MAPLE LEOPARD: 10/08/15

Thursday, October 8, 2015

5 Things I've Learned in My First Year of Blogging




Hey lovely people,

TGIF! I can't wait for the long weekend to start!  September was the one year anniversary of starting my blog. It's been an incredible ride so far, an amazing experience to say the least! I've had the opportunity to be involved in some exciting events, collaborate with designers/brands, and had my writings published in two magazines.  

Some days I've been tempted to give it up, the time commitment and work involved is so taxing when you have another job. Then I'll receive a kind comment from a reader of how I inspired them, and it gives me a boost to carry on. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I'm happy I made the plunge and here are some things I've learned along the way!


1) The blogging community is tops for support and encouragement

 In recent weeks I've joined several blogging groups on facebook. It's very heart warming to see people who are strangers to one another, so willing to help out. I've asked a ton of questions about social media strategy, the business of blogging, and about technical challenges. It is never long and someone jumps in to offer their help. This sometimes techy challenged girl would not have made it,  without all of you out there in blogging land! What can I say, I grew up in the 70's!

My favorite part of my blogging is all the friends and connections I've made, online and in person.  I have discovered so many talented and encouraging people on this journey!


5 things Ive learned the first year of blogging


2) Key words are crucial

If you don't use them right in your posts, it's really hard to get found in google searches. It is especially important in your post title. If people have to struggle to figure out what the post is about, then it's time to drop it and start over.

3) Photos really do make or break the post

I have learned a boatload about photography in the past year as well. Quality photos are essential if you want to drive traffic to your blog and keep visitors coming back.  Iphone photos work in a pinch, but of course the quality does not compare to photos taken on a DSLR camera.  I just recently purchased a DSLR and am very excited to learn more photography skills.  The sizing of your images and the time you take to edit them, is very important too.  Humans are very visual creatures and the more pics the better!


5 things Ive learned the first year of blogging



4) Success on social media requires a different strategy for each platform.

When I first started blogging, I posted the same info on each platform. I used the same images and didn't really take time to test what was working on each, or how to gain followers. I've also learned that certain platforms are better for growth, depending on your blogging niche.  I've found that Instagram and Twitter are best for driving traffic to a fashion blog.  I just read today that the top ten Instagram fashion models started out as bloggers.

5) Blogging is big business!
If one is serious about turning a blog into a business, it certainly is possible.  I've connected with several bloggers who have quit their job and are blogging full time.  The most popular form of monetizing on your blog. seems to be creating and marketing your own digital products such as: webinars, e-books, and podcasts.  Affiliate marketing and sponsorships are other ways to monetize. However I think these are not as profitable, if you don't have massive traffic coming to your blog. 
My long term goal is to have my own online boutique that features my own designs, if I EVER find time!!

 
Images: Pexels

Thank you to all my readers for your support and for reading all my chatter the past year.  I hope to get giveaways and linkups going here soon, if I can get the technical issues resolved!  If you are a new blogger, what challenges have you overcome and what have you learned?  If you are a seasoned blogger I would love to hear your insights as well!

Have a great weekend!

XO VALERIE