Funny how time flies when your having FUN! June was a jam packed month for me with my daughters 17th birthday festivities, wedding anniversary, business success training and being a social media ambassador for the Halftime conference that I completely overlooked my four year blog anniversary! It literally was only a day or two ago that I realized we’re almost at the end of July and it slipped right by me. My blogging journey started in June of 2009 and boy have I evolved since then in so many areas. My blog design has changed every year since I started blogging but, I’m at a place where I’m satisfied with it right now and it doesn’t help that I’m a graphic designer. I’m always ready to upgrade and redesign my virtual home.
My content has also changed since I started blogging. Initially my purpose for blogging was keeping track of my journey to entrepreneurship and offering relevant business tips mixed with being a “mommy blogger” posting about married life with children mixed with recipes, product reviews and giveaways. Whoa! That’s a lot! Now I blog about brands, fashion, current events, arts & entertainment, along with Marketing & Social Media. I love how I have grown and all the amazing bloggers I’ve met and became virtual and real life friends with along the way. I’ve been to some of the BEST conferences and I still have others to experience. I’ve been to Bloggy Bootcamp twice, Blogalicious twice, Type A Parent, and the NC Mom Bloggers Conference.
This year I’ve attended Bloggy Bootcamp Charlotte, I’ll attend Power Up Weekend, Fusion Tour Charlotte (I’m Speaking) and Blogalicious. Next year I plan to attend CES, BlogHer, Blogging While Brown, Blogalicious and Mom Biz Retreat (just to name a few). Blog conferences are a great way to connect with the bloggers you speak to online all the time in person, by the time you actually meet it’s like your old friends! The Blogosphere, social media and technology are always evolving so the information we receive at blog conferences is so essential. I can’t forget to mention connecting with the sponsors and brands at the conferences and the SWAG! Amazing things happen when you actually apply what you’ve learned at a blog conference and foster the relationships you’ve gained.
Here are TEN things I’ve learned in my four years of blogging and I’m still learning…
1.) Find your voice and create a blogging and social media strategy that works for you. Don’t be a copy cat, it’s not good blog or social media etiquette. Whatever you do, customize it and make it your own.
2.) Content is King! Quality over quantity. Sometimes you need to take a mini hiatus to get your thoughts together and… Keep a editorial calendar! Don’t just post anything for the sake of posting. I’m going to start scheduling my posts also. I tend to write on the spot!
3.) K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid (write and make your point, don’t get too complex) This theory can be used in blog design as well. You don’t want a busy and cluttered blog, you want it to be neat and clean!
4.) If you repost someone’s blog post, get permission FIRST or notify them and give them editorial credit with a link back to their original post or blog. Same thing goes for photos! *Copyright
5.) You can’t join every blogger network, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with them all. I started on SITS, Mom Bloggers Club, Social Media Moms, The Motherhood, just to name a few. I’m still a member of a few since 2009 but, I post and engage on them sporadically! My schedule doesn’t permit me to do otherwise.
6.) Clearly define your purpose. Why are you blogging? What do you hope to gain from it. What are your goals and then work towards them.
7.) Be consistent! (I’m still working on this myself) I have a husband, four children, FT Job, Business and I’m a social media correspondent so I’m always at events leaving me less time to write. This is why sleep is rare in my life! I have so many posts in draft right now!
8.) Identify your readers, see what their interests are and what they read on your blog. If you keep giving them what they want, they’ll keep coming back. There’s nothing like loyal readership! Everyone that reads your blog doesn’t comment. I’m guilty of that myself at times too.
9.) Stay on top of your Blog Analytics and SEO. This can enhance your blogs performance. I need to go back and SEO my posts from when I first started blogging.
10.) Build a blogging Tribe/ accountability partners! I have so many supportive blogging sisters and I appreciate them so much. Remember community and collaboration! #NoCliqueZone
My four years of blogging have been a blast and I hope for many more. Next year I’ll celebrate my 5th year by hosting an event of some sort online and offline. Happy Belated Blogaversary to me! I can’t believe it slpped right by me! I’m only about six weeks late. Ha! What have you learned since you started blogging?