Life

On Blogging

Over the years (a little over three now!) since I started writing this site, I’ve occasionally been asked for my advice on blogging. I’m not a full time blogger, nor do I consider Feather Factor to be the kind of success that would make me an expert in the area. I feel a bit sheepish actually writing about it!

However, I am always happy to share my own personal experience in this area, and thus here are some of my learnings, over my time so far blogging. I hope this is helpful to some of you, and if you have feedback/other tips on blogging, please share in the comments!

Another tip for blogging – keep a written journal! I jot down ideas in my journals.

1. If you’re thinking about blogging – just start. And don’t expect a masterpiece right off the bat.

For me, when I first started Feather Factor, I thought that I had to be very careful in making sure my first blog post was perfect. After all, this would be the very first post – what would set the tone and quality for the whole site! 

If you’re an accomplished writer with lots of experience, this may be the case for you, and you’ll come out with a perfect, timeless post right off the bat. In my experience though, whatever you write, you’ll look back on it years later and know you could have written something better. It’s not going to be perfect, in retrospect. And that’s how it should be. Blogging is creative writing, and you get better at it the more that you do. So if you’ve been hemming and hawing, you can start now, and not look back.

Besides, one of the upsides of having your own site? You can always go back to your old posts and fix your embarrassing mistakes. Although I often think it’s nice to have your original writings, as awkward as they may be, to reflect back upon.

2. You will develop a thick skin (or, you’ll probably quit blogging).

Remember how last month,  a complete stranger came right up to you on the street and yelled, “Hey fatty, get a bigger size dress!” 

No?

Yeah, that doesn’t really happen so much in real life, but if you blog long enough, you will get a nastygram, or two, or ten. It comes with the territory. Social boundaries are lower online, and it’s much easier for people to write things they wouldn’t necessarily say to your face (but that includes nice things too, which is great).

I’ll be honest –  whether it’s the first or hundredth time you receive a nasty comment – it’ll still feel bad, either way. That’s natural. What I’d encourage you to do, is to take these comments as constructively as possible. It can be very interesting, and even insightful, to hear what a perfect stranger thinks of you, without their fear of consequence. Sometimes it’s a helpful message…just wrapped up in blunt words.

Of course, there are some people who will just be mean for the sake of being mean. I really think those comments say more about the person, than about you. But it’s perfectly normal to feel very hurt nonetheless. You might want to stop blogging, which is of course fine. If you stick around though, you will gain a thicker skin that will help you in all kinds of areas in life! And I promise you’ll learn more about yourself, through both the nice and not-so-nice comments.

3. You have to write about what you’re interested in.

Seems obvious, but as you begin blogging, it’s easy to get tempted into writing what you think you “should,” or what might be popular, versus what you want to. I’m sure that my geography professor in college can attest to this fact – when you write about something you aren’t really interested in, it comes through. It’s boring, and flat. There’s no passion or interest.

I know that it can be very discouraging to pour your heart and effort into a post, put it out there, and have the world web web respond to you with…nothing. Crickets. But things take time on the internet to develop, and the best advice I can give is just to continue to put in the effort, as long as you’re interested. One of the most rewarding parts of Feather Factor for me, has been the ability to look back upon my old posts and reminisce about past times. Almost every other blogger I know says that as well. So since you’re probably going to be re-reading these entries you write one day…make them something you’d want to read! And the right audience will find you, with time.

____

My final comments would be that blogging has been incredibly rewarding for me. I’ve met the most amazing friends, had the chance to interact with people around the world and learn their insights on topics that fascinate me. If you are thinking about starting, I wish you the best of luck! If you are patient, write about what interests you, and are kind along the way, I can’t imagine you would ever regret it (and hey, even if you do, that’s what the delete button is for).

Please share your experiences with blogging, or any other feedback you have on the topic. Thank you as always for reading!

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  • Sonya
    May 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I always enjoy reading here with a cup of tea, especially your travel posts. I’ve toyed with a blog myself but never worked out. Cracking up at the fatty line.

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Sonya, thank you very much!

  • Susan
    May 21, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I have learnt so much from reading blogs – its just such a wonderful medium for sharing insight and experience across the globe. I really look forward to catching up with the latest posts from my favourite blogs, yours included, and feel privileged that strangers put so much time and effort into writing and photographing and give of themselves in this way. I have only recently started writing myself and really enjoy the process of thinking through my ideas in order to commit them to cyberspace. The challenge for me is the sense that nobody is interested in reading after overcoming the hurdle of putting myself out there but at least no comments means no nasty comments! Susan, London

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Susan, thank you very much – and I’m sure you will find a larger audience soon!

  • Crystal
    May 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, and gradually it becomes one of my favorites. You may think yours is not as popular as those that update more frequently, I actually appreciate yours more because each of your post is authentic, well thought out and personal. It is also more practical than just eye candy pure fashion blogs, and connects better with regular people with regular life. I really enjoy the new features you added this year: sale PSA, outfit from movies and weekly update. Always looking forward to your update and thank you for sharing your thoughts and effort.

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Crystal, thank you so much and I’m so glad that you are liking the newer features!

  • Kelly @ Alterations Needed
    May 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Great insights, Kat! Agree with all of it, and congrats on sticking with it for 3+ years! I would add, “Don’t expect to get rich…in fact…don’t expect to make any money at all”. I get so many emails from people who ask for advice on starting a blog, and then roll right into “how do I make money?”. If you’re starting a blog to make money, chances are you won’t make any. The far majority of blogs make very little money if any at all, especially if the content is obviously created without a true passion for the subject, but just because the blogger thinks it’s a way to make a quick buck. Blog because you love to…not because you think it’ll make you rich. =P

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Hi my friend, thanks so much! That’s a great piece of additional advice….I 100% agree, it’s very difficult to make money blogging and should not be a motivation.

  • Beautygirl24
    May 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Great post Katherine. I love your tips, and definitely agree with all of them! I started blogging almost 5 years ago, and I find it harder now to come up with content. I often struggle with writer’s block. But I keep going! I look back at some old posts and cringe! I want to erase them, but I don’t. Each post brings back a fond (or not so fond) memory and I can’t delete those so why delete any? Blogging is still so much fun for me. I’m happy you enjoy blogging too.

    Noelle

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      5 years! Congratulations Noelle!

  • Quest for Fashion Sense
    May 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Kat: I’ve been reading you for quite some time now (I think I was introduced to you through Wendy from Wendy’s Lookbook when she mentioned that you had done a feature on her). I’ve enjoyed reading all your travel posts, and when you had posted the article about creative writing, it inspired me to begin writing again. I definitely get that feeling of wanting to write a great masterpiece but then not writing at all because my writing leaves much more to be desired. I’ve also liked seeing how you share yourself–i.e. doing things that you’re told not to (sitting in a certain place when there’s a sign that says “don’t sit here”) and your passion for reading, especially GoT (I am still slogging through Dance with Dragons–it’s taking forever!). Thanks for the blogging tips and have a great week!

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Hi there – thanks so much ,I appreciate your kind words and it’s always nice to hear from another blogger!

  • karam
    May 21, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I’m not a blogger, but a reader and once I find a blog i like, I tend to go back and read many other entries. So the first few entries may not be read at the time, but as your blog grows they will be read eventually.

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Thats a great point, thank you karam!

  • thehoustongirl
    May 21, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks for your tips on blogging! It’s very helpful as I just started blogging. I at least have a creative writing background and do have a certain voice when I’m writing, which helps a lot with my blog. I’ve always wanted to a fashion blog, but honestly my lifestyle it makes more sense to blog about my dating experiences tied in with life lessons as that’s probably the most intriguing aspect of my life right now and what I reflect a lot on, the choices I’ve made.

    And your picks for the nordstrom sale are great! I was looking at that burberry watch! (but was in a market for a rose gold or silver though!)

    thehoustongirl.wordpress.com

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Thank you so much! Your blog is great, and who can’t relate to dating experiences? 🙂

      I hope you find your rose/silver watch soon!

  • Mrs C
    May 22, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Congrats on your 3 years! When I first started, you were among the first that came and visit my teeny weeny blog.. I really appreciate that. Thanks Kat and all the best for more years to come!

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Thank you Mrs C and same to you! I always enjoy reading your entries.

  • Drifter
    May 22, 2014 at 4:58 am

    When I first came across your blog, I proceeded to read all the entries and was disappointed there wasn’t more. Thanks for blogging and I hope there will be many more entries to read!

    • Katherine
      May 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Hi Drifter, thank you very much!

  • niti
    May 23, 2014 at 9:07 am

    been reading your blog for years now….its one of the smarter ones out there with fresh content.
    You should be proud!

    • Katherine
      May 23, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Niti thanks so much! That is the highest compliment 🙂

  • Diva In Me
    May 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I think everything you said is true. Well put together. Writing with passion and interest is very important. One has to know what they really want out of blogging. Turning it into a business someday or just purely to share thoughts and feelings.
    Touching on point #2, discouraging words can be really challenging I must say. It definitely tested my patience and helped me on managing my anger. Like you said, one just have to develop a thicker skin and once you’re able to pass through that stage, you’ll come up a better person.

  • Celina
    June 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Nitpicking on the first post and trying to make it perfect? Sounds like what I’ve been doing for the past…week.

    http://www.anthesy.com is the website, just launched the first post today.

    Though I have many plans for that go beyond my blog being a leisure read, I definitely agree that a blog should start from your own interests or a subject that you are highly engaged in.

    I have been a long time reader of your work and always enjoyed the authenticity in your writing.
    I hope to capture that in all that I do.

    Wishing you the best,

    Celina

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Dear Celina, thank you for your kind comments. Best of luck with your site and I look forward to following along.