10/02/17

2 Year Blogiversary + 5 Things I’ve Learned From Blogging

Hello Dear Friends,

Today is a very special day for me…. I can’t believe Kingdom of Sequins has been around for TWO YEARS! That’s two years of sharing outfits, hopes, and dreams. . .two years of connecting with readers and other bloggers. . .and two years of having fun!  I am so blessed.  I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to each and every one of you who stop by and read the blog, because it’s you that makes all of this possible!

 

I can honestly say I didn’t expect to cultivate so many awesome relationships from blogging. I had a few bloggers I connected with and truly admired before I started my own blog. And then as time went on there were several new bloggers I started to connect with on a weekly basis. And several of those people I chat with almost every day. I’m pretty sure without them, my closest friends, and my family, I would lose my sanity. Because in case you didn’t know – blogging is HARD. Like, running your own business kind of hard. Oh wait, that is what we are in fact doing. Working full-time and running Kingdom of Sequins has been nothing short of amazing. But I’ve also learned quite a bit these past 2 years.

I want to thank my Instagram husband because he takes most of my pictures and gives me time to blog. I also want to thank Ridge (my son) who spends many nights cuddled up with his momma while she types out another post before bedtime stories 🙂 I used to put the laptop away and play with him before bed but as he is getting older, the kid loves to cuddle. And honestly, the cuddles are my favorite. However as I am typing this, my child is currently running bananas around the house singing and doing ninja moves on top of the furniture #boymom

And shoutout to my mom who is always my back up photographer and my biggest fan! Love ya mom!

I had this huge elaborate plan to make this a lengthy, lengthy post, outlining all the highs and lows and in-betweens from this past year, and write and write and write ’till I exhausted my little fingers and your tired eyes. BUT, then I decided that I would do a much shorter version of that 🙂

I want to share 5 things I have learned from these past two years of blogging.

 

Be Yourself. People Like It.

My goal from the very beginning has been to be 100% real when it comes to the content on my blog. And I’ve always said I wanted to share the good with the bad and even the messy parts of my life. This has proven to be something that my audience appreciates. Often times it’s when I write the most real and vulnerable blog posts, is when my audience engages the most. It’s easy to only want to share the pretty stuff, but life isn’t perfect and your readers don’t expect for you to be either. Your audience will want to follow your journey even more if they feel like they can relate to you, perfect or not. Just like with anything in life, you are going to run into problems if you start trying to be someone you’re not. This includes photo shopping your selfies and lying to your readers about your running times. People aren’t dumb. If you’re not being genuine, you will be found out. Just be yourself!

You cant do it all

When you find yourself blogging full-time, creating products for your audience, and/or providing services to brands, you are running a business. And you will soon learn you really can’t do it all. Between the blog tasks, outfit posts, social media, sales, weekly blog posts – and oh you know, actual life stuff like cleaning, laundry, dishes not from the blog… it is OKAY to ask for help. Ask your spouse/partner (if you have one) to help with bills, or grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Just ASK. I feel like as women we tend to think not only that we can do it all, but that we have to do it all, and that is just not true. Ask for help.

And then when it comes to the business side of things, there will come a time when you realize you really can’t do everything it takes to run a blog on your own. For the past two years I have been doing everything. I am completely a one-woman show (except for when my husband offers to do my dishes in which I am extremely grateful for). But pretty quickly here I am going to need some help with the business side of things. I am not entirely sure what that person is going to do yet but some business tasks will be alleviated in order for me to continue creating the best possible content for you.

Social Media Is Your Friend

Don’t hesitate to share your blogs on social media. Every single blog post I write gets shared on at least three social networks:  Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter. Chances are at least one person will click through. Maybe someone will even share it to their own page. I recently just started a Facebook page for my blog because I want to grow as much as possible. I discovered Facebook groups and it is starting to take my blog into so many directions. The amount of blogging lessons and information these groups provide are incredible. It’s okay to pay to advertise your blog on social media. Some of my favorite blog posts I’ve read have been from clicking on an ad on Facebook. Advertising on those platforms is not just for Fortune 500 companies. Anyone can do it. Create images that are Pinterest friendly. People love Pinterest and saving things for later using the network. I recently read that you should always have a Pinterest friendly image for every single post no matter what the topic is. This gives people the option to pin your images if they want to save it off and you still will have control over what image they pin.

 Never hesitate to try something new. The internet is always changing. This is probably my favorite part about blogging, there is always something new to learn. Last year Instagram was the be all end all of organic marketing. This year it’s Pinterest. Next year who knows what it will be. Take a leap of faith when someone tells you to try something new.

 

 

Be Patient & Don’t Give Up

I tend to be the person that will give up way to easily if it doesn’t work out right away. I often think…if it doesn’t work at first, it must not be catching on OR people don’t like it so I might as well stop. But I’ve learned with blogging that it might just take that one idea to set things into motion. Or it might just take trial and error to see what strikes people one way or another. Keep putting content out there and you never know what people will be excited about and pass along. Take it from me – the give up queen…don’t give up! You might even publish a post and for months it won’t get much traffic and then all of a sudden it is getting hundreds of views a day. As Dory says in Finding Nemo…”just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Don’t compare yourself to others

This is a big one! With the blogging world being so saturated these days, there are a ton of bloggers out there. It’s so easy to look at the next girl and think, “How does she have so many more followers” or “How did she get that collaboration”. The fact of the matter is you don’t know what that person did to get to where they are, so just focus on your own journey. I’m a firm believer that if you stay motivated and put in the work, there’s no way you can fail. It’s great to support other bloggers and build relationships, but it’s just as important to make sure you’re not looking at what others have, and focusing on what you need to do to get to where you want to be. What other bloggers are doing is nothing to do with your own blogging journey. It’s your space – start writing and create something that you’re proud of. Ultimately, remember that there is an audience for everything.

 

 

I learned so much in my first year of blogging and this year has been more trial and error. I focused more on social media, being more intent with my content, as well as design. My website underwent a huge makeover and I hit one of my goals: 10k followers on Instagram  . This year I also realized that blogging is something I really want to start treating as a business and I’ve learned a lot along the way. It’s been an amazing year building my blog and social media outlets! Looking back to a year ago, I never would have even imagined I’d be where I am right now. I can’t wait to see what kind of opportunities the next year brings. A special thanks to all of you who make blogging possible, and to all of the people who have supported me along the way!

I love you all! 🙂

 

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Brittany