Friday, April 28, 2017

What Five Years of Blogging Will Teach You


I can't believe it's been five years!

Five years of marriage and, yes, five years of blogging.

I hit PUBLISH on my very first blog post exactly five years ago (if you want to read it, I share a little explanation behind my blog name).

A lot has changed since then. A LOT. Like my header (don't even get me started on that...), my photography (yes I used to use a point and shoot...) and my topics. I've learned a lot about blogging, most of it coming just in the last few months, so I thought I'd share a few tips and tricks I've learned in my five years as a blogger.


You have to provide value
When I first started blogging, it was just a fun space to write about my wedding and some recipes I was trying. Then I spent two years putting up outfit posts five times a week. Don't get me wrong, outfit posts can be very successful for some, but I realize now that I wasn't getting the kind of traffic that I could have from the amount of time I was putting in.

Flash forward to just a few months ago, and one of my posts got 1000 re-pins in just a few days! My page views skyrocketed. And it was because I wrote a post that provided value. Whatever you blog about, you have to provide value. You have to answer a question or meet a need for someone that they would go to Google for.

It may take awhile to see a return
So five years of blogging...I should be making thousands of dollars a month right??? Nope. Not even close. In fact, I just barely got my first paid post a few months ago. Granted I took a two year break after my first baby was born, but still. It may take awhile to get things going.

And that's OK.

You're building a brand. You're creating a community. All of that takes time.

Blogging is lots of trial and error
The post that did so well on Pinterest, that's a 1 in 300 post. I've written 300 posts on my blog and that one has done the best. Not all of your posts are going to go viral, but the ones that do will carry the ones that don't. I love looking at my Google Analytics to see which posts are resonating with readers. I try to write more of those posts, and maybe less of the posts that don't do so well. That's why I'm only posting outfits every so often now, and more of my weight loss and motherhood experiences.

Quality over quantity
And on that note...when I was more of a "fashion blogger" I would put up 5 posts a week. My husband would take several outfit pictures over the weekend, we'd shoot once during the week, and I would use my evenings to work on the posts. That worked great back then when we had no kids, but now it's just not feasible. I'm completely content with putting up two, sometimes one, really great posts a week rather than 5 "meh" posts. 

I think once you get more traffic and traction as a blogger you can definitely spend more time generating fantastic posts multiple times a week, but I've seen success from just posting a few times weekly.

Invest in your blog...
With things like a great design, your own web domain, and a DSLR for your pictures. 

This is the lens and camera I use:





Nothing super fancy, but it has changed my picture quality completely. From this...


to this...


Amazing right! 

And trust me, I'm about as cheap as they come. I tried to get by for years with doing everything for free. I tried to design my own header, I used the free blogspot domain, and I had a crappy camera. As soon as I started investing in my blog, I found that others (read: brands) wanted to invest in me. If you want to land sponsored posts (and I'm mean, who really just wants to blog and get nothing out of it??) you have to make some sacrifices up front. 

Evaluate and re-evaluate
Like I mentioned before, this blog has gone through lots of transformations, and that's because I'm constantly evaluating my strategies. 

I decided at the end of last year that I needed to blog again, but do it right this time. 

I wanted to generate income.

So I bought a domain name, I got a decent design, I joined a ton of Facebook groups, and I started spending time learning about Pinterest. I read lots of articles and slowly but surely I started getting sponsored posts.

Now that I've seen success, I'm re-evaluating to see what things are working and what things I need to change to take my blog to the next level. I love how blogging gives me a chance to learn and grow everyday. I literally learn something new everyday! 

If you're just starting out, make a plan and write some posts. Really nail down what you'd like to write about as a blogger. Then in a few months, take a step back and see what's working and what's not and tweak your plan a little to accommodate. That's what I enjoy about blogging too: nothing is set in stone; YOU make the rules!

Don't give up
And last, don't give up! It's taken five years for me to start making money from my blog. FIVE! Some people make it way sooner than that, but I didn't and that's OK. I'm glad I didn't give up and got back into it, because now I'm making some income for my family. 

I read this post the other week and it really encouraged me. Lots of people give up right before they accomplish something great. Don't let that be you!


As always, thanks so much for reading this little blog of mine. It means so much to me! 

4 comments

  1. You are so awesome! I love reading about bloggers' success! :)

    Also, team Nikon ftw!! I have a D7100 and I still don't know it backwards and forwards. HAHA

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    1. Thanks Ash! Thanks for always commenting!! I WISH I had that camera! I bet it's so nice!

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  2. That is so awesome! I have been blogging for a while and just this year decided to rebrand and am glad I did. I still need to upgrade my camera. Haha

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    1. A good re-brand can be such a great motivator to keep blogging! I need to make the switch to Wordpress and I'm kind of freaking out about it!

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