It’s my one year blog anniversary!! It has flown by. Man, this year has definitely had it’s ups and downs but I’ve learned an insane amount over this time. I would love to share with those of you are contemplating starting a blog or already have one.
Over this year, I have learned it is rare to have success in your first year of blogging. I will share some tips and lessons I’ve learned. However, I have to say, first and foremost…I attribute ALL of my success to God. I honestly believe there is no way I would of done this well without constant prayer, giving my blog to God daily, and trusting Him for what He wanted to do with it. So…here are some other reasons I believe I had such a successful first year.
I did a ridiculous amount of research.
I spent an insane amount of hours researching everything about blogging. How to make money, how to build a business, how to gain followers on social media networks, how to take better pictures, how to increase page views, and the list goes on.
I ran into A LOT of hurdles and stuff I did not understand (I am not tech savvy). From coding to fixing random glitches on my site, I would find an answer and teach myself how to do it. Most things that would probably take another person 20 minutes would take me 3 hours, but it was worth doing it myself.
The blogging world is another world. I was completely oblivious to how everything works. I read blogging books, spent A LOT of time on Google and Pinterest; reading articles non-stop and learning as much about it as possible. Even now, I still spend a good amount of time reading and learning how to run my business better.
I worked on creating great content.
This means writing about stuff that your audience will love. For me that is: Parenting, Jesus, Saving Money and Recipes. Discover your target audience and write great, helpful posts that will make their lives easier.
Spend time brainstorming topics you would like to write about and just start typing. Get as much good content under your belt as possible.
Reading over your content a few times is also helpful for catching mistakes but don’t obsess over it. Don’t over analyze so that you never click “Publish.”
I got really involved with my social media.
I started a Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook blog page and Instagram account. When you start trying to monetize, many brands look at this as well as your stats and engagement. It is important to show you have a social media presence, no matter the size. I looked for ways to grow my followers on each network and would set aside time each day to be active on each. This is something that is helpful to schedule out so it doesn’t get too overwhelming.
I focus more on Instagram than my other networks, because I get a lot of business through them. However, whatever network you pick , I think it’s great to pick a network you spend more time on than others to really build your following. Always share others content and not just your own. This is also helpful with creating friendships.
I networked like crazy.
I made friends with others that were starting a blog at the same time as me, but I also reached out to those who were clearly making a good living and already had great followings. It is so important to connect with others that are in the same walk of life and get what your going through.
Again, this blogging world is another world and you need to communicate with those who have done it for a while, as well as those still figuring things out. This helped me more than anything.
I made some awesome relationships with women all over the United States and we share tips with each other, vent and just encourage each other in this journey. Just reach out to someone, and if they aren’t that friendly, try someone else. You will find people just waiting for a blogging friend.
I took better photos.
My pictures when I started, versus now are night & day. I still have a long way to go from what I want them to look like, but apps are your redemption. Filters and apps can make any photo look amazing. I looked at photos of successful bloggers and researched tips on taking better pics. Daylight is your friend. Every photo should be taken in natural light if possible and if you can’t edit the mess out of it. Your photos are what will draw people in and I started to grow as my photos got better.
I created a schedule & got a planner.
As a stay-at-home mom, I couldn’t let blogging take over my life. I wanted to be a great mom still and a great business woman but that also means I can’t do it all at 100%. So, I created a schedule that worked for my home and my kids so that I could still put in a lot of time doing both well. Most nights that means, not getting to relax and watch TV but, staying up late working because that is when the house is the quietest.
I write everything in my planner. I started this early and it really helped me plan out what my monthly goals are and track my activities for each day to make sure my time is as productive as possible.
I created a business plan & monthly goals.
Most people are more likely to complete things when it’s written down. Every month, I created goals realistic goals for myself. Some examples in the beginning were: Get 5 new e-mail subscribers, make 2 new pins for Pinterest, write 4 blog posts, get 30 new followers on Instagram. Now as I’ve grown they are very different and include how much I want to make, and how many posts I need to write. My goals now are much more extensive, but the point is to keep your goals realistic and attainable every month.
I could share a million other things I’ve done, which I’m sure I will as I continue to blog, but these are some of the major things that have had a big impact on me having so much success in my first year blogging. I am so grateful to all of you that follow me on my social media networks and read my blog consistently. I appreciate you more than words can express. Thank you friends! I look forward to our journey together and continuing to bring you helpful posts as well as sharing my heart in various seasons of my life.
If you are a blogger, feel free to share some more tips below that have brought you success in the comments for those considering starting a blog! Thanks!