Lessons Learned in Blogging...

It has now been nine months since the start of this very blog, I can't believe it's been that long already and I have written so so many posts in that time!
Along with all the fun and excitement of blogging, meeting new people, learning about interesting independent companies and so many other things that the blog brings, I have also learned a lot.
Some of these lessons however I learned the hard way....!

1. Always Proof Read your Posts
It seems an obvious one, but everything written needs to be proof read. 
Especially if you're working with a macbook like I do, as they like to sometimes change the spellings or words completely, especially if you're writing about a company or product that has a name that isn't in the usual auto correct dictionary.
These mishaps can really change a whole sentence and ruin an otherwise perfectly put together post.

2. Give Aways can Cost
Give aways are a fun extra to offer, and can really boost traffic to your blog when running a randomised giveaway.
But it is always better to only offer giveaways in your resident country, and I say this as a lesson I really did learn the hard way.
After running my six month giveaway, rafflecopter randomly selected the winner out of all of the entries to make the contest 100% fair, but it did however choose a winner who lived in the USA.
Usually not a problem, but with the give away prizes being so vast and the box so full it actually cost me £45 to send, and that has to come from my own pocket.
In future all give aways will have to be UK only, just as I can't afford to lose so much just on postage!

3. You will buy too much to Test
Whenever I see a product or item that looks really new or interesting and tell yourself that it's worth buying for the blog.
About 40% of these items will never make it onto the blog, as you either forget, get sidetracked, or something better comes along. I have so many items that I just didn't get around to reviewing, however a lot of items I tried and didn't think were worth making a song and dance about, as I only like to share or write about the products I really believe and worth shouting from the rooftops about.

4. Beware of Chancers
Remember that blogging is a form of advertising that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, so what we do highlight many companies, products, and services that others may be interested in.
Therefore a lot of companies are now interested in working with bloggers to show an unbiased, honest, and also a unique view of them.
Most companies I have worked with have been great to work with, I have met some lovely people from those companies, and have also been supplied items to review and try in return.
I have had an experience however (and early on) where a company asked me to write for them, which included travelling for me and Edd (who does a lot of the photography for me), a long day of shooting and interviewing and being out of pocket.
In the end I got only a thanks and a "Glad I could help you" (Funny, I thought I was doing them a favour!) of course I learned that from then on these details must be resolved in advance, but stupidly I thought as they had asked me specially that they would offer something in return, but in the end I actually fell in love with and bought an item, ending up even more out of pocket.

5. Wear Blinkers
A quote I once heard from Joan Rivers was advice from a mafia friend of hers "Always wear blinkers in the race" meaning to not judge your own position by that of others.
There are so many bloggers in so many points of fame or success right now that to try and hold yourself up to their standard of success will only make you feel bad.
Work hard on your blog to be you and make yourself produce something that makes you happy, proud, and that you would read yourself if you weren't you (if that makes sense!).
One day we might all get there, but that takes hard work which could easily be discouraged if you take off those blinkers and blind yourself with someone else's brightly shining star.

What lessons have you had to learn the hard way?

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