Hello Sweet Peas!
Welcome to day 9 of Blog a Day in May!
This time 2 year ago I was sat on the sofa of my student house, alone and watching iZombie (which is great if you’ve never seen it). It was at that moment that I decided I would start a blog! Around this time last year, I did a post on what I’d learnt after a year of blogging. Today I’m going to reflect on my what I’ve learnt after my second year of blogging!
1. Keep it up! – Over the last year, this blog has been a saviour and a curse. After leaving university I suddenly had no reason to write. There were no essay deadlines, no editorial sessions I needed to prep chapters for. It would have been scarily easy for me to put down my pen. And to a certain extent, I did! I hung up my novel, I put a hold on sending my work to publishers. But I knew if I stopped blogging all the hard work I’d put in over the first year would have been for nothing. So I kept going and slowly but surely I fell in love with writing all over again. Tip number one! Keep going, don’t let your hard work go to waste.
2. SEO – Since late 2017, I’ve been working on understanding SEO and reading the stats on my blog. Understanding what posts work and which don’t, where my readers are from and how they find my posts. If you’re thinking about starting your own blog I would highly recommend swatting up on the basics of SEO, the information can really improve the quality of your blogging.
3. Invest – After 2 years of bogging and working on online content, I decided I was pretty committed to working on my blog and improving the content I was creating. I invested in a good quality camera and editing software for both my pictures and my videos. The quality of my pictures has improved so much! They’re not perfect by any means and I still have a lot to learn but I am happy with how much they have improved in a few months! If you want to up your blogging game and you can afford it, sometimes you need to bite the bullet and pay an expensive to get the long-term gain!
4. Learn – The online world is constantly changing. In order to keep up, you have to be willing to learn and improve. Pinterest is a great place to pick up tips on blogging, photography and editing. I’ve also been doing courses on Udemy and signing up for different photography courses in my area (blog post to come on this later in the month). Don’t be tempted to look at other people blogs and wish yours looked as good as theirs. Instead work at improving your skills and your blog will improve right along with you. Watching yourself improve is extremely rewarding!
5. Experiment – I’ve been trying to experiment more with the content I post on my blog. When I first started I was posting exclusively about beauty. These days my topics are more varied, I try to write a few more serious articles as well as my usual lifestyle posts. I have also tried my hand at the blogging calendar events such as Blogmas and currently Blog a Day in May. These months really test my writing skills and my stress levels. But I really enjoy posting daily every so often, it allows me to really push myself to my limit and get out of my comfort zone.
6. Support – If you’ve read my 1-year blogging post (here) I mentioned that people really didn’t understand why I blog. Well, I am pleased to say that after another year of blogging, people are finally starting to get it. When I first meet people they find it a little weird that I put so much of myself online, but those who know me have realised how committed I am and are really supportive!
7. Time – Blogging takes a lot of time and commitment. Especially if you’re posting multiple times a week. I probably spend around 5 hours a week on my content. Planning, researching, writing, editing, photography and then editing the pictures. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy the work, my friends will tell you I am always working on it and my blogger hat is always on. Before you embark on your blogging journey, think about how much time you have to offer and plan your posting schedule around the time you have available.
8. Update – As I previously mentioned, the online world is always changing and you need to change along with it. If something isn’t working for you anymore, you need to know when it is time to move on and update. For me, this came when I realised the name Miss Ay Beauty didn’t fit my personality anymore. It was hard to let go, that was the name I had chosen for myself when I first started out. But I am really happy with the choice to change the name to Little Miss Ay. It fits a lot better and it also doesn’t restrict me to writing solely about beauty and makeup.
9. Take Breaks – In my first year of blogging, I had in my head that I had to post every week no matter what, if I didn’t manage a week then I was failing. But like any job you need to take breaks to refresh otherwise the motivation to write becomes stale. If you feel you need a break, take one! Make sure you’re taking care of yourself!
10. Blogs aren’t just for the virtually famous – A lot of people, myself included, start out blogging hoping to find online fame. But there are other reasons to blog. Blogging and maintaining a blog is a skill that takes a lot of time and effort to achieve. This is a skill you can take with you to other opportunities. Our world is rapidly becoming more digital, having experience working online is only going to benefit you!
These are some of the things I have learnt from my second year of blogging! If you’ve signed up to be a Sweet Pea and a regular reading I want to say I massive thank you or reading my blog!
Are you a blogger? What blogging tips do you have? Let me know in the comments!
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Love Ay xx