Okay so I missed my blogiversary this year, but I had a newborn, an almost 2 year old, and family in town so I think I can forgive myself a little for not being on top of that. But I can’t believe it’s already been a year! I am so happy I decided to start blogging, my only regret is not starting sooner! Here are 13 things that I’ve learned about blogging over the past 13 months:
- Take your time getting started – my first blog was a different name and a different theme and I wasn’t actually very passionate about it at all. I thought I wanted to be a fashion blogger, but turns out I love writing about motherhood way more so I changed the name and tone of my blog. It was a huge hassle to change everything 6 months in, and I wish I had taken more time initially to really consider what I wanted to write about and where my passion lied. I am so happy I made the change, and blogging has been much easier since then!
- The beginning is slow – unless you go viral right off the bat it takes a long time to grow. In the first few months there will be days where no one visits your blog, and that’s okay! Don’t get discouraged because you don’t grow big immediately, give it time and patience and know that it is normal.
- Set goals – setting reasonable goals is a great way to measure progress and feel success with your blog! Whether it’s followers on social media, blog subscribers, or monthly page visits having a goal in sight gives you a tangible thing to work towards. It also makes reaching that goal feel amazing, and gives you motivation to keep working hard.
- Be consistent – decide how often you can and want to post, and stick to that schedule! I decided that I would post three times per week, and until I had Elliott I stuck to that number every week. Since then, I’ve been slow at getting back to posting but as things settle and we get into a rhythm I will go back to that schedule. It helps for your followers to know when to expect new content, and keeps your traffic consistently higher.
- Promote yourself – the only way to get people to your site is by letting them know that you’re posting! It might feel weird at first to promote yourself, but your followers want to know when you have new content and will appreciate you advertising your posts!
- Engage – making friends in the blogger community is essential to growing! And it’s really fun to meet new people from around the world that you normally wouldn’t have met. Engaging on social media and on other blogs is a great way to build loyalty and find out what your readers are looking for from you as a content creator. Engagement takes up most of my time, but it is so rewarding to build those relationships with other blogging girl bosses!
- Be yourself – like I said before, I tried to be a fashion blogger at first when I have very little experience with fashion. Once I switched gears to motherhood, it was so much easier for me to grow because I was talking about what I know. Don’t let collaboration offers sway you from who you are, the lure of free stuff is easy to get sucked into but staying true to the tone and theme of your blog is so important to gaining reader trust!
- Know your worth – this one is hard, and I’m still working on it. As you grow, you’ll likely receive offers from brands for collaborations. Know your worth so when the time comes, you know whether or not you should charge for your services. Remember that taking and editing photos takes time away from your family, so you should be sure you’re receiving equal benefit by working with a brand. Don’t be afraid to say no, someone else will always come around who will recognize and value your worth.
- Block the haters – you will get hate comments, so learn how to deal with them early on. People who have nothing better to do than scroll and bash others will eventually make it to you and have something unpleasant to say. My first one was someone saying my 9 month pregnant belly was the ugliest thing they’ve ever seen. I remember rolling my eyes, deleting the comment and blocking the person immediately, and then I moved on. Don’t let the little things get to you, and realize the power of the block button!
- Build others up – I wouldn’t know half of what I know if it wasn’t for other bloggers helping me out. We bounce ideas off each other, talk about commissions, work on growing each others followings, give shoutouts, and ask questions. It’s been nice for me to have mentors to help along the way, and I love being able to pass my limited knowledge on to others who are just starting out!
- Teach someone how to be your photographer – there can be a lot of startup costs with a blog, so finding someone to take your pictures for free helps a lot! My husband takes most of my photos, and we’ve learned together over the past year how to work angles and lighting to make sure I get the picture I’m looking for. He’s also started helping me pose and stage and has gotten really good at capturing what I want. When he isn’t available, I have a friend here who takes really good pictures and we just take turns photographing each other!
- Give real life glimpses – blogs are usually successful because they have perfectly staged photos and beautifully written posts, but giving glimpses into real life situations helps give a blogger credibility. Instagram stories is a great platform for this, you can keep your feed looking beautiful and staged while showing the behind the scenes life in your stories. It’s easier to relate to someone on a personal level when you see that everything isn’t as perfect as it seems, and that helps build reader loyalty as well!
- Make it enjoyable – blogging takes a lot of time and effort, so make sure you are enjoying the process! If it ever starts to become a burden, reconsider what you’re blogging about and your goals because this should be a fun outlet. Blogging can eventually turn into a job, and people choose to blog full time because they genuinely enjoy it. If you are following the tips above–blogging about what you love, realizing your worth, and building relationships with others then this will be enjoyable for you too!
Thanks so much for following along over the past year, I’ve truly enjoyed every step of this journey and especially connecting with so many of you! If you have ever thought about starting a blog and want ideas or have questions, feel free to message me to chat about it!