12 THINGS I LEARNED MY FIRST YEAR OF BLOGGING

Follow Our Passion officially turned one, last week and in honor of that I am gonna share with you all 12 Things I learned My First Year of Blogging!

12 THINGS I LEARNED MY FIRST YEAR BLOGGING

Can you believe I’ve been blogging for a year now? Follow Our Passion officially turned one last week and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I am SO beyond excited about reaching this milestone. I shared a delicious, chocolate coffee cupcake recipe with you all last week in honor since you know cupcakes, chocolate and coffee do make everything 10 XXs better!

I’ve come a long way from those first post. When I look back at my photography, the outline…. I’m a little embarrassed at how little I knew.  Then I remember how much I learned when I went to my first blogging conference with a month in the blog and I look throughout all my posts.  I have to admit the one thing that does stick is my voice, My rambles. My weird tales. Basically my weirdness still comes out in every post. Haha. I am SO proud of that. Cause I don’t want my personality to change. Even though I have grown so much these last 12 months, Its still me. In cozy sweaters and leggings.

I’ve made new friends, met some awesome, fabulous readers. I’ve learned about struggle, mine and others. I’ve learned to handle it better.

SO cause. I love to celebrate.

I thought I would write 12 things I learned for each month.

There is always something to do & 10 millions hats to wear

Before I started blogging and actually thought of it as a career not just a creative outlet which is how I discovered blogging so many years ago, I always thought. I write my thoughts. Post. Publish. Done.

Yeah. Not so much. Now I have a check list. That I go through before I even press schedule. Then I go through it again right before I schedule it. Then I take sometime and read it again a few days later to double, triple check everything is perfect.

Somehow something always slips.

&&&&.

Us bloggers. WE have so many hats.

Writer. Photographer. Social Media Expert. Marketing team. Website designer. Need legal advice so you also wanna become part time lawyer. Then go into each niche, like mine, cook/chef + health food wellness guru wanna be. haha.

There is so much you wanna do so much and at the same time make it perfect.

Which brings me to my next point.

Perfection doesn’t exist. 

I will admit it, I am a perfectionist. I am my biggest critic, super hard on myself and expect nothing less than perfect. It might have a lot to do with my personality. It might be part cause my manic depressive/ocd self and also umm. culinary school. I think if you are in that field you totally get this.

Perfection doesn’t exist. There will always be something you want to change and something you think is better. AND. Someone always has an opinion. The best thing that honestly has helped me is to just click publish.

Stay true to yourself. 

This definitely is the most important one. You will hear a million different tips and they all have so much purpose. Here’s the thing if you lose yourself, your voice, your personality, you lose your audience, you lose their trust, their time.

I was asked a while back why I even started blogging.

Here is the real, raw reason.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, lived a troublesome, unhealthy, sad, difficult life. Tried to kill myself a few times and then realized if it wasn’t happening it was for a reason. I needed to find that reason. I did. I love to cook. I love to talk to  myself while I cook, pretend there’s was an audience watching me. But I get stage fright. So blogging made sense. I was able to write and be myself without worrying about a camera. Then I realized that I had so much more to say.  It turns out that in the journey of leaving the medication, mending my relationship with food and myself, I sort of discovered something. Balance. Love. Passion. They’re all keys.

I more than anyone know how much balance is important to life. Love, you need to love yourself, you need to love what you do, even if its just taking a little time each day to do something you love. I cook at night and don’t blog about, its me time. I’m not worrying about the perfect recipe, the perfect shot, the perfect post. Its just me in the kitchen. When I write these post. The one I’m currently writing. I try no to overthink everything. I try to just let my fingers do the talking with the keys. Sometimes it work. Sometimes its a little off but I still publish something just for me. Like my post on World Bipolar Day.

Have a to do list.

I don’t know how everyone else does it. Here’s my thing. I used to do this.

I would start writing a blog post, then I would remember that I needed to share something on Instagram, then I would stay on Insta a little you know. All of sudden this came through my mind, oh this sounds kind of cool, I’m gonna check out. Head over to the blog post. Read it. Then I go to the about section, then I read some more posts. Then I realize I have to pee. I go pee. Come back. Put on music. Remember I should see my Facebook groups, do some of that. Remember I have to shoot a recipe. Oh that lighting is perfect. Drop everything. Make the recipe. Set up. Shoot. Oh wait. I just thought of. Recipe test. This taste good. I’ll have lunch now. Maybe take some time off. Netflix. My go to. Wait. I wanna finish reading that book on social media. Before I know it an hour has passed. I remember I have to do something. Open my laptop again. Emails. Respond. Wait this might take a while. I need my moms advice. Call mom. We talk about everything but the reason I needed to talk to her. I gotta go. My blog post. Wait I’ll finish that later. Have a new idea.

Yeah then I realize at the end of the day I did a bunch of stuff but I didn’t finish anything, cause I just jump from one thing to the other.

I was also working full time when I started blogging.

Now. I work part time. I treat my blog as if it was a job, even though I work at home. I have business hours.

I check my email twice a day.

I do social media twice.

I have list. It keeps me from wandering off and just getting lost in life and my own thoughts and I also use my time more wisely.

Find your people. 

Trust me when I say this. Having blogger friends will change your life.

They understand your struggles with SEO.

They totally get being on social media so much.

They won’t think it’s weird when you wanna talk google analytical.

I recommend Facebook groups, if you can go to a blogging conference. Life changing.

Don’t feel like you need to join every FB tribe and every Insta pod. 

While FB groups, tribes, Insta pods are are great, keep it simple. You will end up overwhelming yourself and burn yourself out.

Experiment. You gotta get a feel for what works for you.

What works for me or someone else isn’t necessarily gonna work for you.

Don’t stop learning.

I am always learning. I am always reading and doing online classes, courses, ebooks. There is SO much info out there.

There are a lot of things out there that are free. SO much useful info. I’m actually working on an ebook of that. YAY.!

Remember everything is always changing so no matter how long you’ve been blogging there is always new info.

Consistency. 

Consistency is key bugs. You wanna have people coming back, you gotta be consistent. When I first started I only blogged about twice a week. I then started three times a week and now cause I have a new segment that is live every Thursday, I have a blog post Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Again you gotta find what works for you. If you can post one a week, stick to it. If you can do five times then go for it.

Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else chapter ten.

This has been the best advice I have received from a blogger friend of mine. Jess was so right and it really makes me feel a million times better. I can’t compare my work to someone who has been blogging for 2 years, 5 years, we are all writing our own story lines. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, my work has evolved over a year span. You feel me?!.

Time. 

Andrea of all people understands this one right here. Babes it takes time to start gaining readers. It takes time to get companies to work with you. It takes time to make money. This doesn’t happen over night. They say most business take two years of hard work to start making a profit. We are all different, I know people that in two years haven’t made a single dollar and some people who are blogging full time. Time. That is all I can say.

One is all it takes.

Here is another tip from a blogger friend of mine, Alex once told me that its gonna take 20 companies or more saying no, and one finally say yes. The best part is bugs there are so many out there. Remember just cause some said no, doesn’t mean all of them will. The ones that said no, they weren’t for you.

Be passionate.

You need to be passionate about what you are doing, writing about. If you loose the passion, you will lose your motivation, your voice and the reason people read your blog. What ever it is you are doing remember to always be passionate.

OH and if you are totally craving those chocolate cupcakes.

Andrea Broom

Hi! I'm Andrea. A girl who loves her chocolate as much as her greens.

49 Comments
  1. I agree with every single one of these things! I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, but there’s so much information out there that I doubt I’ll ever stop learning!

  2. This is a great list for new bloggers like me to read. It is amazing how many hats you have to wear as a blogger – It’s not just writing posts! I love it though even though there are gazillion things to do!

  3. I so love this post! I am in my fourth month of blogging and I’ve learnt a lot from bloggers like yourself who share their first-year experiences. In the beginning, I joined every FB tribe I could research and it was very overwhelming. I felt like a small fry in a big ocean of sharks. I’ve slowly begun to find my pace.

    1. Trust me, I totally get it, I went to my first food bloggers conference when I was only a month in and thought I had bitten off more than I could chew. It’s gets easier, just remember to breath and remember why you started to blog.

  4. It’s a great post! I completely feel you! I have learnt so much since I started to blog! So much that it helped me to get a job in social media! but it’s so much work! xx corinne

  5. I have been blogging since 2010ish. The most important thing that I have learned is to write what you want. Your audience will be interested if you are interested in your work.

  6. Congratulations on your first year of blogging. The time really does fly by. These are all important things to learn.

  7. Great post! Together we will all get to the top. Blogging is a day-to-day learn. YOu have to keep yourself update and adapt to technology changes.

  8. Wow. this is a great article and very inspiring. I’m so happy you wrote it and more important that you shared. It’s nice to sea your not the only fish in the sea who’s struggling . Thanks again

  9. Wow some great tips! I’m only in month 1 of having a self hosted blog (my ‘proper blog’ haha) and there is so much more to do now I have stepped beyond the comfort of wix. I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind! thank you!

  10. I can definitely relate to what you wrote! Passion for me is the first step to do something good!

  11. This post is amazing! Congratulation on one year of blogging! I am just at the beginning of my journey so it really helps to read this. Also, I really appreciate how personal you are and that you share even the not-so-happy moments of your previous life. I admire you for not settling down for the bad with “that’s just the way life is” but you decided to make a change and worked on yourself and found your passion 🙂 I think that is AWESOME. Lots of love, Kate

    1. Thank you so much for this kind message. Keep it up, you will see its a beautiful journey one I wouldn’t trade for the world!
      Thanks Kate xoxo

  12. Congratualtions on your first year of blogging, you are doing great! People don’t realise how uch time and effort it takes to run a successful blog. I agree with consistency, definitely a key to keeping up those followers

    1. Thank you! Seriously people honestly don’t realize it and think its all fun, which let’s face it we have a blast but it still is work 🙂

  13. I love that you shared the real reason why you started blogging. Like you, blogging is my outlet in sharing my thoughts. To help provide myself a release when things get a bit too complicated. Happy first year to you!

    1. Thanks Denice, I think we all have our own reasons but its amazing being able to connect with people that are also in it for the same reasons as you! 🙂

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