It is so crazy to think that I have been blogging for over a year now and woah, what a year it has been. This has been a year full of building new relationships, community and growth but it has also been a year of a lot of self doubt. Starting a blog is a lot of work and goes way beyond just taking “Perfect Photos” for Instagram. Here are the 10 things I learned from my first year of blogging – I hope these tips inspire you and hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes that I did!
- Blogging is HARD WORK– Running a blog can easily feel like a full-time job. It is important to devote time to writing, shooting and editing so it does not consume you. It is important to set boundaries, especially if blogging is only a hobby to you.
- Find a Good Support System – I think the biggest mistake I made when starting this blog was not telling my family or friends about it up front. Was I ashamed? Was I afraid of failing? Honestly, I was afraid that I would never be able to live up to the bloggers that had thousands of followers so they didn’t need to know. I would loop them in when my blog “took off”.
- Remember Your Why – There were times when my hair wouldn’t cooperate for a shot or I wasn’t seeing the growth I wanted or a brand didn’t get back to me and, I was ready to throw in the towel. I had to remind myself of why I decided to start this blog and what I wanted to share with my followers. Remembering my why gets me through the long days, edits that don’t come out just right and fluctuating follower counts.
- Equip Yourself – The hardest part to starting a blog is actually starting but there are steps you can take to make it easier. The number one thing you can do to equip yourself is to research! Doing your part to research blogging platforms, editing apps, influencer commissions etc. is so important! Social media changes everyday so you want to read up on the latest tends and stay in the know.
- Set Goals– I have always known that I struggle with consistency and blogging proved to be no different. When I first started blogging I was so excited and I would post all the time but as time went on, I knew I had to readjust my mindset because I would get overwhelmed and lose that spark. I turned to goal setting such as write 1 blog post this week, plan content out until Sunday or pitch to 2 new companies. Writing down the goals and sticking them in plain sight helped me stay on track.
- Growth Won’t Happen Overnight – Did I convince myself that I would have 10,000 followers by the end of my first year of blogging? Of course I did. Was that a mistake? Absolutely.. my growth can be compared to a see-saw. Up for some periods and down for what seems like months. This has been the most frustrating part of blogging – it’s like I was seeing no return. I realized that I was trying to talk to everyone instead of finding my niche and providing quality content for those who were there. This is something that I continue to struggle with but it has gotten easier over time. If you’re also struggling with this – don’t give up!
- It’s Okay To Say No – Brands would reach out to me and they didn’t fit into my niche and I had the hardest time saying no to their offer. I always had the mentality that if a brand wanted to work with me – I must say yes because who knows if another company would come along? This mindset was harmful for my growth because at times the brands didn’t fit into my niche. I want my followers to know that I am authentic so sharing a product I didn’t believe in for the sake of a collab would not make sense.
- Comparison Is the Thief of Joy – This is something that I struggle with daily! Especially in reference to #6 and my slow growth over the year. There were days when I found myself wondering what I was doing wrong because other bloggers appeared to be thriving while I was struggling to caption my photo. It took me MONTHS not to view other bloggers as competitors but realize that community is stronger than the thought of competition. I am so thankful for that change in mindset because I have met some of the greatest friends through blogging. It is so nice to have someone to talk to that understands the trials and tribulations of influencing.
- Poll the Audience – When I first started blogging I felt like I needed to buy new clothes every week and have the newest items to stay relevant but I was doing this for me – ignoring what my audience wanted to see. Taking the time to poll my followers has been so beneficial I can tailor content to what they want to see instead of what I think they would like.
- Celebrate the Little Things – Like every blogger, I got caught up in the numbers game that is Instagram. I watched other influencer grow and work with cool brands and I found myself jealous. What I didn’t realize was that I was growing and working with brands but at my own speed. I learned that it is so important to celebrate every milestone and collaboration no matter how small it may seem to others because it is something to be proud of.
Cheers to the next year of learning & growing in my little corner of the internet. Thanks for following along!