A year ago today I hit publish on my very first blog post ever entitled, Layers (not the hair layers;-)) and I haven’t looked back since!
Today I want to share 5 things I’ve learned in my first year of blogging.
#1 Blogging is a great creative outlet and there is always something new to learn! I have learned that I am happiest in my life when I am learning something new and with blogging there is ALWAYS something new to learn or improve on. For example, to even start this blog I had to learn how to set up a blog in WordPress (I am not a computer person). I did not want to spend the money on a blog designer so I learned how to tweak the free template I use to make it appear more customized.
I’ve gotten to learn photoshop elements (which is how I edit my photos). I have learned more about photography and have a lot more to learn which I’m excited about. There is always some kind of new plugin to try or cool thing to learn to enhance your site (for example, for this post I learned how to create a survey)! There is truly no end to learning with blogging and I love it!
#2 Blogging is a lot of hard work! I have to admit I am one of those people that usually underestimates the time things are going to take (which is probably why I’m not afraid to start a big project):-). Blogging was no different. I knew it would take time but didn’t fathom HOW very much time it takes.
It’s not just the writing part that takes time. It’s the photos– prepping for photos, taking the photos, uploading them to my computer, editing them, and then uploading them to my blog. Even when I showcase the design work of others it still takes time to locate great inspirational photos and link to them correctly.
After writing the post I am usually so excited to share it that I want to get the post out there which means putting it on Pinterest and sharing it at Link-up parties on other blogs–which takes time too!
I’m not complaining. I just wasn’t expecting it! I guess I’m just surprised that more bloggers don’t talk about how much time it takes. It’s a similar feeling to after I had my first baby. Um, why didn’t anyone prepare me for the ice pack undergarments (if you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about)!! Blogging is a huge time taking endeavor–there I said it.
#3 Blogging doesn’t have to be ALL or NOTHING. When I first started blogging I read that you need to blog at least 3 to 4 times a week to ever have people come to your blog. Sure I thought, makes sense, readers want fresh content on a regular basis (plus the blogs I read posted about that much).
So I started out posting three to four times a week. And over time I found myself having to stay up until 3 a.m. on a regular basis in order to do this which on an ongoing basis wasn’t going to be a healthy choice for me or my family.
I have 4 small children (8 years and under) and so 8pm and after is my only real time I have to blog. It worked well for awhile to blog twice a week but then came some volunteering opportunities (mentoring) that I felt strongly I should take.
I now mentor M-TH 8pm to 9pm or so and by that time I am super tired from a long day and don’t have much to put into blogging. Really time wise I have no business having a blog but I love it and despite what I read when I first started blogging after a year of blogging I have plenty of visitors coming to my blog and loyal readers (thank you for that!!).
Right now in my life posting about once a week is all the time I have to give. I am hopeful at some point in my life I will have more time to blog but in the mean time I am grateful to have learned that blogging doesn’t have to All or Nothing.
#4 Blogging is very rewarding and helps me feel connected with the world. I love sharing my ideas! After trying out a new DIY (like the plantation shutters) or discovering a new way to save on home décor I can’t wait to share it. I’ve especially love sharing “eye candy”, the home design photos that inspire me!
Over the years I have learned something very important about myself–I am affected by what is visually around me. If what is around me is overly dark or loud or run down I start feeling weighed down. However, if my surroundings are light and beautiful I feel uplifted and at peace.
My quest for a beautiful home is not materialistic. I know this may sound strange but for me it is food for my spirit–a beautiful home nourishes me.
I have never had a bunch of extra cash to throw at my home. I love finding beautiful home inspiration and figuring out ways to create the look for A LOT less. I get excited to share these ideas hoping that it will help someone else feel more happiness in their home and in their life!
#5 Blogging is most rewarding for me when there are people actually reading and benefiting from what I am sharing. There were definitely a few times throughout this first year that I felt discouraged and questioned whether I should keep blogging. I would put so much time into a post and then not have very many people reading it. I’ve learned it takes time for a blog to grow.
I would say that the most influencial thing that I have done to help people find my blog and to share my content is to join collaborative boards on Pinterest. If you are blogger and have not heard of collaborative boards on Pinterest I would look into it.
I want to thank you for a great first year! If you weren’t here reading then I probably wouldn’t have made it to my first year, so thank you!!
And now is where I need to ask you a favor (do you hate asking for favors as much as I do??). Going into my second year of blogging I would LOVE some feedback! I have created a survey to get your feedback on Provident Home Design and it’s only five questions! It would mean a lot to me for you to share your thoughts!
Please Take this Quick Survey on Your Experience with Provident Home Design.com!