Expectations vs reality – what it is really like to run your own blog.

laptop, flowers, magazines and phone on on white wooden table

Hello, dear readers! I am publishing this blog post one day later because Fresher’s week turned out to be incredibly exhausting. If you have experienced it, you would understand. It is a week of countless meetups, city tours, parties and on top of that, if you are an international student, you have to open bank account, get National Insurance Number and find a job as soon as possible. So now you know the struggle. Even without that, running a blog is not an easy task, especially if you are a student or have non blogging related job, so you have to find a balance between these things. Looking from the bright side – these struggles inspired me to write this blog post that a lot of other bloggers can relate to.

  1. Expectations: I am always inspired to write new blog posts and my head is buzzing from new ideas. Reality: I feel like I have nothing meaningful to share with the world today and I am scared that what I post today might be just a bunch of useless crap.
  2. Expectations: I will write every blog post few days before publishing it. Ideally – I will have several posts scheduled and ready to publish, so I do not have to worry about my blog every second of my life. Reality: I wanted to have proper social life just like all of my friends, so I forgot to put some time away for blogging. Today is the day I have to publish new post but I have nothing.
  3. Expectations: Social media marketing is fun and effortless. I love using Twitter and Instagram anyway! Reality: Why am I loosing followers? How often should I post? This picture only got 26 likes… What am I doing wrong?
  4. Expectations: Blogging is easier than regular job. All I have to do is write content. Reality: Blogging includes researching, planning posts & writing them, social media marketing, networking, commenting on other blogs, finding opportunities to make money, reading about how to improve your blogging & social marketing game and more.
  5. Expectations: I will write one great blog post and get 100 followers, 78 comments and 138 likes overnight. Reality: Few of your very first posts might get only few comments or none at all and growing following is hard work. Staying consistent, using social media the right way and constantly improving is the key.
  6. Expectations: If I will have 10 000 followers, I will be able to make decent money. Reality: Numbers do not matter, if only small part of your followers are engaging with your posts and buying your products. 
  7. Expectations: My posts will and have to be perfect from the very start, otherwise people will not like my blog. Reality: Everyone has to start somewhere. Your content quality will improve as you write and you can always go back and edit it.
  8. Expectations: I do not need to promote my old content anymore, people will just stumble upon it because I’m already being consistent and posting new stuff. Reality: You need to promote all of your content. Do not share only new posts, promote old ones here and there, too. 
  9. Expectations: I will succeed in blogging without defining my audience and blog topics. Reality: No one wants to read a blog that is “for everyone” and writes about “everything”. Get your shit together. For example, your audience is 20 to 30 years old females. They are interested in career related posts, self-improvement and relationship tips. Go!
  10. Expectations: I will take a few days long break from posting on social media and get well deserved rest. That will not impact my views at all. Reality: After three days of not posting on social media, daily blog views dropped from 50 to 5 . Damn it!

Those are ten main struggles that I have faced in my blogging journey. Could you relate to any of those? If so, drop a comment below. Also, if you would like to see more “expectations vs reality” type of posts on my blog, please let me know in the comments. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

4 reasons why I stopped using Tumblr.

Computer, coffee cup, plant and a pen

Hello, dear readers! I have finally rediscovered a way to write my blog posts faster and in time. A cup of coffee really does wonders. Anyways, today I wanted to talk about Tumblr – every teenager’s (ages 11 to 16) favorite social media platform. At least it was that way when I was about thirteen years old. I guess, it was not only a good way, how to socialize with peers but also a way to appear cooler than you actually are because you had a “blog”. Even if that blog consisted only from stuff that was reblogged from other people and had nothing to do with your life. I have to admit that I was such a Tumblr junkie back in the day. I used to spend a lot of time on it when I was depressed and confused about teen problems. At the time when Tumblr was full of fandom accounts, grunge blogs and similar stuff instead of porn bots, it was a place where to hide and feel like you actually matter. Once I actually had a blog with 500+ followers there and no, I didn’t post anything original there at all. However, time passed. After trying to create several different blogs on Tumblr, my obsession finally died at the age of 17. I tried going back to it again, hoping that it will love it as much as I used to but the feeling is gone. Maybe that is since I created Dolls Have Hearts and started treating it seriously. So enough of the intro for this post, here are my three reason why I stopped using Tumblr.

  1. It is full of  porn bots. God forbid, if you don’t turn “safe search” on. And even if you do that, there is still is a chance that they will follow you. All it takes is to reblog few fitspo pictures of attractive women and porn bots are coming for you. Do you know, how annoying it is that one fifth of your followers are bots? They’re just increasing the number of your followers but, of course not interacting at all. Sadly there’s no way to keep them away from this blogging platform, so keeping a blog there would mean clearing out the follower list every now and then just to block bots.
  2. The temptation to reblog content instead of making it myself is huge. No other blogging platform advertises reposting content as much as Tumblr does. You can literally have your own blog by just mindlessly reblogging and never speaking your own mind. In my option the main purpose of having a blog is to make a change in the world. Even if only ten people read your post and only four of them comment, it still counts. That is why I am keeping up Dolls Have Hearts. I know that I might not grow my follower count here as fast as I could on Tumblr but my followers here are truly genuine, want to interract, care about what I post and come here because of my opinion not some pretty pictures I have reblogged.
  3. There are rarely any blogs, who  post quality written content. Don’t get me wrong, I really like quality photography but I would like to see someone on Tumblr, who actually wants to inspire and inform people, and make the world a better place. There was an age when I used to enjoy Tumblr but right now I just feel like it is filled with confused teenagers, who are obsessed with different music bands and… I’m just not one of them. Not anymore.
  4. Post scheduling and staying active was hard. I noticed a while ago that the most popular blogs on Tumblr are popular because they are always active, not because they are posting quality stuff. I don’t want to be glued to my computer screen 24/7 and there are so many things I want to accomplish in life without worrying about losing my followers meanwhile. Having a blog on WordPress allows me to do just that. I can easily post one lengthy quality post every week at the same time and keep my readers interested.

I could go on and on about reasons why I quit Tumblr but I will end this here. In my opinion, if you are serious blogger, who wants to get your own voice out there, don’t use Tumblr. It’s not worth it. (Unless you are a fashion blogger, I guess. I don’t know for sure because I don’t fall into that category.) Don’t be fooled by pretty themes and widgets.

That is all I have to share with you today. I can see that not only my follower list but also my e-mail subscriber list has been growing slowly but surely. Thank you all for reading and liking my posts, and interacting with me. You can’t even imagine, how much that means to me. I know that Dolls With Hearts are currently quite a small crowd but every sign of appreciation from you makes me smile. My blog would never be the way it is without each and every one of you. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

Blog update: dollshavehearts.com will be launched soon!

Old wooden bench with orange autumn leaves on it.

Hello, dear readers! You’ve probably been wondering where have I gone and why is my blog so inactive. Of course, like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I’ve been very busy with school and work which, honestly, sometimes tends to suck all the creativity out of me. However, I recently decided to quit one of my jobs, so I’ll be working there only until the middle of December and after that I will have more free time. Why did I decide to quit? That’s kind of a long story but I decided that if, no matter how dedicated I was to the job, someone in a higher position repeatedly treats me like shit by not helping me with things I don’t understand, slandering me, telling me how terrible I am at doing my job and yelling at me, I don’t need to endure it. Enough about the job for now, I might go in depth about it in some of my future posts but right now I will tell you what I have in mind for this blog for 2018.

I finally feel ready to make this blog more professional, interesting and successful. I am planning to upgrade it to WordPress Premium, start being active on all of my social media accounts, which include Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram and most importantly – post lots of exciting content. I have finally figured out who exactly I am writing this blog for, what I am writing about and why I am even writing it. So – great news, this blog is going to get a huge upgrade and start looking like one of those neat, pretty lifestyle blogs that are full of great content. The estimated relaunch of Dolls Have Hearts is planned on January 1st but let’s see how it goes.

For now I am going to focus on getting blog ready for the relaunch. I have to write enough posts for at least a month forward to publish and I’ll try my best to post at least 2 times a week in 2018. At the moment I am super guilty about writing my blog posts the very last minute and even though the quality is good, I don’t have any posts scheduled for the future and that messes with my consistency. I also have to think about the way site looks and figure out the content to post on social media. If you’re a blogger, you already know, how important it is to stay active on social media and post not only your recent blog content but also other things your audience might be interested in. So, just because I have to do a lot of preparation, there might be very few or no posts at all this year. Don’t be sad – better content is yet to come!

If you have any suggestions about what you’d like to see more of on this blog or if you have anything important to note about upgrading your blog, monetizing it and making exciting for the readers, feel free to comment below! I’ve read a lot of information on how to build a successful blog but some extra advice won’t hurt. Also, if you’re a blogger, who recently relaunched and/or monetized your site, share your experience in the comments! I will really appreciate it.

P.S. Thank you all for following my blog and interracting in the comment section. It means the world to me that my opinion is important to you and that my view of life is relatable.

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

Why I’m not blogging as much as I used to.

Cup of tea, books, flowers and a hand.

Hello, dear readers! For about first 3 weeks of school year I felt super excited that it’s the last year of school and I have a job which means I’ll finally earn some money myself. Do you know those moments in your life when you’re telling yourself that you’re starting over fresh and you can do anything? I had this moment at the beginning. But then, about 5 weeks later I realized that living the life I want is not completely possible.

First and the biggest cause of my creative block is school. It’s my 4th year in music high-school which I was impatiently waiting for, somehow hoping that in this year everything will get better. Why shouldn’t it be like that? No more Math lessons which should have meant no more torturous lessons I’m not interested in. Sadly, I was mistaken. In 3rd year of high school at least I had Literature lessons that made me feel inspired and interested and even English that, despite of having a shitty teacher, I still liked as a subject. This year I can’t really name any subject that would fascinate me and I just feel stuck in the wrong place. I know that I am supposed to feel relieved that I have only 7 months left but those are 7 boring months that, honestly feel like a waste of time. I want to read great books, I want to write, travel and study something I’m interested in but I just can’t get out. Not even on weekends – there is still a pile of homework that I have to get done but see no point in it. It’s interesting , how just yesterday I heard in one of Skillshare classes that if you’re having too much stimulation from the outside world, your mind and imagination feels kind of suppressed and you start to feel less creative. That explains my situation a lot. So that’s how my inspiration is taken away. It’s nearly impossible to fake your interest in a subjects that you just don’t care about.

Work tends to be overwhelming. I agreed to take two teaching jobs because I hope that maybe my calling is teaching instead of performing. Of course, I’m thankful for one gifted student of mine and few other that are doing the best they can but working with all other kids that are bored of playing the guitar or don’t have abilities to be good at it is exhausting. Every time I have a lesson with someone, who just not into it, I feel sad that instead of improving my own guitar skills, I’m wasting time with hopeless kid. I’m still wondering, if having two jobs was the right choice for me even more because in one of those workplaces, I’m having a colleague in a higher position, who is very unhelpful and rude person in general.

I don’t know where I want to be in my life but it’s not where I am right now. Please know that I will post when I have some quality content to post and I might not stick to a regular schedule during this school year. However, my heart belongs to writing and I really like my little blog. Huge thanks to everyone, who follows me and cares about the content that I post, it means the world to me. Just so you know – I’m not going anywhere and I’ll do my best to make this blog better but for now it is kind of tricky.

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some movie reviews and other exciting and positive stuff. Thanks for sticking with me!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

6 mistakes I made when I started a blog at thirteen-ish.

Hello, my dear readers! No one is ever born a successful blogger or writer. If you are writing, too, you should know this by now. When I talk about my writing ambitions, my mum often asks me: “Have you thought that maybe you do not have any talent in writing? What if you get sick of it?” Those questions do not scare me anymore because I have already answered them to myself. To become a writer, there are few things you need: curious mind, different approach to life and love for reading. I doubt that there are people, who are born with writing talent and everything came easy to them. All kinds of writers just have the things I mentioned before that you need for starting. If you have this starter kit, you will keep going. Yes, maybe you will leave lots of empty wine bottles, and crumpled pieces of paper that have lots of useless words written on them but that it part of the exciting process. To answer my mother’s second question – I will not get sick of it. There is always something going on my mind – all kinds of emotions, doubts, fantasies… Everything! I never stop doubting, fanatasizing, watching and reading. I am way too curious, way too hungry for pain, different emotions and experiences to ever be bored with being a writer. However, I was not always like that. In my early teens I was just a little bookworm, who thought that writing a blog is a stylish thing to do. At the age of thirteen, I did not have lot of deep thoughts in my mind and it is no surprise – I was going through puberty. Now, when I am finally eighteen years old, I see everything clearer and can look back to my young self and notice mistakes I made while just starting my blog.1blog

  1. I had no clue what I was going to write about. I saw a lot of girls being interested in fashion but that was no passion of mine, so I wrote literally everything that came into my mind. That is how my blog turned into more like an online diary where I just vomited all my thoughts in public. Looking back at thirteen years old me – it was no wonder I decided to create a kind of online diary. I was the quiet kid and my parents were often too busy to talk about me with my feelings.
  2. I had no goals and schedule. As I said, younger version of me thought about blogging as just something that cool kids might do. I had no ambitions yet to publish a novel, make money with my blog and become a writer. I could publish a post back then, disappear for a month, then publish one more… And so on.
  3. I did not interact with other bloggers and writers enough. This is the thing I am still working on. Of course, writing a blog is interesting but I got so caught up in it that I barely read blogs of other people, not even talking about commenting on them and liking their content. Being a blogger is not a lonely road. There are lots and lots of other bloggers and from interacting with them, you can only gain. So get out there! If you like someone’s post, let them now! If you have questions, do not be shy and ask them in the comment section!
  4. My post titles were long and not ‘eye catching’ at all. I will give you few examples from my previous content. “Unconditionally is out/thanks to my followers”. Okay, what kind of title is even that? I sound like an amateur musician, who just released original song and is thanking her fans, which is not what I meant at all. At that time I was hyped about Katy Perry’s new single and the fact that my blog was gaining more followers. Nothing too exciting. “Cody Simpson and all those “cuties” that girls like so much.”, “Mad teachers, teachers’ pets,why I hate math and The Princess Syndrome.” , “My parents don’t let me choose most of the thing that matter to me.” You can roast me on these but for now I will just cringe in silence.
  5. Too much personal repeated “vomit”. Everytime I misunderstood hints of my crush or had an argument with my parents, I ran to my blog, so I could get it all out. Too bad I did not know that people do not like blogs that are full of personal drama. Why? Because they get nothing out of it. For my readers this was just a bunch of useless information and a complete waste of time. I would not read a blog like this either.
  6. Too short blog posts. When I was younger, I found it hard to write 500+ words for a post, so often my blog was filled with short posts that often did not have any meaning. Like I pointed out while writing about my first mistake, I had no idea what was I going to write about. It is kind of impossible to write long quality content when you have no idea what are you doing.

In general, those are the main reasons, why I failed to create a successful blog in the past. However, now I am motivated to improve it in every way possible and write quality content only. Have you started blogging in your teens, too? How did it go for you and what mistakes did you made?

Love, Porcelain Doll.

Starting over with Dolls Have Hearts.

Coffee cup and notebook with a pen.

Hello, dear reader! Maybe just now you have noticed that there are no other blog posts in here except this one. You might ask – where did all of your content go? It’s simple – I deleted it because I no longer felt like the person, who previously was posting here. I am not this depressed, brokenhearted teenage girl anymore. I won’t binge post about my heartache or how hopeless it feels when I can’t even push myself to get out of bed. Posts like that don’t make this world better in any way. I’m done with the old me, who wrote about stuff that barely matters and “decorated” it with a lot of GIFs and images. I am done with the person, who was so obsessed with the idea about becoming a successful blogger that writing became almost like a chore for her. From now on I will make sure that everything I post here is quality content that I, myself would enjoy to read. I will not curse, I will not use primitive teenage language because you know what? I have grown up and I have decided that I want to change. Instead of being scared, lonely and lacking any motivation, I decided to take more risks, learn from the past and become better than I ever was.

Yes, I am still battling my mental illness but I have decided that I won’t let depression dictate the way I live my life and I will regain full control over it. Maybe through writing a lot as often as I can, maybe through finding calm in some religion I haven’t been a part of before, maybe through meditating… Who knows. All that matters is the fact that slowly but surely I am digging myself out of the dark hole that I have been in for years. However, I have given up any hope that antidepressants could help me. Even if they help with my condition a little, they still cause a lot of weird side effects. I don’t want to rely on medication all the time and honestly, it feels like it is not the right cure for me. One more thing that helps me to feel better every day is to be proud even about smallest things I have done that day. Have I washed dishes? Great! Have I practiced to play the guitar for a half an hour today. Way to go! Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to practice for 40 minutes. I am proud about everything that I have done because I remember there were days when I could not get out of bed. I just wallowed in self-pity and tried to escape from thoughts in my sleep. Unsuccessful, though. Everything I was worried about, usually came back in nightmares.

Anyway – enough about me for this time. You might want to be curious, what are my plans for this blog in the future. Well, let me make this clear. I will probably not post regularly but I will try to write at least one 500+ words long post every week and when I do it, that will be quality content only. No more posts about celebrities, unless they have done something that really touched my heart, no more self-pity posts about depression and no more posts about the drama queens in my school. I believe there are way more important topics out there to talk about and that is what I am going to do from now on. So cheers! Raise your coffee cup or whatever you are drinking right now to the new beginning of my blog!

With love, Porcelain Doll.