Disclosure: I was sent a Petite Birthday Cake & Full Dozen Birthday Strawberries to encourage me to post about my Blogiversary from Shari's Berries. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
When I started my blog six years ago I had no idea what was branding, seo or that blogging was lucrative. I started my blog back in August of 2010 and pushed my first post live on 8/11/2010. It's crazy to think how time flies. What started out as a creative outlet to share my budget fashion fixes and my daughter's outfits, has turned into more than I could have ever fathomed back then but at the same time still so far from where I think it should be. Here are six lessons I've learned so far as a blogger....
6 years later it's still just me, see my first post here.
1. Remember why you started
When comparison creeps up to steal your joy because it's been six years in the game and home girl who started last week already has 15k followers on Instagram and 5k hits a day on her blog and you don't, remember why you started! I started to express my creative side and I constantly have to remind myself of that. I didn't start my blog to be the next big "brand influencer" on social media. I did it to show other moms similar to me how I make it all happen with a low budget.
2. Stay true to yourself
It is so easy to look at what is trending and what is working for someone else and think, if I did that then maybe things would pick up for me. Don't be a sell out, stick to your guns, remain honest and true to yourself. There is only one of you and no one else can do it like you. Don't jump on bandwagons for the sake of popularity, page views or blogging opportunities. Your audience can always tell when you are faking it. Instead FAITH IT TILL YOU MAKE IT! Blogging can be competitive and catty, there are cliques and everything, but just be you, the right people and opps will come.
3. Don't believe the hype
Bloggers are some of the biggest bullshitters I have ever met! Everyone is always working on some super big secret project that they can't talk about but can't wait to share. Listen, I get it what may be a big deal to one may not be to another but does every blog opportunity need its own hype man? People like to make themselves look more important and successful than they really are. A lot of the time it's a show so don't let it discourage you. Some opportunities while a great experience aren't lucrative. Via social media everything is this glamorous lifestyle but remember people only show you what they want you to see.
4. YOU CAN NOT MAKE A LIVING OFF BLOGGING
Contrary to all of the Pins and sponsored Facebook ads, No! You cannot make a living solely off of blogging. You can however make a full-time living if you are a blogger who happens to have ads, affiliate links, product(s), service(s), ambassadorship(s) along with very high page visits daily. After six years, 4 that have been full-time and attempting to monetize my blog/ brand the most I made was just shy under $14k. That was last year, and I only manage to get about 300 hits a day according to my web host, Weebly or 60 a day according to Google analytics. So no, please do not quit your day job to pursue blogging keep that job while you build your empire off hours.
5. What's for you is for you
You can have the best photographer/photos, top of the line equipment, the fastest and prettiest site, all the seo and content, and it may still not be enough. Regardless of what you have, do or don't, what is for you is for you and noone can take that away. Up to date my biggest blogging triumph has been a year of being an on-air spokesperson doing lifestyle segments on Telemundo. I had no experience and no popularity but for whatever reason the Lord blessed me with that opportunity even though others may have been better qualified.
6. Do it cause you love it
Don't blog for money, fame or free products. Blog because you actually love and enjoy it. And when you feel you're losing the love, take a break. I take 2 week breaks all of the time. I am actually coming off of a one month break with this post. Why do I keep coming back? because I enjoy it. I don't always worry about who will read or how many shares and comments i'll get. What I do stress is if a post is up to my own standards and liking. Do I love it, then yes let's go ahead and hit publish!
I have my days where I can see my blog opening doors to bigger and better things and then there are days I want to shut it down and retire it. I'll just take it one post at a time and see where it leads me. Thank you for six pretty cool years blogosphere!
P.S Blogging isn't just free products & press trips, its work! Between forecasting, brainstorming, styling, writing, editing, photography, photo editing, posting, seo and social syndication/ promotion blogging is real work people.
Celebratory dessert + drink Tablescape
I want to give a huge thank you to Shari's Berries for not only celebrating me and my blog but for also encouraging me to celebrate it myself. I honestly had no plans to celebrate my 6 year blogging birthday/ anni but I felt inspired to do a tablescape the moment I knew I would be receiving a petite birthday cake! I couldn't wait to break out my new $3.99 petite cake pedestal I got on clearance from Macy's Backstage.
I've always wanted to host a meetup or an event to celebrate but who am I kidding no one will show, so styling a tablescape is really more up my alley. I not only wanted to showcase the cake and strawberries but also a few brands who have been a big part of my blogging career, those include: Barefoot Bubbly, L'Oreal, Urban Decay, and JustFab.
I pretty much had all of my supplies but I did run out and buy the #6 balloon from Party City. The majority of my supplies come from the Dollar Tree, Amazon and a craft store like Ac Moore or Michael's.
I'M ALICIA GIBBS
Faith + Family!
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