It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since I published my very first post on My Rose Colored Shades. Technically, this past Friday marked my first year of blogging but it felt more appropriate to celebrate it today. I still remember when I started out, I knew next to nothing about blogging. I just knew that I had a myriad of thoughts and ideas in my head and in my heart that I wanted to share with whomever was willing to give me the time of day.
I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I honestly thought I would give it up after a couple of months. And believe me, there were so many times that I came close to doing just that, but thanks to your support and your kind and encouraging words, I’m still here and still enjoying getting to know all of you. Whether you’ve just dropped by once before or visit on a regular basis, I am just thankful that I’ve had the pleasure of your company. I’ve learned so much this past year, not only about the technical aspects of blogging but also about the wonderful community of bloggers. I won’t bore you with my long list of do’s and don’t’s but instead I thought I’d share my list of top 5 things I learned in my first year of blogging. Here we go…
#5 – IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME…NOT!
Like I said, when I started my blog back in September of last year, I knew almost nothing about blogging. I didn’t know anything about bloggers’ networks, linkups, social media links, giveaways, guest posting, sponsors, etc. I just thought, if I build my blog, people will come to read it. Boy, was I wrong! I felt like a little kid eagerly waiting in the middle of the baseball field ready with my baseball bat and gloves, and no one came to play. The fact that I hadn’t told any of my extended family and friends about my blog didn’t help either. Well, let’s think about that for a moment, if people don’t know your blog exists, how will they know to come to visit, right? Duh! It wasn’t until around December that I started interacting with the community of bloggers and socializing my blog thru networks and linkups, which I now realize are essential for introducing and growing your blog. You’re probably thinking, “Everyone knows that!”
#4 – A BLOGGER’S WORK IS NEVER DONE
Can I get an AMEN?! If you’re a blogger, I’m sure you would agree that there is always more you can do to improve your blog and to connect with other bloggers and readers. There are always more blogs to visit, more research to do, more opportunities to seek, more social media to connect, better pictures to take, etc, etc, etc. The list is endless. I found that, at least for me, I need to consciously manage my time and only spend a limited and pre-defined block of hours per day on blog work. Otherwise, I could spend hours and hours on my laptop just visiting and commenting on other blogs, but I do have a family to raise, places to go, people to see.
#3 – PHOTOSHOP IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
No matter how good a picture comes out, photo editing always makes it better. I never Photoshop myself unless I have a big zit on my nose (no one wants to see that!), but I do adjust the brightness, enhance colors, crop to focus on certain angles and sometimes use filters. These minor adjustments make a huge difference and sometimes even help tell the story. My favorite photo editors are Photoshop, Picasa and Picmonkey.
#2 WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING
There were so many times that I doubted my ability as a blogger. It was always at those moments that I found myself just focusing on the numbers and blog stats, whether it was because traffic to my blog wasn’t growing as fast as I wished or I wasn’t gaining as many followers as I hoped for. I would feel discouraged and think about quitting. Whenever I feel this way, I just think back to why I started the blog in the first place, which was to have a creative outlet to express my thoughts and ideas and to connect with others who share my interests, both of which I accomplished. I don’t know for how long I’ll keep on blogging but as long as I do what I love and love what I do, that’s all that matters.
#1 THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY IS AN AWESOME COMMUNITY
I really didn’t know what to expect when I first started blogging. I didn’t know how bloggers interacted with each other and how accepting they would be of a newbie like me. I was pleasantly surprised by the positivity that surrounds the blogging community, at least the community that I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. I’m truly thankful that I had the chance to meet some very fashionable, fun, talented and passionate group of women thru the world of blogging. Connecting with women like you is what keeps me going.
As a small token of my appreciation for your support this past year, I’m very excited to be giving away two gift cards! One $50 Nordstrom gift card for your fashion needs and one $50 Target gift card for all your lifestyle needs. Good luck!
If you like this post, I would really appreciate it if you could vote for me for Top Mommy Blogs by simply clicking here. Thanks!!
Linking up with these fab ladies: Let It Shine with Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons | I Would So Rock This | Mix It Mondays | Monday Bloom | Manic Monday with On the Daily Express and More Pieces of Me | Monday Mingle | Style to Inspire | How I Fall with Pink Sole and Cha Cha the Fashion Genius | Style Sessions | Confident Twosday | What I Wore | I Feel Pretty | Random Wednesday | Midweek Muse | What Wives Wear with God Life Happy Wife and Curly Crafty Mom | What I Wore to Work | Let Your Light Shine with I’m Perfectly Human and Made with Zeal | Be.You.Tiful | Three-fer Thursday with Perfectly Coutured and White Coat Wardrobe