What I’ve Learned in the First 90 days as a Blogger
It’s been 90 days since I hit the “launch” button on WordPress officially making Between YouN Me live. It feels like a lifetime ago because so much has happened! It’s still so weird to say out loud, that I’m a blogger.
Today I wanted to share with y’all the top 5 things I’ve learned in the first 90 days since starting this adventure. Just in case you yourself are interested in starting a blog, and also, because, I love to share!!!
Well, I now have two full-time jobs ?…
Strangely most of my inspiration comes between the hours of 9-5… I never approached Blogging as a part-time gig, but I never really thought it would be a full-time situation either. I don’t know what I thought this was going to be! It turned in to this beautiful expressive passion project.
It’s been an interesting balancing act. I try to take the inspiration as it comes but I have a creativity draining 9-5 that keeps me very busy so it’s been a challenge for sure. Nothing ever worth doing is easy so I take comfort in that.
Some ways that I manage that are setting and sticking to blogging working hours. Throughout the day, I take note of the inspiration as it comes. I’ve got to write it down so I don’t lose it. But instead of actually formulating the blog post or full content in that very moment of inception, I leave it for later during my blog working hours. I set aside 2 hours in the AM and two hours in the PM (during the week) to devote to the blog.
During that time, I can be engaging on the Gram, planning posts for the following week, writing content, or playing with the blog itself. That part I like to leave pretty fluid. But I have noticed that by setting hours (and alarms to stop) I accomplish so much more because I’m focused and in the right mindset!
It’s such a weird time in my life. For the for first time in my working life, I’m actually in to my job and it’s really takes a lot out of me creatively (I’m a Learning & Engagement Coach for a FHA mortgage lender, means business teacher basically). So it’s been an uphill struggle trying to squeeze out every ounce of creativity. The upside to that is, I am able to rest at night because I am mentally spent.
Practice makes progress
HTML is hard, and I don’t like it ? I’m also not in a space where it’s realistic to pay someone to do my website (goals, for real). And I get stuff wrong all the time. I try my absolute hardest not to have typos, I quadruple read and proof read every post, but still, I manage to miss something. Also, widgets and plugin… whaaaa!!! Thank goodness for Pinterest and for all my helpful blogger babes!
I’ve had the hardest time letting go of the perfectionist within me. Keeping myself from burning the candles at both ends has been really hard. I had to sit down with myself and remind me that it’s not going to be perfect, ever. And that’s ok!
Perfection is an illusion, which is why practice makes progress and not perfection. I’m my own worst critic and there’s always room for improvement in my mind. I try not to be so hard on my self. That’s still a work in progress….
Community over competition
The blogosphere is an intimidating space to occupy. Due to the advent of social media, blogging is now more universally recognized as an actual career option, and because of that there are so many bloggers and their success is overwhelming. I started this blog thinking I had done enough research and knew what I was doing. I learned very quickly, that was not the case (rewind to me sitting up at 3am on a Tuesday night near tears trying to get a picture to align correctly #strugglebus). While having one of my epic pre-blog meltdowns, I realized I didn’t really have anyone I could turn to for help. Of course there was my family and friends (get moral support, not so great tech support) but something or should I say someone was missing.
Blogging is not something anyone should go alone. I keep trying remember how I stumbled upon Style Collective, and honestly I can’t remember. I know that I was looking for a meetup/group to connect with and then the next thing I know, I’m on Style Collective putting in my info and jumping in head first. There was a sense of elation after submitting my credentials. After waiting for 24 hours to be approved, it’s been the most amazing ride ever since.
Although, there are some fantastic events (previous and coming soon) that you get access to from being a member, it truly is a community. I’ve never pledged or been part of a sorority but that’s the feeling I get. And not the dark side of frats and sorors, but the lifelong connection, belonging to a group of empowered women at ALL stages of life, living their dreams, is difficult to quantify. I feel a gratitude and connection I didn’t know I was missing.
Use My Actual Camera and not just my Cellphone
I am so bad at this. Mainly because I’m not always prepared to have conversations about what we’re doing or to have people watch me take pictures. Something about having an actual camera makes it feel so much more like a photo shoot.
As good as the iPhone camera is, it’s still not a DSLR. It can work miracles in a pinch, but does not compete. DSLR images are just better. Like, legit better. The images are sharper an require way less post editing. Keep in mind, I have a super entry level Canon.
My biggest struggle with why I use my cellphone is instant gratification with the phone. I can just see it, edit it, and upload it. With my camera, I have to plug it in to my computer, resize, edit, save, and then post (first world problems, I know I know). It’s just easier, but easier is not always better.
Plus, I ALWAYS have my phone and usually forget my camera at home ?.
I’m a Permanent Student
To be successful at anything, you have to stay in a constant state of education. I am always learning, reading, and researching things. That’s why after only having the blog live for 7 weeks, I did a major overhaul.
When I first started the blog, I approached it as a hobby and it reflected that clearly on the website. As I have learned and grown in the past 3 months (by the time this is up it will be closer to 5 months), I’ve realized I needed to brand myself and really approach the blog as my business.
This isn’t to say that it’s still not fun, it’s wonderfully fun, but I’m dedicated to it in the same way I am dedicated to my 9-5. Which is terrifying ?. I’m no where in a position to take this full time yet, but I do hope for that one day. I am putting in the late nights and early mornings because I truly believe in this dream. I hope to be able to look back at this post in one years time and have a whole lot more to share!