I can't believe I'm even writing this, but tomorrow marks the 1st anniversary of this l'il blog of mine. I still remember that first post like it was yesterday. The way time rushes on relentlessly always amazes me!
While blogging has not been my life's greatest challenge, it hasn't been a walk in the park either. The learning curve for it is pretty steep. Sooo...so many new things to learn!
But now, the anxiety that used to overtake me when I sat down to write a post has finally subsided. Feeling somewhat centered and slightly proud of myself for not giving up halfway through this journey, I thought now would be a great time to take a look back at lessons learned.
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1. Blogging is Hard Work
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy this gig much more than I ever thought I would. But those photos and thumbnails, affiliate links, headlines and content research are usually ALL done by the blog writer. That is of course, unless the blogger has loads of cash to pay someone else to do it. Then other invisible details must be added to the content and photos to help you dear readers find me in your search engines and on Pinterest. The entire list of tasks (about 17 steps in all for me) must be done for every blog post before I hit "publish". Yes, I have a newfound respect for bloggers the world over!
2. Keep Priorities in Their Place
It can be very easy to become absorbed in something you enjoy. Blogging is no different. I can become so engrossed in it that before I know it, everything and everyone else around me slowly gets shut out. After a bit of trial and error, I was able to create a blogging schedule that allows me to keep my faith and family first. These are more important to me than anything else, and I'm determined to keep them where they belong.
3. Resisting and Encouraging Comparisons with Others
Let me explain this oxymoron. I will be the first to admit that I've been struck with blog envy a time or two...okay maybe three. There are many interior bloggers out there who are SO much better at this than I am! But I quickly learned that looking at matters that way is counterproductive and demoralizing.
A piece of advice I always received growing up was: "Associate yourself with those who are where you want to be." So instead of envying those gorgeous, swoon worthy blogs and becoming stagnant, I study them. Sure, their skills and resources are light years beyond mine. But by observing the best, I raise the bar for myself.
4. Photography is the Life, or Death, of a Blog. It Matters. Learn it.
When I began blogging I was equipped with my trusty iPhone and an app called PicMonkey. Both of these items have served me well. In fact I still use them. But the photography on my blog took a sharp turn when I purchased what I call my "big girl" camera. Then it took another sharp turn, when I started to really learn how to use that "big girl" camera. Ha! This may not be a big deal for some, but photographing clean and crisp interiors is really challenging for a novice. Having the best equipment available within my price range was key. I still have a long way to go, but I'm improving every day.
5. Monetize— But Be Picky
There are two main reasons why most people start a blog. 1) To help, inspire and connect with others through their stories, and 2), to make money. Of course there are other reasons, but these are the two that resurface the most.
Making money from a blog is a painfully s-l-o-w process for the majority of bloggers - myself included. When an advertiser dangles money or product in front of you, it can be tempting to accept it without thinking about how it affects the integrity of your blog. While monetizing is great, never would I want to jeopardize this blog's credibility with those who comment, subscribe and follow it, by accepting offers for products that I don't love or would never use.
I have thoroughly enjoyed these past 12 months, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the future of J'adore le Décor. I've got a few things up my sleeve that I'm excited to share. So stick around and enjoy more of this journey with me!
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Welcome to "my place". I'm Ola, a self-confessed décor addict and DIY think-tank. I love working with small spaces. Please make yourself comfortable, and let's get to know one another better.
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