Today marks Simply Amanda’s one-year blogiversary and I seriously cannot believe my little blog is a year old. 50+ posts later and here we are! Thank you to everyone who has followed along and supported my journey over the last year. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the last 365 days here in the blogosphere and how much I’ve grown as a blogger.
I started this blog originally to share my passions about beauty and the world of makeup, but the purpose of this blog has evolved over time to what it is now (read the full story about my rebrand!) Even though I change my mind a lot, one thing’s for sure:
I love blogging.
I’ve always been the creative type. I love writing. I love photography. And I love graphic design. Then suddenly, I discovered that blogging was something where I could do all of that — and more. Blogging is my hobby, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s something I’m extremely passionate about and I’ve met so many great people because of it. Before I started this whole journey, I hardly knew anything about blogging. But the more I got into it, the more inspired I felt by it and by other successful bloggers.
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I always tend to come up with random hobbies and never follow through with them or just do them for a bit and forget about them. I never thought blogging would be something I would be doing for the long-term. And now it’s something I just can’t let go of. I’ve learned so many things throughout this process, but I couldn’t do it without my biggest supporter out there — my boyfriend. He constantly encourages me and gives me endless support, even when I’m doubting myself. He’s my photographer and lets me bounce ideas off of him.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without him pushing me to keep going. In fact, I owe a lot of my little successes to him. I couldn’t do it without him and I couldn’t do it without my lovely readers! You are the reason I keep on writing and keep striving for success with my blog each and every day.
So I’m kicking off my blogiversary by sharing with you the things I’ve learned this first year of blogging.
The importance of community
I never really understood how important community was when I first started blogging. But the more I began interacting with other bloggers on social media, commenting on blogs and joining Facebook groups, it dawned on me how important community really was. Community is so valuable. We support each other and we connect + grow together.
It’s great to have people who completely understand you and understand the world of blogging. In the beginning, I was deathly afraid of people I knew IRL finding my blog. A year later and I’m still a little bit afraid sometimes, but it helps knowing other bloggers are going through the same things as you — the same struggles and doubts. And when we’re succeeding, we celebrate each other’s wins. We engage with each other in meaningful ways and it’s honestly so amazing and inspiring. It keeps me going!
Numbers aren’t everything
This was a hard lesson to learn for me. Such a hard lesson. I always thought numbers are what determine if you’re successful or not. Followers, subscribers, page views. Yes, they let you know what’s working and what isn’t BUT they aren’t everything. I have struggled to let go of the numbers game especially when brands are looking for influencers with thousands upon thousands of followers.
It’s so easy to compare yourself to other bloggers out there, but you can’t compare yourself to a pro when you’re just a beginner. We are all at different stages of our blogging journey. What matters is engagement and building a loyal following. Having a group of people who actually care about the content you put out. Like they say: quality over quantity. This goes for your followers as well. I’d rather have 100 quality followers or email subscribers than 20,000 who couldn’t care less about the stuff you work so hard to put out.Quality over quantity! When it comes to blogging, numbers AREN'T everything. Click To Tweet
It takes bravery + courage
Blogging takes courage. It takes a really brave person to put yourself out there on the internet in front of the whole world. You are opening yourself up to criticism and disapproval from others. You wouldn’t think it does, but the internet is so huge. Anyone can read your blog and you have to be prepared for that. As a blogger, you have to be strong and be able to not let negative comments get to you. It’s tough because you are writing your own personal thoughts and opinions. Every time you write a new post, you never know if the world will accept your writing.
I’m an extremely shy, introverted person. I only started showing my face on my Instagram this year! I was so nervous about it, but I knew that people want to see a real face. They want to relate to someone. I was so anxious when I first started posting more photos of myself. One new thing I want to conquer in 2018 is live video + insta stories. It’s going to be difficult and scary. I know it is. And that’s why it takes a brave person to be a blogger.Blogging takes COURAGE. Click To Tweet
It’s hard work
This might seem like a no-brainer, but I honestly didn’t truly know how much work goes into having a blog. I thought I’d hop on once a week to upload a new post I’d written on the fly. I thought I’d just check my insta every couple of days and post a new photo here and there. WRONG. SO wrong.
It takes so much hard work — it’s not even funny. I put so many hours a week into my blog. It’s not just about writing. Blogging is also marketing, graphic design, coding, photography, editing, and not to mention setting aside time to engage with your audience. There are so many tasks, it’s neverending. But no matter how hard it is, I love it. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. It’s hard work and it’s a slow process. There’s no overnight success. It’s all about being consistent and using growth strategies to help your blog flourish.
I want to turn my blog into a biz and I know it will take a while before that can happen. But I’m going to keep working towards it every day. I’m not afraid of working hard to make it happen. If you have expectations of getting rich quick + being a super famous blogger in a matter of months and then forget about it. It doesn’t work that way. You can turn your blog into a business — plenty of bloggers out there do it full-time, but you have to remember to put in the effort.
Be true to yourself
My blogiversary really opened my eyes to many things. I’ve learned that as a blogger, it is so important to be true to yourself. You don’t have to follow the crowd and you should be transparent with your audience. Use your unique voice to set yourself apart from the rest. When I began receiving opportunities for sponsored posts last year, I learned this.
If a brand doesn’t sit well with you: say no.
If a product doesn’t resonate with your audience: say no.
Don’t write sponsored posts for everyone that comes along and asks. It will drive your readers away and they will lose trust in you. Only work with brands you love and that you think your readers would benefit from. And at the same time, you don’t be afraid to say no to working for free. Just because you want to be real with your audience doesn’t mean that you need to work for free either. Do what you feel comfortable with. Find a balance and be truthful. Don’t think that you have to be 100% perfect. Chances are people want to see the real you. Raw and unfiltered.
Be yourself, unapologetically. It makes a world of a difference.
Now I’m turning it over to you.
How long have you been blogging? What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Let me know in the comments!