The Fogue Abode: {Five} Things I Learned My First Year of Blogging

Friday, January 20, 2017

{Five} Things I Learned My First Year of Blogging

Oh, hey!  Yeah I missed my blog relaunch anniversary date last week!  But it's not too late to celebrate.  Whoo Hoo, I actually stuck with it!  In honor of my first full year of blogging, I wanted to do a small shoot-off from my normal posts to bring you the five things I learned in my first year of blogging.






Once I really dug into the business of blogging, I quickly learned that there is so much more than what meets the eye.  Blogging isn't just about great content anymore.  It's about photography, marketing, networking and more HTML verbiage than I cared to ever learn. 


Just like a toddler, I still have so much to learn about this business.  Yet, I do have a few little tid-bits I have managed to put into practice this past year that has helped grow my blog.


So here goes, the five things I learned my first year of blogging.


It's All About the Appearance


You know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words, well that statement couldn't be any more true in blog-land.  Photography may be the one area where I have grown the most, yet have the most still to learn.  No blog post is worth a hill of beans without some sort of picture in it.   


It's not just about snapping a photo, but also about editing.  This year I made the leap to a DSLR, my handy dandy Nikon D3200 to be exact.  The day I opened the box, I snapped it into Manual and haven't looked back.   




But like I said, the camera is only half the equation.  I also started my journey with Photoshop Elements 14.  If you are ready to take the editing game serious but not THAT serious, Elements is the way to go.  It's the perfect tool for bloggers who do hobby photography and simple graphic designs at a much cheaper price than the full monty Photoshop. 


Promote, Promote, Promote


The second pearl of wisdom I have learned this year is the importance of promoting your content.  This was a hard concept for this modest introvert to grasp.  But it's important to get your work out there and the only way that's going to happen in the beginning is by you sharing it.



I have discovered some great programs that help me with my shares.  If you're starting out just like I am, check out Sumo Me, Hoot Suite and Tailwind.  There are hundreds of different programs out there, but these have been my go to as a newb.


Is consistency really key?



Here's another little nugget I've been chewing on recently.  In all the research I've done, articles I've read and podcasts I've listened to about blogging, one of the key's that continuously pop up is consistency.  But besides a broad scope, is posting every set number of days really that important to a newbie?


I recently took the stance that I would rather produce good content then to mass produce gibberish for the sake of meeting a weekly deadline.  This mantra has taken a huge load of stress off my shoulders and helped me focus on content I really want to produce.  Yes, there is a drop in my weekly page views, some weeks it's limited and others it's higher than normal.  But my post views count have really increased.   
 
The Importance of Networking
An event I was able to attend thanks to Arkansas Women's Bloggers.



I had to adjust my mindset of what I thought blogging was and treated it like a business.  I mean that's what I wish for this space to eventually become.  A key to any business is networking.  Over the course of the year, I have joined in some wonderful groups of bloggers.  There are many way's to find your "tribe" or "mastermind."  I started with a google search which lead me to Arkansas Women Bloggers, a sub-group to the much larger The Women Bloggers, LLC.  I also found several facebook groups by just searching.


But getting there is only have the journey.  You don't learn and you don't grow unless you get involved.  It was intimidating at first, I'll admit that.  But jumping in was my goal and continues to be my goal for 2017.


This is a learn as you go business.

I can't say enough that my biggest learning curve was just going out there and doing it.   The good ol' hands on approach.  I have made more than my fair share of mistakes. 


Pictures that are too small, over editing, white balance.


Forgetting to proof-read, not being consistent in my story telling layout.


I think my biggest mistake is getting over excited and posting before it's truly ready.


And there are other areas that I still wish I could change.  Is it better to be on Wordpress?  Probably, but I'm here now.  Should I be more organized?  Do I need a round up of content?  Sure.  There are a lot of things I can and will change in 2017.  But it's the experience of doing it the wrong way that's taught me more than anything.


Well there you go, word vomit of my five biggest lessons I learned while blogging my first year. 


Fellow bloggers, what were your biggest lessons your first year of blogging?


Are you thinking of starting a blog?  Do you have any questions?







2 comments:

  1. Congrats on your anniversary! You've made some excellent observations here, and you are definitely a fast learner:)

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    1. Thank you. I honestly didn't realize starting out that there was so much to learn about blogging. I feel like I've barely skimmed the barrel, but so grateful for a community to lean on with all my silly questions.

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