7 Life Lessons I Learned In My First Year Of Blogging
I’ve been blogging for over a year and at first I wasn’t going to do the whole blogiversary thing. I mean I’m having a wonderful time doing what I love. What’s to celebrate? However, as I get ready to launch a new and improved Kiddie Matters, I can’t help but reflect on the past year and how much I’ve learned. Today I want to share with you some of the life lessons I’ve learned through blogging.
1. It’s OK to ask for help. I’m not good at asking for help. I’m more of a do it yourself kinda gal. However, after my first few months of blogging, I realized that I wasn’t going to be successful going it alone. I mean my marketing strategy was to have my articles automatically post to Twitter and Facebook once I published them. Yeah…my blog was going anywhere fast.
Then I connected with this amazing group of bloggers in the Facebook group Blog Meets Blog. The ladies in this group taught me so much. Their kind words helped me to believe in myself and my writing. They were there to encourage me through rejection after rejection from Scary Mommy, and when I finally got a post accepted, these ladies liked, shared, and commented as if it were their own work. They helped my blog grow far more than I had been doing on my own. (Just remember it’s a two way street. If you’re going to ask for help, be willing to return the favor.)
2. It’s OK to be who you are. For a long time I avoided being myself so that I could be what I thought other people wanted me to be. I truly believed that if I was myself people wouldn’t like me. This was part of the reason why I started a blog. I’ve always found it easier to express myself through my writing and blogging provides a great platform for me to do that.
Sure, some responses to some of my blog posts reinforced my belief that some people wouldn’t like me for me. However, the rejection didn’t cause my world to come crashing down as I had feared. I could choose to focus on the few people who didn’t care for me or my style, or I could listen instead to the people who liked me for me. At the end of the day, you only live once. You might as well live life being who you want to be.
3. It’s important to know your worth or someone else will define it for you. I learned this when I ventured into the world of sponsored posts. Companies were eager to tell me what they thought I was worth which was chump change in my book. I see many new bloggers get taken advantage of because they are willing to work for “exposure” or way below market value. I believe that part of the reason why this happens is because when they negotiate their terms, some of these bloggers aren’t fully appreciating what they bring to the table. Know your worth so you can negotiate like a boss!
4. Never let the fear of failure stop you from pursuing your goals. When I started blogging I read that a good way to grow your blog was to write for larger websites within your niche. In my case this was Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and Mamapedia. It took me a while to submit my first piece because I dreaded the thought of pouring my heart and soul into an article only to have it rejected. Thank goodness I submitted that first piece because it was accepted and it gave me the confidence to keep submitting even when I got those rejection letters.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. When I decided to have someone design my blog I already knew exactly how I wanted it to look. However, my main concern was that I wasn’t going to be able to properly communicate what I wanted. I’m a people pleaser by nature and sometimes I have a hard time speaking my mind if I think it will hurt someone’s feelings. I can’t count how many bad hairstyles I’ve left the salon with because I didn’t want to hurt the stylist’s feelings by telling her I didn’t like my hair.
However, I’m passionate about my blog and I have to be happy with my website design. Ultimately this is what made me put on my big girl panties and ask for what I wanted. In the end, I’m happy with the work Monique from Fantastique Designs is doing and can’t wait to share it with you guys!
6. Don’t compare yourself to other people. When I started my blog my immediate focus was on getting traffic to my site. I would look at the top bloggers in my niche and longed to have their success. I wanted my posts to go viral and to have a ridiculous following like they did. In time I came to realize how ridiculous it was to compare myself to them. I had been blogging for a hot second. Many of these bloggers have been blogging for years. Like the saying goes you can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. I would have been better served producing great content instead of comparing myself to others.
7. You make bad decisions when you are impulsive. It’s not often that I get into that writing zone where I can write non-stop and lose track of time. I convince myself that the posts I write during these moments will be the ones to go viral for sure! So I publish the post right away instead of sitting with it and looking it over with fresh eyes. When I look back at some of these posts now I cringe. I’ve learned that sometimes it is necessary to pause and think things through, especially when you feel that you’ve nailed something!
I’m curious, what life lessons have you learned from blogging? If you’re not a blogger, have you learned any life lessons from blogs you read?