Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things I've Learned in my First Year of Blogging

I am often being asked if starting a blog is difficult. And seeing that this is my 1 year of blogging anniversary week, I thought I'd write a bit about what I have learned over this year of blogging.

1. Find your niche. 

I have had a few people ask me if I ever get writers' block. The truth? Not really. I have learned that when I am inspired, I don't lack in what I have to say. That's why it is so important to write about what you are passionate about. Because it will show.

2. Quality over quantity. 

This is sort of a piggy back to # 1. When I first started blogging, I felt like I needed to post almost every day. I found out pretty quickly that it wasn't going to work for me. For one thing, I really don't have the time to post everyday due to my obligations to my family. But also, I don't want to burn out and I want my posts be interesting and engaging. I started this blog because I was so passionate about organizing that I felt like if I didn't share it, I might just burst. And I can honestly say, a year later, I am still just as passionate--because I write when I can and when I have something I really want to share.

3. Don't compare yourself to others. 

Just as I teach my girls to be individuals and not compare themselves to others, the same goes with my blog. I have to admit, I used to do this--especially at the very beginning, and I would begin to feel very overwhelmed. I constantly have to tell myself that this is my journey--not anyone else's. I want to be authentic and to do that I have to stay focused on my goals and worry less about others'.

4. Put yourself out there.

This is a hard one for me and an area that I am hoping to continue to grow in. If you saw my 1 year blog-iversary video, you might have seen that I have a tendency to be a bit shy. I am working on pushing myself outside of my comfort zone because that is what I appreciate in other blogs that I read. It makes me more relatable, which is what I want. Even in writing, it can sometimes be difficult to express what I really want to say. Like I said, it's an area I want to continue to develop. Some of the best comments are the ones when readers say "We could be best friends." or "Can I come live with you?" I love knowing that I've inspired someone in some way.

5. Focus on the positive.

Blogging is full of ups and downs. One day you may get a lot of pageviews/feedback, and the next day little to nothing. I have definitely felt many highs and lows. And while I try and take the negatives and learn from them, I find that when I can focus on the positive aspects, I am much more motivated and ready to break through my barriers. No, blogging isn't all about pageviews and followers or comments but by putting your thoughts out there for the world to see, it helps to know it has resonated with a few folks. No one likes to feel like their talking to themselves. I try and remember that I don't always comment--even on blogs that I read and love regularly. I just might not have anything real important to say. I'm a firm believer that you can will yourself through most of life's obstacles. If you focus on the negative, than it feels like everything is negative. When you focus on the positive it's amazing at how things seem a little easier. Just sayin'.

So there you have it. This year has been such a learning experience for me in so many ways and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love it. I love sharing ideas and getting new ones from other bloggers and readers. I love feeling like I've inspired someone even just a little. And I love learning more about myself, pushing my limits, and growing as a person. Isn't that really what life's about anyway?

Okay, I'm done being sappy for today. If you would like to see my first video or a recap of the year's most popular posts, by all means, go here. :) I hope you'll join me tomorrow for my goals for this next year. You may be surprised.
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  1. Susan, thank you for all the inspiration and encouragement you've given me since I discovered your blog!- Christa

  2. Such an inspiration! Congratulations on your one year blogversary. I love the idea of #3 and #5 both are things i need to focus on more. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you Felicia! (I love that name by the way.) I'm glad you can relate a bit. It is so hard not to compare ourselves to others isn't it? We put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything. This is a constant struggle for me. It's nice to know I'm not alone there. Have a great day!

  3. Tomorrow it will be one year blogging for me too! First of all, congratulations to you! i know how hard it can be to stick with it, and crossing the "1 year" milestone is already a huge improvement. I agree to all of your points but i find it really difficult to avoid the comparisons (in my niche of course). Other than that, i just focus on my path, as you rightly said, as everyone has a different way to create things!



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