Yay! We’re one year old. Well, we’re 1-ish. We just wanted to share our ups and downs and a few helpful tips and resources with any new or aspiring bloggers that might be reading our post.
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We started this blog back in August 2017 when we officially decided we were going to sell the house and hit the road full-time in our RV. But our blog didn’t become “official” until January 1, 2018.
It’s been fun, difficult, stressful, hard, and everything in between and we’re so thankful that you’ve chosen to follow and connect with us.
I now know why most bloggers/blogs don’t last longer than a year. It’s not just writing stuff down on a blank computer screen and having millions of people see it.
It’s learning the back end of your website.
It’s learning the lingo.
It’s making connections with other bloggers in and out of your niche.
It’s creating graphics.
It’s improving your picture taking skills.
It’s working through courses to understand how to best use the tools available to you.
It’s forking over money for those courses and tools.
It’s building an email list.
It’s creating genuine relationships with your readers.
And so much more!!!
Year 1 Lessons
This first year of blogging has taught me a few lessons.
I hate the technical side of blogging. Brent is the technical one. I wish he had all the time in the world to work on the technical aspect of this blog. I’d happily give it all over to him.
I’m not IN LOVE with blogging about RVing. I do ENJOY keeping everyone up to date with our travels and make no plans to stop writing about where we go and what we do. But I think that aspect of our blog will become more of a hobby for me.
I LOVE interacting with my email list and social media accounts. I feel more connected with people I interact with on those platforms than I do on our physical blog.
You can’t take the chiropractor out of me. I can’t stray from my passion of teaching others about holistic health and natural living. It’s what I do. It’s what I love. There will be lots more of this info on our blog in 2019.
I can’t do it all. There are so many blog sharing threads, blogging groups, and blogging courses out there. It gets really overwhelming having to participate on a daily basis. It takes precious time away from my own blog and my family. That’s not the reason I agreed to RV full-time in the first place. I need to step back when I feel overwhelmed and stop trying to do it all.
For new and future bloggers
After learning a few lessons over the past year, I thought I’d share a few tips and resources for those thinking about starting a blog or that are new to blogging.
- Take a basic blogging course to help you get started. I highly recommend Blogging Blastoff by Heather and Pete Reese of It’s A Lovely Life. They do such a fabulous job at breaking down every aspect of blogging in their course. If you’re looking for a less inexpensive course, I also loved Ready Set Blog For Traffic by Elna Cain of Twins Mommy.
- Start your email list NOW. Getting email subscribers is a hard task. I’m a year in and still have a really small email list. That’s one area I will be focusing more on during 2019. There are two email platforms that are great for new bloggers because they’re FREE: MailChimp and MailerLite. If you choose to go with MailChimp, Elna Cain has another really great inexpensive course called Ready Set MailChimp for Bloggers that gives you a step-by-step on creating welcome emails, automated emails, and linking freebies to emails. So helpful!
- Get organized from the beginning. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent going back and organizing things. Another focus for 2019 is having a routine to my day/week/month. One amazing FREE tool I use for this is called Trello. I use it to organize my content calendar, my blog stats, the courses I took or need to take, my manual pinning for Pinterest I learned from the lovely Elizebeth at Beauty of Selah, and more.
- Choose one or two social media platforms to use consistently. Did I mention above that blogging is time-consuming? Learn and use one or two platforms on a consistent basis to help drive traffic to your website. If you try to do them all, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed. Facebook and Pinterest are the two that I focus more of my time on right now. If you’re wondering “why Pinterest?”, check out this Pin with Purpose course by the fabulous Rachel Ngom. I was seeing over 90% of my website traffic coming from Pinterest after taking her course. It’s a bit
pricey,but SO worth it.
- Take messy action. My blog and blog posts a year ago look nothing like they do today. I have changed things numerous times and probably will change things again and again. If you’re waiting for your blog to be perfect before you launch, you’ll never launch. Do your best and know that you can and will continually grow during this process.
- Narrow down your niche. Most people have lots of different things they like to talk about. But to really get the audience you want following your blog, you really need to niche down A LOT. This will minimize having followers that don’t engage with you at all and draw in the ones you really want to interact with on a regular basis.
There you have it! The ins and outs of blogging for the first year. If you’re a new/aspiring blogger, I hope this has helped you in some way. If you are one of our amazing followers, we can’t wait to bring you even more and better content in 2019.