6 Things I Learned in 6 Months of Blogging + GIVEAWAY
I’m so excited to be celebrating my 6 month Blog Anniversary today (although it’s a little delayed from our move). Starting a blog was seriously the best thing I’ve done with my life in this last year and I haven’t felt happier or more fulfilled with life since LWR was founded. It may sound like an exaggeration, but blogging has totally changed my life. As I looked back on these last few months, I wanted to list 6 things I learned in 6 months of blogging and here’s what I came up with:
- You don’t have to know anything about website coding or graphic design. It’s okay if you have no idea what you are doing. Learn from it. I made the mistake of transferring my blogger blog to wordpress.com thinking that would get me plugins. Wrong. I had no idea about self-hosting or wordpress.org and after a couple days of research, I finally figured it all out. Everything I did for this redesign, I learned myself. I had no prior knowledge about blogging seriously at all. I just wanted to do it, so I learned (and still am).
- Blogging is a TON of work. I touched on this when I talked about 5 facts about being a full-time blogger, but I feel like it’s something I really had to learn. When I tell others that I blog for a living, the most common reaction I get is: “wow, that sounds so easy, I should do it.” FALSE. Blogging is so much work; between writing, editing and photographing posts, networking, emailing, collaborating, social media, etc, I am always working on something (or always have something I could be working on)
- It’s okay to take a blog break. Blog burnout is real and if you find that you aren’t loving what you are doing or that blogging is a chore, take a break. Walk away for a little bit. Unplug for a couple days. Rest. Recharge. Read a book. Your blog isn’t going to go anywhere and it’s way more important to love what you are doing because that will help you produce your best work. It’s pretty easy to tell when a blog post felt like a chore to the blogger.
- It’s okay to not do anything with your degree. This doesn’t connect directly to blogging, but it applies to me. I graduated with a degree in English Education. I had an amazing student teaching experience and really, truly loved my students. However, I did not love the politics, I did not love the drama between administration and teachers and I did not love the endless, unpaid hours of lesson planning and grading. I had the hard realization that I didn’t want to do anything with my degree and I had a complete and total life crisis. But, through blogging, I’ve learned that it’s okay to not do anything related to my degree. I still have it as a backup, but I’ve found something that brings me joy 100% of the time, something that actually brings a little income to my home and something that challenges me in a good way, daily.
- Your real life friends and family might not get it. I have an app that helps me track my Instagram and twitter stats and it also tells me daily who follows and unfollows me. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had some real-life friends unfollow me on my social media channels and it’s really really hard not to take that personally. I ask myself questions like: “Why wouldn’t they want to support me?” or “If I can’t keep my real friends on Instagram, how can I keep the hundreds of others who follow me?” I have to remind myself that I now treat these accounts like a business and maybe my friends don’t like those kinds of posts in their feed and that’s okay. Blogging is still very much an up and coming industry and career path, some people still don’t understand how it works and what the point is to it all. That’s okay. And, I do have real friends who are still 100% supportive of LWR and who text me when I post something they like and who encourage me all of the time. So, I just keep my head down and go to work, because I love blogging and it brings me joy.
- You’ll make amazing real friends through blogging. It took a little while to establish some friendships when I started blogging, but 6 months into it I now have made some incredible friendships in the blog world. Between friends who visit LWR daily and leave a comment on a post I worked hard on, or send me an email just because, I’m never alone. Additionally, I have the admin team at Passion Project who I talk to every day. These girls inspire me daily, encourage me, help troubleshoot tech problems and give advice on posts and graphic design. Additionally, they listen to me rant about irresponsible dog owners, support me in my makeup spend freeze month and help me pick out good food at Trader Joes. We even started hanging out on Google Plus and it’s been awesome to know that 1. they aren’t crazy murders and 2. they are real friends I can count on. Arizona could feel really lonely, but it really doesn’t when I have a group of girls I talk to every day who get blogging and who put up with my craziness.
There’s so much more that I’ve learned through these first months of blogging, but those are the biggest lessons that stand out to me. What lessons have YOU learned while blogging? I want to know!
And, if you’re still overwhelmed by social media managing, don’t worry. I am too. But, I’ve got a checklist that I made to keep me on track and manage my accounts in about an hour every day!