Lessons I've Learned in 3 Years of Blogging


It's exactly 3 years since my first ever (and long since converted to draft...) blog post! When I started this blog I spent a loooong time fumbling around trying to find my way and little did I think I'd be where I am now in terms of readership and the quality of my posts in comparison with my early days. Today I'm sharing what I've learnt in this time and what I'd tell my 3-years-younger self, in the hopes it'll be useful for you!


Know who you are

I'm not sure if all bloggers feel this way but the longer you do this for, the more you gain a sense of yourself. You develop a writing style, your photography and layout will have a certain aesthetic and you'll know the kind of content you want on your blog and the sort of thing that just doesn't interest you. Knowing who you are not only helps you create content that you love, but also content that appeals to your readers and it's much easier to see which opportunities that come along are or aren't for you. I also think this is why I am not as bothered by being copied or blogs that are nothing like mine suddenly becoming huge as other people might be; because I know what my blog is and who I am and outside factors don't change that. At the end of the day, I'm not going to change who I am for some extra followers!

Don't be a slave to social media

I often see people going on social media detoxes but I've never felt the need to myself. I think if you have quite a healthy attitude towards it then it's not something you ever worry too much over. Likes and followers are nice and it's always great to have people interacting with your content but it really isn't everything and there will always be someone 'bigger' than you. Sometimes an impromptu quick upload taken on my phone gets a load of likes, whereas an image I'm really proud of won't! People only share the edited highlights on social media and whilst some accounts I follow purely for the aesthetic, I don't aspire to be like those people. (As a side note: does anyone else wonder if their mates get sick of them having to take some elaborate aerial shot every time they go for dinner together or stopping every three paces to take a super-posed outfit shot or only ever going to 'Instagrammable' places?!) At the end of the day you can only be yourself and who cares about the rest?

You have to love what you're doing

Blogging takes time, effort, money and a hell of a lot of planning and organisation. People who think it's easy to get a load of followers or it's a quick way to rinse brands for free products are going to be sorely disappointed. If your heart isn't in it; it shows. for me, your passion for what you're writing about needs to jump off the page for me to keep reading. It's a long, hard slog and you won't immediately see the 'pay off' beyond having had the guts and determination to create something and put it out there for people to consume. 

Know when to step back and don't take too much on

At the end of the day; this is supposed to be fun, not stressful! If you're lucky enough to have readers who want to read your content and brands who want to work with you, then the expectations suddenly get raised and it feels like you have a lot more responsibility all of a sudden. There are people who might notice if you miss a post next Tuesday from your usual schedule. There are people chasing you and 50 unread emails in your inbox. Personally, I've gone from posting at least once a day when I was a university to just about being able to juggle three times a week. I'd kind of rather do less and maintain the regularity of my posting than try to do too much and end up failing (either in terms of my schedule or the quality of my posts). To me, there's no shame in realising you aren't coping and need to scale things back, or even take a break from the blogging world.

Sometimes things happen overnight, most of the time they don't...

Sure, there's always the story of the one in a million person who becomes huge overnight, however most of the time it's an uphill struggle; some will get big, some won't. Success to any degree is always a combination of hard work, being good at what you do and a dose of luck and good timing. I'm pretty happy with where my blog is right now but for the first 6 months of blogging I didn't get a single comment, it took me about a year to reach 1000 followers on any platform and it wasn't until around then that any brands were interested in working with me. I've also heard a lot of the big bloggers and YouTubers having varying timescales on their success; some were ready-made stars, others worked for ages before anyone took notice. As they say; Rome wasn't built in a day!

Integrity is everything

I guess this links back to knowing who you are but for 'micro-bloggers' like me, and probably many of you reading this, there are a lot of us out there! There are people who are willing to shill almost anything because it was free or they were given a couple of hundred quid, and to be honest they are the bloggers who probably aren't going to be active in a few years. You'll know in your heard of hearts when you're compromising your integrity and your readers will know. Just don't do it. You'll regret it!

Never take things for granted

I particularly notice a real disregard and lack of gratitude from some of the 'big' bloggers/vloggers, which I find incredibly off-putting. I guess it's hard to appreciate the value of things when you're constantly sent expensive products for free but when you're carelessly throwing aside a boxful of products that cost more than what most people wouldn't be able to afford to spend on beauty over a 6-month period, it doesn't endear you to anyone! No matter how big or small you are, it's easy to look at other people and wonder why you don't have what they do, however always remember there's probably someone thinking the exact same about you! I'm not saying you shouldn't be ambitious, but always appreciate what you have.


What words of wisdom do you have from your experiences of blogging?


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P.S. There'll be a giveaway to celebrate my blog's 3rd birthday and to say a massive THANK YOU to you guys coming in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!
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56 comments

  1. This was so lovely to read, you seem like such a genuine person and it really comes across in your writing! xo

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  2. I think learning to focus on being who you are plays a HUGE part, I tried to be a white, rose gold and marble lover but it just wasn't me - I love looking at it, but everytime I tried to do it it just didn't work - I have always been weird - just accepting this has made me so much happier with my blog. Best thing I ever did was change my IG to yellow, then I'm changing the blog over now too, I love how people know me as the crazy yellow girl, because thats who I am in RL too! :)

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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    1. Yeah I definitely like reading blogs where people's personality shines through their writing and photography xx

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  3. Happy 3rd birthday to your excellent blog x

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  4. Loved reading this. I certainly agree with everything you have said. It is hard building a blog it takes so much commitment but I think if you enjoy what you do and put the work in it does show - well atleast I hope so in my case! x

    franklyflawless.com

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    1. Exactly! It takes a lot of commitment and you can only do it if you really believe in it xx

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  5. Happy birthday blog! I love your taking things for granted section at the end it's so true!

    Lucy | www.lucyalana.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Lucy and I'm glad this resonated :) xx

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  6. I agree with everything you've said - being true to yourself & maintaining integrity are essential, also it needs t be enjoyable xx

    Beautylymin

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    1. Totally agree - it's so important to remember why you're doing this :) xx

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  7. This is such a lovely post! It's so reassuring, especially as a new blogger myself. Thanks for the kind words :)

    www.luxandvitae.com

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    1. Thank you Deanna and welcome to the blogging community! xx

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  8. This was a motivational Sunday morning read :) It helps that I blog to decompress from the stress of work and school, but I could see the environment getting really discouraging if it were something I wanted to pursue as a potential career. I've only been following your blog for a few months now, but I've appreciated your candor on whether products are actually effective or quality and have never felt like you were just trying to sell us something.

    Call Me Dina

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    1. Thank you Dina - I'm really glad you get that impression from my blog as it's pretty important to me :) xx

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  9. Thank you for this incredible insight. Even though I've been blogging for years now, there is constant learning and unlearning going on. It helps to have some of my beliefs reaffirmed by this inspirational Sunday morning post. I absolutely love blogging and I am excited to keep doing it for years to come. Thanks for providing us with such a beautiful lead to follow :)

    www.theindiebyline.com/blog

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    1. I totally agree - you never stop learning in the blogging world! And thank you so much :) xx

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  10. This are all so true. I love your vision of the blogging world, and I share all of these views. The main point for me is that you have to love what you do - blogging is so time-consuming and, contrary to what some may think, it takes up energy and motivation to blog regularly, maybe even more so when blogging isn't your job. So when you make a living from blogging, it must be really sad to dislike it haha.
    Integrity and honesty are also essential. Blogging is about finding content that you can trust and relate to, so as a blogger, always sharing your honest thoughts, and opening up to your readers, is absolutely necessary :)

    Julia x
    www.juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Yeah it definitely shines through in their content when people are clearly disenchanted with blogging or are just using it to get 'free' stuff. I really appreciate your kind words Julia :) xx

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  11. I always see people doing social media detox's but like you say, I've never felt the need to do one as I think I have a 'healthy' attitude towards it anyway, as long as you don't get it consume you, all is well!

    Lucy | Forever September

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  12. Yes! This is so true. I definitely say you have to stay true to yourself. I write about what interests me and it is completely my voice!

    Rachael xox
    http://gatsbyandglamour.blogspot.com

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    1. That's the best attitude to have! xx

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  13. My blog is only a few months younger than yours but so so much further behind in terms of progress. For AGES I just wasn't too interested and didn't put the effort in, and I didn't really know what I wanted to do with it, and so the beginning was awfully slow. You've done SO well in three years!

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Steph :) and there are many measures of progress! xx

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  14. Wonderful post Jasmine, so well written. It is so true that you should stay true to you, write what you want to and do what makes you happy!

    Alice | alicemaysnell

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  15. This was great to read. We both started our blogs around the same time, and I still remember you reading and commenting on my posts way back then (as terrible as those old ones were ha!). Your voice has remained true on your blog which is one of the reasons I still love reading it. Congrats on 3 years!

    She Likes to Shop

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    1. Thank you so much Laura, that really means a lot :) xx

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  16. You never cease to amaze and inspire me with your maturity and insight. These tips are great - I always plan to post 3 times a week but the reality is its hard enough for me to juggle everything and put 2 posts out a week when I do. But I can't help but wonder how everyone else manages to post so much more and more consistently than me. Onwards and upwards, always staying true to myself....thanks Jasmine xxx
    UmmBabyBeauty

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    1. Thank you so much Sal! All of your posts are so detailed and in-depth that I can se how they must take a lot of time and effort to put together :) xx

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing your lessons! I couldn't agree more with a lot of them, especially the one about loving what you do. I was in a rut with my own blog for a long time, and then one of my friends really good friends inspired me.

    On a side note I just started a new beauty link up! Hope to see you there! http://beingzhenya.com/whats-in-my-gym-bag/

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    1. Yeah I think most bloggers get into a rut at some point but it's great when you can feel the inspiration rushing back! xx

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  18. I can't believe I've been reading your blog for a few years now (time flies), but I've loved seeing your blog grow over time. I think it's definitely good advice to new bloggers to know that success does not grow overnight, but it takes dedication and persistence to really see a result. Can't wait to see where your blog takes you :)

    Cindy | www.cindyhyue.com

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    1. It really does! I've loved your blog for ages too :) thank you so much for the kind words xx

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  19. What a beautiful and motivated post! I read your blog a few months now and you are an inspiration for the beauty posts i would like to publish. Congratulations on your blogs 3rd birthday!
    Helene // Beautiful Is My Attire

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    1. Thank you Helene <3 glad you enjoyed reading xx

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  20. Loved this post Jasmine, I've always loved your attitude to blogging. Congrats on the 3 years!!

    The Makeup Directory

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  21. Congrats on completing 3 years, your blog has always been my favourite! :) x

    ♥ Jadirah Sarmad | Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

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  22. Three years - well done, keep up the good work x

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  23. I've only been blogging a year but I already feel like I've learnt so much and that both myself and my blog have grown in many ways.
    Alicia x
    www.aestheticobsessed.co.uk

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    1. Yeah it's such a steep learning curve in the best possible way :) xx

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  24. Totally agree with everything you've mentioned Jasmine! Happy anniversary!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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  25. This was just what I needed to read today. Life has become stressful and I've had to put creating content on hold. Hopefully for less than a week, but who knows. I started off beating myself up about it, but that was just adding to the stress. So I'm allowing myself to step back, spend some time when I can reading other people's blogs, and hopefully, when the stressful situation is resolved, I'll be able to come back fresh. I'm also so glad to know I wasn't the only one fumbling around in the dark to start off with! I've learnt such a lot since I started blogging, but also know I've got a long way to go. But that's one of the things I love about blogging, there's always more to learn and so much scope for improvement. Congratulations on 3 years of blogging! Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

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    1. Yeah it's so important not to feel like blogging is some obligation you HAVE to fulfil! It's also amazing to have a hobby where your learning is never done :) thank you Tania xx

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  26. Great post! Couldn't agree with you more.

    www.upyourvlog.com

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  27. All fantastic points!! I had to take a break from blogging the past couple of months to focus on school. Sometimes a break is just necessary.

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    1. I totally agree- sometimes you just have to put yourself first xx

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  28. I love these 'what-I've-learned-from-blogging' type posts, as we sometimes do not even realize how much we develop as a person because of blogging. :)

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  29. Great post. I am just entering the blog world and this was really refreshing! I am excited to just share what I am learning about curly hair care products. Love your blog!

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