So I’m actually posting this late because The Inspiration Lady turned 1 in March, but that’s okay!
It’s actually pretty crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for a year. Time really does fly! This year has been full of experimenting, learning, and figuring out who I am and where I really want this blog to go.
As a side note, there are going to be big changes coming to the blog this year! I want to tweak a few things and change direction a little bit – not too much, though. 😉
I read a lot of blog advice posts, signed up for lots of newsletters, and even spent a lot of money on products and courses. I did all of this in order to try to learn as much as I could about the blog world.
But the thing that helped me learn the most was trying new things, experimenting, and sometimes even failing. I know that a lot of people who read this blog are bloggers themselves, so that’s why I thought I’d share this with you today.
Here are 10 things I learned during my first year of blogging!
1. It takes time to build a blog.
Before I started blogging, I actually didn’t know as much about it as I thought I did. I just knew that I loved to write and I wanted to help people. I thought you just wrote a post, hit publish, and waited for your audience to come.
But that is so wrong! Building a blog takes time, patience, and hard work. Yes, you have to write but you also have to come up with ideas, promote yourself, make graphics, manage social media, build an email list, create freebies, figure out ways to monetize if that’s what you want, plus so much more. Don’t be hard on yourself because you’re not growing as fast as you want to or it’s not as easy as you thought it would be.
It’s not an easy job, but I love it!
2. I’ve learned so much about myself.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: blogging has probably been the most helpful thing for me, in terms of self-improvement. I’ve grown so much as a person and as a writer. I’ve also learned so much about myself.
Blogging has made me more confident, it’s helped me figure out what I want to do and who I want to be as a person, and it’s allowed me to express myself more than anything else. Blogging can be so much more than just a hobby, a side-hustle, or a source of money!
3. The blogging comparison game is a waste of energy.
It’s so easy to compare how you’re doing with how other bloggers are doing. But it’s really pointless. I used to get swept up in this all the time. But it doesn’t do anything for you but hurt your self-esteem and also hurt your blog. It takes away your focus and damages your creativity.
Comparing yourself at 5 months to someone else at 5 years is silly. Those big bloggers have been where you are now. All you can do is focus on yourself and your work and try to improve it!
4. Your page views don’t determine your worth as a blogger.
I actually started learning this as my page views got higher. Some months are better than others in terms of views, some months aren’t quite as good. Things are inconsistent sometimes, and that’s okay. Your blog is worth more than your page views or follower count. Focus on doing a good job and creating quality content – value is more important than numbers. To me, having a few readers that LOVE your blog and can’t get enough is better than having tons that don’t really care.
5. Integrity is important.
Sometimes I’m reading a blog and I get an icky feeling. When 99% of their content is random sponsored posts, it makes me think that they’re ONLY in it for the money. (I’m not knocking sponsored posts at all, I do them myself! Just make sure you actually like the brand you’re working with and think that your audience would enjoy it. And I know that sometimes all the sponsored opportunities come at once, but that’s different from what I’m referring to.)
Also. Recently, I had one pretty well-known blogger follow me on Instagram, then unfollow me, then follow me, then unfollow me. This continued for a while – for months until I finally blocked her. This is one way to get followers, but it looks spammy and not very genuine. Clearly, this person doesn’t pay attention to who they’re following, they just care about their numbers.
I’m not trying to hate on anyone at all, so please don’t be offended. I’m just saying that this gives off a phony vibe to me. Integrity is important as a blogger. Your audience and your followers should be able to trust that you have their best interest in mind. Being genuine can get you so much further in the long run.
6. Blogging is a never-ending learning experience.
The blogging game is constantly changing. What’s important today might not be important next year. Something like Pinterest, that’s a big thing for bloggers right now, might be gone next year. In this constantly evolving world, it’s important to make sure that you know what’s going on. Plus, there’s always more that could be learned about blogging. So pay attention, read books, take courses, and never stop learning.
7. It’s okay to change things up when you need to.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I’m planning on making changes to my blog sometime this year. If you need to change direction, re-brand, and/or try new things, that’s okay. I think it’s important to be passionate about what you do so if you start losing interest in something, you should change what you’re doing. You might lose some readers along the way, but you’ve gotta have your heart in what you do. And you’ll find new people to help and inspire along the way.
8. It can be hard to be an introverted blogger.
I can write blog posts and talk to readers, but networking with other bloggers and reaching out to brands is another story. Writing is a way for me to express myself and be creative, but talking to people is hard for me. I’m pretty stinkin’ introverted and shy when talking to people who I don’t know. While I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone when I need to, it can still be hard.
Side note: I’m thinking about starting a close-knit Facebook group full of shy/introverted bloggers to support each other and create a safe space for advice, help, tips, promotion, collaboration, etc. So let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in! <3
9. I need to take a step back sometimes.
There were definitely times throughout the year when I had to take a blogging break. When I first started blogging, I sort of became obsessed with building my blog and seeing growth. So I needed time to breathe and spend time on other things. I still need to take a break sometimes.
Burnout can definitely happen, so it’s important that you take time for yourself regularly. Blogging may be important, but you’re way more important. Just don’t give up on it altogether!
10. I need to stop doubting myself.
When I first started blogging, I was so insecure. I almost didn’t want any readers because I felt so exposed, haha! But you know what? People have emailed me thanking me for my blog because they enjoy reading it or it’s helped them with a problem. They’re grateful for what I do. And people will feel the same way about your blog!
Just because your growth is slow, or you’re insecure, or you have a few people who say negative things, that doesn’t mean your blog isn’t awesome! If you want to be successful, don’t give up and don’t doubt yourself. Just keep at it and everything will fall together eventually!
Question: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from blogging?
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