8 Things I’ve Learnt in My First Year of Blogging

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Last week it was my blog birthday. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging off and on for a whole year! Inspired by a new blogging friend Dr Juliet who shares the same blogging birthday as me, I thought I’d jot down a few things that I’ve learnt along the way.

1) Finding My Voice: I initially started the blog as a way of showcasing my work as a freelance copywriter from my freelance copywriting website. Initially I started blogging purely about marketing and copywriting trying to target businesses and potential clients. That didn’t last long as I felt the need to inject some personality and talk more about things that relate to me. Even now, whilst my blog is much more personal, I’m still finding that I can strike a different tone of voice with different posts. I’ve quite a dry humour so I enjoy writing the humorous posts, but I still write some serious ones too.

2)There’s still so much to learn: Even thought I set up my blog a year ago, I dipped in and out and pretty much abandoned it over the summer due to personal family reasons. So it’s really only been in the last few months that I’ve dedicated a lot more time to it. I’ve been posting more regularly but that’s just the beginning. I started getting involved with linkys and through this and interacting a lot with other bloggers I can see that I’ve still got a long way to go with regards to promoting it, design, images, community, affiliates, self-hosted site, plug-ins, SEO and ultimately working with brands or making money. After a year, I’m very much still a newbie!

3) It Takes Dedication: It’s not just a case of posting up a blog and hoping that everyone will go and find it. You have to work at growing the blog. You need to post regularly and then promote it. And then engage with others to get them to come and read. Commenting on other blogs alone takes a lot of time but is rewarding and means you learn more. Ultimately, the more you put in, the more you get out.

4) It’s Addictive: I’ve found that the more I post, the more I want to blog. It’s a bit consuming, I keep seeing possible blog topics everywhere and I have to struggle to remember them all to write them down! But essentially, I love doing it. I’ve always had this desire to write, whether in a diary, a monthly magazine column, for work or just lists, but with blogging, I feel like it’s easier to do, it’s mine and I enjoy writing about whatever is going on in my head. I love the buzz of having other people commenting on my blog, whether they agree with me or not, it’s a good feeling to be engaging with others about something I’ve written.

5) Design Matters: I’m not a designer but I want my blog to look good. It’s a constant work in process. When I first started out my blog was very basic. It contained just the posts with very little visuals. Any images I incorporated were small thumbnails, I had no idea about which dimensions I should use. I look at some of the other blogs out there and fall in love with how sleek or quirky and professional they look. I’ve still got work to do on this!

6) You Have to Promote Yourself: Again, another thing I’m not particularly good at. I tend to post my blogs fairly regularly on Twitter, but not on Facebook as I’m very aware that I might be annoying the hell out of a lot of people, many of whom are my friends. I think I need to take the plunge and set up a separate Facebook page really. I’m not really involved in Pinterest or Google+ too much either.

7) I’m Hoping for More: I enjoy writing blogs and interacting with others but I’d be a fool if I said I didn’t want more. I’d love to be one of those people that make money out of their blogging and working with some favourite brands. I see some of the giddy heights that other people have got to and it’s truly inspiring. I know it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of hours. Only time will tell, I guess!

8) The Community is Vast, Scary and Friendly: There are so many blogs out there, it really can be quite overwhelming and on my down days I think, “What’s the point?” “Why is anyone going to bother with little old me?!” I guess the answer to that question lies in point number 4! Reading and engaging with some of the well-known and established blogs can at times feel completely intimidating. But that’s purely my problem because I stupidly compare myself to them. I know that I have to keep on doing my own thing and going down my own road. The truth is that most people I’ve met through blogging have been nothing but lovely, kind and helpful.

So happy birthday to my blog! There’s been ups and downs over this past year. I’ve learnt a fair bit already and I’m looking to see what happens in the next 12 months.

 

Are you a newbie or an old timer blogger? Anything I’ve missed out or that you would add? I’d love to hear your thoughts and any advice for this “baby” blog, always welcome!

 

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0 thoughts on “8 Things I’ve Learnt in My First Year of Blogging

  1. Happy Birthday to us! You’ve captured well how far we’ve come but how we can still feel like we don’t know anything at all. It’s fun though isn’t it and I think it’s filled the ‘being creative’ gap that was missing from my life. I look forward to seeing you flourish over the next 12 months. J

    1. Ahhh thanks Juliet, I totally agree that it’s fun and fills a creative gap. I look forward to reading more of your blogs and seeing how you progress too. Here’s to our next birthday! Xx

  2. Happy blog birthday! I’ve been blogging on and off for 10 years, but never with a particular goal in mind other than to rant about my life. I set this blog up on the first of January as a way to document my freelancing experience and a marketing tool. I’m learning so much already, not only about blogging, but about myself. My blog has really helped me to organise my thoughts and explore myself and I think it’s a great tool. Definitely set up a Facebook page! It can be difficult to get things moving and takes some promoting in and of itself, but it’s still a great marketing tool.

    1. Thank you that’s good to know that you’ve done a similar thing with your blog. I agree, I can see how it can help you learn about yourself and help to organise thoughts. Think it really helps with your writing skills too. Thanks for reading. X

  3. Happy Blog Birthday! I’ve been blogging since July and I love it, but like you mention the dedication is crazy, it’s not just write a post and that’s it. It really could be a full time job, all hours of the day! I do love the community though 🙂 #twinklytuesday

  4. Happy blog birthday! I’m experiencing and learning all of the same things as you, as I’m six months in (it feels like a lot longer, haha!) I think the best thing about blogging is you never stop learning, growing and striving. Wishing you every success in growing your blog further and turning it into a source of income 🙂

    1. Thanks Robyn. We are probably at the same stage as I all but abandoned this blog in the summer. I agree it’s an evolving process and a constant learning journey. Thank you and good luck with yours! X

  5. Happy blog birthday! I’ve been blogging for four years and I’m still learning! There’s always something new coming along but you know what I do love it! Great post. x
    #MMWBH

  6. happy birthday to your blog (mine’s a few months older) I can relate to so many of your points! I started a fb page for my blog after about 6mths or so because I refused to bombard family & friends with my blog stuff (they still seem to cross over more than I’d like!) The promoting and connecting and interacting are what make it all so special but they are sooooo time consuming! Making money is a pie in the sky dream for my blog – I’m just happy that people actually read it!

    1. Thank you. I’m glad it’s not just me. I agree the promoting and interacting does make it special, I will have to make that leap. You’re right, having people read and comment is the best. Thanks for reading! X

  7. Happy Birthday to your blog! Really enjoyed reading this post and agree with you entirely with each and every point. It certainly is addictive (a little to addictive at times, I need to learn to switch off) and it does require a hell of a lot of dedication. Looking forward to reading more of your posts and I’d definitely recommend setting up a FB page. #MMWBH

  8. Happy Blog Birthday! I agreed with you on all the points listed! I am quite addicted too and yes there are just so many things to learn, isn’t there? But it is just so rewarding! #fartglitter

  9. Lovely review! I feel a bit like you a year on too. I have worked with a few brands and started a linky but sooo no where near others. I often think though, my blog is a hobby so really it doesn’t matter. Good luck with your second year! xx #fartglitter

  10. Happy belated blog birthday! Sounds like you have learnt a lot this past year. I’m with you on the blogging being addictive. Everywhere I go now I am thinking “ooh that would make a great blog post” 🙂 #thelist

  11. Happy Blog Birthday 🙂 Mine’s coming up in a couple of months. It’s definitely addictive. Good luck with everything and here’s to a great second year! #TheList

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    1. Thank you. It’s weird because the addictive bit has only kicked in in the last few months. But I think that’s because I’ve been writing more in the last few months! Thanks for reading. X

  12. Happy Blog Anniversary mine is this week too 🙂 its amazing how much there is to learn isn’t there! Your list of things you want to improve or get into is pretty much the same as mine!! So far to go :). I am truly addicted although the social media promotion is so time consuming! Good luck with the next 12 months 🙂 #FartGlittter

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