My Two Year Blogiversary
So I finally had my two year blogiversary! Thank all of you who read this blog for your support and encouragement over the year! Your support truly means the world to me.
What is my two year blog anniversary is actually my 11 year blog anniversary. I started originally blogging as a professional photographer back in 2007, after the birth of my first daughter. For seven years I spent my time photographing newborns, pregnant women, and families. At the time I loved it, but after moving across the country twice, starting a new full-time job and having four children, I knew it was time to retire the business. As I said in my one year blogiversary post, I started this endeavor on a whim. I had just lost all my baby weight (which wasn’t exactly easy after having four kids) and gotten my body back in shape. Having spent the last ten years in mommy mode, I was a bit fashion clueless at the time. My sister-in-law told me one day, “April, you need new jeans!”. I looked at her rather dumbfounded, but took her advice. I decided I needed a whole new wardrobe revamp! After stumbling across several fashion blogs, I decided that I could do the same. Little did I know just how different fashion blogging is from a photography business! Suffice to say, I have definitely learned so much, and this blog always has been and will continue to be an evolving work in progress. I love that this blog allows me to be creative, and at the same time I get to continue to do photography, which is really where my passion lies.
Blogging is a Marathon Not a Sprint
This is probably the biggest lesson learned in blogging I can teach to other aspiring bloggers. Back in 2007 when I started my first blog, the field of blogging of any type was wide open. It was incredibly easy at the time to develop a reputation, and in six months I was as busy as I wanted to be. Fast forward to 11 years later, and now quick success couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality there are thousands of blogs out there now, and it takes years to develop a reputation, where people know and trust you. And as new bloggers come to the scene, it becomes harder and harder to stand out in the crowd. Because of this basic fact, I tell other aspiring bloggers that you have to truly love what you do! Find your passion, and even though blogging takes time (lots and lots of it) it really won’t seem like work. I put in probably 20-30 hours a week on this blog, and I don’t mind it at all. For me creativity is the “dessert” in life and I wouldn’t want it any other way. And don’t make your blog about money, at least in the beginning. I will say that I hoped to at least make some money with this blog, and after about 18 months, I can finally say that is a reality. But money is definitely not consistent, and I will never be one who will give up my career in medicine to blog full time.
Get Help Where You Can
As for the second lesson learned in blogging, running a successful blog is not a solo endeavor. You need help wherever you can get it! I couldn’t run this blog without my family, as they support me in every possible way. My daughter for the most part takes my pictures, and she does a spectacular job! I have web designers helping me maintain my blog and that is tremendously helpful. Keeping up with engaging in social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) is almost impossible without a good virtual assistant, and I couldn’t do it without mine! And help doesn’t just come through family and hired help, but it also comes with making friends. The friends I have made along the way keep me motivated to do this day in and day out! Finally, try not to be hard on yourself when you need to take a step back, as we are all only human.
Discipline Is Key to Success
The third lesson has to do with discipline. This is true with anything in life, and is definitely true with blogging. As I already said, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Find a niche (mine is petite fashion, though I do also focus on beauty and home decor) so you can stand out in the crowd. Be consistent with blogging, even when you might not feel like doing it. So often I have wanted to just go to bed after a long day’s work. I might take a day off here or there, but I generally stick to posting on this blog three times a week. The more you write (and photograph for that matter) the better you will become. And if it is your passion, again staying disciplined won’t even seem like work.
Don’t Try to Please Everyone
This is one of the hardest lessons learned in blogging. The vast majority of the comments I get on my blog are so nice, and I appreciate them more than you know! I will never forget the first time however I got a hateful comment on my blog. It was like a punch in the gut from someone who didn’t know me at all. The time I stumbled across a site that did nothing but give hateful critiques of me I broke down in tears. But in the end I realized that you cannot please everyone, nor should you try. And really, when someone says something negative, try to look at it as an honest critique. If there is no critique to be learned, then chalk it up to issues with that person and move on. In the end you will be happier just doing what you love. And people will find you. The great thing about blogging, is there are always going to be people who appreciate your style.
Stay True To Yourself
This is probably the most important lesson of all! Be who you are and listen to your inner genuine voice. The older I become the easier that is to do. Find your style and express it, as this is your best selling point. In the beginning it is natural to look at other blogs. The longer you blog, the easier it is to develop your own voice. Don’t ever compromise your values, and be simply the best version of yourself that you can be. People will definitely take notice and ultimately you will be happier too.
Blogging will always be a work in progress, and that is truly what makes it fun! I hope these lessons have been helpful to you. Find yourself, be true to your passion, and always be grateful for the support you get along the way.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
xo | April*This post contains affiliate links.
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