You are invited!
What: Bloggy birthday party
Why: Because there will be BROWNIES.
RSVP: In the comments please.
Oh look, brownies!
I’m calling this my one-year bloggy birthday even though it’s technically not.
I started blogging in 2008, which I think was still the dark ages of the internet, after my friend Bree suggested it as a way to keep friends and family updated while we moved all over the country for my job. It was mostly a place to talk about important things like how my dog can save the world and end world hunger — until that all changed.
Probably like most of you, I’d loved Centsational Girl since the day I found her. But because she’s so real and authentic, I somehow didn’t realize that she was SO HUGE and there were so many people in the world like me who loved her blog. Suddenly I had an influx of new people visiting, and I decided that moment was as good as any to give this blogging thing a go!
I’m still trying to figure this all out, but here are my five biggest takeaways from a year of niche blogging:
1. Hands down the BEST part of blogging?
The people I’ve “met” online who I now consider friends, proving that every person on the webz is not a crazed maniac. (Or maybe they ARE and those are the people I’m drawn to?)
I tell you guys all the time that I’m so thankful for your thoughts, comments, support and emails, but that’s only because I can’t express my gratitude by buying you all massages and loaning you my husband to help you do projects for a day.
2. The hardest part about blogging?
Easily the hardest part about writing a blog is… writing a blog. Not so much the writing part, but keeping up a steady stream of post topics and the projects behind them. I’m still not sure how I’m going to operate once the baby girl gets here in April. Maybe she’ll come straight out of the womb with brilliant project ideas and get right to work.
3. Networking is EVERYTHING.
Developing relationships with other bloggers is not “important” to blogging. It’s not “a big part” of blogging. It’s everything in blogging. (And yeah, it probably helps to not have sucky content. But that hasn’t stopped me. Muahaha.)
4. Monetizing = Scary and awkward.
I brought on sponsors for the first time around August or July. I love blogging and would do it for free (and did, for a long time!) but I felt like it just made sense to see if we could offset the cost of some of our projects. For a while I was making about 3 cents a day. Raking it in, yall. It’s grown a little since then, and I’m still learning about all this, but still I think it’s better to focus your efforts on growing your blog and posting regularly. No need to rush into sponsorships.
5. Blogging? It’s a lot of work. But it’s FUN.
I used to hear bloggers say this and think, “Okay, then you don’t know what ‘a lot of work’ feels like.” But for real? There’s so much background stuff required. I’m just a small-beans blogger, and still I spend so little of my “blogging” time actually writing posts. Isn’t that weird? It’s true though. Pinky swear. Still, I LURVE blogging. I’d give it wet, sloppy kisses. It’s so fun having a creative outlet, and feeling connected to the world even when I’m home in my holey pajama pants.
So there you go. It’s been a year, and if it’s cool with you, I’d like to keep this thing going. And maybe make it better next year?
I created a little survey so I could learn more about you and how to make next year freakin’ awesome.
Would you mind taking it? I think it’ll take you just a couple minutes. There are only 10 questions and hopefully you won’t have to think too hard, as long as you’re clear on things like your gender and age. Would you mind clicking over and answering a few questions pretty please?
Thanks for a fun year! PS – Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a free $100 gift card! Tomorrow is the last day to enter!