The Inspired Hive

A busy mom building a creative home

Search


10 Things I Learned In My First Year Blogging

Hello everyone :) Hope you are enjoying the month of May so far! May is one of my favorite months of the year! It's always full of fun things! My birthday, my husband's birthday, my sister's birthday, several of our close friends' birthdays, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day! It's also usually when the weather finally starts becoming beautiful every day around here. How could you not enjoy it?!?! 

This May is extra exciting because we have some other fun things going on too! Next week my little sister is graduating (Woohoo!!! Goooo Kayla!!!!!!!). This week, I'll also be heading to North Carolina for my good friend Jenny's bachelorette party while Pete heads to Louisiana for his best friend's bachelor trip! Then, I will also be heading to Louisiana to visit with family and celebrate my cousin's wedding!! The next week, Pete's sister is getting married!!! We have two crazy fun filled weeks ahead of us! I'm beyond excited!!!

Last week, I celebrated my blog's first birthday and promised I would have some blog related things to share this month! This week, I put together a list of things I learned in my first year blogging! Blogging can be overwhelming at first, so I wanted to share some important lessons I learned along the way.



It takes a lot of time. I had no idea what I was getting myself into in the beginning. Every post requires a lot of effort... you write the post, research keywords, edit photographs, then promote on social media and link ups. All of that is assuming you even had time to work on any projects worth blogging! In addition, you still want to have time to respond to comments, read other blogs, and participate in the blogging community. When I started blogging, I thought I would eventually end up posting every day, but the reality is, I work a full time job and have other responsibilities on my days off. Because of how much effort goes into a single post, I only have time for 2-3 posts a week. Now that I realize that's all I can handle, I feel much less stressed about rushing to put out content. Be realistic about what you can accomplish.

A project doesn't have to be complete in order to be shared. I didn't have many posts in the beginning because I was so focused on "finishing" a room before I showed it on the blog. I'm sure you all know how long it can take to be totally satisfied with a room!!! So I've stopped doing that and started showing progress. I plan to start doing that with crafts also. Sometimes I work on a craft a little at a time for a month or two because that's all I have time for. There's no reason I can't show a glimpse of what I'm working on. It gives your readers a little sneak peak of what's to come!

Don't be intimidated. I spent most of my first year blogging afraid to share my blog. At first I didn't even want to share it with the blogging community because I didn't think it was good enough compared to the other blogs I read. I didn't share my blog with anyone I knew personally until recently. It's tough to put yourself out there, but once you do it, the feedback you get is so reassuring and you learn so much more from other bloggers. Go ahead, show off your hard work!

Support other bloggers. If you want to get anywhere in the blogging world, you have to participate! Meet other bloggers on social media, through comments on link-ups, or through blogging forums. I made some great blogging friends just through something as simple as the Liebster Award! It's great to support each other and promote each other's blogs through social media. It can also lead to opportunities to co-host events like giveaways or link-ups! Speaking of link-ups...

Participate in lots of link-ups! I didn't start getting page views until I started participating in link-ups. My very first linked post was my DIY Painted "Love Lives Here" Canvas, and I was shocked by my numbers the next morning! Even better, that post was featured on two blogs which helped my numbers even more! I was so excited! The results from one link-up were all it took to convince me of how important they are! Link-ups are a great way to increase your following and meet other bloggers by commenting on their links. Here are some of my favorites...

Sunday
Share Your Creativity Party @ It's Overflowing
Monday
Monday Funday @ Uncommon Designs Online
Tuesday
The Inspiration Exchange @ City Farmhouse
The Makers @ Tiny Sidekick
Wednesday
Work It Wednesday @ The Turquoise Home
Hump Day Happenings @ A Savory Feast
Friday
Inspire Me Please Weekend Blog Hop @ Liz Marie Blog
Best DIY and Recipe Party @ The 36th Avenue
Link Party Palooza @ Tatertots and Jello
Saturday
Saturday Sharefest @ The SITS Girls

Let me know if you host a link-up or participate in a great one I should know about!

Google+ is where it's at! As a blogger, it's important to join social media. I am currently on Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest. Out of the three, I am most impressed by the growth Google+ has given my blog! As soon as I joined and started promoting there, my followers increased quickly! The sense of community among bloggers on Google+ is also great. Everyone is promoting each other and sharing each other's work. I love it! 

Pictures are vital. When I look at my early posts, I want to hide my eyes. Such crappy pictures! At that point, I was using a plain old point-and-shoot digital camera and was not editing my photos one bit. I got a digital SLR for Christmas, and it made such a huge difference! I still have a lot to learn photography wise, but just having a nice camera makes posts look so much nicer. I started doing basic edits using PicMonkey, and I use GIMP for anything major. (Pete just bought me Photoshop for my birthday, but there's a bit of a learning curve there. Luckily he bought me the "For Dummies" book to go with it! Ha!). Photography is definitely something I want to work on this year. The internet is a very visual place (helloooo, Pinterest!), so it's vital to have photos that capture readers' attention!

Monetize early. I wish I had added GoogleAds and Amazon Affiliates to my blog sooner. There's no reason why a new blogger can't add these early on! You won't make any money off of them so early, but having ads on your site tells brands that you are willing to work with them. I didn't start getting contacted about doing product feature posts until recently, right after I added ads to my site!

Branding is important. You want people to recognize your blog. No, you probably don't think of your blog as a business when first starting out, but if you want it to take off, you really should promote it like it is a business! You need a logo that you use for everything and you need to send a consistent message to your readers on what your blog is about. You really should think about all of this before you even get started. For instance, I wish I had thought more about my blog name, because now, a year later, my blog is less about "the B's" and more about our projects! It's hard to make those decisions early on if you don't know where your blog is headed, but it's important to think about who your audience is and what kind of content you are going to deliver. 

Focus on one thing at a time. There is an incredible amount of information out there about blogging. It's a lot to take in and can be overwhelming. Don't try to make your blog perfect all at once. Try to add one new thing at a time. If you're designing your blog yourself, try to learn one new HTML or CSS thing each week until it looks how you want it. Then start focusing on other things, like learning about SEO! Check out my blogging lessons board on Pinterest for some of the things I've implemented on my blog!

Follow my board "Lessons:: Blogging" on Pinterest.


I've learned so much more than just these 10 things, but these are some of the important ones that I wish I had learned early on. Have any of you learned any important blogging lessons? I would love for you to share!
Linking up: My Pinterventures // The SITS Girls

post signature

If you liked this post, like Meet the B's on Facebook!

24 comments

  1. I really like the support other bloggers point :) It's the old adage: do for others (bloggers) what you would have them do for you....great tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The golden rule! I learned quickly that most of my support comes from other bloggers, so it's important to support them as well! It's amazing how many friendships you build through blogging :)

      Delete
  2. Nicole, this is fantastic!!! I'm definitely going to put these tips to work!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristi! And thanks for sending me your link-up list!!! Awesome :)

      Delete
  3. Great post Nicole! One of my favs since I'm pretty new to the blogging world! I, too, have realizes how much time a blog takes! I have only been managing to post about once per week. (or less?) And some tips I really want to work on are branding, photography, link ups (seriously didn't even realize what these were until a week ago!), monetization, and google+! Wow a lot of work cut out for me! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bex! Glad I could give you some ideas :)

      Delete
  4. Great tips! I didn't realize you had already been blogging for a year! You've come a long way and I definitely took a lot away from this so thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bre! It doesn't feel like it's been a year since I didn't get serious until about 6 months in! But even so, I've learned a tremendous amount!!!

      Delete
  5. Love this post! I just started blogging a few months ago and I can already relate to so many of these things - especially what you say about hiding your blog because you think it's not good enough. This is something that I'm really struggling with and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one!

    (And you're right about google+ - that's how I found your blog!)

    Thanks for the great post!

    Sam xx
    www.smart-twenties.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Samantha! You're definitely not the only one afraid of sharing your blog, but I definitely encourage you to do it! It's a great feeling once it's off your shoulders, and you would be surprised by how many people you personally know that will encourage you! Good luck in your new blogging adventures :)

      Delete
  6. You answered a question that popped into my head today - I was wondering how soon a blogger should think about monitoring their blog! Great tips - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get started as soon as you feel comfortable :) Thanks Susan!

      Delete
  7. You have some great tips on here. Would love if you came and linked up on Merry Monday Linky Party and shared some of your tips.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you! I always can use some tips on my blog. I love link parties, and definitely must learn the lesson of connecting with others bloggers. In process... Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting tips you share here! And the party list is useful. I love discovering new blogs and that's a very convenient way for me, plus indeed it generates a lot of traffic and comments!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Link ups are a great way to participate in the blogging community and find lots of new blogs to follow!!! :)

      Delete
  10. It seems you need a calendar for all of the link ups these days. Happy Blogoversary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joey! I know, I learn about more link ups every single day it seems like!!! I participate in many here and there, but the ones in this post are my favorites!

      Delete
  11. Nicole, this was such a great post and so very helpful! I started blogging about a year ago as well, but had started very slow with it. I just recently in the last two months started to really go after this dream of having a successful blog. Working on a bunch of visual displays for my blog currently such as my logo, but I really love other supportive bloggers as yourself to share your secrets and help us "little people" bloggers out lol. I especially love the point you made about not being intimidated, this has been a huge problem I have had so far. Thank you so much for this post! Looking forward to following your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words Deborah! I'm glad you found this post so helpful! I still consider myself a "little people" blogger too, but I'm happy to share what I've learned so far! And don't be intimidated! You can do it!

      Delete
  12. I love this post! I recently wrote a similar post about 10 things I learned my first year, but my things were totally different. It's great to read another blogger's perspective. Congrats on your first anniversary and wishes for many more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen! You've got some great blogging tips on your blog! It's definitely great to get another perspective and to get to a point where you can help other bloggers :)

      Delete