Hey guys! We are so close to Christmas and I promised myself I would shut down the laptop for a little to spend some quality time with my family. This post is going to be a little more personal. It’s officially been 6 months since starting Decor Hint. I want to reflect on what I’ve learned through 6 months of blogging. Here goes…
How I started blogging
I started blogging officially in June of this year. That’s when I hit publish on my very first post. I officially got the blogging bug!
I call it the blogging bug because the idea instantly popped in my head one day (while I was scrolling through Pinterest) and I haven’t been able to shake it since. I told my husband about it and said – “I think this is going to be a good thing for us.” Meaning – I really think I can make something of this.
Its funny that it happened while on Pinterest. All of a sudden it just clicked to me that people have blogs, post blog pictures to Pinterest and send people back to their blogs. It was interesting to me. I wanted to try it. I was excited! I wanted to unleash my creative side and share it with others too!
It was a good time for me to start. We just moved. I stopped working as a Realtor. And I was staying home to care for my two little angels (kiddos). It felt like a good time.
And I still am soooo excited. I love “working” on something that I’m truly passionate about. I love the challenge of making this blog the best that it can be. I love learning new things and being creative. I learn something new every day! Which leads me to my next point.
What I’ve learned these past 6 months
Oh boy. I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned so many technical things about blogging (still such a rookie though). I’ve learned how to take better photos (still learning!) I’ve learned how to write a little bit better. I think that will continue to improve (hopefully!) I’ve learned about SEO – as much as I can. Trust me – there is SO much to it. I’ve learned more about social media and that Pinterest is NOT a social media platform but a search engine. 😉
I’ve watched my traffic go up. I’ve watched my traffic go down. I’ve watched it just be steady. I’ve watched my pins get repinned many times (still nothing that I would call viral yet, sadly). I’ve watched my pins fail miserably. I’ve watched my Instagram followers climb only to wake up the next morning and see them drop back down. Oh Instagram – I have such a love-hate relationship with you!!!
I’ve learned to appreciate bloggers and the work they do. Blogging is hard work!! I haven’t quite figured out how to manage my time. Between writing a post, researching for the post, doing a DIY project, taking pictures for it, editing those pictures, uploading the photos, publishing the post, blasting it out through social media, link parties, keeping up with it all – it makes your head spin sometimes. Oh yea, and managing the usual house stuff and taking care of the kids!
And then I would wonder why I put so much pressure on myself where there really shouldn’t be any.
I guess it’s because I really want this. I really love blogging. I think I may have found my true passion. Blogging makes me forget to eat.
But blogging is also very challenging. There will always be people out there who had their pins go viral in days of starting. You see it all over Pinterest. “How I got 167,000 page views my first month of blogging!” Its very hard to not get sucked into that. You wonder what you recommend doing wrong. I think the reality is that for most people it takes years to really see success.
It’s also hard to keep a tight leash on your wallet! You can find courses galore that promise to teach you all the dirty secrets. Some are really good. And some are not very helpful. I’m keeping track. When you’re just starting out and making pennies – it’s hard to justify spending any money on your blog. I think it’s important to learn learn learn as much as you can. But research first before hitting that payment button! There are a lot of expensive courses and ebooks out there. I actually found a lot of helpful information from a good ol’ fashioned kindle book for $2.99. This goes for plugins too! I haven’t found a plugin yet where I really need to purchase the paid version. This may change, but so far it’s true.
I think one of the most important things I learned is that it’s ok to just be you. One of my favorite quotes is “Different is better than better.” Said by Sally Hogshead. You are going to compare yourself to the bigger blogs all.the.time. But they were starting out at some point too. Just be you. It’s harder to not be you. Be genuine.
So what’s in store for Decor Hint for 2018? Obviously more decorating posts, more of our own home, more DIY. More renovation posts since that’s underway (architect took measurements this week). More of everything. But better. Better photos, better ideas, better writing.
My blog to do list is super long. I have so many ideas! Again – it’s just finding the time to do it all. I wish I could work on it all day but that’s not a reality for me right now.
What do you guys think of the blog design now? I’m pretty happy with it. I don’t foresee any major changes there for a while. Maybe a font change here or there since I’m still working through that. Sorry! 😉
I am so excited to continue this journey and see where it takes me. This year more than ever, I am feeling so grateful and full of joy. I don’t want to take things for granted. Even the little things. I’m so grateful for my family, and that we are all healthy, we have a roof over our heads and food in our pantry. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to have this blog. I’m so grateful to you guys – for reading it! Thanks for continuing this journey with me.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and the best New Years!