Holy cow. I cannot believe I have been blogging for almost two years already. As of next Sunday, Label Me Organized will officially be two years old! It has been one of the most exciting, challenging and exhilarating experiences building up this little blog of mine. I absolutely love having this little creative outlet to share all my organizing and crafting adventures with all of you amazing readers!
Just like I did last year for my first blogiversary, I thought I would share with you some of the things I’ve learned along the way of this journey of bloggerdom. When I was first starting out, it was posts like these that really helped keep me going. They provided the motivation and support I needed to know I was not in this alone, and other bloggers have faced similar challenges, and have come out on the other side lessons learned and experiences gained. That is what I hope this post will be able to accomplish. So without further ado, here are the five most important things I learned during my second year of blogging.
Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously
Blogging can be stressful, there is no getting around it. There are a million things to keep track of and get done when running your own blog, and it was get overwhelming for me. Between coming up with and executing projects, taking and editing pictures, writing up posts, managing every single social media platform, designing and maintaining to appearance of your blog and everything else involved in blog ownership, it can be hard to come up with time to sit back and remember that this is supposed to be fun.
Blogging is supposed to be enjoyable. It was created as a way to publicly journal, and share you thoughts, your life or your love of a hobby with the world. At its creation, no one would have ever considered blogging could be a full time job, because it was done for fun.
Whenever I get so overwhelmed that I just want to throw in the towel and declare that it’s just to hard, I remind myself that blogging is supposed to be enjoyable. I blog because I love it. When I want to pull my hair out because I can’t figure out how to get the design of the blog just the way I want it, I remind myself that it is just a silly little blog. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if my pictures are perfect, or my projects are added to my gallery in real time. If I shared something I love, then that is ok by me. Everything else will get figured out.
Not Everything Has to be Pinterest-Perfect
In the years since social media has become majorly photo-centric, is has become increasingly hard to put yourself and your creations out there into the cyber world. While I love Pinterest and Instagram as much as the next person, it can be hard not to compare yourself to the amazing magazine worthy images that seem to endlessly parade across your screen.
One of the most important lessons I’ve forced myself to learn this past year is that my life will never be Pinterest-Perfect, because no one’s life is ever Pinterest-Perfect. Life isn’t perfect, it’s messy. And striving for perfection will only lead to frustration and disappointment. As a self-professed perfectionist, I know this too well.
I found that my goal of perfection was actually hurting my blog. I wouldn’t share an organization project or progress on a room makeover because it still wasn’t styled to perfection. I was missing out on sharing some valuable organization tips because I was waiting for perfection. I had to force myself to step back and realize that this blog was not supposed to be about perfection. I started it to share my journey of creating and organizing my home, and to share with and inspire others. If it’s not Pinterest-Perfect every time, that is ok.
These sites are meant to serve as inspiration, not a standard. So that is what I have been striving to remember. It’s still hard at times to share a partially organized desk or a post-move home tour, but I’m forcing myself to anyway, because that is what Label Me Organized is about to me. Sharing the messes, sharing the journey and sharing the process of creating an organized home.
Blogging is All About the Social
One of my favorite things about blogging is the social aspect. Social interactions are integral to the success of a blog. If it weren’t for other people reading and commenting on this blog, I might as well be writing about my experiences in a journal. I like sharing. I like hearing people’s reactions. I like inspiring and being inspired.My ultimate goal for Label Me Organized is to create a community of people who are all passionate about organization and home decor. I want a place where people can come to be inspired. For that to happen, I have to make it happen. One of the downsides of blogging today, is that everyone and their cat has a blog. If you want to create that special place, where people come and read and share, you have to work at it.
You have to building relationships with people so they want to keep coming back to your blog. You have to get your name out there. You can’t just throw up content on a site and expect people to show up, because they won’t. Let them get to know you, and get to know your readers. Use social media to connect with other people, other blogs, not just to promote your own content. If you do this, you won’t just be rewarded with a successful blog, you’ll also have the pleasure of getting to know a ton of amazing people!
Ask for Help if You Need It
Writing a blog is a serious undertaking. As the creator, you have to wear many varied hats. You are a writer, a photographer, a coder, a graphic designer and many more. Some things may come naturally to you, and some may not. One of the best things I’ve learned in the last year, is that I do not have to go this alone.
Just because this is my blog, doesn’t mean I can’t seek assistance from other sources to help me when I get stuck. This may mean asking another blogger how they take such amazing pictures, or asking my girlfriend what she thinks about the layout of my blog. I am not a professional blogger, and I have only been doing this for two years. I am not going to know everything. No one knows everything. But someone else may have the knowledge or skills you lack. Being able to ask other more experienced bloggers for help may also help with building relationships, which, as I mentioned above, are key!
It can also help improve your blog to get feedback from outside sources. As the creator, you have a naturally biased view. Of course that post makes sense to you, you wrote it. Of course you can easily navigate your blog, you designed it. Getting someone else’s input can shed light on areas you didn’t know needed improvement. I always have my readers in mind when doing anything for my blog, so I like to get a potential reader’s opinion on things every now and again. It can be hard to be objective about your own creations, so asking other’s to take a peak around and let you know what they think can be invaluable.
A Great Blog Does Not Happen Overnight
As I’ve stated in a few of my lessons above, a blog is a lot of work. There are so many different things that go into creating and maintaining a successful blog. Some of those things include website design, content creation, photography, post writing, social media promotion, statistics analysis, relationship building and the list could go on.
A good blog, a truly good blog, that stands out among the others and is read and admired by others, does not pop up overnight. It takes time and a ton of dedication and hard work to create a great blog. For some, it may happen sooner than others. But there is no simple equation to blog success.
Because of these things, my blog has been in constant development since I started it in 2012. I am always working to perfect my blog and tweak it where needed and smooth out the rough edges. As with many of my projects and rooms in my house, it is not close to being finished, but each step I take gets it that much closer to being the blog of my dreams.
I know to never stop learning things along this journey of blogging. I love challenging myself to figure out new things, or to take that next step. It is exciting and motivates me to keep creating better and better content for Label Me Organized. I hope the lessons I’ve learned and shared here can help you to create the blog of your dreams! Stay tuned for the rest of the week, I have a few more posts planned to celebrate my second blogiversary!
What do you think are the most important lessons about blogging? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started? If you don’t have a blog, what do you think is the most important thing a blog can do for its readers?