10 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging In 1 Year

10 Things About Blogging | The Petite Bijou

I’ve been blogging for about 8 months now, but my introduction to blogging happened over a year ago as I started reading blogs regularly. I wasn’t much of a blog reader back then – I knew blogs were a great platform to express creativity and make a living (sometimes). When I started The Petite Bijou it was sort of just a way for me not to be bored during my medical classes. I was at a time in my life where I was on a path I didn’t really enjoy. As much as Dr. Mariam sounded nice, everyday I learned it wasn’t for me.

So I skipped the next semester to think about what I really wanted to do. Blogging and social media were my passions now and I started consulting others about how they could utilize PR and Social Media Marketing for their own blogs!

That ah ha moment finally came – this is what I’m meant to do: blog on the side and pursue a career in PR full time. That was great, but there was and (still is) so much more I need to learn about blogging. 

So today I’m sharing the 10 things I did learn about blogging this past year. Some of it was easily learned and some of it was learned the hard way – with tears, anger, and frustration.

 

10 Things About Blogging | The Petite Bijou

 

1. It’s Not An Easy Way To Make Money

Before I started blogging, I had a friend that did it full time and always portrayed themselves as having made hundreds of dollars by just blogging. They use to say: OMG, it’ the best way to work from home! 

“That’s great!” I thought. But was it true?

It’s definitely not true. A good look behind the scenes of blogging will tell you that right away. Don’t start a blog just to monetize off of it. It took me 6 months before I could monetize off of my blog and even now I hardly make a buck everyday.

Blogging is not an easy way to make money. It takes dedication, trust, and influence to even get to that point. My advice? Blog because you love to first and then think about monetizing.

2. You Need To Be Passionate About It

There’s been days where I’ve felt like giving up and just moving on. I was writing about everything and nothing at first, It’s hard to stay focused when you are not passionate about what you are blogging about. I’ve seen blogs that started around the same time as me and fail because they had no passion behind their words. It was usually because they thought it was an easy way to monetize (see point number 1).

 

10 Things About Blogging | The Petite Bijou

3. You Need To Have A Voice

You need to have a voice that is uniquely your own or you’ll never really get anywhere with your blog. One of the best ways to get noticed and followed is by having a unique voice. We don’t want to be pitched to. It’s annoying when blogs are sales focused instead of emotionally focused – especially business blogs.

This is also true for niche blogs. I like to use the example of fashion bloggers that just post 6 photos of the same pose, tell us what their wearing (with affiliate links), and then call it a day. These types of bloggers are the first in my “unfollow” list. It’s just blah, you know? Where’s the energy? Where’s the appeal? If you style is unique you need to back it up with not only pictures but your blog voice as well. I should be able to tell you are passionate and have something relevant to say by the way you say it.

4. People Will Find You Boring

Maybe you are writing great posts but interacting with the wrong audience. I certainly don’t have my perfect chemical balance yet with blogging. It takes a while to find your tribe and sometimes it can take a year or so if you aren’t focused. And it’s not a fun thing to do.

You spend hours crafting a post you think will be popular, you take kickass photos, you post it, and then……*crickets*

Whenever this happens to me I just remember that I have to focus on finding the right audience. It’s okay that people find you boring – it means they weren’t the right audience for you. Or maybe your content needs a change. So change it.

Confession: I find a lot of bloggers and their blogs boring

And I feel guilty about it. I don’t know…maybe it’s a personality clash? I can’t do plain. I need uniqueness. Honestly, sometimes I can’t even get myself to comment or check out the rest of their posts – even if they’ve left a dozen comments on mine (not that it happens a lot). The same goes for social media. If I don’t follow back on accounts or interact with them on a daily basis, it’s probably because I can’t make myself do it. And it’s nothing personal – just not interested.

I need to connect with people that can reach my energy level and mindset. I’m highly energetic and need a lot intellectual/emotional stimulation to make a decision on whether to “follow” someone or read their blog. Maybe I’m just reading the wrong blogs nowadays. And you know what? That’s ok. You need to read some boring blogs to find the style YOU like.

The point is – it’s ok, it was never meant to be. Maybe I’m not your ideal audience and maybe you’re not mine. It’s all ok.

 

10 Things About Blogging | The Petite Bijou

 

5. Being Introverted Is Harder

I may be highly energetic but I am introvert. I’m a good public speaker and writer but networking with other bloggers and brands, and talking to potential readers, is harder to do.

Writing is an escape for me, like others. But only 5% of blogging is writing – at least I see it that way. If you want to be serious you need to be seriously networking – something I’ll admit I’m not very good at.

And it’s not that we don’t like to communicate, but it does that a certain formula for us to get to that point. Introverts are sometimes anxious when it comes to networking but the best thing I’ve done in regards to my blog is to get out of my comfort zone. That means attending conferences, workshops, and talking about my blog like it was my business. Best decision ever.

6. Social Media Can Really Suck

There, I said it. Social Media can be a pain in the ass.

It’s competitive, repetitive, and frankly a frustrating yet amazing way to find your people. All this coming from a social media marketer, nonetheless.

The best thing it’s done for my blog: get me connected to some really awesome people. The worst? Bring out the competitive nature we all have. It’s a numbers game out there, whether we like it or not. From everything I’ve learned: just forget it.

Post, comment, like, and forget about the follow and unfollows. 

The more you compare to others the crazier you’ll get. I ALWAYS have to remind my clients that the best engagement isn’t the numbers but how people interact with your media.

 

10 Things About Blogging | The Petite Bijou

 

7. You Need A Schedule

Blogging without a schedule is like boating without a life vest. One missed day or actionable item and your whole schedule is thrown off.

I went a month without a schedule and my entire #bloggame was thrown off. If you’re anything like me you’ll want to invest in a good planner. I love my Kate Spade Agenda.

8. You Need A Support System

I currently have an amazing support system in place: my family, my friends, and my online blogging groups.

But seriously, you need a group of people that tell you it’s going to be ok, that what you are doing is wonderful, and to never give up.

Because it’s so easy to give up. I’ve gotten to that point a few times this past year and thankfully my peeps were there for me when I took a step back and started second guessing this whole blogging thing.

 

10 Things About Blogging | The Petite Bijou

 

9. You Need Stop Doubting Yourself

Yes, have your moments of doubt – everyone does. But you need to stop doubting yourself in order to get back on track with blogging. Remember why you do it. Why did you blog to begin with? If there’s any doubt with your why then maybe you need to take a step back and re-evaluate.

10. Taking A Step Back Is Good

And taking a step back is a good thing. Take a break from blogging if you’re not feeling it. Just remember not to give up on it. Use this time to treat yourself, spend time with loved ones, and re-evaluate your brand.

The best blogging moments and thoughts came to me when I took the weekends off from creating content. My latest inspiration actually came from a long walk in the city by myself. Just me, my camera, and my thoughts.

So take a step back and be good to yourself. Blogging isn’t everything and it’s certainly not more important than your health and happiness.

 

If you are a fellow blogger, please share your lessons from blogging below! I would love know what other people are struggling with or take joy in!

 

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23 Comments

  1. March 6, 2016 / 11:17 AM

    This post was much needed for me. I have been feeling the pressure lately and can relate to this post 100%. I do sometimes find myself scared to really put myself out there and that my come off as ‘boring’. I really want to find my tribe but have been struggling and second guessing myself lately. I have been blogging for about the same amount of time that you have, but feel like I don’t quite have it figured out yet. I get frustrated not being able to it full time because it is what I truly WANT to be doing. Sometimes I feel like I should take a step back and really work on my content and voice but get nervous that I will lose readers. Again this post was such a great post and I am huge fan of your blog. Keep up the great work!

    xx Kasey

    kasestyles.com

    • March 8, 2016 / 12:52 PM

      Hello Kasey, I am so glad you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! That’s why I love what I do so much! It’s ok not to have everything figured out yet. Blogging is not a race but a marathon. It’s better to take your time with it than to rush without knowing who your audience is or why you blog in the first place!

      Best of luck on your blogging adventure – and that’s what it should be, an adventure <3

  2. March 5, 2016 / 11:24 AM

    mariam–great post. the one that stuck out to me is #3, i def think it’s about having your OWN PERSONAL voice. it’s what makes you, YOU. for me, it’s about putting a little of me, in each of my comments or my post making it personal. it think it’s important to be personal and bring your own thing to the table right? and quite honestly, it’s not even me trying to be someone else, it’s just me being me and having fun. after all, that’s what it’s all about!!! thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. xoxo,

    janna | http://www.jannadoan.com

    • March 8, 2016 / 12:59 PM

      Thanks so much Janna! Keep up the great work with your blog!

  3. March 2, 2016 / 9:07 PM

    Love your roundup and #10 – it’s definitely helpful to take a step back sometimes!

    • March 8, 2016 / 12:59 PM

      Thank you so much, Lauren!

    • March 8, 2016 / 12:59 PM

      Thank you so much, Morgan!

  4. March 1, 2016 / 9:15 AM

    I loved this list. I’ve had a blog for about 5 years, but I’ve really only been ~blogging~ for about two. My blog has grown from a pinterest type inspiratin mood board to my travel and style photos! Every day is a challenge and learning process. It makes me happy that we are all in it together though! Keep on keeping on <3
    http://stopdropandvogue.com/

    • March 8, 2016 / 12:59 PM

      Thank you so much, Taylor!

  5. March 1, 2016 / 8:32 AM

    I totally agree with ALL of these points – especially blogging isn’t an easy way to make money!! It is hard work to get the trust and sponsorship of brands!!

    • March 8, 2016 / 1:00 PM

      Thank you for stopping by, Samantha!

  6. February 29, 2016 / 6:54 PM

    What a great post Mariam. Sometimes I second guess myself and have to take a mental break. I think it’s all part of the process and most of us experience that. When I’m mentally and physically exhausted, I try not to blog because then I’d just be doing it for the hell of it and what’s the fun in that? I’d like to share this post because I think most of us can benefit from it. Thanks for sharing.
    -gail

    • February 29, 2016 / 7:09 PM

      Hello Gail!

      I am so glad you liked this post and shared! I really appreciate it! I second guess myself too – and it’s definitely a moment I know I need a break. It’s great that you take a step back when you need to. I know what you mean about publishing content “just because” I’ve done that a few times and have regretted it. And the only reason I did was because I didn’t plan out ahead of time and really take into consideration if the content would be helpful or not. Same thing happens when I don’t have anytime to photograph things. Then I end up just posting crap! Lol!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Best, Mariam

  7. February 29, 2016 / 2:58 PM

    I’ve been blogging for only less than half a year and I’m struggling through a lot of the things you’ve mentioned- I can relate to this post so much! I find that it’s hard to get loyal readers/subscribers, but I’m working on it! Networking is my weakness too. I gotta step it up! Haha When it comes to blogging, I try to tell myself to have fun on top of everything else. Because that’s what life’s about, right?

    ThePrettyRelaxed.com

    • February 29, 2016 / 4:13 PM

      Hello Madison!

      Congrats on your blogging journey thus far! It is hard to get a loyal readership but you have to remember than once you do – they’ll tell their friends about you and so on so forth. It will be easier once you get a handful of people that really love your stuff. Take your time with networking and just do what you are comfortable with first. I was super hesitant to even go to this blogger meet up last October. I was literally so nauseous and nervous on the cab ride there. But it turned out to be so much fun! Where are you based? I’m sure you can start small with local bloggers.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Best, Mariam

  8. February 29, 2016 / 2:57 PM

    This is AMAZING!! And thank you so much for saying how hard it is to monetize and how bad social media can get. There’s a very distinctive line of reality and what we fake on social media as bloggers. It’s so hard to make money doing this but with passion, time, and a faithful fellowship of readers and bloggers alike, it can become a reality. Great post!!

    • February 29, 2016 / 4:14 PM

      Thank you so much, Kelly! I think we have to remember that what we see on social media is pretty much selective. It’s definitely curated and I think we get caught up too much on seeing that. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Best, Mariam

  9. February 29, 2016 / 2:48 PM

    You’re pretty awesome babe! Love these points, and they’re oh so true. It’s exhausting. You’re doing an awesome job and I truly think you are unique and interesting!

    • February 29, 2016 / 4:15 PM

      Thanks Stefanie, you’re pretty awesome too! I am so glad we get to connect through style collective! I haven’t found a group of bloggers that are truly unique until I’ve networked with the gals!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Best, Mariam

  10. February 29, 2016 / 12:00 PM

    I love the kind of ‘anti-rules’ rules you’ve come up with!
    We’re always hearing about monitoring the numbers on social media and expanding our networks but you’re right that there’s no point in doing that if you’re just playing the numbers game..

    Leela
    http://herfashionmemoir.com

    • February 29, 2016 / 4:17 PM

      Thanks Leela!

      It’s hard to say when the right time is to really focus on numbers. Sometimes monitoring them can get too much. Everyday for example, is a really bad way to do that! Monthly is fine, because it’s probably a better indication of how well you do. But you are right, it’s almost like playing the numbers game…
      I think it’s more important when people are in very saturated niche’s but no so if you are doing it for fun!

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Best, Mariam

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