Pretty crazy guys, today Love Inside & Out turns ONE! Man, where did the year go!?!
This past year was honestly one of the fastest years of my life and also probably the best. There’s something really magical in life that happens when you find your true passion. I feel very grateful that I feel like I’ve found mine in this blog and online community. Since today marks the official one year anniversary that this blog has been up and running, I thought I would talk about some of the different lessons I’ve learned throughout my first year of blogging and building an online business. I honestly wish that I would have had a post like this to read a year ago, so I hope this can be helpful to any of you who are interested in getting into blogging or building a presence online.
SO MUCH of what I’ve learned this last year has been me curled up in my office until the whee hours of the morning, google searching my heart away. I’ve also learned a lot through trial and error, podcasts, editing, asking girlfriends in the industry, etc. While, I DEFINITELY don’t have everything all figured out, I’ve been amazed and incredibly inspired this year at just how much can be accomplished once you find your passion and work really hard at it. I’m a huge believer (and always have been) in the notion that anything can be accomplished if you work hard enough and believe in yourself.
Before I get into the main things I’ve learned over the last year, I want to give a little more background about what went into starting this blog! I had wanted to start a blog for probably about 5 years. It was something I constantly thought about but always let fear get in the way. I was afraid to put myself out there for many reasons. Then, about 3 years ago I started dating Dylan and of course shared this blogging dream of mine with him. He encouraged me SO much. I honestly, think he just got so sick of hearing me go on and on about blogging that he finally said “shut up and JUST DO IT ALREADY.” That was exactly the push I needed to get started.
About two years ago, I started working with a web designer and blogging through Instagram. I highly recommend micro-blogging through Instagram before launching a blog because it’s great for building a community that will then (hopefully) read your blog! I worked with that web designer for about a full YEAR before finally pulling the trigger and launching. It was super important for me to be 100% clear on my mission, brand values, and direction before launching this blog. I finally became clear on what I wanted my blog to be, “a wellness, beauty, & lifestyle blog created to inspire love from the inside out.” I remember the day this phrase came into my head!! I truly felt like everything finally made sense. I had my direction, mission (to spread and promote love from the inside out), and was ready to move full speed ahead!
Now, let’s get into the main lessons I’ve learned in my first year of blogging:
- It’s more than okay to ask for help.
When you’re starting something new, it can be very overwhelming! It’s more than okay to bring on people to help you. For example, back in January I hired someone to help me run my Pinterest. She’s a Pinterest specialist and is way more knowledgable about Pinterest strategies than I am. At first I felt like I had to do everything myself but have realized that hiring someone to help in this area actually frees me up to do what I’m best at.
2. It’s okay to feel fearful when you’re putting yourself out there in a vulnerable way.
This one honestly just comes with the blogging territory! I remember being SO nervous to publish my first post. I was scared no-one would read, that they would judge me, etc. Fast forward one year and it’s gotten so much easier to be vulnerable. At the end of the day, I know that if I’m sharing authentically and honestly, someone will resonate with my words and journey.
3. Not everyone is going to be kind about what you’re doing.
I feel very lucky to have the support of my family and friends who have been fully amazing as I’ve taken the leap into blogging. However, there have been some people who haven’t been so kind. After the first few times of letting the opinion’s of others bother me, I realized that it really isn’t my business what other people think of me. If I can help just one woman learn to love herself from the inside out, I’m happy. You know that saying “what Susie says of Sally says more about Susie than Sally?” I’ve learned that this is SO true!
4. Write down exact goals for yourself.
This is one of my biggest pieces of advice. I’m a big fan of writing down actionable and achievable goals for myself. I keep them on a huge bulletin board above my desk so I can be reminded about what I’m working towards.
5. When working from home, write a schedule and then stick to it.
This one came pretty easily because I was already used to working from home in my last job. I got my start working remotely in digital marketing so I was used to making my own schedule. Some things that help with creating a schedule working from home are waking up at the same time each day, taking walk breaks, eating meals at the same time each day, etc.
6. It’s okay to take a day off.
To be honest, with blogging this is easier said than done! While I don’t post on my blog everyday, I do post on social media (mostly) everyday. In order to grow on social media, consistency is really important. For that reason, it’s been hard for me to be okay with taking time off during the weekends. However, I have learned that sometimes It’s absolutely necessary to take time off. When I feel like I need a break, I’ll delete the social media apps from my phone for a full 24-hours. More on taking social media breaks here!
7. It’s okay to say NO.
Actually, its more than okay to say no. I would argue that it’s GOOD to say no to things that don’t serve you, especially in a business sense. Specifically when choosing brands to partner with as a blogger, saying no is one of the most important things to learn. When accepting a new brand partner I am always asking myself “is this product something I genuinely love and can’t wait to share?” and “is this something I would use if I wasn’t sharing it on my blog?” If the answers are both a YESSS, I will say yes to the partnership. If there’s even the tiniest bit of doubt in my mind, I say no.
8. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!
This is honestly another really big one. We are all so different and all have different God given gifts. It can be really stifling as a blogger, to look at what other bloggers are doing because the industry is very saturated and there are many hugely successful people. I’ve learned that the best thing for me to do is always come back to my mission of “promoting love from the inside out” and asking God to use me in His own way. I am also all about collaboration over competition!