Today is an exciting day. Today is an auspicious day. Today marks one year since I started blogging!
It’s a weird feeling, because it feels like I’ve been blogging forever and also not that long at the same time. I’ve learned a lot, but I still don’t feel like I really know what I’m doing. Sometimes it frustrates me a bit because I have an ever growing list of things that I could be doing to make it look better, be more user friendly, increase views, or otherwise grow, but the time I have to work on it is limited. My first job is as a stay at home mom, so taking care of my home and family is my first priority, along with my other commitments for church, friends, and extended family. But my blog is my baby, and I love working on it.
Today, in honor of my first blogiversary, I wanted to share 5 things I’ve learned about blogging since I started one year ago:
- I love it. I like writing posts, taking pictures, and interacting on social media. I like learning more about the technical side of web design. It’s a wonderful creative outlet and I really feel like I am adding something relevant to the internet world with my recipes and book discussions. I like the challenge of growing my reach and income, and it’s something I can see myself doing longterm. And my favorite thing is that people have started sending me books to review. Did you get that? FREE BOOKS!
- It’s not that hard. When I first started I was very intimidated by the technical details. When I chose my hosting and domain name I went with the absolute easiest, dummy-proof option I could find. It was comforting for a short while, but I very soon realized that there were things I wanted to do on my site that I couldn’t do in the baby platform. So after lots of stress and anxiety (I fear change sometimes), I switched to WordPress, got a new domain name, and moved my content over to the new location for an almost complete rebrand. Now I can integrate HTML and all sorts of important stuff! Most of the new things I want to add or try are only a Google search away.
- The blogging community is fabulous. The people I’ve come in contact with in the groups I’ve joined have been incredibly supportive and kind. They are more than willing to answer questions, give advice, and help promote your content and I love returning the favor! I especially relish finding like-minded people who enjoy the same things I do – that would be mostly food and books, if this is your first time here :).
- It’s time consuming to do it right. At least for me, it’s not a 10 minute thing where you pound out a quick post, hit publish, and you’re done. Brainstorming, writing, editing, formatting, posting to social media, and promoting take a ton of time! It’s definitely worth it, but that doesn’t make it any quicker.
- There is room for everybody. One type of thinking that I’ve had to overcome on my blogging journey is that I don’t have anything new to say, so there’s no point in putting my thoughts out there. Baloney. The truth of the matter is that even if what you have to say isn’t 100% original, nobody else in the world is you, so nobody else in the world can say it the way you can. Everything I publish is presented through the lens of my experiences, beliefs, and intentions which is different from what others have experienced. I believe that God gives us all a unique voice because He has someone who needs to hear what we have to say. Blogging is a great way to talk to people, you just don’t always know the impact you are making since you aren’t face to face.
My most popular recipe so far: Blackberry Cobbler
My most popular book post: Books in Progress: What I’m Reading Right Now – July 2017
What do I hope to accomplish in my second year of blogging?
- Growth. I want to at least double my page views and social media following.
- Income. Moment of truth: blogging has not made me rich yet. My income so far has been minuscule, but since I switched to the new site things have been looking up, so my goal is to be making a significant income from this hobby within the next year.
- Efficiency. I know I need to do better about writing posts in batches ahead of time and scheduling social media posts so that I have more time to promote and brainstorm for new topics.
Want to help me grow and improve in my second year? I would love to hear what you like/dislike about this blog and what you would like to see more/less of in the future. For my fellow bloggers, what is the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started? Thanks for joining me in my little online celebration!