Exactly one year ago this week I published my very first blog post; 5 Lessons I Learned as an Influencer on Instagram. It feels like I’ve lived an entire lifetime since then, in blog years at least. Time kind of moves differently in the blog world, it’s always moving and it just does not stop!
In the past year I’ve learned a lot about myself, built my branding (still building it), made a ton of new friends and made even more mistakes. I never imagined blogging would be my job but I’ve always loved writing and now I can’t see myself doing absolutely anything else. This is exactly where I belong and I’m so happy I took the plunge last year and opened this online space to share my motherhood (and womanhood) journey with all of you.
So I wanted to put this post together and share some of the things I’ve learned and how I feel about blogging a year later. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, I hope this helps you in some way. I know I read (and still read) these types of posts all the time for inspiration from other bloggers.
Blogging is a business
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that blogging is a legit business and it’s now my job. When I started last year I had no clue people make money off of this and create complete businesses from blogging. If you didn’t know either, now you do. From sponsored content to appearances and freelance writing, bloggers are working hard every day to grow their business and create their brand.
It’s never-ending work
The internet doesn’t sleep and neither do bloggers. If anyone thinks all bloggers do is journal their lives and browse social media all day they are sadly mistaken. I’ve never had a job that I worked more and felt the least appreciated and respected. I’m constantly defending my job and validating everything I do. Just to list a few of the things I do on a daily basis for my blog; writing, web design, public relations, networking with brands, photography, photo editing, styling photo shoots, content creation, pitching to brands, promotions, and manage all my social media. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. This is all on top of being a wife and mother so yea, it’s never ending.
The Friendships are real
I have made so many new and amazing friends through blogging. Some girls I chat with constantly though text and DM. It’s incredible how there are so many other people out there going through the same things as I am and we can connect all because I share my life online. I really love it and it makes all of this worth it.
Mistakes are inevitable
Human nature is to make mistakes, it’s how we learn. For sure the mistake I regret the most is not starting a self-hosted blog. I’m paying for it now because I’m going make the switch soon and it’s killing me to know I could’ve saved myself the stress. If you don’t know what self-hosted means you can more here. Anyone can start a free blog website but if you’re interested in making it into a business then self-hosted is a must. I didn’t listen to more seasoned bloggers when I first launched because I was excited to just start but I was so wrong.
I love having a voice
Having a platform (even if mine is minuscule compared to some) is empowering. I love being able to talk about anything motherhood related or current events with people that follow my social media and read my posts. I get tons of messages from other moms thanking me for being open and honest about my mental health issues and it makes me feel less alone. And when someone buys a product I recommended I am so happy! The fact that I can share my thoughts and help others is so fulfilling and I don’t think I’d get that doing anything else.
I’m still learning and growing
I like to call myself a “baby blogger” and no I don’t blog about babies but because I am so new still. It’s only been a year and this is just the beginning in my blogging career. Every single day I learn something new from other bloggers and from trial and error. I’m still working on being productive, creating better content, honing my photography skills (I’m such an amateur!) and keeping up with social media. Remember how the internet doesn’t sleep? Well, it’s also forever changing and I have to make sure I’m on top of it and evolving too.
I’m proud of myself
Being able to chase this dream of being a writer and still doing it a year later is pretty cool. I’m proud to be able to do what I love and show my kids that I can be successful with a non-traditional job. They get to see their dad work super hard every day at his job and still get to see that mommy works just as hard but with a creative job. I’m showing them success is not the same across the board! Also, I really really really love being able to work from home and having a flexible schedule. It’s the best thing for me and my family.
So how do I feel about blogging a year later?
I still love it and want to continue doing it but I’m definitely more strategic about my content. I’m getting a lot more sponsored posts now and that requires planning, better photos, and more creativity. My goal this year is to post more consistently too. Last year was a mess! I posted 3 posts one month and the next I put out 10. I love being able to post what I want when I want but I feel like it’s time to have a more organized blogging schedule. It’s weird because I am a SUPER organized person in real life but when it comes to my blog I just kind of go with the flow.
Blogging has transformed from a part time hobby to more than a full time job for me. It’s become a necessary part of my life. I get to be creative, connect with other moms and hopefully inspire others somehow. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for Simply Bessy!