I remember the day I decided I wanted to start a blog. I simply said it out loud, sitting alone in my ever messy room. Suddenly, the heavens opened, and clouds were in every inch of my room. Then came the bright, amber light. It fell upon my face, and I stared in wonder as a black box floated down from above.
It landed on my laps, and I heard a voice “blog on, my child,” from the heavens. I took off the box lid, uncovering a nice package. In the box was a laptop, a data bundle, a Cassie Daves blog planner, an iPhone, an Olympus Camera, and a chip for creativity. I smiled and the heavens closed up, the clouds disappearing into thin air. It was my starter pack, I was ready.
Okay, who honestly can say that was what happened when they decided to start blogging? Not me! If you can say that, then you probably need to get something checked, because that is a serious hallucination, haha! I basically just listed out for you some things I want, so if you are led, start with the Olympus camera please! Then again, I did write a starter pack post.
I previously wrote a post on how some of my favourite bloggers (who are also quite popular) started off their blogging journey. It was a good post, If I say so myself.
So, the response to the post was so awesome, and I felt glad I was able to inspire at least more than one person out there, helping them to have a renewed view of their blogging journey. I definitely want to shut down prevalent thoughts of being unworthy, and comparing our stats with others. I want to inspire people to do their best, work at their utmost capacity, especially when it comes to blogging. So, I have decided to take things a step further.
Wisdom Nuggets on Comparison
You see, comparison, like we have said many times before, is the thief of joy. Sometimes we get to comparing so quickly, not forgetting that not everyone has the same circumstances. For example, sure, we’re a bunch of Nigerian bloggers. Even if we all live in one country, of course we lead different lives.
Different lives and backgrounds, lead to different resources. So, it’s clearly not hot to be comparing yourself to a blogger who has a professional photographer, while you’re figuring out your 8MP phone camera. I can’t wake up one day and start feeling sad because JTO Fashion or Thirteen Thoughts have much nicer photos than me. That would be unrealistic, and would not really help anybody, especially me, in the long run.
For one, I started off ‘very well’. I have steady internet access, a laptop, and a highly reliable phone. I have constant electricity which allows me to charge the aforementioned items, meaning that I can barely miss out on stuff. I also use my computer most of the time to surf the web, and so it makes things easy when an idea hits, and I can just start drafting the post. I would even have a camera, but then as I got into this flat lay game, the house camera has decided to abscond to Mexico or something.
If I find the camera, I would kind of have the complete package. I also live in a place that allows for prime positioning when it comes to flat lays. All my flat lays are taken in the comfort of my room, just right under the beautiful natural light streaming in from my window.
Someone who, for example, has just a simple phone which they rely on to put up posts, take photos, edit photos as well as build up their brands via their Instagram and other social media pages, would definitely get stressed at some point. Maybe your phone battery sucks and keeps dying when you need it the most, or that it’s hard for you to snatch that natural lighting due to where you live. It could also be that you’re a student who has such a terribly heavy workload, and don’t have as much time, meaning you then become inconsistent. One week you’re here, the other you’re not.
You should take into consideration these factors, before even considering comparing yourself to others. Maybe you see all the photos of bloggers in nice places, and all you see around you is unpainted buildings with empty water sachets all over the ground, and the occasional goat and chicken (if you don’t live right in a city, but probably the outskirts. PS Not all of Nigeria is like this, I’m just mirroring my own experience. I stay in Abuja, but barely ever go into town). Work with it somehow! Use your creativity!
I’d love to rant on, but I’m sure you just can’t wait to see what is up! I’ve decided, taking into consideration all these factors, to interview some awesome bloggers, and ask them how they started off. Sometimes, it’s good to reach out to others and get a variety of perspectives. Off we go!
YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGERS SPEAK
For this post, I reached out to quite a number of people. They all replied positively, and so I will have two posts in order to showcase their awesome answers and perspectives. For this post, the bloggers featured are:
Q: What tools did you start your blogging journey with?
I started blogging with my phone, until today I still edit photos and write blog posts on my phone, as I have gotten used to it and I find it easier and less complicated to use (I’m not tech savvy at all)
UZZY: I started blogging with just my phone, that didn’t have a camera! Looool
LADE: I started my blogging journey with just my laptop and random pieces of paper (lol) to write down ideas whenever they pop up..I don’t think I really used my phone for any blog related things.
ELLA: I started with a phone. It was an iPhone 5 then, and I didn’t feel inadequate for it at all. It was everything. My camera, My notepad…everything.
LOVE: I started out with an iPad on the platform of Blogger and I remember it being so difficult figuring out how things worked on my own, having to google virtually everything from how to attach photos to how to schedule posts. That was the struggle stage
Q: What tools do you think are essential to start a blog?
I’d say the essential tools to start blogging are what you have and a huge amount of determination. As I stated earlier, all I had when I started blogging was my phone, and it was just perfect.
UZZY: I think having a system (computer) is very essential, and a good camera. It could be a phone or digital camera. Having a camera gives you more room to explore and determine what your style is, I hope that makes sense.
LADE: Basic tools essential to starting a blog are a laptop, a journal and contact cards. Then depending on your niche comes other essentials, like a camera.
ELLA: You don’t need to have everything to get on with it. A smartphone with a good camera is fine. What is worth doing is worth doing well though, so try not to get stuck in that phase for long. Depending on how serious you want your blog to be, and how much work you put into it, you will grow, and so will your “tools”.
LOVE: I think you definitely need to have a laptop – that’s just the most convenient device to use if your blog is hosted by Blogger. A camera or a good phone capable of taking photos and planner to schedule your posts.
Q: Do you remember a time where you compared yourself to another blogger? What made you compare?
I’ve sincerely never compared myself to any blogger, I’m too busy focusing on how to be better than myself, I barely have time to check up on what other people or bloggers are doing. One thing I realised years back is that no one is running the same race as you, yes we are all bloggers, but for different reasons. We have different resources, different ideas etc. so my growth and your growth can never be the same. There is no scale of growth, we might have started blogging at the same time but we spend different amount of times and resources on our craft, so why do you expect us to grow at the same rate? Even twins in the womb do not grow at the same rate. I really urge everyone to spend the time they use checking out other people to research, read, seek inspiration on how to do better because comparison is not only a thief of joy but a thief of success.
We might have started blogging at the same time, but we spend different amount of times and resources on our craft, so why do you expect us to grow at the same rate?
UZZY: Yeah, I did compare myself with a few bloggers. I kept asking myself, ‘what is she doing that I’m not getting right?’, ‘Why does she have more followers?’, ‘Why are brands contacting her for collaborations, and not asking me?’ How come her site looks so lit? Then I decided to look at it from a different angle, maybe I need to up my game, so I started working on my IG feed.
Then I decided to look at it from a different angle, maybe I need to up my game…”
LADE: I think I’ve had several times I’ve compared myself with different kinds of creatives, not just bloggers. It’s been for various reasons, from how great their blog/feed looks, to how they are able to gather engagement on almost every social platform, to picture quality and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I realised it’s all just unnecessary headache. Everybody has their own race, so comparing and/or trying to copy does you no good at the end.
ELLA: Is it healthy to say that I do that almost on a daily basis? But not in a bad way. I mean, it is more like an inspiration sort of thing. This person is doing it right, I should be able to too. Everyone has their own magic though and no matter how much I compare, I don’t ever forget that.
LOVE: Yes! Back when I was a lot younger and still trying to figure out my own personal style, I would look at another blogger and be like ‘oh, she has my body type, what she’s wearing might fit me’, and it almost never did! But that was how I got to figure out the styles I liked from the ones I didn’t.
Q: What is one tool you wish you could have for your blog?
IFEOMA: Definitely has to be a personal camera, but I’m working on getting one soon.
UZZY: Right now I want a laptop, I wanted a digital camera before but I’ve come to realise that my phone is good enough for me at the moment. Editing apps have made it better too.
LADE: I wish and I’m planning on buying a camera. Still don’t have one lol
ELLA: A photographer! Lol! Does a person count as a tool? I don’t think so. I wish I had someone to direct me during shoots and tell me when I’m not tilting my head right. A tripod can’t really do that.
LOVE: Well, right now, I think I have everything I need
I included the last question so you can buy stuff (and people, in the case of Ella) for your faves, lol! Before buying anything for them, you must buy me an Olympus camera or we’ll fight!
I hope you have enjoyed this post! If you liked it, and can see yourself collaborating with me in the future, do check out my Collaboration page to get the gist on how we can get started. I won’t start collaborations until next year, so there’s lots of time to think of what you think we can do, and swap ideas. I already have a few ideas myself!