Blogging: Staying True to Yourself {a guest post}

Hello lovely readers! My name is Roxy and I blog over at CityGirlSearching. I blog about all sorts of lovely things from makeup reviews, to DIY bits and pieces, loads of photographs of this and that and yummy recipes too. Come by and say hello, I love {meeting} new people.

While Nadia is off on her exciting trip, she asked me to keep you company here on her blog by sharing something with all of you. 
I spent many an hour on Pinterest and some of my favourite blogs looking for inspiration for this post, when I realised that I was beginning to form a blend of other peoples idea's instead of writing something that came from me. So I thought I would write a post on staying true to yourself and your blog when putting yourself out there on the world wide web.

I often need to remind myself of the reasons behind why I blog. This helps me to stay focused on what I should and could blog about, especially when I'm feeling a little drained of my creative juices.

This is different for everyone. Some people enjoy seeing their words and thoughts come alive on the page, others enjoy the feeling of affirmation that comes from gaining another follower or like on Facebook. I have loved meeting new friends through my blog, as well as the outlet it has given me to be creative, something I never dreamed was possible.
Whatever your reasons were for first wanting to start your blog, write them down, so when you start to feel guilty for not having written a post in months don't beat yourself up about it. Instead, go back to your list and remind yourself of the real reasons you wanted to blog in the first place, I'm sure you will feel inspired to get started again.

I find I am at my least creative when I stare at other peoples awesome blogs all day. I find I am unable to think of anything new or original to write about. How I deal with this (and I have my incredibly creative husband to thank for most of my idea's) is to go for a walk, camera in hand, and snap away at anything and everything that takes my fancy. Sometimes I take a notebook and jot down notes about my day, about the people I see around me, about the things I want to do with my life. Pretty soon I have a messy jumble of potential content for my blog. Look around your world, your office, your family, your community for idea's. Do you work with some strange and fascinating people, what about interviewing them on your blog? What about doing a post about a day in your life (with photo's of everything that makes your day unique)? The world around us is so rich with colour and life, its an endless supply of idea's if we just take the time to look.

I used to think that my blog could become popular by just reposting great content I found on sites like We Heart It and Pinterest. I've now come to realise that there are too many mediocre blogs out there that just repost other peoples creative content. That's why I try to post original content on my blog. That doesn't mean I don't 'borrow' idea's from other bloggers, but it does mean that if I want to showcase an awesome DIY lampshade, I will try to make that lampshade myself, take my own photo's and write in my own words how to go about making one yourself. And I also try to link back to the original source of the idea, as a way of saying thank you for the idea.
But now I'm getting distracted here...the title of this tip is to take your own photographs. You really don't have to have an amazing camera to take incredible photo's. You just need to play, and fiddle with your camera and the angles to get your photograph just right. This is how I started getting into photography. Etsy has a great article on taking better product photographs, click here to have a read.

The most important thing with taking photo's for your blog is to take, and take, and take, and take some more! For this one photograph, it took 9 takes until I was happy with it. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, you can always hit the delete button!

Most bloggers would probably think I'm crazy for saying this, but for me it works. I am a very organized person, I love to plan EVERYTHING and my favourite past time is makings lists (can you say *nerdy*?!). But I find that if I spend too long planning a blog post, I lose interest in it and it stays in my drafts for weeks, even months without ever seeing the light of day. If an idea comes to mind, I straight away log onto my blog, start a new post, and I just roll with it. I try not to leave it till the next day to finish it, as I often get distracted by the next post. In some ways I find this helps me stay inspired as I am always putting new content up, and my readers know that they can come back every day or so for something new. This pressure helps me to stay motivated to continue putting posts out there!
Your readers want to know about you, so be true to ourself. This doesn't mean gushing about each and every last detail of your day and how depressed you feel after finding out that your local Woolies Food was out of fresh basil. But rather, this means writing in your own voice and letting your personality shine through the page. Don't be scared to put yourself/your business/your idea's out there, your readers will respond to your 'genuineness', and you never know where that road may lead.
Good luck to you and your blog!

aka CityGirl