6 Lessons I’ve Learned from Blogging

Can you believe that it’s been almost two years since I’ve started this blog?! I sure as hell can’t. It’s the first time that I carry out a project like that without quitting after a few months (weeks, AHEM). Sure, I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve taken countless breaks, I’ve thought about quitting more than I care to admit, I’ve wanted to change everything and start all over… but I’ve also moved to self-hosted, 60x my pageviews, and met incredible people through this little hobby of mine.

I can't believe I've already been blogging for two years! Click through to find out what lessons I've learned from blogging!

To celebrate my upcoming blog’s second anniversary, I thought I would share with you 6 lessons I’ve learned in the past two years as a blogger.

It’s not just about the numbers.

When I started blogging, I was obsessed with my stats. (And I still care about them more than I would like to admit…) I would check my analytics several times a day and smile with glee whenever I saw that I had one more visitor. Of course, it’s normal to care about your stats as a blogger. Sadly,  in this industry, numbers are an indicator of success. But in the past year, I’ve started realizing that there is more to blogging than numbers. It’s about friends, creating a sense of community, and engagement. I would much rather have less followers but have them comment and like all of my posts than having 30,000 followers who barely engage with my content. And while numbers can indicate success, we shouldn’t let ourselves get fooled by them. How many times have we heard of people who buy their followers? Blogging is about more than numbers. Blogging is about creating a community and creating content that resonates with your audience.

Blogging is a lot of work…

When I first started, I thought that I could simply write anything and that people would naturally come to my blog. HA. If only that was the only things that a blogger has to do… People often don’t realize just how much work blogging is. Yes, writing is part of the job. But you can’t just write anything. (Actually,  yes you can. It all depends on what you’re hoping to do with your blog.) You need to write content that resonates with your audience, content that goes with your editorial line (or your blog’s purpose. Call it as you want.) Then there’s the taking pictures part. You have to take pictures, edit them, create graphics for social media… But it doesn’t stop there. You have to promote your posts, be active on social media, interact with your followers and other bloggers, have an email list, create freebies so people will want to sign up to said list (by the way, you can sign up for mine here)… And that’s just the beginning. There is so much work that goes behind the scenes, that people who are not bloggers simply cannot see. Most people don’t take bloggers seriously because “everyone can be a blogger”, but that’s so behind the truth. It needs a lot of hard work and motivation, and yes sometimes it can be frustrating.

…but it’s so worth it.

In the end, I wouldn’t change it for the world. My world went upside down when I started blogging. I met incredible people through this community, people I probably never would have met otherwise. I made friends that understand what I’m going through, that can relate to my frustrations and who I can always rely on to help me with my blogging questions. But blogging has also helped me as a person. It has been a creative outlet, a way to help college students from all over the world cope with the same things I go through. Just knowing that I have people who care enough about what I have to say, that I can help them… there’s no way to describe it. It has helped me build confidence.

Believe it or not, it has also helped me in my professional life. I’m a communications major, and when came the time to find an internship this fall, I put my blog on my resumé. I’m pretty sure that this mention alone is what helped me score 16 interviews out of the 20 internships I applied for (though you could also blame my good grades… 😉 ). And even now, I use the knowledge I’ve learned through blogging in my professional life as a marketing intern on a daily basis. You wouldn’t believe how many times I use my blogging knowledge to do my job!

You shouldn’t be afraid to share your blog.

One of the things I found the hardest as a blogger is sharing it to the people around me in real life. I was so afraid people would judge me, so I kept it mostly to myself. It wasn’t until this summer that I started telling people I care about. Once I started telling people, I couldn’t believe how supportive people were about it! (Andy and Mi, if you’re reading this, shout out to you for being so awesome!) My friends thought it was awesome and now read my blog on a regular basis (or at least I think they do… haha). My sister thought it was pretty cool and that it was a great idea, as I want to work in media/marketing. Some people won’t understand. My mom thought it was pretty stupid when she found out that I was spending money on this (I wanted to move to self-hosted and had to purchase hosting and a domain.). And that’s okay. The only reason why they don’t understand it is because they don’t know how much it matters to you (or how much work goes behind it). Now that my mom knows that my blog is read by thousands of people, that it helped score interviews, she thinks it’s pretty cool. So don’t be afraid to share your blog with the people you care about! If they really care about you, they’ll support you no matter what. And you shouldn’t be ashamed of being a blogger! Be proud of what you have accomplished! Not everyone can be a blogger, contrary to popular opinion.

It’s okay to take a break.

We’ve established now blogging isn’t easy. Sometimes, it can feel like a little too much. With a part-time job and being a full-time college student, blogging can feel a little overwhelming. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s okay to take a break. If you’re feeling uninspired, if you have too much on your plate,  it’s okay to take a step back and refill your energy so you can come back stronger than ever. Your readers will understand (they’re human beings too!).

You do you.

With so many blogs out there, it’s easy to fall in with everyone else. You see these big, successful bloggers do something and it works great for them, so of course you want to do it too so it brings you success too. But one thing that I’ve learned is that no one likes a copycat. Give credit where it’s due. Take inspiration, don’t copy. It’s actually okay to stand from the crowd! It’s great, even! I would much rather be the one starting a trend than just be one more person following one. So don’t be afraid to be authentic and use your voice.

You’ll be bombarded with blogging tips from everywhere, and frankly, sometimes it can all get a little confusing. Try things out, but don’t worry if something that worked great for another blogger doesn’t work for you. You do you. Everyone is different, and different strategies will work for different people.

If you care about it, you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in it.

At first, I didn’t want to spend money on my blog. I thought it was just a hobby, so why should I be spending money on it? And yet, I was expecting great success with my free blog. But then I had a conversation with other bloggers, and I realized: just because it’s a hobby doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be spending money on it. If I was practicing a sport, I would have to buy equipment. Well,  it was the same principle with blogging. I needed attire to be able to do it properly. And I’ve realized that spending on it only made me a better blogger. Spending money on hosting, my domain, BoardBooster, blogging courses, etc. only helped me gain more knowledge. It helped get me where I am, it helped me become more successful, and let’s be honest, it makes my job a lot easier. So if you care about your blog, don’t be afraid to invest in it. It’s okay to spend money on courses and equipment. That money is never totally lost anyway. You can (and will!) gain from spending money in the long run. I can promise you.

What are the lessons you have learned about blogging so far?

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  • paulaschuck

    I very much agree with the don’t be afraid to share your blog and what you do. I began my blog in 2009. At first I was super shy about it and eventually it started making a bit of money and it grew but even so I still was too shy to tell friends and family. I hoped they would just find it while searching the Internet for whatever random topic – HA!!! It is a challenge always to promote yourself however I definitely have become better at this in the last 5 years and the results have been worth it.

    • I felt so much better once I shared my blog with the people around me! I’m still shy and don’t necessarily share it to everyone I know, but I feel so much better now that my friends and family know!

  • sofieyah l

    Okay… I agree with ALL OF THESE. So so so so so very much!!!

    Keep up the good work!! I didn’t start sharing my blog until I was proud of it and now that I am, I am very happy to let the world know 🙂

    http://thesofieyahdiaries.com/bullet-journal/how-to-enjoy-bullet-journaling

    • I’m so glad that you are now proud enough to share your blog! I waited awhile to tell my friends too, so I get it. 😉

  • I’ve begun to share my blog with my friends. It feels so freeing.

    http://goldclutter.blogspot.com

    • It is, right?! It makes one wonder why they haven’t done it sooner.

  • Hannah Stark

    Congrats on 2 years of blogging:) Also love reading your tips!

    xoxo, Hannah

  • I loved every single thing about this! Also, congrats on your blog becoming so freaking successful!! I always get really excited when you publish something, because you are definitely one of my favorites to read!

    • OMG thank you so much!!! You have no idea just how much that means to me.

  • Even after four years I feel weird talking about my blog too much but I am so grateful for the friends who support my blogging endeavors. Yay for all of the lessons we learn from blogging (:

    • I totally get it! I still feel weird talking about it, but I love how supportive everyone around me is!

  • Ariana

    This is awesome!! I definitely struggle with sharing it with people I actually know. I think they just see my instagram in the “people you may know” and find out that way but I still struggle with openly advertising it!

    • That’s definitely something I’ve struggled with a lot in the past (and still do sometimes, tbh). But I just found that telling people the truth feels so much better! Now I can openly talk about it, and people don’t ask questions or look at me too weirdly when I want to take pictures of everything for IG. 😉

  • I really loved reading this Amelie! I didn’t even think of including my blog on my resume but that’s actually a really great idea!

    • I’m glad you did, Jessica! And your blog can be a big asset, no matter what your major is! It shows dedication, time management, and flexibility (since we have to do so many things)!

  • I so wish someone had sat down with me at the beginning of my blogging journey in 2009 and told me all of this! Great insight!

  • Sepideh

    Such relevant and good points!! It’s funny because I’ve been shy about sharing my blog too haha I think it’s true – you have to love blogging because it’s a lot of work but being able to genuinely connect with people is one of the most rewarding parts of it, but it does get hard not getting caught up in the numbers!

    http://www.elleisforlove.com

  • mckenna bleu

    SO much work, but SO worth it! Love what I do!

  • Congrats on 1 year! Blogging is really such a personal journey for each blogger. I love that you said it’s okay to stand out from the crowd. It’s so important to stay authentic to your own vision. ♥️

    • It’s actually 2 two years… 😉 But I agree! Ever blogger is different!

      • Whoops, how did I miss that?! Congrats on two years! 😊

  • I’m about to hit my first month and it is so exciting! While it’s been a ton of work, I love reading all the great comments about my stuff! Congrats on one year!

    | diaryofasouthernmillennial.com

    • One month? That’s so exciting, congrats! And I’m actually about to hit 2 years… 😉 Trust me, it only gets better!

  • Kristin Thompson

    These are all such great points! Congrats on hitting 2 years!

    Kristin
    The Blush Blonde

  • Greta Hollar

    Love this! People really don’t realize how much hard work goes into blogging. Congrats on two years!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    • Blogging isn’t as easy as it looks! Thank you, Greta!

  • Amy

    These are all so true! There’s so much that goes behind running a blog and sometimes people don’t realize that.

    xoxo,

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    • I know, right? I bet not everyone would find blogging to be “so easy” if they really tried it.

  • all so true! ‘you do you’ is one I’m constantly struggling with, but finally learning to do! It takes time (like anything) — great reminders and post! xo http://www.heartofchic.com

    • It’s definitely something I struggle with too! There are so many bloggers out there, and sometimes it’s hard not to do what everybody else is doing. You have to remember to be true to yourself and that your audience wants to get to know YOU, not another version of another blogger they already follow.

  • The last point is one that took me a while to learn. I started in 2013, and for the longest time felt guilt investing money into my blog because I looked at it as more of a hobby rather than a source of income. But you learn as you go – some people sooner than others. 🙂

    • I only started investing in my blog this this year, but I honestly wish I had started sooner! I have to stop seeing it as only a hobby, as it is so much more now!

  • Macarena Ferreira

    Definitely “doing me” is the best lesson I’ve learned! I never compromise who I am for my blog and I’m proud of it!

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

    • I’m so glad that you can do that, Macarena! It’s definitely something I still struggle with, but I’m learning to slowly let go of the comparison trap. We need to stop wishing we were as good as X or Y and start being ourselves!

  • All these lessons are on point! My biggest lessons I’m starting to learn is sharing my blog with others and keeping up with all the work it takes!

    • Sharing your blog is such a relief, I swear! It’s liberating, haha. And it DOES take a lot of work! Sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming.