This is an article I have been meaning to write for a very long time. As always, things happened and many articles have been bumped up the list. However, today is a special day for Cafebiblioart.  We are celebrating the blog’s fourth birthday, thus making it the perfect day to tell you about all the things I have learnt in the past four years as a blogger.

  1. Start a blog because you want to and not because everyone else is doing it.
  2. Starting a blog is easy, but maintaining it is a commitment.
  3. A great layout and great photography are important as they attract your readers, but it is your voice what makes them stay.
  4. You do not need a professional camera to take great photos.
  5. Some great photographies are staged.
  6. It takes many shots and many hours to get that perfect photo you end up using in your article.
  7. Don’t blog because you want to make money. While some people might be making money from blogging, they are only few and far in between. No one says that you cannot be one of them, but you have to know that those chances are slim.
  8. It takes a long time and a lot of patience to grow, so do not give up easily.
  9. Having a niche is useful, not not necessary.
  10. Post regularly. You do no have to post daily, your readers know that you have a life to live, but try not to let too much time pass between posts.
  11. The ability to schedule posts is a life saver. At times, real life can become too much so you might need to be away from your blog for longer periods of time. Having a few posts queued will keep your readers interested.
  12. Your readers understand that you cannot always be active.
  13. Interact with your followers. Take into consideration their questions and comments and you could end up with many new ideas for articles.
  14. You do not have to spend money on your blog, especially in the beginning.
  15. Wait to see where your blog is going before investing in a domain name and self hosting.
  16. You do not have to buy stuff to have something to write about. No one is expecting you to get the latest releases and promote them.
  17. Get involved in the community. Comment on other people’ blogs. If you choose to comment, do so only on the ones that truly interest you or where you have something to say. Do not write comments like “Great post” and then leave your link. This is disrespectful to the owner and you will be building a bad reputation for yourself.
  18. Social media is important for growing your blog, but do not feel pressured to be on every platform. You cannot be everywhere all the time as you also have a life to live so do not allow your blog to take over. Depending on your niche, some platforms are bette than others to help you grow.
  19. You can choose to schedule posts on social media, but make sure not to spam people.
  20. Join Facebook groups. There are many groups out there specifically for promoting your posts, but read the rules first.
  21. Join Twitter chats. They are a great way to connect with other bloggers and learn more about blogging and the things that interest you.
  22. Don’t let blogging become a burden. Take a break when you need it. You started writing because of a passion or because you had something to say, remember what that thing was.
  23. When you have time, try to come up with new ideas for the articles you want to write.
  24. Write only about things that you are interested in.
  25. Honestly is the best policy. Write only honest reviews in order not to lose the trust of your readers.
  26. Sponsored posts are a way of making a bit of money, but usually they are not worth it. Do not accept every proposal that comes your way, especially if you cannot control the content that will go up on your blog.
  27. If you commit to review a product make sure you deliver. You do not want to build a bad reputation with brands.
  28. Same as with sponsored posts, do not accept every free item someone wants to send you. Choose only those who fit in with your blog.
  29. You don’t have to write about the same things as everyone else.
  30. SEO is useful and it does not have to be difficult. There are many plugins you can install that can help you.
  31. Click preview before clicking post as the article might look slightly different than in your editor.
  32. Do not compare yourself to other bloggers. Each one has their own unique voice and bringing something else to the table. You just have to find the way of making that obvious to others.
  33. An About page is a must. Your readers want to know at least a little bit about the person behind the screen.
  34. Think carefully about the personal details you choose to disclose. Once they are out there, there is not going back.
  35. For the most part, bloggers are a friendly bunch so do not be afraid to approach others for advice.
  36. Take advantage of the free resources available.
  37. Events, not necessarily blogger events, are a great way to meet new people, potential readers as well as fellow bloggers.
  38. You can learn many new skills from running a blog; from improving your writing to composing proposals to coding.
  39. In some instances, a blog can help you land a new job or an internship.
  40. Last, but not least, be respectful and enjoy what you are doing. Never forget why and where you started.

Hopefully you found some of these lessons useful and consider applying them to your own blogging journey. Also, I am aware that some of you are already aware of all of these things, but the purpose of this article was mostly to reflect on the things I have learn during these past four years as well as to maybe help new or future bloggers. Feel free to leave a comment below with some of the things you have learnt that I have forgotten to mention. 

Thank you all for being here, for all the support you have given me and all the kindness you have shown me during these past years. It has been a long and trying journey at times, but it was worth it and I hope to continue for a very long time as I feel this is not over yet.

Truly wish I could send you all a cupcake from the Hummingbird bakery 🙂