10 things my first year of blogging has taught me.

Ok, so I may be a few weeks late in celebrating my blogs first anniversary but I'm happy to be able to say that on the 11th June I had been officially blogging for 1 year! I've got to admit that I'd flirted with the idea throughout university but found it hard to commit. So for me at least this is a very proud moment. Now I don't beleive I'm in any position to give advice but I wanted to put together my thoughts on what this year has taught me. 

Find a posting schedule that works for you. The one thing that I've found tricky is fitting my blog in around full time work. I'd love to find the time to post everyday because well I enjoy it! This is probably why most people start blogging in school or uni. Unfortunately sometimes it's just not possible to post as often as you would like or stick to a strict schedule. I found it helps if you put some time a side to write your weeks posts and then schedule them. For now however I'm feeling very unorganised and am just taking a relaxed approach but that's alright too! 
Numbers aren't everything. I went through a stage where I would check my stats several times a day. It's so easy to become obsessed with how many page views you're getting or how many followers you've gained or even lost! I guess this matters to some extent for the professionals. For me, as soon as I stopped worrying about this I started to feel so much happier. Although this has caused my page views to drop, it doesn't worry me. I try to check my stats as little as possible these days. 

Blogging opens doors. I have recently been offered a new job and I'm so so happy about it! I honestly think that having my blog to support my application was a big help. It shows that you have interests outside of work and are willing to spend your spare time on something constructive and creative. Whether you're wanting to work with other bloggers or PR companies, showcase your creative work or just have something special to put on your CV or university application... It really does offer these opportunities.  

Don't buy products just for the sake of your blog. With the acceptation of cameras or technical equipment, I find that there's just no point in spending unnecessary money on a products you don't need or want. It's easy to get caught up in the hype if everyone else is reviewing a certain product or you think a piece of clothing will photograph really well. There are so many amazing posts you can create without spending money. Make sure your blog is true to yourself and what you like, not what you think other people want to see! 

Write ideas down. I often have so many ideas for different posts in my head at once and when it comes to creating them I've forgotten everything. I try to write ideas down in a notebook, even sketch sometimes! Using Pinterest is also really helpful for keeping track of inspiring images. 

Good images make a difference. Ok, so this isn't true for all types of blogs but with regards to my posts I always find that good images get the best responses. Often what draws me in to read someones blog is good photography. I've definitely made improvements in my camera and editing skills this year and looking back am very proud of how far I've come!  Although you can always continue to get better. 
Not all PR companies offer good things. The first time I got an email from a PR company I was so excited! However I quickly found out that not all companies are willing to offer much in return for your time and work. Some won't even hold up their end of the bargain after you've completed your post. I've learnt to always be cautious and selective about what I agree to. There's also nothing wrong with signing up for websites to get involved with PR companies yourself.  

Be sociable. Blogging is all about being part of an online community after all. Although living so far North means there are few blogger events to attend, there's nothing stopping me reading other blogs from all over the world and commenting on their good work. It shows support too! There are also blogger chats available for anyone to join in, something I hope to get involved in more of. 

On that point, social media helps too! I'd like to say I'm really good with social media but I just don't think about posting on an average day. However despite my scarce tweets, it is true that even for me Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all help me to get my blog out there. I hope to have improved my social media use by this time next year! 

Enjoy it. This is the most important lesson I've learnt by far! My blog is my own creative space where I can do the things I love. I've definitely had mixed feelings about it throughout this year (who doesn't?) but I feel that I've gotten to a place where I blog because it makes me happy. Because in the end that's the whole point, right? 

I'd love to know your thoughts and what blogging has taught you? 
Much love xxx


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