One year ago today, this little sphere of mine, that sits quietly somewhere amid this scarily vast, yet somewhat extraordinary, space known as the World Wide Web, was born; my blog, my brand, my baby: Little Pav. And what a year it’s been; from deriving as a creative outlet on a whim one quarantine morning to becoming a platform with almost 10,000 views worldwide covering student and graduate life, mental health and self-care to name a few, Little Pav has changed my life for the better. It is thanks to Little Pav that I was able to stay sane during the first UK lockdown in response to the global pandemic. It is thanks to Little Pav that I have been inspired to share my, and invite guests to share their, experiences as a graduate, twenty-something and millennial to (hopefully) help others find their feet. It is thanks to Little Pav that I managed to secure my first Content Writer role upon graduation. And that’s not all; as a blogger, I am surrounded by a wonderful community, continually enhancing my skillset and doing something for me. So, to celebrate one year of Little Pav, it seemed only fitting to write a commemorative piece reflecting on the benefits offered, lessons learnt and opportunities presented since its inception in May 2020.
Growing up, I always knew I wanted a blog. I would see my friends create their own on the likes of Blogspot reviewing their favourite books, sharing their go-to cosmetics and collating their fashion inspiration and would revel in the idea but, since I wasn’t into reading, beauty or fashion then, I had no idea what I’d create one for; I just knew I loved to write. I’ve mentioned many a time since I started this blog that I’ve always loved writing, from composing songs since I was four years young to submitting more homework essays than required during my school years to continue to enhance my abilities; hence, it was only inevitable that I pursued English Language and Linguistics at bachelor’s level. Throughout my university studies, the thought of creating my own blog continued to linger in the back of my mind, but I never took the plunge until this time last year, some months after graduating with my master’s degree in Global Marketing and amid the coronavirus pandemic. If I was so keen, then, what was missing?
While it’s plausible to think that I still might not have created this blog had it not been for the pandemic – as devastating as it was – because I had the time to do so on furlough, its inception was too very much borne out of frustration. Not only had the pandemic ignited a spark in me to explore my creativity, but I had only recently completed my studies and was consumed by the debilitating graduate job search, during which it quickly became obvious that both my degrees and abundant retail experience gained alongside my studies wasn’t enough. Ergo, Little Pav was born. What was missing, then, was a motive; be it the devastating pandemic or the debilitating graduate job search, I was finally motivated to do something for me – something I had struggled with for a particularly long time.
If you’re in such a position where you think you’ll benefit from embarking on a new journey – whether that’s a blog, a small business or a side hustle of any kind – professionally or personally, this is your cue to just go for it. For me, on a professional level, blogging serves as another form of experience which showcases not only the versatility of my copywriting abilities, but also my initiative, perseverance and dedication. And, on a personal level, blogging acts as a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, enabling me to organise my thoughts and transform them into a work of art. With that, here are five key takeaways that I’ve gathered from blogging this past year:
- You’ll lose followers and you’ll gain followers. When I first started blogging, I started posting on my socials – particularly Instagram – more regularly not only to spread the word and encourage more views, but also because I was hugely passionate about it. Both posting more regularly and posting different content meant that I lost several followers along the way, but that doesn’t compare to the followers I’ve gained who support, engage with and enjoy my content – especially here on WordPress!
- You can write about whatever the f*ck you want. Tips? Been there. A personal anecdote? Done that. Your blog is exactly that: yours. Sure, it’s important to have a niche if you want to relate to a particular audience but, even if you had a blog dedicated to – say – fashion, who’s to say that you can’t share your thoughts, feelings and opinions on a hot topic? The beauty of blogging is that, unlike articles and other forms of mainstream copy, it comes straight from the heart. Embrace it!
- You’re going to encounter writer’s block. Believe me. As I wrote a plethora of blogs consecutively as soon as I created this platform, I – naively – thought I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones who would never encountered writer’s block. Now, as I endeavour to maintain my blog, I find myself wondering what more I can write about related to my niche that I haven’t uncovered already. Nonetheless, just know that writer’s block is completely normal and, sometimes, it means that you might just need a little breather. Plus, my best blogs are the most spontaneous ones.
- Your blog is your brand. Make it stand out. As the second point, your blog is your blog. Don’t follow what other bloggers are doing for the sake of creating content; create content that is uniquely yours – content that is meaningful. And, if you intend to showcase your blog on your CV, make it identifiable – a catchy name, an iconic logo and a clear-cut niche will do the trick. A good blog isn’t formed overnight; it takes a great deal of time, effort and – I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – passion, but it all pays off.
- You don’t have to be a professional to be successful. To that end, a good blog also doesn’t equate to abundant followers, views or engagements; it equates to one that provides value to its audience, remains consistent and conserves a clear set of principles. Not value as in cost, but as in merit. Not consistent as in constant, but as in coherent. Not principles as in rules, but as in morals. Get all that right, and you’ve got yourself a successful blog.
I want to conclude by saying a ginormous thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever shown my blog some love. Be it a read, inadvertent or intentional, a follow or a comment, I am grateful to each and every person who has taken their time to help Little Pav continue to thrive. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Happy Birthday, Little Pav, and here’s to many more years of blogging!
Sophie, Little Pav ♡