One year blogiversary – what I’ve learnt after 12 months of blogging

One year blogiversary – what I’ve learnt after 12 months of blogging

26th September 2018 54 By Rachael Stray

As I am celebrating my one year blogiversary I thought I’d share with you what I’ve learnt from 12 months of blogging.

I started this little blog back in September 2017 and instead of writing an introductory post like an organised blogger would; I jumped in feet first and just started sharing my random thoughts.

My very first post was all about the amazing Macmillan Energy Advice Team and at first I had no real plan but lots of things rolling around in my head and wanted to get them out.

Initially I wanted to share my pearls of wisdom from my day job working in Public Relations and Communications but there’s much more to me so my blog has definitely evolved.

In the last 12 months I have published 105 blog posts and although I started out just publishing randomly; I now publish on a Sunday and Wednesday.

What have I learnt from one year of blogging?

It’s ok to not have a niche

I’ve definitely found through reading and connecting with other blogs that actually it’s ok to not have a niche.

I’m really passionate about the North East but I like exploring other areas within and beyond the UK and although I have pearls of wisdom from the day job my interests are much wider than this.

I didn’t want to restrict what I was able to write about and having the freedom to ramble as I wish is what I really enjoy about my blog and hopefully readers do too!

Don’t get too caught up with the numbers

Focusing on your follower count, the likes, the stats etc can be disheartening particularly when you first start out.

Instead I’d recommend focusing on building your blog up, connect with other bloggers and enjoy the learning curve!

Blogging terms

There’s so many blogging terms that I’m still getting to grips with but here’s the most common I’ve come across:

Blogosphere – this refers to the collective community of all blogs and bloggers on the Internet.

Blogtober – bloggers post a new blog post for every day of the month of October sometimes from specific writing prompts.

Blogmas – is like an advent calendar for blogs – a new post every day during December.

DA or Domain Authority – is a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.

Nofollow – a link attribute which prevents links from being crawled by search engines. As a result no SEO credit gets passed from one page to another.

Permalink – an address or URL of a particular post within a blog.

There’s an app for that

I would be lost without the WordPress app which I use waaay too often to reply to comments, tweak a post, and check my stats.

Of course I use the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and Flipboard apps too!

I create my blog cover headers and my pin this images using Canva. Here’s 5 other tools to create inforgraphics.

I’d recommend using a photo editing app – I personally really like Lightroom – especially now the darker nights are drawing in and natural light isn’t in abundance.

I schedule my Twitter posts using Hootsuite which means I don’t have to always be on Twitter promoting my posts. Here’s 4 other free Twitter scheduling tools.

Get involved with the blogging community

I have learnt so much from other bloggers and would definitely recommend finding a supportive Facebook group to join and take part in Twitter chats.

Networking isn’t just about growing your stats it’s about connecting and learning from other bloggers and reading some fantastic blog posts!

At first I joined loads of groups on Facebook and found it overwhelming; now I’m only in a handful and it’s much more manageable and enjoyable.

A big shout out to the following Facebook groups which I love:

Sharing Inspiring Promoting Bloggers 

BSL – Blog Share Love

Pickled Blog Project

Blogging & A Beverage Blogging Group

For The Lonely Niche-less Hobby Blogger

Seize the day

I think it’s quite a British thing to be a bit shy and unassuming and not really put yourself out there but to move forward with blogging goals I had to get past this.

When it comes to blogging (for me anyway) I’ve found that putting myself out there and trying to seize the day helps me to grow and advance as a blogger.

I’ve been lucky to receive free products to review such as delicious donuts from R Place, the brilliant Selfie Bag from Cotton Bag Co and brownies from Kiss and Bake Up because I put myself out there.

I reached out to companies via the #BloggersWanted on Twitter and through Facebook groups but that’s a whole other post!

I’ve also attended some brilliant blogging events too such as the Viking Picture Perfect Photography Masterclass , the summer soirée at Slaley Hall ornamental gardens and the GiffGaff Game Plan money saving workshops where I’ve connected with other bloggers.

Connect with other bloggers

I cannot stress enough the benefits of connecting with other bloggers – for support, gaining knowledge and sharing expertise.

The lovely Em Linthorpe really helped me pimp up my Pinterest game and now I have a beautiful profile, many more followers and so much more engagement we “met” through a Facebook group which has sadly since disbanded.

I love discovering new blogs and returning to my favourites and I would absolutely recommend any new blogger to go and read other blogs – subscribe, explore, read, learn and enjoy – you will get so much out of it.

Here’s a few of my favourite bloggers (to be honest there’s many more than this list):

The aforementioned Em Linthorpe who like me is a niche-less blogger and she’s brilliant!

Every Sunday night I look forward to finding out what I should be watching on TV with Lisa’s Sunday Update New and Returning Shows post – I’ve discovered lots of new shows thanks to Lisa!

On Friday’s I enjoy Hayley’s music posts and they are a real treat including a Spotify playlist.

The fabulous Ritu is a fantastic blogger whose posts are about her family, recipes, life and much more her Spidey’s Serene Sunday posts are one of my weekly highlights.

I really enjoy Cheri’s blog about her life in Germany, getting to grips with the language and culture changes and much more.

Gemma’s blog describes dramas, tells stories of laughs, adventures and frustrations, while giving detailed information on accessibility and wheelchair access and is well worth a read.

I love Orla’s blog particularly her parenting anecdotes and anything to do with Ireland!

From reading updates, places to visit in Scotland and parenting anecdotes and more recently weekly writing prompts I really enjoy Lorna’s blog.

Sticking with Scotland I absolutely love Jill’s brilliant sense of humour with her take on midlife and her posts often make me laugh out loud in inappropriate situations.

Whether it’s the Malta travel diaries or the latest restaurant in Birmingham I love living vicariously through Emmalene’s blog.

I have learnt a lot from Alice who blogs about living living a positive life with chronic pain and her posts have really opened my eyes.

If you love photography and Jaipur, a city in Rajasthan, India then check out Jairpurthurmylens.

Thank you avid readers for supporting me by reading my ramblings, commenting, liking and sharing my posts it means the absolute world to me.

What have you learnt from blogging for more than a year? Share your pearls of wisdom in the comments below. 

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Find out more about me:

Here’s what I love about Autumn

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Bloggers Recognition Award

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