Top 5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging + Giveaway!

My Rose Colored Shades Turns One

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…


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!”


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.


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.


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.


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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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!!

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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

79 thoughts on “Top 5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging + Giveaway!

  1. Woo hoo! Happy blog birthday! And yes to all 5… Especially #!1 🙂 I am grateful as well for this blogging community that we have 🙂

    Rhea @

  2. My daughter and I are just starting a blog, so your timing is perfect! These were things I needed to read. Stop by The Stone House Blog sometime and let me know what you think.

  3. Congratulations on your first amazing year of blogging Cynthia and what a great giveaway also. I agree with all those 5 points, especially 1, 3 & 5. You have become one of my favorite places to visit and I look forward to see what the next year brings for you. Congrats again, hun!!

  4. Congratulations on reaching your first year of blogging! I’m a pretty new reader and feel that your content keeps me coming back! So keep up the good work!

  5. Congrats on your 1 year blogging anniversary!! Thanks for writing such a great post-I’m still quite new to blogging & can relate to every single point here. I struggle with #2 often & have definitely had the “maybe I should quit” moment many times already, so it’s very nice to hear this coming from a blogger I really admire:) We are lucky to be part of a great community & glad to have met you through it.
    Marta, xo

  6. First of all, I didn’t even realize you were in your first year of blogging! Everything you do looks professional so I just assumed you had been at it longer. Second, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your list of lessons learned!!! I could relate to every single point. I got a good chuckle out of “if you build it, they will come….NOT.” SO TRUE. I truly had no clue how hard it is to grow your audience and to get people to know you exist at all! And I so agree about the community of supportive ladies. Before I blogged, I would always read bloggers say this and think “What are they talking about? They don’t even live near each other. How do they know each other?” Well, now I understand! It’s not “readers” who write comments and give support, it’s “writers” a.k.a. bloggers! Anyway, I’ve already gone on too long. Thanks for sharing this post- I thoroughly enjoyed it!
    Gina- On the Daily Express

  7. Happy Blog Birthday! I can relate to every one of your lessons learned! Especially #5! I didn’t tell any of my friends about my blog for the first several months! Thanks for sharing your experience!


  8. Yes, yes, and yes! I agree with everything you said. Congrats on the one year mark. I for one am so glad to have met you through blogging. Thanks for the giveaway too!

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

  9. Thanks for he giveaway, I never win, but my fingers are crossed! You definitely seem like a seasoned veteran when it comes to blogging, great posts, quality images, etc. My first year of blogging is kind of embarrassing…

  10. Congratulations on making it through the first year!! It only gets better from here.. 🙂 And please correct my instagram entry for the should be @welegant. I hit enter too fast and the t is missing. Thank you for this awesome giveaway!!!!

  11. Happy 1st Blogging Anniversary!
    I discovered your blog via StyleToInspire LinkUp & I’m so glad I did….
    Your lessons learnt are spot & I’m like you ..I love the blogging community..I got the opportunity to get to know other bloggers from all over the world.
    I’d be thrilled if you get a chance to pop by my blog …

  12. Great lessons learned. Yes, there’s always more to do, and it is very hard to get started and get people to know about you when you’re new. Or starting over which is sorta my case.

  13. Happy Blogiversary! I have blogged off and on for a few years now but with Instagram I’m slowly becoming more involved. I’m hoping to start going to local events and meet people in my area that have the same interests! I hope they’re as sweet as the ones you have met!

  14. I am actually quite surprised that you’ve only been around one year! I can’t remember when I first landed upon your blog, but you’ve always come across as very seasoned and I’ve always looked up to you! Congrats on the first year, and I’m so honored that our paths have crossed!

  15. You are so right…I love the blogging community! As a reader, I am so intrigued by the wealth of information and tips I receive.

  16. Congratulations on your one year Blogaversary! I will give you an AMEN to all of the 5 things you have learned. A bloggers job is never done but I love it so much, I totally do not mind! I love your blog and your style! Can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for you!

  17. Im new to the blogging world as well… being a stay at home mom, freshly moved 3000 miles from home, its nice to have a way to connect to the outside world. Happy blog birthday!

  18. Congratulations on your one year Blogiversary!!! I’m not sure how I discovered your blog but I am glad I did. I have read more of your past posts than I actually had planned but I enjoy reading when a blogger is for the most part “real” on a daily basis. I am continuing to follow along with you on your journey and look forward to the inspiration you will certainly provide just being yourself. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity also.

  19. Happy Blog Birthday! I am always amazed by people who can stick with blogging. I tried, but was horrible at it. You are obviously very good at it. 🙂 Thank you so much for the giveaway.

  20. I think its true, photoshop is a bloggers best friend lol. Congrats though, you have put together a lovely blog. Cheers to many more posts for years to come!

  21. These are such helpful pointers! I feel for you that you had to learn the hard way, you didn’t have a post like this one! I admire how much quality and quantity time and effort that goes into a good blog and that gets traffic and results! I tried a blog once just for fun, not with all this added, and it was so much work just to do posts!!! Can I say hurrah for you and you are a kind person to share so much info!!!

  22. Hey Cynthia, Happy 1 year of blogging!!!!!! Wow and has your blog sure grown to. I am amazed and encouraged by your blog, style and honest moments about life and the acknowledgement that God is a big part of it. You are filled with talents (and beauty) so I am glad you chose the blogging community as I have loved your blog and you since meeting/following you months ago. Thanks for everything! God Bless Rachel xo

  23. Happy one year blogaversary! Wow, you’re so good at this that I thought you must’ve been at it much longer than that! Love the 5 things you’ve learned and a big AMEN to #4! I need to consciously NOT blog sometimes and make sure that I … clean the bathroom, correct some essays, pay attention to my husband … etc! I’ll have a year in November!
    Dawn Lucy

  24. Thanks for the tips and also the great giveaway. I agree with everything you said, especially how you have to devote x amount of time to it each day or it could take up your entire day. I too love Photoshop, it really does help enhance your photos!

  25. Congrats on your one year blogging birthday. I am sure there will be many more to come, especially if you stay true to yourself like you have so far!

  26. I always admire you bloggers 🙂 Putting your thoughts out there for the world to read is brave, for me at least. Happy bloggiversary! And thanks for the fantastic giveaway.

  27. This was an interesting read. I havent’ been blogging for long, less than a year and I agree with all of your points. It is dissappointing when you don’t get that many page views when you spend such a long time leaving comments etc on other blogs. I had no idea how time consuming it is. You’re right about setting boundaries, i’ve had to do the same or else I wouldn’t sleep.

  28. I have been on Bloglovin for over a year now reading other peoples blog, but i haven’t been able to start my own. I’ve always wanted to , but i not a creative person and I feel like I don’t have much to say yet. I hope in time I will have a blog and get to celebrate a one year blog birthday like you. Congrats!

  29. Happy Birthday “My Rose Colored Shades”. And yes, after almost a year myself, I agree with your points. Especially points 1 and 2. Oh yes, a bloggers work is never done. And I have to watch not guilting myself for not being able to do it all 😉

    Alex – Funky Jungle

  30. Congratulations on your first year! I’ve only just come across your blog and funnily enough you posted it on the same day as my work leaving do. I started my blog earlier on this year but didn’t really keep up with it.

    I’ve devoted more to it recently and now I’ve got more time due to pastures new, I’m hoping that by the time I reach my first year my blog will look as professional as yours.

    I know I’ve got lots of learning to do yet though

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