To commemorate my first month of blogging, I wanted to write about my experience and five things I’ve learned so far.
Oak + River Books is not a blog about blogging. I will probably never write a post on how to make a six figure salary while working from home and raising
a zoo of children and cooking dinner while my “hubby” – who will always be tricked into eating my healthy meals! – does who knows what.
I’m not mad about those posts, though; some of y’all have AMAZING recipes!
I do want to commemorate that I’ve made it a whole month without quitting. Yay!
How often do we actually follow through with the things we say we’re going to do? Probably not as much as we think we do.
If you’re anything like me, obligation is the precursor to failed projects and misery. While some obligations are unavoidable and are better dealt with sooner rather than later (thank you, auto pay) we have the power to decide where to invest our time and energy.
This article by Living the Sunshine Life lists 17 signs that you’re on the wrong path. There is no one life path for all humans. Are you on the right path for you?
Some of these signs I have experienced or currently am, and it’s so glaringly obvious to me now – I am exhausted by certain obligations.
Starting Oak + River Books was one of the first steps I have taken in a very long time to doing what truly makes me happy. Obligations that drain you are not the same as challenges that will help you grow – repeat after me: I will not allow myself to get burnt out!
They say when you know, you know. Maybe they say it about true love, but it also applies here. Blogging should be fun. Whether you want to make money or keep it as a hobby (like I’m currently doing), check out five things I’ve learned so far to help you on your journey.
5 Things I Learned in My First Month of Blogging
- It will be easier if it’s fun but also easier if you have a schedule. Set yourself up for success by writing about what inspires you and doing one or two posts a week at most (more or less if you want – as Tabitha Brown says, that’s your business). The beauty of most blogs is the pre-publish feature; this allows you to write in advance then set the date and time and let it auto-publish.
- Learn how to garner traffic. This is one of my on-going goals. Read into search engine optimization (SEO) and what tools can assist you. Additionally, build your social media brand. I own my domain name, and my blog is linked to a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and a Pinterest account – all with the same name. Create pins that link back to your posts. Create eye-catching images; I recommend the Canva and Snapseed apps which have a lot of free options.
- Join the blogging community. Now that you have a blog or a blog idea, join blogging groups! On Facebook, I am a member of Pinterest Ninjas, Book Bloggers, Blogging for New Bloggers, and The Smart Blogging Approach. The regular websites for Blogging for New Bloggers and The Smart Blogging Approach have a TON of helpful articles. Groups have promo days when you can promote a Pin, a blog post, or a social media link which exposes you to lots of new potential followers. These are excellent communities to learn from. Look for other bloggers in your niche in those threads and in other search engines; I have found a quite few people to follow this way. It can turn into a time commitment so don’t feel pressured to participate in EVERY promo opportunity or spend hours a day looking for people to connect with – remember what we decided about obligation? Do. Not. Get. Burnt. Out.
- Decide if you want to blog as a hobby or to make money. These two goals have very different strategies – especially for monetizing. With either, engaging with the community through likes, comments, and shares is vital but blogging for money will need more engagement. There are a lot of resources available to help you. The two I linked above have some great resources. There are so many people with successful blogs or creating new blogs, so there’s lots of experience to draw from. Monetize for the right reasons and not because it’s the cool thing to do. If you get that little nagging feeling in your gut that says you’re doing something wrong, listen to it and reevaluate your motives, goals, and strategies to ensure they are in alignment with your truth.
- Not everyone will care about your blog as much as you do. This is okay! Blogs are not for everyone. One person told me, “Your blog looks nice, it’s just not something I’m interested in.” I know this person pretty well and know for a fact that they aren’t interested in blogging regardless of the niche. I create content to express myself, inspire others to think new thoughts, and because I am a social person. I like talking to people and learning about them. You will find a like-minded community, even if it doesn’t happen right away. It will all be worth it. Just be yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you what a blog should do or look like. You are the captain of this ship. <3
What have you learned from blogging? Did any of these these things speak to you? Let me know in the comments!