In three weeks, my first year of blogging will be complete. I guess that means it will be my one year blog anniversary. Since the first year is almost over, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and figuring out where exactly I’d like my blog to go. There are a lot of things I have been contemplating in regards to this blog. I have a big decision to make: either I continue blogging, or I quit. Since after one year, I need to renew my domain.
It seems crazy that I actually began this blog last year after more than ten years of wanting to create an online space. But I was always afraid of blogging and letting my voice be heard online. However, this is something that I am passionate about and something that I’ve always wanted to do.
There were so many things that no one told me about blogging before I began this journey and a few things I’ve learned along the way. It’s made me want to put in real effort to see if I can grow my blog even more and have a better mindset with it.
Before I started blogging I did some research until I finally decided to take the plunge. Since I’ve decided redo how I’m approaching my blog with a more open and honest platform. I thought that discussing some of the things no one told me about blogging and what I’ve learned was the perfect way to start.
what i’ve learned about blogging:
1 | blogging is hard
There is a lot more to blogging than taking a photo and writing a post. It’s hard and it is very time consuming. If you care about the content you are creating and you want to create quality content – then you have to put in effort. Putting in the effort isn’t always easy. But every time someone reads my post, comments, or shares it – I realize that all of the effort was worth it.
- blogging takes time
It takes a lot of time to write, edit, schedule, publish, and follow up on a post. That also doesn’t count social media, or contacting other people that are mentioned in the post. It’s not something that can be done in a matter of minutes. Growing your audience takes time as well.
When I first began my blog, I didn’t do it because I wanted a big following. I started blogging because I love to write. I enjoy writing and it is something that I do every single day. Whether it is preparing posts, or it is in a journal.
Blogging is very time consuming and if you want results you have to put in the effort and the work. But in the end it is all worth it if what you’re writing is helping someone.
- not everyone understands it
Not everyone you talk to will understand, or support your decision to post content online. The online world can be very harsh at times. And some people may not be able to understand why you’d want to put yourself out there. However, not every thing that you want to do is easy. So if you allow others to control all of your decisions you won’t take the plunge and do what you truly want to do.
I had to decide to not allow the opinions, or words of others stop me from creating. I’ve always wanted an online space where I could speak freely about things I enjoy and that’s what this blog is for me.
- not all blogging advice is helpful
Since creating this blog I’ve read hundreds and maybe even thousands of articles on blogging. Some of these articles are very contradictory and can make you go crazy. I had to realize that I can’t take every single article I read to heart. Some tactics work for certain bloggers, and not all of them work for me.
I had to make the conscious effort to do what was working for me and my blog. My goal isn’t to become a millionaire off of blogging, but the little amount that I do make is nice. However, there are a few blogs that I do read and listen too. Just as there are others that I take some advice from them, but dismiss everything else that does not pertain to me.
2 | building community isn’t easy
Creating an online presence in any kind of niche isn’t easy. I’d love to build a community of readers that enjoy the content I am putting out and I’m notified of it. It helps with the content I create. That way I know more of what to put out and what I should put out less. Regardless, I’m going to continue to publish content that I enjoy to write no matter how many page views I get.
- consistency is key
I will definitely admit that I have been very inconsistent with this blog. But it’s only my first year blogging, so there was so much that I had to learn that I didn’t even realize I needed to know.
At times, I was posting once every two or three weeks. And I’ve heard some bloggers talk about how they didn’t have any readers on their site for three years. So, I didn’t really think that consistency mattered. Until I graduated from college and blogged consistently a few times a week. My numbers skyrocketed and I realized that my blog had true potential to grow.
Once I got my full-time job, my numbers dropped again. Because I went back to being very inconsistent. I wasn’t being inconsistent because I didn’t feel like writing posts, it happened because I couldn’t figure out how to balance everything. But now that I’ve created a plan and I’m sticking to it. It’s making all the difference.
If you want your blog to be successful, or at least enjoyable to you so that people will read what your writing you have to be consistent.
- there is more to social media than just posting
If you want to grow your following, you have to do more than just post. Engagement is key to growing your following. I am the first to admit that I am very bad at being social on social media. I decided that one of my blog goals for this year was to be more social on social media. So I’m creating a strategic marketing plan to see if it’s something that I even want to invest in.
I used to enjoy it a lot, but lately it feels more like a chore than a way to interact with others. Mainly because I’ve been thinking of my blog as a business instead of just enjoying the process. Now that I’m letting all of that go, I’m able to enjoy it more.
3 | creating systems can be time consuming
If you work a full-time day job like I do. You have to have systems. I also travel for a living, so my job isn’t the typical 9 to 5 in an office, so for me planning is even harder. There is a desk calendar that I use for my editorial calendar, OneNote for processes and planning, also a weekly paper planner.
I have to use systems for every little thing that goes into my blog. If I didn’t use systems I probably would post less than once a month and you can forget about SEO because that is extremely time consuming.
However, I realized that blogging actually matters to me, so it is something worth my time. I put in the time and the effort no matter how long the processes take. Because in the long run it helps improve my productivity and completion of tasks in a timely manner.
why i continue to blog:
I blog because I enjoy writing and inspiring others to simplify their lives and keep moving forward. Over these past eleven months, I’ve learned a lot about myself in the midst of writing blog posts and researching tips on how to improve my content. Most importantly I’ve learned that without hard work you won’t see the results that you’re looking for.
I enjoy blogging and I don’t intend on quitting anytime soon. I’ve decided to take the plunge and truly turn this blog into a site that I can be proud of. I’m doing so by creating quality content, longer and better posts, improving my site’s photography and much more.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog and following along on this journey with me as I do with you.