I can’t believe a year has passed since I first published a post here at Sparkles of Sunshine. I’m so thankful that I took the plunge a little over a year ago to start this blog. It was a little scary and intimidating at first, but I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned in a just a year’s time. Today I’m sharing with you the top 10 lessons I’ve learned in my 1st year of blogging.
Whether you’re thinking of starting a blog, or you’re already a few months in, I hope you’ll pay attention to the important lessons I’ve learned so far in my blogging adventure. It’s only been a year, and I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve met through my readers. Starting a blog is totally worth it, but here are some lessons I’ve discovered along the way.
#10- Blogging is hard work.
Thinking of starting a blog? It’s a lot harder than it looks…trust me on this. When I started a blog I knew it would be challenging, but I didn’t realize the amount of hours I would have to spend on each post. From creating a project to taking, editing and uploading photos to writing and proofreading, a single post can take 3-4 hours of hard work. Once the post is written it’s time to get busy scheduling its social media promotion. Don’t start a blog thinking it’s going to be easy. You must be committed and not afraid to put in the long hours required to make your blog successful.
#9- You can’t please everyone.
No matter how hard you try to please your readers, there will be someone to disagree with the type of glue you used on a project, with the fact that you used no-sew tape instead of sewing something, or with your thoughts on painting fabric furniture. You may be questioned and sometimes criticized, especially if you decide to share personal thoughts and stories on your blog. Remember that everyone has a right to his/her own opinion, so try not to take negative comments too personal.
#8- Don’t compare yourself to more experienced bloggers.
I have to remind myself that my blog is only a year old, and I can’t expect it to look like blogs that have been out there for years. Comparison leaves us discouraged and discontented, so don’t fall into the comparison trap. Instead focus on creating great content and making your blog the best it can be.
#7- Stay true to yourself.
Remember why you decided to start a blog and remain focused by staying true to your own likes, thoughts and ideas. It’s the best blogging advice ever!
#6- Embrace community with other bloggers.
I had been blogging for a few months before I started reaching out to other bloggers, but I wish I had started sooner. I’ve found some really great friends through blogging, and it’s great to support one another and collaborate together for giveaways and challenges.
#5- Don’t sell yourself short.
Especially when you’re just starting out, you may be tempted to accept offers to work with companies for little to no compensation. Remember that your time is valuable and you want to spend time promoting your blog. I’ve passed up collaborations with companies that offered only a small shout out on social media in return for a review or with companies that asked me to review a free product that wouldn’t interest my readers. If you decide that a potential project won’t benefit your blog, then just say no.
#4- Don’t focus on your blog numbers.
Don’t judge how well your blog is doing by solely looking at your blog numbers…especially when it comes to social media followers. Check out my post to find out why it’s so important to stop focusing on your blog stats.
#3- Plan, plan, plan!
The best way to stay ahead in the blogging world is to plan ahead. Blogging became so much easier when I starting planning my posts in advance. Having a plan keeps my focused on what projects I need to complete, what holidays/seasons to focus on, and what deadlines I need to meet. Even though I have a month planned out ahead, I still know I have the freedom to make needed changes as I go along.
#2- Knowledge is power.
I have learned so much about so many topics this past year. From photography and Adobe Photoshop to WordPress Plugins and social media managers, I never thought I would know how to start and manage a website. But I do! It’s empowering each time I learn a new skill, so I keep reading and studying to learn more skills. You can check out my blogging resources to find out more about my favorite books, courses, plugins and social media schedulers.
The number one thing I’ve learned in my 1st year of blogging is…drum roll please….
#1- Blogging is fun!
That’s right! The hard work really pays off as I cultivate new friendships, perfect my writing skills, create new projects and inspire others through my blog. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel with each written post, and the comments and shares on social media keep my adrenaline going. Once you get bitten by the blogging bug, there’s no turning back. You’ll be addicted, and love every minute of it!
So, there you have it! All 10 of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned this 1st year of blogging. I can’t wait to see what I learn this upcoming year, because now that the ball is rolling, who knows what may happen next? Thanks so much for reading this post and supporting Sparkles of Sunshine. It’s readers like you that motivates me every day, and I appreciate you more than you know.
Until next time,