Holy cow — it’s been a full two years of blogging! 🙂 Since I always had an interest in writing, I knew I wanted to blog about my experiences living and traveling abroad — but when I first started my blog, I didn’t really have a clear plan in mind. My blog has grown and evolved a lot over these two years. I thought it would be fun to look back at the journey — so here are my 10 lessons learned from 2 years of blogging.
Lesson 1: I love what I do!
It’s so true that you have to love what you do in order to really want to keep doing it. I’ve found that I truly love managing and writing my travel blog. It’s something that I look forward to spending time on — and quite honestly, I don’t have too many other hobbies. Instead, both my blog work and my travels take up my free time. I now know that I want to center my career around my blog and travel writing and marketing as best I can. Because — who doesn’t want to do what they love for a job?! I urge you to do the same!
Lesson 2: It’s so much harder than it looks!
I’m sure this is true with most things — but blogging (and blogging as a business especially!) is so much harder than it looks. It’s not just about having a great layout and writing good content. It’s essential to be consistent, be willing to learn new things, and be ready to step outside your comfort zone. It’s hard work and takes a lot more time than I ever imagined — but it’s so worth it!
Lesson 3: I’m a workaholic — and need to make changes.
I’ve known that I was a bit of a workaholic for years now. I’ve been known to fill my free time with side projects and freelance work — even before I started this blog — but it’s something I’m really trying to be more aware of. I’m trying to train myself to work smarter and to take breaks away from my blog — so that I can enjoy living in the NOW. It’s important to me and those closest to me.
Lesson 4: Marketing is so important!
I’ve learned that while great content and consistent posting are both important — they’re not the only essential part of blogging. Marketing is so important. You want to be looking for new ways to be found so that you can get more readership and build an audience. If marketing is ignored, you may be wasting a lot of time because no one will see your work!
Lesson 5: Keeping notes helps to battle writer’s block.
Sometimes I seem to have so many ideas for blog posts — then other times, I’m at a loss for what to write about. To battle this, I’ve started to jot down notes anytime I think of a topic or title idea. This is a great way to make sure that there is always content to write about — even when I’m feeling a bit unmotivated. I keep a notebook in my bag and I also use the notes section on my phone to keep ideas organized.
Lesson 6: Don’t compare!
It can be easy to get caught up in the comparison game, but it’s not healthy or productive! I’ve learned that it’s a waste for me to sit there and look at how other bloggers are doing and make comparisons with my own success. Instead, I can be excited for the accomplishments of others and then spend my time focusing on putting my full effort into my blog.
Lesson 7: Multiple streams of income are best!
In addition to an interest and passion, my blog has also shifted into a business for me. I’m constantly learning ways to improve my business while making it work as a source of income for me. I’ve learned that having multiple streams of income is best because if one stream is slow or not quite out, there is a lot less stress. What are some income streams that can work best for bloggers? Sponsored blog content, social media promotion, freelance writing, and affiliate marketing are a few options to explore. I’ve also grown to offer marketing courses so that I can help other bloggers with their marketing needs.
Lesson 8: Make friends with other people who “get it!”
It can be difficult to talk about blogging, freelance writing, or anything a bit out of the ordinary with just anyone. The last year especially, I realized how important it was to make friends with other people who get it. Whether they blog, have their own business, freelance, or do something a bit out of the ordinary — it can make getting through challenges a lot easier. I have a couple close blogger friends who understand what I’m going through. It also helps to have some friends who are as motivated as me — as we can constantly throw ideas around and help each other brainstorm.
Lesson 9: Be willing to constantly put yourself out there.
Some work does come to me after two years of blogging — I’ll open an email message or get a tweet about an opportunity — but most of the work that I do I either create and pitch myself or find and apply for on my own. A huge amount of time spent outside of regular blog tasks is emailing companies and individuals to work out projects details. This might be a freelance post, a hotel stay, or a tourism trip. If you want to make a blog a business venture — be ready to constantly put yourself out there! (It gets easier with time!!)
Lesson 10: Tools and resources are your friend!
I would not be where I am right now without the help of tools and resources. I’m all of trying to figure some things out on my own — but I’ve learned that my time is valuable! I find it’s so worth it to invest in tools and resources to help my blog grow. I personally invest in Buffer, which is $10 a month. I use this to schedule out all my tweets and re-tweets for the week. It’s a huge time-saver! I also now use Tailwind, which is a great tool to schedule out pins (and Pinterest can be a great marketing tool!) These are just some of the amazing tools that help me have more success!
These are my top 10 lessons learned from 2 years of blogging! The last two years have been full of adventure and learning. I plan to continue this journey — and see where it takes me! 🙂