It’s my blogiversary y’all! One whole year of blogging. Man. It feels good to have committed to something and have stuck with it for this long!
I never really imagined myself being where I am today (self-employed) when I started my blog this time last year. My blog has turned into an avenue for me to not only talk about my life but my journey into self-employment and has even served as a platform for me to provide value to potential social media and consulting clients.
My one regret? That I started sooner and taken it more seriously! There was definitely like an 8-week period over the summer when I don’t think I published a single blog post. It was scary learning to put myself out there at first but over time I have gotten much more comfortable with the idea.
Read on for my reflection and what I’ve learned from the last year of blogging, and THANK YOU to all of you guys who have stuck around since the beginning (and to the newbies too :)). You guys rock.
1. It’s Harder Than It Looks
Putting yourself out there and promoting yourself is basically an invitation for people to judge you. But it’s also an invitation for people to get a peek at who you really are, to engage with you, and to have a creative & educational outlet to help others.
Being vulnerable is scary! I was afraid to promote the first few blog posts I wrote at all.
Plus, I totally underestimated how long that it would take even to create one blog post. I always have blog post ideas that pop into my head, but actually getting them out on the site and executing them can be hard. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to content, so sometimes it’s hard to press “publish” when the post is essentially ready but not perfect.
Here’s the brief of what goes into one blog post:
- brainstorm post ideas
- test & buy products if necessary
- outline & write post
- add any links and research affiliate opportunities
- take photos
- edit photos for blog post, instagram post
- create a graphic to promote blog post on IG stories and Pinterest
- add meta-description and keywords to blog post and all images to improve SEO
- share post (+ draft captions and add link to linktr.ee) on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn or Twitter if necessary
- respond to all blog and IG comments
Not so easy haha. But!! Once I got a routine and got more comfortable putting myself out there, it did get (a little) easier.
2. There Will Be Really Crappy Brands Who Want To Work With You
You guys wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve gotten an email to help those makeup brush companies promote their crap haha. I feel like if you aren’t protective of your voice and your brand it would be really easy to get caught up in some of the “free products” that you can get in exchange for promoting brands on your IG or blog.
At first, getting an email about a potential collab is super exciting and it’s hard to say no. But I’ve learned that your audience can smell B.S. from A MILE AWAY and they’ll know if you don’t really use or like a product. Honesty is always better than a half-ass collab and I’ve learned to say “no” to brands I don’t think my audience would benefit from.
3. You Have To Be Pretty Big To Actually Make Money Blogging
By this point I think I thought I’d be rollin’ the dough from affiliate money income and collabs. NOPE. It’s hard out here for a blogger.
Bloggers make maybe 5 cents when an affiliate link is clicked, and then 3-8% commision whenever a product is purchased. They can also make money with brand deals and sponsorships, but it takes a while for those to add up and for your audience to begin trusting you enough to buy what you recommend.
4. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
I’m not going to get into this because this could be a novel in itself lol. Something or some article that works for another might not work for you and your audience. People typically only share their highlight reel, so don’t compare your beginnings to their middles and ends!
5. To Be Yourself, Always
People follow people, not blogs. This sounds obvious, but YOU are the only person who can provide something unique to your blog, writing, and photos. Anyone can write an article, but people are going to come back for your quirks, comments, and opinions. If your blog is bland and half-assed, that’s a reflection of you.
Over the last year I’ve learned that people really appreciate real. I think there is so much over-editing and it can be easy to create and manipulate a “perfect” online image, but people love the real stuff because it’s relatable. No one likes someone who is perfect all the time!
Blogging has opened a lot of doors for me and has created a platform for me to not only talk about my life but my business too. I really hope to dive even further into the blogging world this year and make the most of it.
Cheers to many more blogiversaries! xx – Becca