Happy 1 year to this blog! I cannot believe it has already been one year since my first post. When I started this blog, I had a few goals in mind, but ultimately I just wanted to all of the great things north Dallas has to offer and healthy lifestyle tips. As of today, I have 176 published posts, new friends and connections, and a drive I did not have a year ago. In honor of Love You More turning 1, I wanted to what I learned from my first year blogging.
Blogging is a lot of work
I underestimated how much work actually goes in to blogging. It takes time to write posts, share them, and respond to comments. That doesn’t include all the time spent on social media. If you want your blog to be successful, you have to commit and set aside time to focus on it. This can be difficult for someone with a full time job, but not impossible. In September, I shared my tips for blogging and working full time as well as an outline of my schedule.
Blogging is a lot of fun
On the flip side, blogging is a lot of fun. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t continue doing it. I have had many opportunities and experiences this year that I would not have had. There is something rewarding about hitting the submit button when completing a post, or seeing in shared on social media. When blogging is no longer fun and becomes a “have to” rather than a “get to,” it is time for a break. Thankfully, I haven’t reached that point yet and I still enjoy every aspect of it.
Consistency is key
When you start your blog, you need to decide on your posting schedule and stay consistent. This was a tip I read early on, and have stuck with all year. Everyone has a different schedule. There are bloggers that post everyday and some that post once a week or less. Whatever works with your schedule and you can stick with is perfect, just convey it to your readers with consistency. I decided to publish a post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. Fortunately, this schedule has worked with me, and I have been able to keep up with it.
Create a planning calendar
In order to stay consistent, it is helpful to have a planner calendar. I use Google calendar, because I can access it from any device and easily move things around as needed. When I have an idea for a post, I add it to the calendar. If you plan at least two weeks of posts in advance, you won’t have to worry last minute about writing something to stay consistent. Often, I have a whole month of blog ideas on the calendar to stay ahead.
Don’t compete or compare
There is no benefit in comparing yourself or your blog to other bloggers or blogs. You will never have the same experiences as they do, and you have your own experiences to share. Sure, there are hundreds of bloggers I admire and read, but when I start to think “I wish I was more like them” or “they have so many more comments than me” then I lose my authenticity. Competition can be healthy, but in the blogger world, it is healthier to create community and learn from those you admire. Bloggers are helpful and many of them want to see you succeed. When my blogger friends nail an incredible deal or opportunity, I get nothing from being jealous of them. I find greater joy in being genuinely happy for them. My time will come too.
One of my favorite parts of blogging last year was finding communities to fit in to. There are many like-minded bloggers in DFW that I have had the opportunity to meet at various events. I am also a part of the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors and love having the opportunity to sweat with other amazing girl bosses. Discover your niche, and search for like-minded bloggers to meet up with.
There are also many online blogger communities I have joined and felt connected to. Find the ones that you can grow from and make connections with bloggers in similar niches. Facebook has hundreds of blogging and social media groups, so search for your niche and go from there.
If there is a company I am interested in working with, I will reach out to them. The worst they can say is “no,” so it is worth starting the conversation. I learned this early on when I was planning my 80s Barre and Bubbles charity event for the Movemeant Foundation. Most of the places I contacted were more than willing to lend a hand or a prize for the raffle. If you have the opportunity to work with a company you love, stay in contact with them. When I partner with someone, I always try to go above and beyond what I am expected to do. Then, we have a relationship and can collaborate again in the future.
It’s ok to say “no”
If you are feeling overwhelmed, say “no.” Blogging is fun, but it is not my whole life. I have learned that it doesn’t always come first. If I can’t finish a post by the original date, I move things around. When there are too many things going on during the week and I need a day to myself, I turn down an event.
This also goes for sponsored opportunities. If you aren’t passionate about the brand or product, don’t agree to write about it. You do not have to work with every company that emails you. It is okay to say no.
There it is, 8 things I have learned from my first year blogging. I cannot wait to see where 2017 takes me.
If you are a blogger, how long have you been blogging? What’s something you have learned? Leave me a comment below!