27 Jul 9 Things I’ve Learned From A Year Of Blogging + Giveaway
When I started thinking about how much I wanted to start blogging over a year ago, I didn’t know what I was going to write about. It wasn’t until one afternoon a couple of months later, completely out of the blue, when it suddenly hit me. I would like to share my love of fashion, the struggles I’ve overcome and how I came out of them as a better person, and the lessons I’ve learned and have been learning as a mom (and as a person). And on that same day, an absolute spontaneity, my blog was born. It started as a hobby – something I did just because I had the time; I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it. But as the days went by, I found myself loving every bit of it; enough that I am actually making time for it; while I’ve been struggling to make time for myself. How ironic is that? I guess that’s how you really know you love what you’re doing! Today, I am celebrating One Awesome Momma’s 1st year blog anniversary!
Keep on reading, there’s a surprise for you at the end!!!
When I started blogging a year ago, I didn’t know where to start, how to do things properly, or which goals to accomplish. I didn’t have a plan; and what’s even worse is that I didn’t know how to get people to read and engage with my posts. All I knew was that I want to write about things that you would find helpful and things that will make it worth your time. So I wrote this and this; and found that people are constantly interested to them. Little did I know that an amazing journey was about to unfold before my eyes.
Back then, I didn’t imagine I’d be in this position I am in right now. My blogging journey has been a roller coaster ride. Just like in any aspect of my life, I’ve had some lows; which made me appreciate the highs even more. It sure felt wonderful when I landed my first sponsored post; and it felt even more surreal when Pocono Mountains & Skytop Lodge hosted our entire family for our wedding anniversary trip. We had such an amazing time when we spent the weekend at Massanutten Resort and Washington, DC. It sure was fun doing a photo shoot and writing about my favorite post. And growing my Instagram followers from 300 to 15,000 in 7 months was something never in a million years I thought I could do! And yet, I did!!! Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games; there were bad days for me as well – days when I couldn’t write anything no matter how much I force myself to; days when my post didn’t get much engagement as I hoped; and days when all I’d get was a “no” to every pitch I sent.
During the past year, I’ve been through a lot of challenges! I’ve been rejected quite a number of times, got burnt out, I felt like I was drowning with everything I had to do, I lost my inspiration; and yet I found myself constantly pushing through and striving to improve by reading A LOT of articles about blogging, social media, and promotion. It sure wasn’t easy; in fact, it has been time consuming and overwhelming. It has always been a trial and error; but everything I did equipped me with the things I know now. So today, as I celebrate my blog’s 1st year anniversary, I am sharing with you the most important lessons I wish someone had told me when I started my blog one year ago.
Note: I may receive commissions from clicks or purchases made through links in this post at no additional cost to you. While I wish these commissions were enough to let me stay at home with my kids, they’re really for paying the fees to keep this site up and running. Thank you for your continued support!
Blogging Isn’t A Walk In The Park
On me: Shirt (similar) | Skirt (exact) | Sandals (similar) | Sunnies (similar) // On her: Shirt (similar) | Skirt (exact) | Sandals (similar) // On him: Shirt (similar) | Shorts (similar) | Suspender (similar) | Shoes (similar) | Sunnies (similar)
There’s a lot of moving pieces in blogging that you have to effectively manage. When I started my blog, I thought all I had to do was write a post. I didn’t know that I had to promote it as well so people would actually read it (and hopefully share it). And then, you also have to manage your blog’s social media accounts, engage with people, grow your following, and in the process, find your target audience. And on top of all these, you have to constantly improve your writing skills, figure out new ways to promote your posts, and set new goals to achieve.
Promotion Takes So Much More Time Than Actual Writing
Promotion is equally as important as writing a helpful and engaging post; if not more. You may have written the best post but if you don’t spend the time promoting it, no one will read it. And promotion doesn’t mean you promote it once and you’re done. No, not at all! You have to continuously promote your content (even old ones); maybe not all day every day. But yes, you do! You just have to figure out a schedule that works for you.
Always Remember What Your Goals & Motivations Are
Be it how to create the perfect SEO-friendly blog post so your post comes up on the first page of search engines, or how to create the next viral pin to bring you thousands and thousands of traffic; there really is something new to learn and tackle every day when it comes to blogging. And you could easily get lost with all the hustle and bustle of it; which is why it is important to always keep your goals and motivations in mind. From them, you’ll know which of these tasks to prioritize and which ones to put on the back burner; because let’s face it, we cannot do it all. It would help to focus first on what’s going to help you achieve your goals, then tackle the less important ones when you have more time.
You’re Going To Need A Break
Blogging burn out is real! I know because I’ve experienced it. With everything you need to do to run a blog, at some point, you’re going to experience it. Whether it be after 5 years or as soon as after a few months. Or sometimes without a warning, you’ll just lose your inspiration. It’s of vital importance to take a break from time to time, no matter how long you need one. There is no shame in that! You’re actually going to thank yourself for doing it; because you’ll come back from it refreshed and re-focused.
Blogging Community Is Amazing
You might have already read this A LOT but I’d still say it – the blogging community is AMAZING! Everyone has been nothing but sweet and supportive of everyone’s accomplishments; and they are always willing to help you out when you need it. I am not saying this because I felt I needed to say it since everyone has been saying it; this is the truth so it has to be told. I’ve met so many amazing ladies over the past year and some of them have been really good friends of mine; and they made my blogging journey amazing and bearable.
Meredith from Mommy in Leggings has been my blogging BFF; and we have so much in common. I followed her on Instagram because I love her handle & engaged with her posts since I’m also obsessed with leggings; and we’ve been friends since then. She is the sweetest person I’ve met through blogging and I love her to pieces! I met Kari from Bloom & Clementine from one of the giveaways I hosted; she tried entering multiple times but only got successful once (which was worth it because she won the giveaway YAY!!!) and since then, we became friends. Her flat lays are exceptional; and she has always been my inspiration in mine! Stephanie from SICMama has shared a lot of her blogging knowledge with me and our little group. It’s because of her that one of my pins has reached over 116,000 engagement on Pinterest; and now that post is getting tons of traffic. Nataly from Beautifully Elegant and I have known each other since I started blogging; she’s always been supportive of all the ideas I have to grow our Instagram followers; and 1 year later, we’re still happily supporting each other. Tiffani from Tiffani at Breton Bay has been one of my role models when I started my journey. Her fashion posts are always on point and I love her energy. It was an amazing coincidence that I met her in person during a blogger meet-up organized by one of our Style Collective sisters. Since then, we’ve been helping each other achieve our goals. Jasmine from Love, Life, Laugh, Motherhood has been nothing but amazing! Luz from Adventures with Nico is one of the sweetest stylish blogger moms I’ve met! Jasmine and Luz are one of those I could bounce ideas off of and they would always have wonderful suggestions to any problem I might have!
It’s Okay To Say No
You don’t have to say yes to all the opportunities that come knocking on your door. When you’re starting, it’s easy to get carried away and say yes to all the collaborations even if they’re not a good fit. At some point, since I said yes to all the collaboration offers I had, I felt I was writing because I had to; not because I wanted to. Because of all the deadlines I had to meet, I couldn’t write what I wanted to write about. And that was a terrible feeling to have especially since you have to be inspired to write a truly engaging post.
It’s never wrong to politely decline an opportunity, no matter how wonderful it may seem, if it’s not a good fit with your brand and goals. You always have to keep in mind what your brand is all about, if it’s going to help you reach your goals, and if your target audience is going to appreciate it. If it’s not, you don’t need to do it.
You Need To Engage/Network
To find your audience, you’ll need to genuinely engage with people on social media, and in the process grow your account. Yes, it does take a lot of work; but there’s nothing better than seeing people engaging with your posts, knowing how much they can relate to it, and finding out that you’re helping them in some way. Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to build a virtual friendship with them.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks
I’ve always been a risk taker; I always make sure to follow my heart even if I wasn’t sure what’s going to happen next. And I guess that is one of the reasons why I love blogging so much; it lets me get out of my comfort zone and try new things ALL THE TIME! It actually encouraged me to start our YouTube channel when I’ve never been comfortable speaking in front of a lot of people. You need to try new things and explore boundaries you haven’t before. It’s only then you will know what you’re truly capable of. It reminds me about this quote I’ve always loved:
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." - André Gide
Just Be Yourself
There’s no such thing as a perfect person (mother, wife, friend, blogger, etc.). Perfect doesn’t exist! Stop trying to be perfect! Commit mistakes! Embrace failures! Because they are going to help you grow and shape you to be the person you need to be.
Don’t be afraid to show your real self! Always be honest; and don’t promote products you don’t love. Being real is what your audience is going to love about you! If being real means sometimes showing people that you’re also a kid at heart; then by all means, do it!
It has been an amazing and eventful year, and yet I still feel like I have A LOT to accomplish and learn. I don’t know what the next year will bring; but I’m excited to find out! I’m sure it’s going to be another exciting year filled with tons of blessings and challenges; I sure hope that I grow from it and I come out of everything as a better person. And I hope that you’ll continue to stick around next year (and the years to come) and grow with me. Just like the first year, I still don’t have a concrete plan for myself and my blog. I’ll just probably figure it out as I go. But I have one thing to ask from you – Please tell me what you’d like to read more of in the next year; I’ll try to do posts about those.
Here are my top 10 posts that you might want to check out:
- New Baby Checklist
- How To Get Through 2 Pregnancies Without Buying Maternity Clothes
- How To Successfully Potty Train In 3 Days
- How To Professionally Whiten Your Teeth At Home
- How To Get More Use Out Of Your Daughter’s Clothes
- Why I Chose To Give Up My Dream Wedding
- How To Make Long Distance Relationship Work
- How To Improve Your Child’s Quality Of Sleep
- Say Goodbye To Bad Hair Day
- 3 Reasons Why JORD Wood Watch Is Perfect For Your Man
A Huge Thank You!
Thank you for sticking around for the past year and joining me in this amazing journey; it was truly appreciated! All of these wouldn’t be possible without you! Thank you for your never-ending support! It means A LOT to me; more than you will ever know!
I couldn’t thank my family enough – my husband, the man behind the camera, for being so supportive ALL THE TIME; and my kids for being cooperative with all the shoots I had to do with them. I couldn’t have done it if not for their continuous love, support, and understanding.
Of course, I am absolutely grateful for all the brands who have worked with me for the past year! It was truly an amazing experience working with all of you! All of you have touched our lives in more ways than one.
A big shout out to C’est Ça New York is also in order for providing me and my daughter our matching tulle skirts for the anniversary photo shoot in such a short notice! The skirts were amazing and we loved them! They are comfortable but you need to wear something underneath (but maybe it’s only because the color of our skirt is too light). They look elegant yet simple enough to be worn on days you want to dress up a bit. They also have different types of skirts that will suit everyone’s preference – princess-style puffy, soft semi-full, tiered. Check out their site to see their complete collection. If you want to get yours, use my code ONEAWESOMEMOMMA to get $20 off on your order. The code will work on both Etsy and their site.
And last, but not the least, my role models – Rachel from Pink Peonies, JeeYoung from Simply Every, and Shannon from Mom Without Labels. Thank you for keeping me striving to be at my best during this first year of my blogging journey.
And in celebration of One Awesome Momma’s 1st blog anniversary, and show you how much I appreciate you, I’ve partnered with my favorite bloggers to give one lucky winner a $250 Nordstrom gift card. Enter below for a chance to win! And don’t forget to share this awesome giveaway with your family and friends!
Want more chances to win? All you have to do is complete all these tasks below which will enable you to unlock bonus tasks. And these bonus tasks can be done every day. The more tasks you do means the more chances you have of winning $250 Nordstrom gift card. Good luck!
To enter the giveaway, entrants will have to complete the required tasks as seen on the Rafflecopter widget, and/or the optional social media shares which can be done daily; no purchase required. This giveaway is not endorsed by or in any way connected to Nordstrom. The prize is $250 Nordstrom Gift Card to be fulfilled by One Awesome Momma. If One Awesome Momma doesn’t fulfill your prize, all the other host bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is open to U.S. & Canada residents aged 18 and older only; void where prohibited. This giveaway starts on July 27th at 12 AM EDT and will end on August 10th at 12 AM EDT. The winner will be selected randomly and will be notified through email within 24 hours after the giveaway closes. Please make sure to add [email protected] to your contacts to make sure you’ll receive the notification. If the prize is unclaimed after 48 hours of notification, we will choose another winner. Winner is responsible for reporting the value of his/her prize where required.
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Our matching tulle skirts was provided by C’est Ça New York in exchange for my honest review. As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own.
What did you think of this post? If you’re a blogger, what other lessons did you learn that you think our fellow bloggers would benefit from? If you’re not a blogger, tell me what you’d like to read more of in the next year or so. Let me know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.