It’s my Blog Anniversary! Check out my 5 Lessons Learned in 5 Years of Blogging with the biggest life lessons I’ve learned and helpful advice I’d give others.
5 Lessons Learned in 5 Years of Blogging
Hey everyone! I’ve officially been blogging for 5 years, can you believe it?!
Since publishing my very first blog post, I’ve honestly learned so many important life lessons, but today I want to take the time to reflect and share with you the Top 5 Lessons Learned in 5 Years of Blogging, hopefully to inspire others out there who want to pursue a dream.
I truly believe and live by the Walt Disney quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it”, and I’ll always support those who have the courage to follow their passions and dreams in life. So if you’ve been wanting to pursue something for awhile now but haven’t had the courage to, I hope this post encourages you to take a leap of faith and go for it.
It’s honestly wild to me that 5 years have already flew by and I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown and changed as a person. Before blogging, I used to be very self conscious about what others thought or said about me, and through this process I’ve thankfully learned to let go of that and have gained an incredible amount of confidence and happiness.
When I think about my blogging journey, I can’t help but think about all the people who started blogging the same time as me and how few of them are still blogging today.
While I’m sad that many weren’t able to continue on, it makes me proud that I personally stuck with it and made Kindly Unspoken into the platform it is today. I love this amazing space of mine and it’s been amazing to watch this Kindness Crew grow into what it is today.
I’m sure so many people thought I was crazy when I started this blog or thought to themselves “she’ll never stick with it”, but I did and I never once gave up – even in those hard moments and trials along the way.
Over 1,000,000 Reasons to Be Thankful
I’m really proud of how far I’ve come with being able to have my own business working from home, and even with 2020 being a super trying year, I’ve accomplished things I only used to dream could be possible.
One of those accomplishments includes surpassing over 1,000,000 annual pageviews on my blog last week. For comparison purposes I only had 129,233 pageviews total in my first year of blogging, so to now be getting over 1,000,000 pageviews a year is incredible.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it 1000 times, I’m truly thankful for each and every person who visits my blog, follows me on social media, likes/comments/engages on my posts, and supports me and my dream. Your support doesn’t go unnoticed and I’m forever grateful for each and every one of you.
Outfit Details: Waffle Knit Dress
5 Life Lessons Learned from Blogging
YOU Make The Rules
When I first started blogging and was new to the industry, I followed a lot of other blogger’s advice in determining what I should or should not be doing.
Some of the advice was great and I’ve maintained using it even today, but other things just did NOT work for me. And to be honest, there are a lot of things other bloggers and influencers do that I simply don’t want to do.
I quickly learned that while it’s good to follow advice when it works for you and your situation, it’s also important to have wisdom and realize that we’re all different and no two bloggers or business model is going to be the same (or should be, for that matter).
For example, posting 5-7 blog posts a week and multiple Instagram posts is simply not feasible for me in my busy lifestyle, nor is it something I want to do. I’m a mom of two (currently virtual home-schooling) and my husband works a very busy schedule as a police officer, leaving me to manage most of the Homefront.
Aside from that, I don’t want to share every tiny aspect of my day-to-day life or family event on social media. I’ve always been a private person and I decided early on that I would be the one to decide whether or not I share something with my blog community. Maybe this choice means I’ll never be “Insta famous”, but I’m completely okay with that.
Instead of trying to force myself to follow some crazy blogging schedule like other people do, I created my own schedule that works best for me and my business. I now post 1-3 times a week and focus more on quality over quantity. I also stopped worrying so much about social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter that don’t play a big part in my business.
And guess what? It’s worked out great. My blog has flourished and seen tremendous growth because I focused on my own journey and made my own rules.
At the end of the day, regardless of what everyone else is doing or what rules they are following, YOU make the rules for your life and your business. Don’t spend precious time worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus on your own journey.
You Have to Be Your Biggest Fan/Supporter
In the famous words of Rachel Hollis, “Nobody is going to care about your dream as much as you do – EVER.”
I’ve said it before, but blogging is tough and it’s quite different from your typical 9-5 job. Instead of sharing tasks with other people, you are your own boss and wear about a million hats.
This definitely has its ups and downs because while you don’t have anyone to answer to, you also don’t have anyone to vent to when you’re frustrated or share the load with when you need help.
There’s also a lot of people out there who will never truly understand what bloggers do, and as much as this bothered me in the beginning, I’ve had to learn to be okay with it. Contrary to what social media portrays, I don’t just play with makeup, bake cookies, and snap selfies everyday.
And as much as I would love for all my family, friends, and even followers to care as much about my blogging dreams, aspirations, and every little project or campaign I do, that’s just not the way it works.
That’s not to say that people don’t care, but everyone is busy with their own lives and at the end of the day YOU have to be your own biggest fan and supporter.
I’ve really had to learn to cheer myself on, to give myself those little internal pep talks, and celebrate my wins no matter how big or small.
Some Things Just Aren’t Meant to Be (And That’s Okay)
The tough part about blogging that you don’t hear many people talk about, is the rejection. In a lot of ways this industry can sometimes feel like a giant popularity contest and it can be frustrating.
I’m not going to lie and sit here and say that it isn’t tough every time a brand ignores my e-mails, says they’re not interested in working with me, or chooses to work with someone else instead of me.
It’s tough sending out multiple e-mails a week and hearing back mostly no’s or “sorry, we don’t have budget”, and then you see them work with someone else the following week.
But especially over the past year, I’ve learned that some things just aren’t meant to be and that’s completely okay.
When it’s all said and done, it’s all about mutually beneficial relationships and as much as it’s frustrating not being able to partner and work with everyone I want to, I want to work with brands that 110% believe in me, my blog, and connect with my mission.
Instead of dwelling on the brands that don’t want to work with me, I’ve learned to instead shift my focus to fostering the relationships with the ones who do want to work with me. I’ve had the pleasure of partnering and developing long-term partnerships with some incredible brands and I’m truly thankful for the ones who continue to support me and my dream.
Be Yourself (Even If It Makes You Less Popular)
If you’ve been following Kindly Unspoken Blog since the beginning, you’ll know that I’ve always been an advocate for being yourself. One thing I really struggled with when I was younger was trying to fit the mold to be something I wasn’t, and it always left me feeling frustrated and burnt out.
When I started this blog, this space essentially became my creative corner of the world and for the past 5 years I’ve had a blast in letting my inner creativity, dreams, and passions shine through on this website and social platforms.
From beauty, to baking, fashion, crafting, and everything in between, I’ve shared what I want to share, not worrying so much about whether or not it fits the mold of what others are doing.
I also have no problem posting about topics that are real issues and struggles for people like mental health or how to stop buying things you don’t need.
Because as I said above YOU make the rules, being yourself is the best way to be, and at the end of the day You Are Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea.
I will never be fake, promote something I don’t believe in, or try to sell you something just to make a couple cents commission. I always want to keep it real and hope that comes across in everything I do.
The bloggers I have the utmost respect for are the ones who are genuine and authentic, and if you were to meet them in real life you would see that they are the exact same in person as they are online.
Life Is More Important Than Work
Last on this list of lessons learned, is probably one of the biggest (and hardest) lessons I’ve learned over the last few years – Life is more important than work.
I’ve personally always struggled with being a workaholic and as a huge goal-oriented person, it’s hard for me to not always want to be working on the next thing on my to-do list.
But as Douglas Merrill said, “The way you spend your time defines the life you live.”
When I get to the end of my life I don’t want to have just filled all my time with working, and 2020 especially taught me the importance of family and spending time with those you love.
I’ve learned this year to take breaks, to work smarter not harder, and to take advantage of doing things I love with the ones I love as much as I can.
Could I have did more this year? Absolutely. But am I happy that I slowed down and focused on what was most important? Absolutely.
More Blogging Tips:
If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for reading today’s post on the 5 Lessons Learned in 5 Years of Blogging. I hope the next 5 years are as amazing as the past 5 ones and I just want to say thank you to every single person who has ever taken time out of their day to visit my blog and follow along with me on my journey. I’m truly grateful for your support and love you all!
Stay kind and as always thanks for stopping by! – Cara