Happy Monday friends! On March 4th 2016 I started this blog. I figured it was fitting to look back on my year of blogging today. I have learned a lot and made some common mistakes. I have also found a love for this platform and I hope that a year from now I can look back at 2 years of blogging. This last year has been a roller coaster for me and for my blog. I started this as a creative outlet for myself and didn’t really know what I wanted this to be. Now a year later I find myself excited to write new things and I added a photo portion to this blog, (check out the Photo Blog tab above, new photo every Wednesday!)
This last year has had its ups and downs, but all together I can’t believe where I am at today. I started blogging seriously around October 2016. I had a long talk with myself and Arron and decided this was something I wanted to put more effort into.
Here are some things I have learned in my year of blogging:
- Being consistent is key. This goes into making a schedule that works for you and your life. When I first started I wanted to post 3 times a week. I could only keep that up for a week, maybe two tops. When I decided to get serious about this I brought it down to once a week. You need to pick a schedule that you know you can stick to so you can be consistent. I then added a 2nd post to my week and so far I’ve only had 1 week missed (dang wedding planning). If you aren’t consistent people wont know when to come back to your blog!
- I figured out that you should always have some content saved for the weeks when life happens. I learned this the hard way just a couple of weeks ago. I have since saved a couple of posts so I have something for when life throws me another curve ball I just can’t catch. I had a week of no content and it hurt my statistics gravely. Lesson learned, and please learn from my mistakes.
- Run on sentences are not your friend. This is one of my worst writing habits. I have so many words and ideas in my head. I have to get them out at lightning speed. I have no time for periods, commas and all that crap. I need to get my ideas out of my head fast or it will all go away! (Or I could just write it down in my blog notebook and save for later..)
- Network with other bloggers. I am still learning how to do this but the few times I have the outcome has been amazing. I reached out to some bloggers on WordPress and we have swapped content. It is great for your blog and for theirs. This is also a great way to find out what people like and their thoughts on what you can improve on.
- Just start writing when you can’t think of what to write about. Most of the topics I’ve written about came from a conversation with Arron about how I don’t know what to write about. Or we will go on a long drive and have a discussion about basketball that will spark a discussion about something else and will eventually lead to my blog topic of the week. Also I highly suggest making a list of things you could blog about on the day that the creative juices are just flowing. That way when you aren’t sure what to write about you can look back at the list you made and thank your past self for having your now self’s back. I have a list in my blog notebook that I look back on when I don’t have any ideas in my head, or anywhere.
- When an idea comes to mind WRITE IT DOWN. I can’t stress this enough. I can’t tell you how many times I had a great idea for a blog post or photo and my naive self said “oh you’ll remember, you don’t need to write it down.” Yes, I needed to write it down. I have also utilized voice to text and my best friend to write down an idea when I don’t have my blog notebook.
- Write what you know. You wont see me talking about what is new in politics or how to understand the stock market because I know literally nothing about those topics. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take chances though, that’s not what I’m saying. If you want to learn about politics go for it, and maybe do a post about what you’re learning about it.
- I learned that you need to proof read your post, or have someone else proof read it before you press that “Post” button. I would also recommend that you do the proof reading step a couple of hours after you wrote it. Let the post sit and get your mind off of it so you can come back with fresh eyes. You might not see your spelling mistake when the words are fresh in your mind. Also having someone else read it over will help, they can’t read your mind so they will find those mess ups you just can’t see.
- I learned to read more. Read books, articles, magazines, anything I could. I’m not the best reader but I’ve gotten better over this last year. I read to be inspired to write. I read to learn more about writing. I read funny things on the internet because I like to laugh and I appreciate a good troll-post.
- You will learn if blogging is for you after about a month of a strict schedule, even it is only once a week. I learned how much I love this, and how much I needed this. I learned that I want to learn more about writing and reading. Blogging has brought me back to being creative and allowed my creativity to actually go somewhere.
I have really enjoyed blogging over this last year. I started this as something to do for fun and it has grown into something I have a real passion for. My first 6 months or more of this blog were rocky but I found my footing and kept with it. I added a photo blog and that caused me to go up to 2 posts a week, which was a big deal for me. I am learning what kind of writer I am, and what kind of writer I want to become. I’m excited to see what is going to come in this next year, but no matter what I am proud of the progress this last year has brought me.
If you are thinking about starting a blog I hope this helps you in some way. If you’re an experienced blogger I hope you can relate a little bit, and maybe you can let me know that I’m not crazy? That would be great, thanks!
Talk to you next time, keep writing!