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I can’t believe it’s already been 6 months since this whole thing started. I’m equally as shocked that it’s still going strong. I tend to start projects and then never finishing them. After the first month, I could tell this was going to be different. When first starting my blog I wanted to write about books. All the books I’ve read or want to read. I also wanted to help people with Disney planning and just talking about Disney in general. I think it’s evolved a little since then but I still love talking about books and Disney. I’m planning on adding some travel and lifestyle posts in the next couple weeks and I’m really excited about that.
But that’s not why you clicked on the post; you wanted to know what I’ve learned in the 6 months that I’ve been blogging. Well here are 3 things I’ve learned and the reasons why I keep blogging and why I plan to continue and hopefully let it grow into a full time job.
When I first started blogging I was a little disheartened to learn how many millions of blogs are out there. I thought, “Why would someone read mine over another blog that’s been around for 10+ years?” or “What could I possible offer in the way of blogging that would lead someone to my blog?” This way of thinking almost had me running. I almost stopped before I even started but I decided to keep going and give it a try. What I found was this amazing, incredibly helpful, and genuine community of bloggers.
It really sunk in when I received my first blogger recognition award. People are constantly offering tips and tricks to help bloggers grow and find ways to make money while writing about things they love. I’ve never had a problem coming up with things to blog about because people have so many ideas they are willing to share. With every new blog I find I continue to see how different we all are and that’s how this all works. No blog is the same. No content is the same. It’s not a competition; instead it’s a way for us all to succeed.
Would you believe I meant to post this when my blog was a month old? Then 2, 3, 4… Finally I decided to hold off till 6 months. I was so caught up in all the other blog posts I had or the books I was reading that it didn’t seem vitally important to write this post. However, I wanted to write it now for those people who are second guessing themselves or don’t know if they should start their own blog. For the people who struggle with finding a way to express themselves because anxiety definitely can get the better of us.
When I first started my blog I went through WordPress.com (like a lot of people) since it was free. Why put in money when I had no idea if I really would stick it out and keep going? However, I noticed I wasn’t able to really be creative with my blog. The layout was set for me, I didn’t really own my content and it didn’t really feel like mine. When I switched to Siteground that all changed. I set up a new layout that I absolutely love. I’m able to personalize everything and while the logistics (and legality) of it are stricter, the blog and all the content are mine.
This means I can write about anything and everything I want and I don’t have any fear of it going away. This is the next thing I learned. I am able to be myself here and people are still willing to read what I have to say. This blog is exactly what I wanted because it’s a place to go to write down everything that is going on up in this head of mine. I’m able to be creative and push myself to be better.
Last but not least, this blogging journey has been so incredibly challenging but extremely rewarding. From setting everything up and making sure my first posts were legible. To going self-hosted and not giving up after the first week. These challenges brought me to where I am now.
I’m confident in the content I put out (usually, I mean there are some posts that I still have no idea where the thought process originated). While numbers aren’t everything I love seeing them rise and realize more people are reading my blog and are interested in what I have to say. (Even if I’m just talking about my dog or my little sister) I have authors and publishers who are interested in my opinions and are willing to send me their books so that I can give a review.
While it’s incredibly rewarding to see my content help other people, have authors and brands reach out to me and see my numbers rise, the most rewarding thing for me is seeing how this is starting to affect my family and friends. When I first started I got the typical, “Why are you starting a blog? You probably won’t continue with it.” Or “Why are you putting in so much effort when you get nothing from it.” Now they go out of their way to ask me how it’s going. They ask if my DA has gone up since the last time they saw me. They want to know when I can start doing it full time. Having the support behind me, has really pushed me to be better and I’ve found a way out of my comfort zone to find a way to make this thing last.
For those of you who have been blogging for a while what is something you’ve realized since you first started? Do you have any tips or tricks you can give a newbie? Would you do it all over again?