6 Things I Learned from Blogging in 2017
This year was going to be the year that I started turning my blog into a career. I got all the gadgets, attended all the events and wrote bullet lists of ideas. It didn’t quite work out as I’d imagined in 2017 but that’s not to say my blogging passion waned and it certainly didn’t fail. What I learned this year were invaluable blogging lessons in how to create longevity, so many of them go to blog heaven in little under twelve months, I know, I’ve done that before. I was in a different place then though and this blog has been approached with a completely different mindset. I built this site myself with pockets of time that I had in-between school clubs, bed time routines and while holding down TWO jobs. I’ve learned HTML and coding this year and believe me when I say IM PROUD OF MYSELF for that if nothing else! The blogging industry is a mind field so here are the top 6 things I learned from blogging in 2017:
If you think that blogging is tapping away a little story and throwing in a few pretty pictures, think again. Blogging is sooooo time-consuming. As a novice everything takes a lifetime to do, from building the website, getting the colour scheme, the font, the typography and the layout right. I’m always fiddling with mine but there has to come a point when you accept that perfection is not achievable with a blog, it’s an evergreen platform that changes as you do, as your tastes change and as your finances allow. To make a blog work takes HUGE commitment, especially when you have aspirations to make heart melt stories and cute photos you’re living. What you don’t see behind the prettiness is the late past-midnight nights doing the same thing for the thousandth time and then BINGO, you did it! That bloody little box turned to rose-pink from white! Horaah! You don’t see the post writing, tagging of photos so that if some crank out their in the world decides to help him or herself, you can prove they’re yours. You don’t see the HAPPINESS when that little story and cute photos are put together because you know why, its MY story and MY photos…. MY project that one day my children look at and say “WOW” Mummy did a lot of things and spent her time on stuff she cared about”. That’s the lesson right there! Teaching my children that commitment means not giving up – it might mean taking your foot off the gas for a bit but it doesn’t mean give up.
Seriously though, planning! The whole thing of drawing in your audience got me this year. I started the blog but didn’t really have a vision or a concept. I didn’t know what stood me out from the crowd because I hadn’t really paid that much attention to it. In 2017 I had to sit and think long and hard, what do I do? what do I write about? Will it make an interesting read? Lets face it, if its boring, who’d follow? If it’s inconsistent, those that follow lose interest. So planning has been a MAJOR lesson of 2017 in my blogging world. I have spent time thinking and talking, talking and thinking and I’m thrilled to now know my niche! It’s not yet obvious in the blog but I’m VERY excited about all the things will unfold in 2018.
Starting my blog this summer has reignited my hugest passion; photography. I have loved taking photos since I was a teenager but I’ve never done anything about learning how to navigate a camera properly until this year. I have completed a few courses and have a few more still go and I have and am LOVING it! Great photos make a blog, I’m *my* opinion. That’s really what keeps me going back to blogs that I follow. The world we live is full of time constraints and people just don’t have the time to read anymore so using photos to tell a story is brilliant! Carrying my passion for photography into 2018 is just wonderful for me and I’m planning on sharing my progress over on the Capture Life page.
Social Media Marketing
Promote! Promote! Promote! If you want to turn your blog into a business you have to tell people about it! I was approached by mum at the school gates this year who follows my social media. She called me a narcissist. I asked her “if I was a baker, would you come and buy my bread if I told you where my bakery was?”. She replied yes. Social media marketing is no different except that *I* am the business – I have to tell people I’m open, that I have stuff to say, to sell (indirectly). Having worked in social media for a few years now, the marketing is no surprise to me but trying to make time to get it done has been challenging in 2017. Facebook algorithm changes, Instagram stats up and down like a yo-yo and Linked In, should personally branded people even be on Linked in? The answer is yes by the way. This is where 01. Commitment. I have procrastinated and done what I preach in 2017. I have not marketed well at all but I plan to change that in 2017. If nobody knows that I’m open for business then the door will always be closed!
Finding My Tribe
Amongst the many categories of blogging niches, *I* have found new loves in travel and photography. I could lost reading a travel bloggers experience and adventure and I love whiling away the hours looking at lifestyle photography shots. This is what I love to do but doesn’t mean that these are people who find what I do interesting. In 2017 I have learned that this line is very thin. Whilst I am writing because, well, I think my story is appealing, it probably has as much use as a chocolate tea-pot to a traveller or a photographer. So this year I have to had to drill down on what I KNOW, WHERE I can add value and WHO my tribe actually is! I’ve ended the year with a KILLER plan of action and this has also been with thanks to several established bloggers very kindly sharing their knowledge but I’d mostly like to thank Katrina Bruni for always being at the end of the phone, for being straight with me and for being a friend – my tribe began and I found Kat, she flung the doors open for everyone else to enter and for that I’m truly grateful!
I’m Not a Mummy Blogger
I don’t change my children’s nappies or buy fancy bags with a thousand hidden pockets to store all the s*&t. I am a
woman who has children and who blogs. This does not make me a mummy blogger. This is by no means a rant about that niche but more a correction of the ideology that if you’re female with a blog then it must be about babies. My blog does feature my children but it also features entrepreneurship, photography and lifestyle, including all the things I manage to achieve from having been brave enough to walk away form a “proper job”. 2017 has taught me that this blog therefore falls into the Lifestyle/Travel section of the blogging hierarchy and whilst being a mother will always incite people to think that that’s all I am, I will always be WOMAN enough to correct them *winks*
2017, you’ve been a dream come true and I can’t wait to see what my “Things I learned in 2018” looks like next year!