I just texted my friend, “Hey dog,” and then realized that I called her a canine instead of a “dawg”. So yah. Interesting stuff, I know. ANYWAY, as a bit of extended celebration of my blogiversary, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned in the past year of blogging. Enjoy! (Or don’t enjoy, but keep it to yourself because that would make me sad.)
- It’s much harder to grow a blog than I thought. I didn’t expect to gain hundreds of followers right after starting Graceful Rags, but I also didn’t think it would be this difficult to have lots of readers. I thought if I wrote it, they would come. (Field of Dreams fans out there?) Turns out, that’s not really the case, at least not for me. People aren’t just going to stumble across your blog—you really have to promote it and spread the word. I have to remind myself constantly to stop waiting for followers and to start seeking instead.
- Every follower counts. Having said number 1, I’ve come to realize that every follower counts—every like on Instagram, every comment on my blog, and each and every follower. They all matter. I have 63 email subscribers for my blog, and admittedly, this is not as many as I would have liked to have after one whole year of blogging. But despite that, I am so SO grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for following along, and your support really means the world to me.
- Promote promote promote in person. I’m very bad at this, but I think if I really worked at it, it would help my blog a lot. It’s super important to tell all your friends and family about your blog. They’re your first supporters! I’m just really shy about telling people that my little corner of the internet exists, but I’m not really sure why. Like I said, I’m working to promote Graceful Rags more. Wish me luck! 🙂
- Blogging takes way more time than you think. When I started Graceful Rags, I knew a blog would be a commitment, but I didn’t know quite how much of a commitment it would be, haha. Running a blog takes a crap ton of time! And I think in comparison to professional fashion bloggers, I hardly spend any time on my blog. I used to think it was silly that some women blog “full-time”—I thought, how could you possibly need that much time to put up a few posts each week? But now I can kind of understand! You have to spend time taking photos, editing them, uploading photos to your website, writing the posts, proofreading, and promoting/networking on social media and other blogs. I certainly would not want to spend all day on a blog (I would get sick of it!) but if I tried, I could definitely take up that much time.
- Blogging takes time—time to see results. Not only does it take time to put content on your blog, but it also takes a while to see results. This has definitely been the case for me. Some bloggers grow their following really fast, and others, like me, don’t grow so fast. But that’s okay! It’s important to be grateful for what you do have and to be patient. Stick with it—I’m still sticking with it. 🙂
- Be careful online. My biggest fear before starting Graceful Rags was being present online. I wanted to start a blog for many years, but there are a lot of scary aspects about sharing yourself on the internet, where everyone can see you. Just be aware and consider consequences of your actions. That’s all I’m gonna say ’bout that. (Come on, you’ve got to know that movie reference… Or maybe I just watch too many old movies…)
- Find a way to stay organized. Fashion blogging creates a lot of content—lots of writing and hundreds of pictures. From the beginning, you should devise a plan for how to keep all of your content organized. I’m still experimenting on how to do just that, but currently, I keep all of my outfit photos separated into folders based on the bottoms of the outfit (i.e. which shorts, jeans, skirts, or dresses are worn). Keeping everything in place is always super important!
- People can be fake online, but they can also be super genuine. After a year, I’ve developed an eye for spotting fakes online, specifically on Instagram. I can almost always tell when someone follows me, expects a follow in return, and then unfollows me a few days later. Or, lots of times a comment is left on one of my posts but it was very obviously created by a bot or a person paid to run another’s account. It’s disappointing that there’s so many fakes out there, but it also helps you appreciate the genuine people. There’s nothing better than receiving a comment from a sweet person who really means it. Just be sure that you’re not fooled by the phonies!
- It’s better to skip a day than to put out crappy content. This is a lesson I’ve only recently learned. I used to be so concerned with staying consistent and posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that I’d post any content I could get—even if it meant lackluster writing and bad photos. Now I try to be a little more selective with what I publish. I want my content to be interesting and relevant all the time, not just something I scrounged up to meet a deadline. I’m still working on this one. (Now feels like the perfect time to apologize for the dark photos. Hehe)
- Find a way to be unique. Blogging is such a learning process, and like many of the previous points, I’m still working on this one. I never realized just how many fashion blogs there are until I started blogging myself, and boy, there are a lot. If you want attention and to grow your following, you have to find a way to stand out. I’ve really struggled with standing out, but I’ve been brainstorming a lot lately and am excited to start implementing some of my ideas. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how to stand out, which I know, that’s not helpful at all. 😉
- Have fun with blogging. In the end, having a blog is about having fun. It’s a hobby, at least for me. So just enjoy it! Yes, I get upset about my blog sometimes, but in the end, I just have to shake it off because I choose to do this and I really do love it.
- Don’t be afraid to start a blog! I feel like this post turned out to be kind of negative. I’m not trying to be a downer, I just want to be completely honest with you. If you are thinking about starting a blog though, you totally should! It’s a lot of fun and a great creative outlet. You only have to remember one thing: just start! Don’t wait and wait to create a blog until you feel you’ve learned everything there is to know. There will always be more to learn, so you just have to begin and learn on the way. Heck, y’all know there is tons more that I have to learn. ;-P
As always, thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you have a great weekend! What’s one fun thing you have planned? I’m going to a lavender festival, so that should be cool. 🙂
Miles of smiles,
Top: A.N.A. via JCPenney, $16, last seen here // Jacket: St. John’s Bay via JCPenney, $30, last seen in Monday’s post // Shorts: A.N.A. via JCPenney, $16, last seen here // Shoes: DSW, $19, last seen in Monday’s post // Purse: Francesca’s, $20, also seen last in Monday’s post