Last week marked exactly 1 year from when I started this journey of blogging and hit ‘publish’ on my very first post. In some ways, a lot has changed since that first post, but in other ways it hasn’t. The reason why I wanted to start a blog, and why I continue is still the same: I wanted a place where I could record and document all of the moments of life with my new family, and I wanted to do it in a way that I love, which is writing. I love the idea that I will be able to go back and look at this in 5 years, 20 years, and be able to relive the memories and emotions of my early motherhood days. I also wanted to connect with others that are going through similar seasons of life. I think I have done, and continue to do both of those things, but have learned A LOT along the way.
Stock photo curtesy of Helene in Between
- Blogging takes a lot of time. Wayyyyy more than I expected. Each blog post is a major commitment, with lots of things that go into it other than just proofreading. We are talking picture editing, picture sizing, picture naming, keeping SEO in mind, publicizing, sharing on multiple social media sites, linking back to old posts, disclosing sponsored content, and the list goes on! When I started, I knew that starting a blog, and making it meaningful to myself and others wouldn’t be easy, but I did not anticipate exactly how time consuming it actually would be. Which leads me to my next point…
- It’s okay to take a break. With all that goes into blogging, it can get overwhelming. You have to give yourself permission to take a break. It was especially important for me to remember that I am doing this for fun, and if I feel like it is a chore to sit down and think of what to write, then I have lost my purpose. Over the summer I was feeling like this, and had a lot of other things going on, so I decided to just do a few posts that were mostly picture updates of what we had been doing. This little break was exactly what I needed. After school started and I got back in my normal routine, I felt excited to write and share again.
- Don’t be too shy to share your blog with your friends. This is one that even now I have to just get over sometimes. I don’t really know why, but I just felt too shy to share my blog with my friends. I think I was afraid of them thinking I was silly or something. I didn’t even start a Facebook page for my blog for quite a while, and was reluctant to share things about it on my personal social media. Apparently, I would rather open up to strangers than people I actually know. However, I found that when I did start sharing my blog with my friends, they were (and are!) super supportive and interested in what I was writing. I even found myself getting to know good friends even better by them connecting with something I had written.
- You will constantly be networking. Even bloggers that are well known are constantly networking to grow their audience and supporters. I have found Facebook groups really helpful for meeting other bloggers, reaching more readers, and growing my audience. Some of my favorites are Naptime Nation and Growing Social Media for Bloggers.
- You will build an amazing tribe of women to surround yourself with! This was something that I was not expecting when I started. I knew I wanted to connect with others, but I really just thought that meant writing content that would resonate with people, not actually developing friendships. I am so glad I was wrong! Through networking and connecting with others, I have developed real friendships with other bloggers that are genuinely supportive, and I am so happy I get to share in this experience with them!