For my 1 year blogiversary, I wanted to dig deep and share what I've learned this year. This post is loooong because I wanted to make sure I covered everything. And let's be honest- I'm not a girl of few words. I'm sharing some lessons I've learned this year and 10 blogging tips.
I got Parker to take the pictures below while we were at the beach for Ebie's wedding. I typically try to buy and share affordable clothing, but my 1 year blogiversary called for my favorite splurge-worthy dress!
Lessons I've Learned
- Being kind is an easy and free way to make others (in addition to yourself) happy! There are people who have said the kindest things to me, and they have no idea just how much their words have meant (I'm looking at you Mrs. Meridy, Mrs. Tracy, and many others). Bloggers don't always get tons of feedback on things we have worked really hard on, so when someone goes out of their way to say something kind, it is like all of our hard work is justified! Kindness is so appreciated, and I want to be a person who lifts others up!
- On another note, I read this quote recently, and it really resonated with me. "You can be the ripest, juiciest, peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches." Not everyone is going to care for me or what I'm doing. And you know what- that is ok. Of course it stings when I get unfollowed by someone I know, but I've learned that I cannot let this bother me. The amount of positivity and kindness I've received outweighs the negativity by about 10 billion peaches.
- Pushing myself out of my comfort zone has created the most amazing opportunities I did not know were possible! It is so important to stop caring what others think and just be yourself!
- Having fun and trying your hardest is something I have been instructed to do since I could comprehend words. I will never forget my mom and dad saying this to me before every single one of the countless tennis matches I played growing up. And if I was upset when I lost, they would say did you have fun and try your hardest? If you’re having fun and trying your hardest, what more can you ask of yourself?? It is just as prevalent today as it’s been in every stage of my life.
- Saying no is ok and necessary at times. I have always been a people pleaser. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. However, saying no is something that has to be done sometimes. I’ve learned that it is all about HOW I say no. I am not interested in buying followers, promoting various products I get emailed about, etc. But I am interested in being kind and connecting with other women. If I respond in a kind way, my answer does not hurt the other person's feelings nearly as bad.
- Comparing myself to others does nothing positive for me. It’s so easy to look at some other girls and wonder how they have so many more followers than I do when they have been blogging for less time than I have. Then there are other girls who send me messages asking how I grew so fast. There will always be somebody doing better than me, and there will always be somebody who is not doing as well as me. The comparison game is not good for anyone.
- What you put into something is what you are going to get out of it. I have never worked so hard on anything in my life as I have with blogging. Yesterday, a friend who I met through blogging said, "you are always so positive! Blogging is tough and you make it look fun!" Y'all, she wasn't lying. Although blogging may appear to be all sunshine and rainbows, it is TOUGH! It requires constant work, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I am able to be so positive because I absolutely love it! It has been such a fun year!
I need to start this section by saying I have been blogging for 1 year, so I am clearly not an expert. I don’t even feel totally qualified to write a post like this. However, blog posts on this topic have become some of my favorites to read, so I decided to share my two cents after a year in the blogging world!
- If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, DO IT! There will never be a perfect moment, and there will always be work that needs to be done. You could spend a lifetime attempting to perfect everything before launching. Create your site, write some content you are proud of, and launch it!
- Prioritize. Creating quality content on your blog is where a good chunk of time should be spent. You own your blog. You do not own Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. These social media platforms should most definitely be used frequently, but your blog should be the place where you focus a ton of your time. (And FYI- although I have over 18 times more followers on Instagram than I do on Facebook, I get the most blog views from Facebook! Don't underestimate the power of Facebook!)
- Be consistent so your readers know what to expect. I publish blog posts at 6:30 am Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. My blog posts also publish to Facebook and Pinterest at this time. I post my pictures on Instagram around 8:00 pm Sunday through Thursday. I take either Friday or Saturday off each week and throw in a post on one of these days at a time based off of my Instagram analytics. Everyone likes routine and consistency!
- ENGAGE! What I mean by this is like and comment on other girls’ photos. This is the best tip I know to give you for growing your Instagram following, aside from posting quality content. The more you get your name out there, the more chances you have for people to come to your page and see all of your hard work.
- Do not buy followers. If you’re not a blogger and you’re reading this, yes- that is actually a thing. People can buy followers (and likes and comments) to make their numbers look better. It’s a really bad idea for many reasons.
- Always be nice! Befriend girls who you love following! I can't tell you how vital my blogging friends have been. People who are not bloggers cannot always relate to what we go through because they aren't dealing with it. So venting and sharing ideas with other bloggers is a must. Being nice should seem obvious, but there are some super competitive girls in this industry that aren't always the kindest. Which brings me to my next point...
- Unfollow people who do not bring you joy. I have fortunately only come across one girl that acted like my friend but was painfully competitive and ended up not being the kindest person. I’m not interested in that negativity. So I took my own advice and unfollowed her recently. There are countless other girls who bring me so much joy that I genuinely love following! This one girl did not bring me joy, so why continue following her?
- Be careful about participating in too many loop giveaways. I think they're ok from time to time, but they can definitely be overdone. I have been a part of one in my one year of blogging, and it was because I genuinely enjoy following the girls in the group and we all have similar styles. So if my followers like my style, then they should like the other girls’ styles too. I would never want to ask my followers to go follow accounts that I don't enjoy following myself. I am in a Facebook group for bloggers where some girls were chatting about how they wish they had never done them because the amount of people unfollowing for months and months on end just didn't make it worth it. And the followers who did stick around didn't engage. Like I mentioned earlier, it is ok to say no. Just be kind when doing it!
- Figure out how to put your phone and laptop down. This is something I have not mastered. Working for yourself is hard. The first thing I do every morning is share my blog post on Facebook. The last thing I do every night is comment back to people on my Instagram post. Blogging can be a never-ending job. Make sure you put down the technology to spend quality time with your loved ones.
- Have fun!!! Blogging is my job, and I work my tail off. However, I am so thankful for the opportunity to do what I do! It is truly something I am so passionate about and love doing!
If you made it this far, THANK YOU! I am a big fan of celebrating all things in life, and a blogiversary is definitely something I am thrilled to celebrate! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! Thanks again for stopping by! Have a great day!