10 Things I Learned my First Year of Blogging

I recently celebrated the one year anniversary of this fabulous creative sandbox that I like to call my space of exploration, aka my blog. When I set out to be a blogger, I was seeking my creative voice. I loved to create and share, but sorting out the format was a bit of a challenge at first. I chose blogging in hopes that I could explore and it’s been an amazing journey!

Content creation is in my bones. I’ve been a part of the story telling process in my print and on camera work my entire career, as well as in the time I’ve worked as a web developer, designer and project manager. With my background, I thought blogging would be a piece of cake, but it proved to be more involved than I anticipated.

So here we are! One year later and I’m saying happy birthday to this little blog of mine. Just like a proud mama, I’m throwing confetti in the air and designing the smash cake as we speak. šŸ˜‰ (Just kidding. Cake would ruin my computer.) Seriously though, it’s taught me so much and I’m thankful that I made the choice to commit and show up for you guys for every single post on this platform. For those of you who are thinking of becoming a content creator, this is for you.

Without further adieu, I give you 10 Things I’ve Learned my 1st Year of Blogging.

BLOGGING IS A CREATIVE SANDBOX

Blogging is a space where you’re given full creative freedom to be the designer of whatever content you’re producing. As a career on camera talent gal, this is LIFE. For anyone who is struggling to come up with their content ideas, it can be the ticket to finding your voice and learning about your audience. Allow it to be a space of exploration and the sandbox in which you find your voice as a content creator.

AUTHENTICITY IS EVERYTHING

When you are creating content, it’s important to be completely authentic. You have your own style of speaking and your own experiences that make your point of view unique. Embrace that! People will tune into you because of what YOU have to say from your perspective. Trust that you are enough.

CULTIVATE COMMUNITY

I had no idea how many people actually pay attention to the work I do until I started inviting them into the conversation. Often times I’m surprised because I’ll attend events where people approach me to discuss things they saw on my blog. With that in mind, remember that the conversations won’t always happen virtually. Some people still prefer those IRL discussions. The main thing is to show up consistently and always be providing value to your targeted audience. That will help you create a community, aka Your Tribe.

BUILD A BRAND

Building a brand is crucial to your success as a blogger. Think of it as a personal branding exercise. Your brand is the thing you are known for. It’s your essence, your reputation, the experience you provide. All of these things contribute to your brand.

Know your niche. Provide value to your readers and subscribers. Give them consistency. These are all ways to build a solid foundation to your blog’s brand.

CREATE A MAILING LIST

A mailing list is the only thing that you actually own. It’s your intellectual property. You won’t lose it if Instagram goes out of business or if all the other social media platforms flop and we’re suddenly forced to socialize face to face like we did in the old days. The people who subscribe to your list are your true audience. They are the ones who want to be the first to know about the content you’re creating. Reward those people by showing up in their inbox with first access to your work.

SCHEDULE EVERYTHING

This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn throughout my first year as a blogger. Create a schedule for posting and treat it like a job. Audiences respond best to consistency and knowing that they can trust you to show up for them creates fans. Life is busy, so scheduling out time to work on your blog without interruptions will be critical to creating consistency.

LEARN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Get a good grasp on social media and the demographics that dominate each platform. This is where you will share your work the most. Most of the time, people don’t like to leave the apps they are on to read an article or watch a video. That means that you have to find a way to get people to engage with your content within the app and hopefully entice them to click over to your blog, vlog, podcast, etc.

Also learn to write your captions in a way that drives engagement. You want to ask questions that include people in the conversation. Sometimes it takes a while for people to engage, but inviting them to gives them an open door to drop comments, likes and ask questions of their own.

BE WILLING TO FAIL

Failure is part of learning. Yes it’s a stinker, but it’s necessary. You may put posts out that you feel aren’t quite what you wanted them to be or feel disappointed by the lack of engagement. Instead of feeling bad about something not working, use it as an opportunity to test and analyze what your audience actually responds to. Don’t give up! It takes work and research, testing and failing. Blogging is hard but if you are always looking for the ways you can learn from it, you’ll grow and create better content over time.

DISCOVER YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE

Discovering your own personal style is something that takes time, just like growing an audience takes time. You don’t know what your writing style is until you start writing. The same is true for your photography style, your unique voice, etc. Test things to see what sticks.

BE PATIENT

Patience is your best friend because building a blog takes time. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be as popular as bloggers who have been doing it for years. It’s a slow process that will pick up speed if you just keep showing up and being consistent.

>>>What types of content are you working on and what struggles have you encountered? <<<

Let’s discuss it in the comments!

XO, Lesa

 

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