As we take some time this week to step back, rest and plan for the new year, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the major things I learned about blogging last year. It was a really great year for me as a blogger and I can’t wait to share more with you about what is coming up next. Here are a few lessons that stood out to me this year. Even if you don’t blog, I think many of them can be true for really any area of life.
Trying new things is how you make awesome
One of my goals last year was to try a few new things with this blogging space. After spending years building a platform I am really proud of, I’ve been feeling the push to go beyond the daily blog for some time. I released my first book this year, which was such a wildly exciting process (my friends even threw me a surprise launch party). I experimented with more social media partnerships (like our 12 days of Christmas) and I tried out the new medium of podcasting. I worked with a few new contributors that I quickly grew to love and generally tried to push myself a little more this year. I even learned the back end of blogging and coded my first ever redesign – all by myself!
Not everything was awesome, but I believe you never know what is going to be awesome without first trying it out. Keeping it fresh can be a major player in moving forward creatively. I plan to continue trying new things and I am already so excited about a couple of big and totally new things we have coming up.
It’s okay to quit the things you hate
This could also be subtitled: Remember that time I started a podcast and then just quit 5 weeks in. ;)
With a major goal of trying new things, the fact is that some things are not going to be awesome. We started a podcast last fall and I was so excited about it! I had a few favorite friends agree to come on air with me and I was super excited to be filling out a need for a party focused podcast. A couple of weeks into the process though I learned how difficult it was to manage scheduling in interviews, editing, etc. Running a podcast was a LOT more work than I had ever imagined (props to those who do it well week after week). I also realized it wasn’t something I was all that passionate about. I liked the idea more than the process. Lastly, because of my quick-talking, high pitched excited (Gilmore Girl) tone, it was actually really hard to understand me without the context of facial expressions that video allows.
With all these issues, and the result of missing a photoshoot because of an interview I had scheduled, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to blog well and run the podcast well without a serious business transformation. So I just decided to let it go. I have no problem with quitting something if it isn’t working and the benefit of learning from the process means it was a success to me even if I have to let a piece of it go. On to new and better things!
This gig is legit
For a long time blogging seemed like a fake job. When I would talk to people I would often not even bring it up. I would say things like I am home with the kids and I happen to blog. Even a few years ago when our blogging income became a huge portion of our monthly family income, I would still take an almost apologetic stance to my work. Like it was this little side thing.
But do you know what I learned this year? Blogging is legit! Mostly because I finally learned the true tricks to monetize my site. I just launched a course to teach my EXACT strategy, since it is so powerful.
I run a small business and get the joy to deal with all the good and all the craziness of that. Just because this space doesn’t have brick and mortar around it doesn’t make it any less of a business. This mentality shift has really helped me to take charge of this space and begin transforming it into something that much more resembles the truth that this is an actual business – a fun and great one! Basically my dream job. But a business none the less…
To run a business you have to be creative with the glue gun and the mind
The first couple of years into blogging, all I could do was think of creative ideas to share in this space. I’d wake up at all hours of the night dreaming of pinata cakes and heart ice cubes. I still find myself creatively inspired for new posts all the time (here are a couple tips on how I stay creatively inspired). In the last year though, I’ve been moving some of that creative energy to the actual running of a business. How do we move forward, what does growth look like, where are the next steps? Although this is not necessarily glued gun territory it is creative nonetheless. If you are thinking of starting a business, or currently have a blog, transferring some of your creative energy to the business side will really begin to push your mind and your space forward.
Blogging is not dead
There was so much discussion this year about the future of blogging. Is it dead? Are we all going to follow in the footsteps of those who have closed shop and moved on? I would just like to go on record and say – BLOGGING IS NOT DEAD. It is ever-evolving, changing, and adjusting and it will continue to do so, but the medium is far from being through. I couldn’t be more excited to start off a new year of content, projects, and ideas with you all here.
Although our space has changed over the last year, and it will continue to evolve as the entire industry pivots and turns – I am committed to pivoting along with it and really look forward to the awesome privilege of bringing you new fresh content for another blogging year.
Did you learn anything amazing last year? How are you feeling about jumping into blogging, business owning, and creating beauty next year? I’d love to hear.
(Photography ©Studio Firma/Stocksy United).