10 Important Things I've Learned During My First Year of Blogging

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I cannot believe that today marks my 1-year blogiversary! Over the past year, I've had many ups and downs associated with my blog. However, the successes have outweighed all challenges. Here are a few helpful lessons, that I've learned.

1. Be Patient. Patience is vital when it comes to building, maintaining a blog, and growing your following. It's impossible for all of this to happen overnight. Keep this in mind when you start to feel discouraged. 

2. Remember that You are Your Own Competition. When I began blogging, I would constantly compare myself to other bloggers that I felt were successful. I soon realized that I was in a competition that I would never win. How can you compete against someone if they don't know you're competing? It's unfair to compare yourself to others, especially when you're at different stages. Instead of competing with other bloggers, link up to grow your communities, exchange tips, and knowledge.

Once, I started focusing on myself and pondering over my successes and areas of opportunity, I acknowledged that I am my biggest competitor. 

3. There's No Set Way To Go About It. Do You. Blogging doesn't come with a user manual. There's no one shoe fits all approach. What works for another blogger, might not work for you. It's important to lean on the knowledge of other bloggers to find out great strategies, but always make sure that you're doing whats best for you and your brand. 

4. Stay Consistent. This has been one of my biggest challenges. It's important to publish content consistently in order to feed your audience, to grow your brand, and stay relevant. If your goal is to post content once a week, then try your best to stick with it. I'll be doing a follow up post with some of my favorite strategies. 

5. Network and Collaborate. In order to have a flourishing blog, collaboration is crucial. Can you collaborate with another blogger to create a guest post? What about hosting an event together? I've gained most of my blogging knowledge by networking and collaborating with other bloggers in person, on Instagram, and even in Facebook groups. I've even been able to work with great photographers, make-up artists, etc just from getting referrals from other bloggers and creatives. 

6. Re-brand when Necessary. I've been through 3 blog redesigns in one year. My blog looks totally different from how it began. I initially started on WordPress, moved over to Squarespace, and have redesigned my blog twice since I've been on this platform. Don't get discouraged when you need to re-brand and your vision changes. It's just a part of the process.

7. Build Up an Amazing Squad. I hate the term followers. I refer to my followers as my squad. Make sure that you are you taking time to connect and engage with them on your social media platforms. Ask questions regularly to initiate conversations, and take out time to respond. This makes all the difference. 

9. Set Aside Time for Yourself Away from the Blog. It's OK take a break. After a few months, I realized that I was so busy being Shasha, that I was not taking out enough time for Shatia. Initially, it was difficult to let my blog take a back seat. I felt guilty when I had free time and wasn't using it to do blog-related things. After a reality check, I realized that my blog was consuming me. I started taking small steps to separate my blog from my personal life. My blogging time now feels more meaningful because it has its proper place. 

9. Find Great Blogging Tools. I love finding new tools that help me with blogging. Three of my favorite blogging tools are Tailwind, Grammarly, and Canva

10. Never Stop Learning. Don't blame yourself if you don't know everything about blogging. You'll never have it all figured out and that's the beauty of it. This summer, I attended my first blogging conference and it truly changed the way I approach blogging. Participating in Twitter Chats, attending blogging conferences, and local workshops are just a few ways that you can increase your blogging acumen. 

What are some important things you've learned while blogging? Drop a line below and let me know!