What I’ve learned In My First Year of Blogging + FREE Pinterest Template

Happy Blogsary Confessions of a Scorpio.

I’ve been blogging since the Xanga era (anyone remember xanga?) but at the same time, I’ve been too shy to tell everyone my passion in writing.  A Year ago today, I decided to go public with my writing. I was a closet writer. But I did it. With a supportive boyfriend and my fellow blogger wife, Heydy, to push me. So I did it. A year ago I found the courage to do it and went for it. I was scared, nervous and anxious all in one sitting.

But looking back on it now, I’m so glad I did it. 

Blogging isn’t what it used to be. Before there was such a thing called influencers and social media, blogging was an online journal. An outlet for people to express what they did on a daily or just to express their emotions. That idea of blogging has never changed for me but there’s so many things that I’ve learned over the past year. Here are 4 main lessons that I’ve picked up over the year:

Never look at your numbers

As hard as this for most of us — including myself — staring at your numbers doesn’t change them. When I first started all I did was check out my views on a daily but because of that I would lose my focus because I would either be to bummed out that my numbers aren’t high enough or I would think that no one is really that interested in what I have to say.

So I stayed away from my google analytics and instead, I tried to focus on my content. Reminding myself why I pre-paid 3 years of my hosting and domain. Why I started and tried to reignite my passion to write every day. I even deleted old photos on my Instagram that didn’t speak to me anymore.

The more I focused on content and the visuals of my brand, the more I saw the difference in my numbers. Both Blog and Social Media.

It’s not easy

You have to work to see a change. A lot of people think it’s easy being a blogger and/or an influencer but it’s hard work. When friends reach out to me wanting to get ‘free’ stuff or be ‘featured’ they don’t realize the amount of blood and sweat you have to do to get there. There’s a lot of preparation and promotion that is done behind the photo and blog post that most people aren’t willing to do.

That being said, you have to commit to always being on top of trends and constant algorithm changes within social media. Luckily for me, I’ve always been the type to look for ways to improve but at the end of the day, it still gets mentally exhausting.

Give yourself a break

Most bloggers don’t blog full time and may have other commitments. When I first started I was working a desk job. That in itself was already mentally draining and on top of the regular 8 hour shifts, I have my blog & social media to keep up with. Throughout the year, I’ve been burnt out so many times.

So I’d give myself a break.

Mentally unplug from the blogging world and just do something I enjoy.

I actually took a mental break for around 3-5 months or so and I had to push myself to get back into it. Even though I was on this break, I still kept a notebook and jotted down notes of things I could talk about when I did feel that moment of creativity.

Luckily I did because it has helped me create some content when I came back to my blog. So yes, even though you want to make it out there – it’s okay to take a break. You need it.

Surround yourself with like-minded people

You know what they say, you are who you choose to be around with. Or something like that. When I first started I had no idea who to talk to (aside from Heydy & J) nor I knew what steps to take. Heydy gave me some newbie pointers and lead me into the right path, but our niches were completely different from each other.

So I started joining in random facebook groups, participating in threads to get my name out there and from there – explored other groups and found people under the same niche as me. I remember participating in a Instagram loop giveaway without Heydy and was so nervous because I was so unsure on how to know if someone is legit.

But I’m so glad I did it. Without that loop I wouldn’t have met the people I know today. You’d be surprised at how many people are out there in the world that are kind, knowledgeable and full of talent. I think that’s what really helped motivate me to be successful.

Instead of surrounding myself with people who were skeptical of what I do, I joined up with like minded people who share the same struggles and joys when it comes to blogging and social media.

Here are some of the amazing people that I have met in my first blogging year:
Raising Jay & Abel
Nyx Rowan Ginger on the Go
The Travel Pockets
Travel in her Shoes
Busy being Shasha
Bad Ass Lady Boss
Think Elysian
Ami Haruna
Globe Trotting Ginger Travel
 Jessie Taylor Travels
Up Level Solutions
Couples Coordinates

Because of blogging, not only did I reignite my passion to write but I also reignite my love for graphic design. Before the YouTube and Lets-Google-Everything era, all I did was play around with Photoshop (without tutorials) and did a lot of trial and error with html/css.

Because of blogging, I decided to quit my day job and start my own business as a Virtual Assistant. Being an entrepreneur was another journey I had to figure out – but I’ll save that story for another time.

Let’s just say, a lot can happen in a year. Only if you allow it.

To celebrate my Blogsary,

I wanted to provide my readers something special. I created a free pinterest template for everyone that can be reused. You can also customize it, but you do need to have Photoshop to be able to use the template. Unlock your free gift below!

And if I have some entrepreneurs reading this, I also have something for you. Fiona Benjamin has created an amazing course on Scheduling, automating, and following up with your clients (affiliated link). I’ve taken the course myself and trust me, it made my life so much easier as a Virtual Assistant.

Taking a look back on my first post I’ve realized how much I’ve grown. How did you feel when you hit your 1 year mark?

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  • Reply nbosken

    My first year mark was several months ago. It’s a weird feeling and I often compare it to sophomore year of high school. After your first year, you have a base and a general idea of things. You remember days of posting an Instagram photo and getting 17 likes. You remember things that seemed so daunting are now not. And yet there is still so much more to learn and so many ways to grow. You just have to keep that momentum going.

    December 26, 2016 at 3:07 PM
  • Reply nycgingeronthego

    Congrats on making it through. The first year can be a challenge, but you did it and I am sure the next year will be even better! Cheers to 2017!

    December 26, 2016 at 3:32 PM
  • Reply Style & Life by Susana

    Congratulations on your first year!!! YAY!! I completely agree with you on not checking the google anayltics, because I have bee obssessed with it throughout the year and man has it brought me down when I would see certain times my visits were low. I’m taking on board what you say, and just disregard it (I said I will try lol) and just focus on writing great posts, interesting articles and just being myself, because when I do that I get a bigger and better response. Blogging is such hard work and incredibly challenging but oh so worth it when its your passion. I’m so glad I came across your blog and enjoy visiting it x

    December 26, 2016 at 7:07 PM
  • Reply Travel Pockets

    Happy first year of blogging! So glad we connected in this fun world of blogging. I can’t believe how much I learned in one year. A year ago I had no idea how to utilize Pinterest, didn’t know what affiliate links were, never knew how much google analytics could provide, and more! I’m still learning and enjoying the journey 🙂

    December 26, 2016 at 11:12 PM
  • Reply JM Kayne

    Congratulations Glenny! Although I’ve been blogging for quiet sometime, but I have taken it seriously only this year, still consider myself a newbie… so reading your post inspires me to learn more.

    Thank you for this!

    God Bless
    JM Kayne |

    December 27, 2016 at 2:18 AM
  • Reply Isaly Holland

    Congrats on a great year! I just start blogging in December. So I am curious to see what things will be like in a year (: I admire you and your post for making sure that we take a break and enjoy living.

    Isaly Holland

    December 27, 2016 at 12:21 PM
  • Reply Cassandra Ericson

    Blogging is HARD WORK! Amen sister – having a network is a huge motivation for me too- Blog on!

    December 27, 2016 at 4:55 PM
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