Here it is! The second post in my mini-series celebrating my 1 year Blogiversary!
For today’s post I wanted to share what I learned in my 1st year of blogging. So many people don’t truly understand what it is like to be a blogger or what blogging entails and is somewhat of a mystery career to most of the world. It is such an amazing world and I have just started to discover the endless possibilities.
So whether you are planning to start your own blog, have no clue what a bloggers life is like, or just stopped by because you support what I do, here it is…
What I learned in my 1st Year of Blogging
– The Blogging Community is AMAZING
I have never been a part of a community so willing to help and uplift others. It is truly amazing how kind and supportive other bloggers have been. I am a part of the Her Campus Influence Her Collective and it has been one of the best experiences in my blogging career. Each day we share our blog posts and I am constantly reading my fellow IHC’ers blog posts and vice versa. Along with that we have daily follow trains to help support one another. I absolutely love being a part of a community that is so willing to empower one another and celebrate your successes with you!
– People Actually Like What I Write
This one gets me every time. I still can’t take the compliment of people telling me that I am a good writer. It’s not that I don’t know how to take a compliment it’s just that I am still shocked and blessed to be hearing that. I hear it all day from my mom and Kaalen that I’m a great writer but at the end of the day that’s my mother and my boyfriend, so of course they have to say that. It still embarrasses me when people compliment me because I don’t normally share in everyday conversation that I blog. I feel very vulnerable when people know that I blog because this is my passion and I don’t want anyone to see me fail.
– Consistency is Key
Even though I know that this is one of the most important aspects of blogging I have not fully committed to consistency. It is so important to be consistent with blogging because that is how you grow. I try to upload at least twice a week and sometimes even that is pushing it for me. The best piece of advice I can give is to pre-write/pre-schedule content.
– The Work Never Stops
From the minute I wake up to the minute I lay my head down I am doing something that involves my blog. Whether that be scheduling posts, responding to comments, checking stats, researching new posts, researching tips and tricks, playing around with blog design, scheduling social media content, posting in groups and in my Facebook Page, (which you should go like now–>HERE) to reading other bloggers posts the work truly never stops. There is so much that goes into blogging but in the end it is so rewarding and I honestly wish there were more hours in the day for me to work on blogging.
– Social Media is a Job
Social media has become less of a personal channel and more of a branding platform for my blog. I use two different social media schedulers, Buffer and Hootesuite. What I love most about these schedulers is being able to use the Auto Schedule function, which automatically posts my content when the highest number of visitors are on that channel. I spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour everyday scheduling content to 4 different social media channels. If you are thinking about starting a blog, having a social media scheduler is a must have!!
– The Earlier You Build a Blog Planner the Better
Not every blogger uses a blog planner, but coming from the organizational freak that I am, I highly suggest using one. There are so many different free printable blog planners floating all over Pinterest. For my blog planner I use a few pages from about 3 different popular blog planners as well as a few layouts I designed for my own needs. Build a planner and use it daily. It is the main reason I stay so organized when it comes to my blog. If you are really serious about one day becoming a full-time blogger and turning your blog into a business I highly recommend writing a business plan and updating/reading it weekly or monthly.
– It Takes Time to Grow
Blogging is not an overnight money-maker. Some get lucky and have a post go viral which brings in traffic that eventually will die out but for most bloggers it takes time to grow. In one year of blogging I never imagined to be where I am now. I never expected to grow as quickly as I did but am so thankful that so many people care enough to subscribe and follow my blog. Now, I don’t have crazy views or visitors but in one year of blogging I would say I’m doing pretty well. And that’s on top of everything else I have going on in my crazy life. I can only hope that the more time and energy I spend towards blogging that I can be rewarded back with more views and visitors.
– Only Write When You Feel Inspired
This is such a big one for me. I would say that I try to sit down and write about 3 days a week and usually only end up producing content for 1 of those days. And that is completely okay. This doesn’t necessarily happen for me but for a lot of bloggers when you write when you aren’t inspired it becomes very forced and readers can tell those kinds of things. I never want to publish content that I didn’t put 100% into so I try to only write when I feel inspired which is the main reason I am inconsistent. To be honest most of my days during the week are very stressful. I take my coaching job very serious and it can stress me out making sure my kids are exactly where they need to be and I’m doing everything in my power to get them there. For that reason, I don’t write on days I am stressed so that I’m not writing just to publish something for my readers. You all deserve better than that so I wait and try to get inspired as much as possible so that I am able to produce my best writing every post!
– Take Creative Breaks
When you are a blogger most of your work never ends because you work from home. I’m telling you that if you don’t want to burn out it is so important to take breaks. I try to take one day a week where I don’t worry about any “major” blogging tasks. I still schedule my social media content for traffic purposes but that’s about it. On a daily basis I like to read other blog posts to inspire my own topics. One of the biggest lessons I learned in my first year of blogging is to set boundaries. I only blog from my office (which is an obvious suggestion) but when you work from home it is so easy to just do your work on your couch or in your bed. I did this for about 2-3 months and constantly found myself never being able to sleep or relax in my bed. And this was because it had become my place of work. I was never able to work in my office because it was used mainly as my storage/extra room space. And now that I have finally settled on a color scheme and really decorated the space and organized it, I am finally able to do my work right there.
– The Research Never Ends
In my first year of blogging I still have so much to learn and with that means the research and learning never ends. And that doesn’t bother me because this isn’t work to me, it’s fun and it’s my passion. I’m currently looking into taking two different blogging courses to further my career. And on top of that I daily read blogging tips and tricks. Now, I wouldn’t say that everything you read on Pinterest is a gold mine. Different tips work for different bloggers. Tips that work for beauty bloggers may be different for travel bloggers etc. It is a creative process of trying out different tips to see what works best for your blog and your readers.
There are so many things I have learned in my first year of blogging and I am so excited to go into my second year! I really hope you are enjoying my mini-series on What I learned in my 1st Year of Blogging and hopefully you’re learning just a little bit about what all I do.
Be sure to check back next week for another post in my mini-series and in case you missed the first post check that out HERE.