Things I Learned Blogging

10 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging + Nordstrom Giveaway!

Things I Learned Blogging

Hello, everyone!  I really cannot believe this but this month marks 1 year of blogging for me!  In the past year, I’ve learned so much about myself, what I love, what I dislike, and what my passions are.  It’s amazing to see how much Style & Sequins has changed in just one year.  One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t be where I am today with all of you!  I am so thankful that you take the time to stop by my site each day, leave a comment on here or on one of my social media outlets, or just shoot me an email asking a question.  It really means the world to me.  I am so excited and optimistic for what is to come!  I’m only just beginning! 🙂

When I started reflecting on this past year blogging, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I learned.  For me, it was so reflective and humbling to get all of those things on paper.  Make sure to keep reading until the end for a fun giveaway!

1. It isn’t easy.

It takes a lot of time.  When I first started blogging, I had fun sharing posts and pictures on Instagram whenever I had a chance.  Once I set a schedule, it got a little more difficult to keep up with it.  I found out pretty quickly how much there actually was to do on a daily basis.  While it is fun, it most definitely isn’t easy.  I’ve had some people reach out to me for advice, and I always ask them why they want to start a blog.  If you’re thinking about starting a blog and the reason has something to do with it being easy or making money, you may want to rethink your decision.  The money definitely isn’t there to begin with.  It will grow overtime, but that shouldn’t be why you start.  And it most definitely is not easy.  There’s so much more work in keeping a blog running that what I ever imagined.  It’s a lot of hard work, but when you love it, it doesn’t seem so bad. 🙂

2. There is always more work to do.

My to-do list for my blog is never ending.  There’s always content to be written, research to be done, webinars to watch, photos to be taken, emails to be answered, and that’s just the first few hours of the day! I love that I can organize everything that needs to be done in whatever way works for me, and just do it.  I’m a very organized person to begin with, so having lists to help keep me organized makes my OCD mind happy.

3. Make sure to never stop learning.

There is so much to learn about blogging.  Even when you think you’ve learned all the ins and outs, there is still so much more to learn.  Take advantage of all the webinars you can get your hands on!  And YouTube and Google will be your best friends!  I’ve googled countless questions and watched a bazillion YouTube videos, all to help improve my blog.  Be open to learning new things, and always continue to want to learn more.

4. Focus on the content.

I always knew that the content of my blog was important, but I got into a pretty boring habit early on.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I found myself just putting together outfits each week and sharing those outfits.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to give my readers more.  I wanted to give them more than just outfit inspiration everyday.  I wanted to give them a better reason to come to my blog.  Now, I try to give my blog posts more depth such as a “how-to guide” or a roundup of some sorts.  It’s been so much more rewarding and exciting since I’ve started focusing on my content more!

5. I have a hard time letting go of my comfort zone.

I like being comfortable.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  When I find a routine that I’m comfortable in, I don’t always like to shake it up. With that being said, this blog has really tested me.  The biggest reason why it was difficult for me to start this blog is because I didn’t want to let go of my comfort zone.  I’m not a very public person, I would rather keep things to myself.  I never used to post a lot on social media, and I never EVER took a selfie.  It just wasn’t comfortable for me.  However, a little extra push from my boyfriend gave me to courage to at least give this blog thing a try.  And I’m so glad I did.  I’ve started to become more open with what I put in my blog posts.  I’m still working on getting comfortable with selfies, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get comfortable with talking to myself on the front facing camera on Snapchat.  But, hey, I’m still trying to grow myself everyday.  It’s a work in progress.

6. You can’t compare yourself to others.

Yes, I know that’s easier said than done.  Hey, I still find myself doing this on the daily.  It’s natural, so it’s hard not to.  But it is important to keep it all in perspective.  You can’t compare your results to someone else’s, for many reasons.  One being that you may be in different places in your blogging career.  You can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.  Even though it is hard to not compare yourself to others, I try to look at it a little differently.  Instead of comparing, I ask myself, “What can I learn from this person?”  I look to see what things they’re doing that are getting good results and vice versa.  Having a positive outlook can make all the difference.

7. Ask for help when you need it.

I had no idea what I was doing when I started this blog.  Like I mentioned earlier, I actually wouldn’t have started it if it wasn’t for my boyfriend giving me that extra push!  I had to rely on SO many other people and resources, and still do to this day!  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help when you need it!  I have asked my boyfriend countless questions.  I’ve even asked my friends and family to help promote my blog when I was first starting.  People care, and people will help.  You don’t get help unless you ask for it!

8. Connect with other bloggers.

I didn’t really realize how important this was when I first started blogging.   There is an amazing community of bloggers out there.  All of which have different levels of experience and expertise.  You can learn something from every single one of them.  Don’t be afraid to reach out and send a message!  Even if you’re a beginning blogger just looking for a little bit of advice.  I have met so many great ladies already through blogging.  We all share things with each other and ask each other A TON of questions!  It’s good to surround yourself with people who have the same interests and goals.

9. Connect with your readers.

Having been on both sides of this, I know how great it feels when a blogger responds to your comment or answers your question!  You think to yourself, “Hey, this person actually cares what I say and think!”  I want to make sure all of my readers know how much I value their thoughts and kind words.  Because of this, I try to respond to all comments and emails that I get!  I want to make sure my readers get that same feeling that I get when another blogger responds to me!  It really is important!

10. I love it.

If I could spend all of my days working on blog related things, I would absolutely love it.  Given it’s not always rainbows and roses, I truly love having control over what I do.  I love fashion, beauty, traveling, all of it, and I love sharing all of this with other people.  It makes me get out of my comfort zone more than what I’m used to, and that’s exactly what I need.

Like I said in the beginning, I have learned so much from this first year blogging.  I’m so excited to continue this journey, and I thank YOU for following along with me!  To show you how much I appreciate your support I am doing a little giveaway!  Make sure to enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And to end this post on a fun note, I rounded up some of my favorite and not so favorite pictures from the past year.  Oh, how things have changed!  Enjoy!

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img_3017 dsc_0472  dsc_0100

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dsc_0002 dsc_0011   dsc_0073

dsc_0235-1 dsc_0361  dsc_0109

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Wow!  Things have changed so much in the past year!  Thanks again for all of your support and love!  It means more than you know.

Sig

39 Comments

  1. This is a great post!

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks, Brandi!

  2. Ellie

    Firstly, congratulations on your one year blogging anniversary!! I love your lessons here especially the ones about how blogging isn’t easy and pushing yourself out of your comfort zones.

    Ellie
    Maplesyrupandteacups.blogspot.com

    1. Amy Michelle

      Awe, thanks so much! Both so true!

  3. I loved reading this. Some of these I did learn as well. Awesome giveaway, by the way!

    One Awesome Momma

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks, girl!

  4. You nailed it babe!!! So much work, so little time. The struggle is real, but I find myself wanting more and more of it! Loved your post, and congrats on 1 year!

    1. Amy Michelle

      Same, girl! Thanks so much!

  5. jen

    Such a great post! I love the part about the list never being done… It really is always being added to constantly! I also loved the focus on the content. I feel like I am there. As much as I love doing outfit posts I don’t want my content to be all about the outfit but more uplifting and inspirational. I’m still working on that end of it and how to incorporate it but glad to know I’m not alone in that. xo Jen – http://abeautifulinspiration.com

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks, Jen! You are definitely not alone!

  6. Momma

    You are doing great Amy!! Always the hard worker. So proud of you

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks, mom! 🙂

  7. Kennedy

    Your style is so cute! I’m glad you decided to keep up with your blog despite the constant work. 🙂

    1. Amy Michelle

      Awe, thanks Kennedy!

  8. First HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! I loved this post because I am 9 months into it and now that I type that…it kind of feels like a pregnancy (there are sooooo many comparisons I could do with that one but I won’t bore you…hahaha). I think the BIGGEST things I have learned in the last 9 months is that 1. it’s HARD work if you want to do it well and 2. connect with other bloggers!!

    xoxo
    Tiffani
    http://www.tiffaniatbretonbay.com

    1. Amy Michelle

      Lol girl it definitely is hard work! And connections make all the difference!

  9. Velda Miller

    Congratulations & Happy Anniversary Amy on having 1 year under your belt!! (Ha! pun intended!) =) The first year has to be the toughest, feeling your way through and learning as you go … now to grow with it as you move forward!! Which, to me it was perfect from the beginning … because it is Yours. You are a Beautiful Model & doing a good job Blogging … I always find it interesting!
    Giving you my Love & Hugs <3 … please give my handsome son Mitch my Love & a Hug for me! <3
    … Mom/Velda

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks so much, Velda!

  10. It is a lot of work! I also have a hard time getting out of my comfort zone but when I do it usually pays off! Keep up the awesome work 🙂

    1. Amy Michelle

      Same, girl! Thanks for the kind words!

  11. Lauren Neal

    Congrats on a year! You’ve done amazing work, and we appreciate your tips so much!! It is hard and you definitely can’t be in it for the money or you will hate it, but it’s so rewarding!!

    -Lauren
    http://www.ivorytowerchic.com

    1. Amy Michelle

      You are so right, Lauren! Thanks for the kind words! 🙂

  12. Nataly

    Great post! I love hearing all the things you have learned! Happy blog anniversary!

    1. Amy Michelle

      Aw thanks so much!

  13. Steph

    This is so true. Love hearing about everything you’ve learned!

    xO – Steph
    http://www.urbanblonde.com

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks, Steph!

  14. #’s 2,6,8 are so true. I have only been at this a month but those three really hit home. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!!!

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks, Amanda!

  15. I agree with EVERYTHING you are saying! This March I complete 2 years of blogging, BUT the first 6 months I was not as consistent at all! There is so much more than just taking pretty pictures and it’s definitely a job! but a job that i (we) love. <3 thanks for sharing!

    1. Amy Michelle

      You are so right! You have to definitely love it to stay with it!

  16. Yes yes and more YES! I completely agree with all the above! I have been blogging for seven years and am still learning new things all the time! I love the content part, that is SO true!
    Courtney Bentley || http://www.courtneyvioletbentley.com

    1. Amy Michelle

      You are dedicated girl! Thanks for the love!

  17. I’ll add one: Never be afraid of your ideas. They are amazing.

    1. Amy Michelle

      Another great tip! Thanks, Angela!

  18. Gabby Anderson

    Great tips i keep telling my sister she should start a blog im going to have stalk your blog.

    1. Amy Michelle

      Stalk away! ha! It’s basically what I do on the daily with all the other blogs I love!

  19. So exciting! Again, so glad I found you!

    1. Amy Michelle

      Thanks, Gretchen! I’m so happy to have you! 🙂

  20. Congrats on your blog anniversary! Great tips, thank you for sharing!

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