Holy Cow! What a fun blogiversary week!! Have you guys followed along with all the great tips and advice? I was planning to write my post first and then let everyone else go, but with my son’s birthday party and Easter last week, time got away from me. Instead of rushing and throwing something together, I really wanted to put some thought into what I posted about.
So, what have I learned from blogging for a year? Well, it’s been a fun year, for sure! I’ve gone through all kinds of blogging emotions. Excitement, discouragement, happiness, exhaustion, gratitude, and so many more! I really do love blogging and I’m constantly telling my husband that it is a perfect fit for me, but don’t think that I’ve always felt that way. Right around Christmas time, I felt incredibly overwhelmed with the mountains of projects I was making for gifts and I seriously wondered if blogging was really for me. So, I took a break. And after Christmas, I was ready and excited to get going again!
So, here are a few things that I’ve learned about blogging:
1. Blogging is awesome!! There are so many incredibly talented people in the blog world! As a stay at home mom, I used to feel like I never knew what was happening on the outside. Blogging has opened up the world to me while I stay home all day! I get to meet amazing mothers, crafters, diyers and recipe developers all while sitting in front of my computer wearing pjs. It’s completely changed my little world. (Just don’t forget to put your computer down and live in real life sometimes!)
2. Blog Growth is Exponential. When I first started blogging, it seemed like so much work to get a few followers. If you are a good blogger with relevant and useful content, you’ll gain followers. “If you build it they will eventually come”. The more followers you gain, the faster you’ll gain them.
3. Followers are not everything. There are probably some bloggers that will completely disagree with me on this, but in my opinion it’s true. However, I don’t at all want to discount the importance of followers. I love, love, love my followers and I love getting comments and interacting with all of you! I probably wouldn’t blog if it weren’t for my awesome followers!! The reason they aren’t everything is because blogs are measured by page views, not followers. The more page views you have, the more you’ll get opportunities for paid sponsored posts. You can also get income from ad networks like Google Adsense. A blog could have thousands of followers but only hundreds of page views. On the other hand, another blog could have a few hundred followers and tens of thousands of page views. Which means that more people are actually interacting with and using the blog that on the outside appears much smaller. Get what I mean?
4. In my life, blogging does not come first. Bar none, my family absolutely comes first! But I do love blogging and there is definitely room for both. It’s a constant balancing act on my part and I’m still working on figuring it all out.
5. Blogging is most definitely NOT a get rick quick scheme! It’s more like a labor of love. It takes time and patience to build content, followers and page views. There are ways to be incredibly successful as a blogger, but the reality is that most bloggers make less than $100 per month. It’s the ones that don’t give up and are willing to put in the time it takes to build a great blog that ultimately succeed.
6. Being a blogger is a lot more than blogging! When I first started, I imagined myself making a project, taking beautiful pictures, writing a well thought and witty post, and hitting publish. Job done. That part of blogging is still my favorite part. And it’s about 1/4-1/3 of the work that I actually put into my blog. The rest of the time is spent promoting my posts, managing my social media, networking with other bloggers, reading about blogging, HTML, etc, etc. There is a ton of behind the scenes work that goes into a blog. (That’s why I call blogging a labor of love).
7. Blogging is always changing. There is always so much to learn about blogging! And I never get tired of reading anything and everything about blogging. But it’s important to. There are always new ways to help promote yourself, new ideas, new technology. It’s really a constantly evolving thing!
8. Blogging is visual. Photos are a big huge deal for your blog. Learn how to take good photos and constantly practice getting better. The quality of your photos can literally make or break your blog! You don’t have to have a nice camera, necessarily. I’ve seen some blogs with amazing photos that they’ve taken from a phone camera. But, the reality is, if you plan to blog long term, buy a camera. Start somewhere. You don’t have to start with a DSLR, but try to find a camera that will do a decent job. Use natural light if you have it. If you don’t, try to diffuse the flash with a diffuser (or at the very least some tissue paper rubber banded over the flash. It will go a long way in helping your photos to look tons better!) I finally caved and took a photography class earlier this year. It was just a beginning DSLR class, but it was so amazing! I actually have an idea of how to use my camera and it’s making a huge difference not only in my posts, but in my page views!
9. The more you blog, the more you have to blog about. When I first started blogging, I made a list of every thing that I could think of to blog about. There was about 30 things. I worried at first that I might not have enough ideas to sustain a blog long term. But I was wrong! Once I started blogging, I started finding inspiration all over the place. In fact, I’ve only used a small handful of the ideas from my original list and I’m still constantly thinking of more. Just remember to write your ideas down when they come. I thought of an amazing Mother’s Day idea a few weeks ago. I didn’t write it down and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was! It’s been driving me crazy!
10. Most importantly, blogging should be fun! If it’s not, try blogging about something different! Find your passion and your creativity and you’ll be successful.