10 Things I Learned In My First Year Of Blogging
I recently celebrated Plant Based Bride's first birthday, and as I haven't yet covered blogging here, I thought this was the perfect time to talk a bit about the technical side of what I do.
I hope that this post serves as a source of advice for those of you new to the blogging game and as education to those who have no idea what on earth I spend my time on :)
So without further ado, the 10 things I've learned in my first year of blogging!
ONE Blogging Takes A LOT Of Time.
You will eat, sleep, and breathe your blog. You'll never really be done working on it. You'll wake up in the middle of the night in a panic that you forgot to schedule your post to go live. Your significant other will have to fight for your attention.
If you don't want to spend endless hours working on something for little or not return, a blog is not for you.
I had no idea how much time it would take to maintain a website and constantly come out with new content until I jumped into it. I would HIGHLY suggest creating enough content for 1-2 months before launching your website so that you can get ahead and stay ahead on your content and not worry about being creative at the last minute each week!
For those of you who don't have a blog, these are just some of the things I work on each and every week:
- Creating written content;
- Filming videos for my YouTube channel;
- Planning content;
- Editing posts and videos;
- Shooting photos for my website and social media;
- Creating graphics;
- Responding to comments and emails;
- Promoting and sharing my content;
- Putting together weekly newsletters;
- Creating free bonus content;
- Working on my upcoming ebook!
With my current schedule of new videos on Mondays and Saturdays along with blog posts every Wednesday, this turns into to MANY hours of work each week!
TWO Your Niche Is Probably Saturated
Everyone and their mother and their cat has a blog. (But really).
There are likely a whole bunch of people talking about exactly what you want to talk about already struggling for eyeballs on the internet.
This is why it's important to think about how you can fill a void for your audience or cover something in a new (or better) way! It also leads into the next point...
THREE You Need To Be REALLY Passionate To Make It Work
Blog about things you REALLY CARE ABOUT. If you only kind of like makeup, don't start a beauty blog.
This seems obvious, I know. But even things you REALLY like might not conjure enough passion in you to spend the amount of time required to make your blog a success.
For example, I thought about starting a blog solely about vegan nutrition and recipes. But I realized even before launching that I needed to cover a wider berth of topics to have enough foder for new posts every single week. While I love vegan food, I'm no great chef. I do, however, LOVE talking about nutrition, ethics, the environment, minimalism, fashion, beauty, feminism, and more! I realized very quickly that the passion I feel for veganism and making this world a better place would be the driving force and motivation behind this blog.
Find something you're so passionate about that you would be glad to talk everybody's ears off about it 24/7, and there you have the fuel for a (potentially) successful blog!
FOUR Numbers Don't Matter
I've learned not to worry so much about numbers. After I started my blog, I realized how often I would click a link, scan a post, and leave - maybe spending 30 seconds on a website, never to return. If my attention span was that short, why wouldn't others' be as well?
I didn't start my blog to get thousands of views (though amazingly, I have!); I started it to reach at least one person who could benefit from what I have to say. While having good numbers can help for opportunities and means you're reaching more people, focusing on the numbers is stressful and frustrating.
I've found so much more happiness in blogging since I switched over to checking my stats and recording them once a month, rather than compulsively checking them daily.
FIVE Social Media Will Take Over Your Life
Social media is the best way to get the word out about your blog and content.
There are so many different platforms, and each and every one rewards those who post frequently and engage with others.
You could spend a lifetime learning everything there is to know about ideal posting times, image types, hashtags, and descriptions for just one platform, let alone all of them!
My best advice would be to stick with 2-3 platforms to start and to focus on developing just one at a time. I'm on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest... and to be honest, it's a bit much. Start small and grow from there, you'll thank yourself later!
SIX You'll Get Excited About Each And Every Comment
Every blogger wants to create community. It can be difficult to spend hours working on a post, see that people are reading it, but get no response! Sometimes it can feel like talking to a brick wall.
Comment notifications will set your heart racing - someone cared enough to comment! And then the immediate follow-up thought - is is a troll?
But each and every comment, question, encouragement, and piece of constructive criticism is cherished. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to leave a comment on my blog. You are so appreciated!
SEVEN You Will Become A Jane Of All Trades
Since I began my blogging journey a year ago I have learned to:
- Create websites on Squarespace (and trouble shoot issues);
- Use Mailchimp for email marketing;
- Be fast in Photoshop;
- Edit videos in Adobe Premiere Pro;
- Grow my social media followings;
- Multitask like a timelord;
- and so much more.
There are so many skills that I have developed over the past year that I never would have dreamed of picking up in such a short period of time, and these are skills that are helping me out far beyond Plant Based Bride (I designed our wedding invitations in Photoshop and sent them through Mailchimp!)
EIGHT Your Friends And Family Will Think You're Bonkers
It's tough being a blogger. People just don't understand what goes into it, including your spouse or partner.
This is why it is SO important to reach out to other bloggers! It's such a relief to speak to people who know exactly what you're going through and can give you advice and support. And also actually know what SEO means without you having to explain it.
NINE You'll Celebrate The Little Things
Never have I ever been so excited to make 25 whole cents in a month.
Every little victory is so important, and no one but other bloggers will understand your excitement levels!
I'm lucky to have the most supportive fiance in the whole world. Jason celebrates with me no matter how small the victory! And I really love him for it :)
TEN You'll Find You Absolutely Love It
I. Love. Blogging.
It's not always easy. It's a lot of work. I get writer's block. I get tired and frustrated.
But it is so so worth it.
I would have never thought a year ago that I would have made connections with so many incredible people, written such a wide variety of posts, gotten back on YouTube, and had more than a hundred thousand views on my website.
If you're considering starting a blog of your own, I say go for it! It really is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Every time I get an email or a comment thanking me it reminds me exactly why I'm working so hard - to help people make the connection and for us to, ultimately, change the world!
Would you be interested in more content on the topic of blogging? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,