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Thursday, June 21

Things I've Learned From Blogging

     Over the last 18 months, my blog has gone through a few transformations, gotten a few facelifts, and tried out some content that just didnt quite fit. Though I don't peg myself to know everything about blogging (far from it!), there sure is a badge of honor (like a girl scout 'blogging' badge!) that comes with countless trial and tribulation of pouring your own free time into something and you begin to learn a few things. I just wanted to share some ideas in my head, maybe for you, maybe to remind myself, of the things I have learned along the way.

- Have a vision and stick to it. I knew I wanted a "Lifestyle" blog from the beginning. I love blogging about every aspect of style in my life, no matter what form it manifests itself in... home decor, gardening, clothes, photography, you name it.

- Providing your own content is key. I really can't stress enough how much I enjoy seeing someone else's photos so much more then a stock photo or a photo taken from Pinterest. Don't get me wrong, inspiration posts are great. But shake it up every once in awhile!

Be Kind. I will never understand why someone would leave anyone a mean comment. People put themselves out there, we should uplift someone not knock them down. I also know that people have asked me for advice and I choose to give it out whole heartedly. This is a community, and I want to be a part of something positive. Someone helped me in the beginning, and I want to return that favor.

- Not everything works, and thats okay. I posted recipes here before just to get measly views and even less commentary. I wasn't truly interested in writing about food and my readers could tell. I quickly realized that tt was not my forte and moved on.

- Be Authentic. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but no one wants to read the same blog twice. Be inspired but don't just outright copy someone else. It is your blog, so it should be your ideas, your words, your style.

- Make yourself accessible to your readers. You share your life with them in your own words and photos, don't forget to connect with the people who make your blog a success. Return emails, reply to tweets, leave comments on other blogs, it really makes a difference!!!

- The only person you are competing with is yourself. I know I feel so guilty if I don't respond to emails right away, if I haven't taken photos for awhile, or if I don't have new content ready for the blog. And on the other hand, I feel silly if I am not wearing the newest trend or posting about having the 'best day ever.' And really, I don't think anyone stresses or cares about that but me. I have to take a step back sometimes and allow myself to live my life, and be myself, and then the creativity flows a lot more naturally.

- It's okay to say 'No'. I have had companies approach me to try things out or host giveaways, and sometimes I just had to say no. I want to be authentic and be able to really get behind something I am putting the effort into. I am never going to push a product that I don't honestly believe in or care for, regardless if I have to have zero sponsors one month. It is okay to feel an opportunity isn't quite right, and you are not rude or mean to say no.

- Constantly learn. I am always learning about new ways to edit photos, html codes, new websites and tricks to make my blog better. And I have fun doing it! Blogging is so much more then just "a blog". Some days I feel like a writer, graphic designer, photographer, editor, stylist, you name it. Don't under estimate what you can do, and what you can learn to do!

33 comments:

  1. I find it hard to say no andthis leaves me frustrated. Im now learning its ok to say no.

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    1. It is, and things that are right for others sometimes aren't for you, and thats okay!

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  2. All very good points Hayley! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. great post! i love your tips.

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  4. All true! Thanks for sharing this!!! xoxo

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    1. I'm glad I did, I was a little nervous!

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  5. I definitely agree with your list!

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  6. LOVE THIS. Such a wonderful post and a refreshing reminder to stay true to who you are. I try to write like this every day!!! Have a great Thursday!

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    1. Thank you! Have a great Thursday too!!!

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  7. This is so great Hayley! Its nice to know how grounded you are and how your blog is not a burden to you! I love being one of your followers, keep up the honesty!

    xxoo
    Tracy

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    1. I try not to let it get that way. It CAN feel that way, then I just remind myself that it isn't life or death if I don't have a new post! I always need to keep it fun!

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  8. Sometimes it's sad when you know a blogger that used to respond to emails/tweets and now is more famous and don't respond anymore. That's kind of silly to me. And I've got some offers that were so ridiculous... And then I see that some bloggers don't let pass any free stuff that comes their way. SO sad too!

    It's definitely important to remain honest with yourself. I started blogging more about food (and that's what I like to do) and I realized I've been losing followers. But I don't care that much. Cooking and baking is something that I want to get better at, so it makes sense that it is going to take more space in my blog. More people with different interests will come!

    In the end of the day, I love my followers and my readers, but I have to blog about what makes ME happy.

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    1. I understand that and I try to get back to every single tweet, comment or email for sure. It might take a few days sometimes but I make sure that happens first before I do anything else for myself. After all, the readers are who got me to where I am today, so they are #1!

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  9. such a great post ... I so agree with you on all of this stuff!! I never ever could have imagined what the blogging world could and would do to enrich my life .... so much fun!
    jess
    JESS CAUSE BLOG

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    1. I know!? It is kind of like a full time job, on the side, that is super fulfilling but super time consuming! Its such an add thing, this blog land! But so fun!!!

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  10. I TOTALLY agree with your entire post, I do the same things. Great job and keep up the good work!

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  11. This is an awesome post. I love how you mentioned all the important points about being a blogger.

    xo,
    janmloves.blogspot.com
    I'm having a $50 Shabby Apple Gift Card Giveaway on my blog!

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  12. These are great tips, and I've learned many of the same things. I think the "constantly learn" one is the most surprising to me. When I started my blog I had no idea what a learning process it would be. I feel like there's just not enough time to learn everything I want to!

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    1. Yes!! It feels like there isn't enough time in the days to learn new programs, download new fonts, make new buttons, edit photos differently... its a lot! I love Pinterest for learning new tips and tricks and just save the pin until I am ready for it again!

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  13. Love this post - I agree with every statement. I've already turned down a number of opportunities because I feel they don't "fit" with my vision and my blog. It's definitely okay to say no!

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    1. Yes I feel so bad saying no, and bad denying my readers of something free but I want to be really honest, so then I know its the right thing!

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  14. Thanks for this thoughtful post! I started blogging last year, writing a blog based solely around food. Though I certainly enjoy cooking and writing about it, I felt constrained by my blog and let it stagnate. In May, I started a new blog and am trying to be true to my own passions, and being patient with myself while I regrow my readership. It's a tricky thing to balance, writing what you want to write versus what people want to read, because I so value my readers and the inspiration they provide me, but ultimately you're right, you need to stay true to yourself. Thanks for the reminder and the continued inspiration!

    ~C

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    1. Maybe you can always join the two together and do recipe Tuesdays or what I wore Wednesday and kinda do a little bit of everything. If people are reading your blog it is because they are interested in YOU and probably all you have to share, so share it! It could work and make you (and your readers) happy!

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  15. Love this list. I agree with every one of these points! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. I've only been blogging for 2 1/2 months now and have pretty much felt/done most of what you listed (except saying no to requests for giveaways...I would just love to be asked..but seriously, I like your advice about staying authentic regardless...will remember that when I'm approached)!
    Thanks for the "mentoring" and honesty!

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    1. Yea no problem. I have been asked to give lots of things away, that I would never use myself. I don't want to promote something, and convince my readers something is great if I don't really think so!

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  17. Great post girl! I can agree with every single one of these! I've noticed there seems to be a meanness sort of floating around blog land right now... and that breaks my heart. WHY would you want to be mean to anyone via comment... don't get it! Have a great weekend!

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    1. I have only experienced it once, and I was really honest in approaching it and the comment and the person just disappeared. ITs good to say something rather then let it happen and feel bad!

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  18. Thank you so much for this! There are many "tips for blogging" posts out there but I really appreciated your honesty in what worked, what didn't. It helps us all know that the rough patches happen to just about everyone. We all get into our funks or try something that just doesn't work and that's okay :) It's a learning process!

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Thanks for taking time out to leave a comment! I love and read every single one! XO! -Hayley