Ok, so, the title of this post is
slightly misleading but to be completely accurate would have been way too long of a title (and it’s already long). I have blogged for much longer than one year. I started way back in 2007 but I usually would post “regularly” for like a month (maybe two) and then I would disappear for a year (maybe two). I did have a beauty blog that I was semi-consistent with for awhile but, ironically, when I started working at Sephora I blogged less and less. Then, I got pregnant and just didn’t feel like doing a beauty blog anymore. It’s still there, horrible pictures and all. It wasn’t until May 2015 that I did more than write some posts to share with my friends and family (a couple of friends of mine are the ones that convinced me to do the beauty blog). Sometimes I look back at that beauty blog and wish I had known all of the things I know now after a year of blogging more seriously. Maybe that’s why I keep it. It’s either that, or I want to remember that I used to brush my hair every day. Who am I kidding? It’s probably the latter.
Here are 5 Things I learned in my (sort of ) first year of blogging:
- I have to put myself out there. I was actually way better at sharing my inconsistent blogs than I have been with this one. I blogged for about four months before I started promoting my blog, other than occasional tweets. And the only reason I tweeted was because I never used Twitter and didn’t think any of my friends did, either. (I know, I’m weird. It’s ok.) I still rarely share my posts on my personal Facebook page. But, I’ve learned in this past year that I have to get over myself and put myself out there. I have to let people know that I’m here, otherwise, they may never know. This also goes for working with brands. I used to think I had to wait for some astronomical page view number to get paid but that’s really not true. Sometimes, you have not because you ask not!
- I have something to say. I think number one is directly affected by this one. The more confident I have become in knowing that I have something to say, the more I have been able promote my blog. The reason I was able to promote my writing in the past was because I was confident in my voice on those subjects. But, a mommy blog? (That I started before I was a mommy.) I had no authority in that. But, I’ve learned over the last year that while I am by no means an expert, I do have something to say on the subject. First of all, and most importantly, it’s my life. It’s what I do day in and day out. Second, I worked with children as my career for 14 years. I do know some stuff about kids. Third, at the time I started my blog I was working as a peer counselor in a crisis pregnancy center. I was surrounded by pregnant ladies and new mommies. I had plenty of information on the subject. Lastly, I am a researcher by nature… I mean, I can google and pin with the best of them!
- Blog groups are awesome. If you are not a blogger you may not know this but there are a ton of Facebook groups for bloggers. If you did know that, then, well I guess I’m even more lame than I thought! I did not know this. I thought Facebook groups were for direct sales parties when someone wanted free stuff but didn’t want anyone in her house. (By “someone” I mean me.) I had no idea that there were groups I could join to meet other bloggers, ask questions and promote my blog. I came across a blog that I really liked (via Pinterest, of course) and I learned that the blogger was starting a Christian Blogger repin group on Facebook (it has sense been renamed to Christian Blogger Community) and I decided to join. Through that group, I started realizing that blogger groups was a total thing. I’m now in a whole boatload of groups and even started my own last month! Joining these groups has been a total game changer for me. I have learned so much from other bloggers and I’ve been able to grow as a blogger. Also, I’ve made some virtual friends. Which, for a stay at home mom who doesn’t get out much, this is huge.
- Comparison is for the birds. When we compare ourselves to other people (in any facet of life) we almost never have the full story. When we see an over night success story, very rarely do we realize that it’s actually an over hundreds of nights success story. When we see what other people have, we generally don’t know what they started with. Sure, some people start with nothing. But, others start with plenty of resources. There are bloggers that invest thousands of dollars into starting their blogs. Other bloggers have professional social media marketing experience. Some bloggers even have time. I invested $14 in my blog. I have zero social media marketing experience (unless you count posting my every move on Facebook for a small, regrettable, window of time) and my boss (aka my baby) gives me very little time for breaks. My successes, and your successes, will not look the same because we come from different places. We have different strengths and different struggles. There is no comparison.
- Blogging is work! I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Blogging is work. You don’t just write a post and off you go. You have to create images, promote the post, reply to comments, manage your social media accounts, work with brands, respond to emails, research and the list goes on! I could easily spend a full work day on blogging. (And I might be more successful if I did but I won’t compare myself to the bloggers that can!).
What have you learned from blogging?