The ones who really matter to me care and that’s enough. Everyone has been so supportive and I honestly don’t think I would be where I am right now if it wasn’t for them.
I think what stopped me from telling people around me is that I felt ashamed of my blog. I thought no one would understand, and that people would make fun of me for it. But once I got over myself and told one of my closest friends, I realized just how wrong I was. The support I received from that very person overwhelmed me, and I understood that this was just a speck of what it could really be like if I opened up about it. And now I wish I had done it sooner!
How do you balance adulting and blogging? Do you have any tips for other bloggers for time management?
I have to admit that I’m still struggling with that one. Sometimes I feel super motivated towards all things blogging, but sometimes all I want to do is crash in front of Netflix after a hard day at work. So you have to try to figure out a schedule. I know that after work, I tend to prefer crashing in front of Netflix instead of spending another 3-4 hours in front of my laptop working on blog stuff. So I do most of my blogging tasks during the weekend. I try to write the week’s post on Saturday, and Sunday is spent on social media (scheduling content). That way, I don’t feel too guilty for not spending that much time on the blog during the rest of the week. Sometimes, I’ll get a spike of motivation/inspiration during the week, but that’s not always the case. I’m still trying to figure out how to do this whole adulting thing, to be honest.
What one decision you made while building your audience do you credit as being the most important to your success?
I think that, from the get-go, I treated my readers as friends rather than as readers. I didn’t put myself above them and treated them as equals, people who I could chat to about just anything. That helped me build relationships with other fellow bloggers who were blogging about college and their life as young adults. I always knew I would be writing for people my own age who, just like me, were struggling to get through these college years. I think that weighted in a lot in my success – if you want to call it that. I was myself from the very beginning and wasn’t afraid of expressing my personality, whether it is on the blog or in my very *insightful* tweets.
What do you love most about being a blogger?
Not to repeat myself, but one of the things I love most about being a blogger is that I get to talk to people from all over the world! I made friends through blogging with people I would never have been able to meet otherwise. That’s one the things I think is the most amazing about the Internet, you can talk to someone that is thousand of miles away from you, and yet you can still connect and become closer to them than you are with people in your life.
If you could go back and change one thing from when you first started blogging, what would you change?
When I first started, I was blogging for me. I made my blog all about myself. I was basically using my blog has a diary so I could look back on it. But truth is, that wasn’t helping anyone. No one cared that I went to my first college party or that I had finished watching the first season of How to Get Away with Murder. And then I wondered why no one was reading my blog! I honestly wish I had started writing deep, insightful, in-depth, and helpful posts sooner! Not only do they bring a lot of traffic on your blog, but I also realized that I love writing those! Knowing that I might have helped just one person ace their test or go through a rough patch means the world to me. And writing those posts make me a better person!
What’s been your favorite part about blogging so far? – Molly at mollyonthemoveblog.com
Quite honestly, I love it all! Yes, sometimes it can be a pain to have to come up with new blog post ideas (especially when you feel like you have nothing to offer or that everything has already been done), but it’s just so rewarding in the end. As a communications/marketing student, all of this as helped me learn so much about what I’m studying! I feel much more prepared to hit the labor market and live that post-grad life.
Any tips to succeed in a course you hate but need to do?
Would you believe me if I said some of the courses I hated the most and had to do were the ones where I had the best grades? It doesn’t always happen, but I know what it’s like to suffer (literally) through a course that you hate but have to complete in order to get your diploma. What I suggest is finding something positive about the situation. Sure, you hate the course. But there has to be something that motivates you to go to the class week after week, otherwise you wouldn’t show up. What is it? Maybe it’s a friend, or the fact that you go grab lunch or coffee at your favorite place after the class… Whatever it is, keep it in mind. That’ll help motivate you. Then, I suggest setting yourself a reward. I prefer aiming for something a little bit bigger than just coffee, for instance, because I know I won’t really be motivated. For example, I’d say “If I get over 80% in this class at the end of the semester, I’ll buy myself that book I’ve been meaning to get.” It can be anything! Maybe it’s an object, a night out with friends or a meal at your favorite place. Finding something that motivates you will help you get through it more easily. Dont give up! I know you can do it. 🙂
Do you have any other questions for me? I’ll be answering them all in the comments below! Your questions can really be about anything – they don’t necessarily have to be blogging-related!