What I Learned During My First Year of Blogging

What I Learned During My First Year of Blogging | She Sweats DiamondsShe Sweats Diamonds hit the one year mark last Friday! I’ve had so much fun in my corner of the internet that it all seems surreal a whole 365 days has passed! I’ve had a ton of fun with SSD, had ups, downs and lessons along the way, but I wouldn’t change my decision to take this blog seriously if I had to go back.

If you know me personally, you know that I’ve been blogging since 2004. However, my passion for writing all started in 7th grade. This girl named Linda got me into poetry and I’ve been into writing ever since. Blogging began on a casual note for me. In 2004, I started writing on Xanga about my adventures in college and my life on a day-to-day basis as a student and volunteer. Then I moved to WordPress.com in 2006, tried my hand at fashion writing and my first outfit went live on September 6, 2012.

Today, I’m going to throw it back a bit and share with you lessons I’ve learned along the way since I’m self-taught and from a professional standpoint since I’ve taken my blog seriously this last year.

Whether you’re thinking about blogging, but haven’t taken the plunge yet or are an aspiring blogger, I hope the lessons I’ve personally learned helps with your success!

What to post and not to post

I’ve had days where I wrote an entire blog post with links and images included and didn’t post them because I didn’t feel right in my heart to hit the publish button. Even after writing a complete/full post, I sometimes feel like the timing isn’t right timing to publish. For instance, today’s post was supposed to be about winter home decor. To me, it didn’t feel right, so I moved it to another day on my editorial calendar.

This goes for social media too. If I don’t feel right posting, I don’t. I think that it’s important to be real with your audience and that includes posting about what’s on your heart.

Lesson: Being genuine includes posting in real time.

Self-love in the Social Media Era

With technology at our fingertips, it’s so easy to compare yourself to other bloggers. Loving yourself enough to put yourself first gets shoved by the wayside. Additionally, believing in yourself is harder now than ever before with negativity coming at you from every angle.

Personally, I’ve never had a problem with comparing myself with other bloggers and thinking, “Oh, so-and-so is doing this better than me.” or “She’s so much prettier than I am.” Nope. I’m so focused on how to stand out that I don’t make comparison a focus/priority.

I’ve learned that when I love myself, I believe in myself more and more. And I’ve also learned that I’m not so hard on myself by striving for perfection.

Lesson: Self-love gives grace to you and permission to those around you to love themselves.

Staying true to your style/brand

Last year, I had several brands reach out to me for partnerships. And being my first year of professional blogging, I could’ve easily taken anything that came my way.

However, I didn’t feel right saying yes to every single partnership because I wanted to stay true to my style and brand from day one. I mean, I turned down another possible partnership just a few days ago. And you know what? I saved myself and that brand time.

Lesson: Saying no is okay if you want to be true to yourself.

Time management is super important

This is true especially when you’re juggling a day job. For now, I can only post one outfit a week to the blog due to financial limitations and that’s okay. However, for Instagram, I try to shoot a week’s worth of content all on Saturday morning/afternoon. I’m finding that I need to shoot as much content as I can so I have flexibility to choose what to post.

I’ve got my writing down to a science (except for when I was hit with illness, lol), now I just need to find more time in my schedule to create outfit posts.

Lesson: Shooting and creating content in advance will save you a lot of headache.

Code of Conduct

Having a personal code of conduct is so important to being a professional influencer. Set rules for yourself from day one and stick to them. By doing so, you’re respecting yourself by treating yourself like the boss lady you are!

I have a few rules for myself that I’ll talk about in another blog post, but one of them is not responding to email after hours and on weekends. I stick to it very strictly.

Lesson: Respect yourself enough to have your own rules you live by.

Believe in yourself

I know this sounds so cliche, but seriously, don’t make the same mistake I did. My lack of belief in myself has cost me time and financial freedom. When I see the bloggers I’ve followed for the last six years grow in their success, it makes me really regret not believing in myself more back in the day.

Like I said, I don’t get jealous or compare myself to other bloggers because I’m genuinely happy for their success. I’ll never knock someone who has worked really hard to get to where they’re at. However, I do use their success to fuel me to keep pushing myself to raise the bar.

Lesson: Your best work and success will come from having confidence in yourself.

Have fun along the way

Another cliche lesson, but hear me out on this. If blogging about fashion excites you, but beauty doesn’t (or vice versa), why on earth would you torture yourself just because everyone else is doing it?

I tried blogging solely about fashion and I believe it’s one of the key reasons as to why I blogged on and off for years. I realized that if I didn’t blog what was on my heart, I would stop writing all together.

Now, I write about what’s on my heart in real time and what I’m passionate about. I feel like I’ll never run out of ideas or content because I’m having so much fun!

Lesson: If you’re not having fun, it’ll feel like work. If it feels like work, you won’t treat it seriously. If your job doesn’t feel like work and feels like you’re having fun all the time, you’re in the right profession/are doing it right!

What did you learn during your first year of blogging?

Even if you’re a veteran or a newbie blogger, let me know in the comments below! Feel free to also ask me any questions about blogging as I’ve been doing this for quite some time and am self-taught. I’d love to help in any way I can!