One year ago, in the middle of August, I posted my first blog post. It was a secret blog post. But September 16 marks one year since I made my blog “public” by sharing it on Facebook.
While this past year has been full of life lessons simply due to the fact that it was my first year out of university, starting a blog at the same time has yielded its own lessons that I thought I might share with you today…
The blogging world is giant
I am pretty new to the blogging world at 1.5 years of exploration and I know I’ve barely skimmed the surface of what’s out there. You have travel blogs, food blogs, mommy blogs, blogs about blogging (so meta), the all-encompassing lifestyle blogs, on and on and on! And then the bloggers introduced me to the Instagrammers… Travel accounts, beauty accounts, accounts based on all things colour, accounts based on a certain city… And I was also introduced to the world of podcasts… Podcasts about happiness, about productivity, about side hustles, about books, about being awesome, about anything! The internet is so big and it just keeps expanding and that is pretty amazing!
There’s so much more to it than just blogging
To continue on the last point’s train of thought, if you want to be a professional blogger (which is part of my crazy dream), you need to be more than just a blogger. You’re an Instagrammer, you’re proficient in Facebook, you’re a social media marketing guru, you’re the IT Guy, you’re the creative mind behind the finished product, you’re the editor, you’re the photographer, you’re the boss, you are everything and you are learning everything by the seat of your pants and you have never learned so much so quickly.
You’re always learning
I went into blogging knowing exactly one skill – writing. I thought, “I have an English degree. I got this in the bag.” Oh, how naïve I was… In the world of blogging, you are always always learning. You’re learning how to do all those things I mentioned above! As overwhelming and ridiculous learning all of that may seem, it’s actually pretty incredible and wonderful. Without blogging, I wouldn’t have bothered to pick up all of these new skills I have, and I get to look forward to learning more cool stuff that would have seemed unfathomable to me a few years ago.
I’m more capable than I think
I am the first to say that I’m pretty dumb when it comes to technology. Or, maybe I’m more afraid of it than anything else. But, I should really be using the past tense here, because now, although I’m not nearly the most skilled at it, I’ve learned so much more about technology than I thought myself capable of. I built my own website! Yes, I know that’s way easier these days than ten years ago even, but there were still some tricky parts that I’m really proud to have overcome and nobody can take that away from me! But building my website is just one of many examples demonstrating that I am capable of more than I thought, and that if I just give it a shot, I can do just about anything I set my mind to.
The good stuff is hard, but it’s worth all that work
Blogging can be SO HARRRRRRRD. But when it comes down to it, the good stuff is hard to reach. If you want to know what the heck you’re doing, you need to do the hard research. If you want a decent blog post, you need to do some good writing. If you want your blog to grow, you need to put in more time than spewing a couple hundred words out and pressing “Publish”. If it was easy, then everybody would be doing it. Super original, I know.
Yes, consistency is really as important as they say it is
A) It keeps you on track. It’s so much easier to keep going when writing becomes habit instead of a surprise event. B) It keeps you in the minds of all your readers, followers, audience, what have you. I am certainly struggling with this point.
You have to experiment
As much as you want to plan and prep so you emerge in the public eye without any flaws, that’s just not going to happen. I’ve been experimenting this whole time, trying new things, thinking about what posts I’ve enjoyed writing the most and which ones make me cringe when I look back on them. Despite the cringe-worthiness, the experimentation is a good/bad part of the process of figuring out your brand.
Don’t put out what isn’t your best work, or what you don’t believe in
Previous point being said… don’t hit publish on something that really doesn’t represent you. I was experimenting in the past, and it made me realize that I was writing some stuff that just wasn’t sparking. The cringe means something, people. And you should always be putting out your best work. It’s not the greatest idea to publish something you whipped up in an hour in a panic – I’ve done that, and it has resulted in some of my most cringe-worthy work.
There’s no such thing as comfortable
If you’re comfortable, it means you’re not growing. There’s always a new goal or a next step. Reach for it! Fight for it! Do the work! Keep going!
So happy birthday to See Heather Smile! I celebrated with a Crave cupcake and a weird photo shoot racing a melting candle – #bloggerlife. The S.O. may have made fun of me for it. Oh well, more cupcake for me.
Here’s to another year! Thanks for reading!